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APEX Computer Technology PC-346 ATX Mid-Tower PC Case Review
It was only a few years ago that everyone (including their grandma) had an ugly beige square box that sat on top (or even under and out of sight) of his or her desk. Soon, everyone found this beige box to be an eyesore, and the direction of computer cases took off. Now, computer cases are stylish, elegant, functional, and there is a case for almost everyone’s taste. Today we look at a case from APEX Computer Technology known as the PC-346 ATX Mid-Tower.

About APEX


As Futurelooks’ first review of an APEX case, we didn't really know what to expect. They were founded in 1998 and have been manufacturing and engineering PC enclosures and switching power supplies. They are one of the premier OEM/ODM providers for large system integrators and offer a full line of PC enclosures in various form factors and sizes. With over 250 production-ready bezels, they are sure to have something that you’ll like. Let's check out the specs of the PC-346.

Specifications

The PC-346 ATX Mid-Tower PC Case sports the following specifications:

  • Dimension: 19”D (incl. front bezel) x 7.5”W x 16.25”H
  • Drive Bays:
    • External Drive Bay – 5.25” x 4
    • Internal Drive Bay – 3.5” x 2
    • Internal Hidden Drive Bay – 3.5” x 4
  • Motherboard form factor: Micro ATX / ATX
  • 7 expansion slots
  • Allied Ver. 2.2 ATX12V 300W 20+4 pin power supply, Model: SL-8320BTX
  • 1 - 80mm rear fan (90mm optional)
  • 1 – 80mm front fan optional
  • Side mounted 2 x USB2.0 ports, 1 x speaker, 1 x microphone
  • Optional CPU air guide to improve CPU cooling

Overall, it's a pretty plain jane spread of features. What was kind of disappointing was the lack of 120mm fans. The case uses dual 80mm fans (with a 90mm optional rear fan) and could cause some noisiness, but we'll be the judge of that.

First Impressions

When I received the case, the box had the name “Super Case” written all over it. After a little bit of digging, it seems like APEX doesn’t actually manufacture their case lineup, but instead, imports them from SuperCase International Corporation and sells them under the APEX brand. As it turns out, the PC-346 case can be found on Newegg for $39.99USD. It’s safe to say that this is a low cost budget economical case. What I was disappointed with was that they left the big Super Case logo on the box and didn't even bother to rebrand anything. Truly cheap ass if you ask me.

On the outside


The front bezel contained four 5-1/4” and two 3-1/2” drive bays. One thing that puzzled me is that only the top two 5-1/4” bays opened up to accept a cd/dvd drive. If I had more than 2 drives, I would have to pull out the front bezel and the smooth continuous look would be gone. Lucky for us, we only have one drive and you're a freak if you have more than two.

APEX Computer Technology PC-346 ATX Mid-Tower PC Case Review
Another thing that was different with this case is the location of the LED’s, power and reset buttons, USB ports and mic/headphone jacks – they are located on the sides of the case. If you’re like me, I like to put my computer on the edge of my desk, on the left hand side. With the USB ports and the mic/headphone jacks located on the left hand side, this made it difficult for me to insert USB flash drive as it was hidden out of sight and didn’t leave me much room to plug it in. I could place the case on the right hand side of my desk, but then the power/reset buttons and the HDD/power LED’s would be out of sight. I personally prefer everything central and on the front of the computer within easy access and high visibility.

APEX Computer Technology PC-346 ATX Mid-Tower PC Case Review
Upon opening the case, we had to use our trusty Phillips screwdriver to get at the four screws located on the back, no tool-less assembly here. How sad...
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