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Kingwin Mutant X Case

Wanting to get away from the sometimes boring and average looking cases that are out on the market, Kingwin designed the Mutant X case for those who want to be a little on the odd side.

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Introduction


Wanting to get away from the sometimes boring and average looking cases that are out on the market, Kingwin designed the Mutant X case for those who want to be a little on the wild side.  Many of today’s cases have a plain or modern and sterile look to them that may not appeal to everyone.  The Mutant X is definitely not that type of case.  Let’s dive in and see what makes Kingwin’s Mutant X stand out from the rest of the crowd!

Features and Specs


Features

  • Exclusive Mutant X front panel design.
  • Special silver/gray two tone color combination.
  • 1 clear side acrylic glass window.
  • Laser cut fan grill.
  • 2 front USB 2.0 ports.
  • 1 front firewire port.
  • 1 front audio port.
  • 1 front microphone jack.
  • 1 front fan.
  • 1 rear fan.
  • 1 side led fan.
  • 2 front blue led lights.
  • Complete tooless design.

Specs

  • Model:  MTX425BKW.
  • Tower size:  Mid tower.
  • Dimension:  20″(507 mm)D x 7 7/8″(200 mm)W x 16 1/8″(411 mm)H.
  • Drive bays / front accessible / internal:  10 / 4 x 5.25″, 2 x 3.5″/ 5 x 3.5″.
  • Expansion slot:  7.
  • Panel features:  2 x USB, 1 x Firewire, 1 x Microphone, 1 Audio, 1 x power, reset, led.
  • Power supply:  420Watts ATX.
  • 1 Front case fan:  80x80x25mm.
  • 1 Rear case fan:  80x80x25mm.
  • 1 Side led case fan:  80x80x25mm.
  • Main board size:  12″ (305 mm) x 9 5/8″ (245 mm).
  • Main board type:  Baby AT, Micro ATX, ATX.
  • Window:  1 Side clear acrylic window w/ laser cut fan grill.
  • Unit weight:  24 lbs.

Package Contents

  • Case
  • Accessory box (screws, motherboard standoffs, etc.)
  • Power cable
  • Installation manual
  • Parts list

  

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Closer Look


External

The first thing that catches your eye on the Mutant X is the amazingly crafted case front.  Its two tone silver color scheme looks very nice and is offset by chrome accent buttons and a chrome power button in the middle.  The paint job on the case is of good quality and matches the color of the plastic front almost perfectly.  The hard drive access light is positioned just below the power button and flashes red.  Surrounding the power button and hard drive light is a shape that resembles the Oakley sunglasses logo.  This surrounding is made into two halves that glow blue when the case is powered on.  At night, it really adds a nice glow to an otherwise dark room.

 

Another feature of the front panel is the placement of two USB, one firewire, and headphone and microphone jacks at the bottom behind a drawbridge-type panel.  These panels and connections are becoming the standard in the case market, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

To access your optical drives, floppy drive, and reset button, the top two thirds of the front face swings open like other cases with doors; only this one once open moves out slightly to the side to provide better access.  This door does have one downside, in that some devices such as fan controllers, may not fit behind the door.  This can be fixed however, by utilizing one of the sets of install rails on the inside.  More on that later.

 

The Mutant X is available with a side panel featuring a window and tri-LED fan.  The window is fastened to the back side of the side panel to provide a flush mounting and is secured with eight chrome rivets.  The blue LED fan is protected by a nice swirl-type fan grill and grill mesh.  This fan is quite bright when spinning and helps to carry on the blue glow from the front of the case.  The fan is powered by a standard four-pin Molex connector that features a pass-through so that the power connection is not stopped at the fan.  The opposite side panel is much more tame, in that it only has some small ventilation holes along the top and bottom and a nice hand hold for sliding the panel off.

 

 

The rear of the case features a power supply that is mounted with a bracket that allows for easy rear removal.  This is nice because you are able to put other power supplies into the case without having to worry about bothering the inside of your case.  In a perfect world this system would work great, but unfortunately for Kingwin this is not the case.  Read on to find out what issues arose when swapping out the power supply.

Access

Opening the Mutant X is as easy as removing the thumb screws at the back of each panel and then sliding the panels off.  Removing the front of the case however, is a different story.  There are six screws that need to be removed in order for the front face to come off.  Once these screws are off comes the fun part (sarcasm there for those of you that took me seriously!).  Six “pressure tabs” must be squeezed together to finally release the front panel from the rest of the case.  Once your fingers are just about to bleed from squeezing these tabs, the front will finally come off.  Once disconnected, you are able to remove unneeded drive covers for your optical drives or floppy drives.  Be careful to watch out for the wires connecting the various buttons and lights to the front panel, as you don’t want them to snap or become disconnected.  With the front plate off you are also able to add or remove fans from the front intake fan locations.  Replacing the front plate is much easier, as you can just snap it back into place and return the six screws to their original locations.

 

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Closer Look Continued


Internal

The insides of the Mutant X are very plain and simple.  Most of the edges have been rolled to keep the number of cut fingers to a minimum; once again another feature becoming more and more common to my delight!

There is one top-to-bottom drive rack that is capable of holding up to four external accessible 5.25″ drives and two external accessible 3.5″ drives.  Below these 3.5″ bays are another five 3.5″ internal bays.  Each one of these bays is very nicely outfitted with many, many mounting hole locations.  The bays also have built-in “rails” that allow you to slide your drives forward or backward in order to become flush with the front of the case.  For those of you with fan controllers that you think won’t fit, you can always slide the controller back some in order for the door to close.  This will look a little funny when the door is open but that’s what the door is there for, right?

Add-in cards are supported with seven expansion slots at the back of the case.  The slot covers are all held in with phillips-head screws and are also pressure fit to keep them in place.

Cooling must have been a top priority for Kingwin when designing the Mutant X, because there is plenty of room for cooling expansion.  Included with the Mutant X are three 80mm cooling fans, including the LED one mentioned earlier.  The other two are located at the front and back of the case respectively.  The front mounted fan is mounted in a great spot to cool your hard drives and is actually able to be moved to the side to allow another 80mm fan to reside next to it, thus doubling the incoming cool air.  The rear fan is also able to have a neighbor, as there is another mounting spot for an 80mm fan right above it.

Chassis strength is improved with the addition of a front to back brace at the top side of the case.  It is nice to see Kingwin including this as some cases just can’t hold up to the torture many of us put on our cases while dragging them from one LAN party to the next.

Also on the inside of the Mutant X is a hefty 420 watt power supply.  This power supply is definitely powerful enough to run any of today’s high end machines; the only downside to this power supply is that it does not have any ventilation on the bottom of it to allow hot case air to be moved out of the case by way of its fan.  This design is just not acceptable with the heat that modern day components generate.

Installation


Test System

  • AMD Athlon XP 2000+
  • Abit KR7A-133R
  • 768MB PC2100
  • PNY GeForce4 Ti4400
  • 80GB IBM Deskstar
  • 200GB WesternDigital
  • TDK 40x CD-RW
  • Lite-On 52x CD-ROM
  • Antec TrueBlue 350 watt PSU
  • Thermaltake XTunner
  • Thermaltake Volcano 11
  • Antec blue LED fans (2)

What better way to determine how well the case is outfitted for new hardware than to install a system in it?  Installing the motherboard was painless once the correct stand-offs were installed, and all other accessories went in with out issue as well.

The one part that was a chore was replacing the power supply with a better cooling unit.  I chose to remove the stock Kingwin power supply because my current system tends to run a little on the hot side in my opinion, and I have used other power supplies with sub-par cooling in the past and did not want to go down that road again.  The slot in the back of the case that the power supply slides into is just small enough that my Antec TrueBlue 350 was not able to make it.  The bottom fan grill was getting caught every time I tried to put it in the case.  I ended up removing the fan grill altogether and sliding the power supply into place.  If the feature of an easily removable power supply is to be included in the features of the case, then it should allow for many types of power supplies to be installed, including those with dual fans.

I also decided to modify the cooling setup of the Mutant X to provide more air movement inside the case.  The fan that was provided in the front of the case was moved above the other case in the rear, filling up both fan slots.  Two Antec blue LED fans were then installed side-by-side at the front of the case to add to the inner glow and to help cool my two hard drives.  All of these fans where then connected to my Thermaltake XTunner for easy controllability.

 

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Testing


Once all the components were installed and my cables tucked away, it was time to fire up the Mutant X.  The blue glow at the front of the case is nice and subtle but enough to cast a nice blue hue across part of a dark room.  Accessing the front mounted ports is a breeze with the pressure sensitive panel coming open and going closed with a light push.  Opening the front door that hides the drives behind it is another simple task, as is closing it.  This door is nice, in that my optical drives that are different colors are not being shown to everybody and distracting from the look of the case.  Another advantage to this front door is that the noise emitted from my CD-ROM drives is greatly reduced.

Conclusion


Kingwin has definitely come up with a quality case that is sure to fit into the budget of any gamer.  At right around $62 from NewEgg, this is a great bargain, since this case already includes three case fans and a 420 watt power supply.  The futuristic design and factory installed window help this case appeal to gamers who want something different than their LAN buddies’ sterile looking Lian Li or CoolerMaster case.

There are no highly innovative features to the Mutant X, but many features that are becoming the standard set these days are included.  It is nice to see that safety is kept in mind with the folded metal edges and that durability was taken into account when including the support beam inside the case.

The only drawbacks to the Mutant X are the poorly ventilated power supply and the weight of the case itself.  24 pounds is quite heavy these days for a case and Kingwin could have cut out much of that weight by choosing aluminum instead of steel.

Pros

  • Great looking
  • Good quality paint job and color matching
  • Three included case fans
  • Power supply included
  • Front mounted connection ports

Cons

  • Questionable power supply cooling
  • A little on the heavy side

I think Kingwin has a nice product to offer with the Mutant X and for that reason, I am awarding it an 8 out of 10.

FIND THE BEST PRICES FOR Kingwin Cases AT PRICEGRABBER

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