SHAW GT-1 Defence USB 3.0 Case Review! We all know cheap cases from local computer stores. Any person who has ever repaired a PC of some sort has dealt with a cheap case. Throughout the years of computing, and browsing certain AU forums, a notorious brand for their "Powerful" (I use that term VERY loosely) Power supplies has been passed on throughout each forum pointing at the cheapness of the power supplies. The company is SHAW (Which is a rebrand for certain A-Power and Ritmo products). SHAW products as far as I know originated at MSY years ago and has always offered the cheapest cases and cheapest power supplies possible. The knowledge of the cases are simple - tin metal. The power supplies - old ATX standard, barely efficient, and is likely to explode within .4 of a femtosecond. However. During the last year, MSY have updated their stock with fake 80+ SHAW PSUs which were effectively taken off the shelf and replaced with actual 80+ approved units. They also released some newer cases however were just standard generic ones with an apple logo branded on the front...smart. The ones before that were absolutely terrible, and MSY offered builds in these cases, but once they updated them, and the power supplies, they weren't....that bad. Better cheap case quality, power supply that claimed only 1 x 12V rail with 17A but in reality the PSU had 2 x physical 12V rails..... Anyways, this isn't the point. You all know SHAW yadda yadda yadda....Anyway! Recently, MSY Parts list was updated with 2 new additions. The SHAW GT-1 Defence and the SHAW GT-2 Defence both including 775W EVO PSUs. But what caught my attention was that they both offered USB 3.0. For a $35 case? Possible? One could only find out. So I reserved a case at my local MSY, the staff member laughed and told me that I was probably one of the first customers to actually reserve a SHAW product. Victory.... Anyways, I picked up my new SHAW GT-1 Defence case with USB 3.0 Support and a "775W" PSU and off I went home to try it. Notes - I am doing this for fun. I have a life. I want others to see that the budget market is still kicking, but how good is it. This is what I am finding out! Anyway onto the review. First looks of the box: FRONT OF THE BOX | WEIGHT | SUPER-MEM? | It looks the same as the other SHAW boxes over the years. This time adding in that it supports newer sockets. (Oh I have a 478 board, won't work in this case...) Bit silly, but whatever. *Note 1: the weight of the case. However once I got this out of the box, this feels pretty much like one of Thermaltakes cheaper cases. *Note 2: The importer of the product is "Super-Mem" Never heard of this mob. I thought it was Macron that did this but, maybe they have changed. Other than that. Bland, simple. Cheap. What's important is in the box! Packing: Standard plastic bag over the case and 2 x protective hard foam covers. It survived shipping to the store, so it's a positive. Build quality: Definitely an improvement from the Tornado 680 Cases. Still flimsy, but will hold your average build quite nicely. Side panels do have a bit of flex to them, but they will be perfectly fine for what you will need them for. Front plastic panel doesn't feel like it's going to crack into pieces, quite sturdy actually. And of course the entire frame of the case is strong enough. Not going to bend into weird proportions. First impressions: FRONT Once again an improvement over the previous cases. The front to me reminds me of some of those oddball GMC cases that were around a few years ago. Has a bit of an aggressive look to the front. Looks quite decent for the money. Front panel doesn't match color with the steel panels, but what can you do. Front Panel: FRONT PANEL | FRONT I/O | As mentioned, it's got an aggressive sort of look to it, which is nice I think. But...look what we have in terms of front I/O. HD Audio, 1 x USB 2.0 Port and 1 x USB 3.0 SuperSpeed port! For a $35 case...Nice. Power button is a bit small but is fine. The reset button is also recessed so you're not going to push it in accidentally. Front mesh for the 3 x 5.25" Drive bays, and one huge mesh panel for the front intake. There also gaps on the side of the bottom mesh grill so more air can be sucked into the case. There's also a single 3.5" external bay for an FDD or card reader which doesn't have a meshed filter. Side Panels: LEFT SIDE PANEL | RIGHT SIDE PANEL | The side panel has plenty of ventilation, offering a spot for a 120MM fan to cool your CPU. It also offers some ventilation for a video card (But this is a bit useless as I will explain later. The other side panel is plain and doesn't feature anything. Back of the case: REAR | REAR FAN | POWER SUPPLY | Power supply included! More on that later. Standard I/O shield to be installed here. 7 Expansion slots (However they are not individual covers, they must be punched out in order to use them. Some extra ventilation next to the expansion slots is present also. An 80MM is all for exhaust options here. A "Super Fan" branded 80MM is pre-installed in the case. Bottom of the case: | BOTTOM | BOTTOM MOUNTED PSU BIT | Here's where things get interesting. The bottom of the case has an intake grill area, and some tabs for where a mesh dust filter would be installed. Hinting at the fact that this case may have either (A) Been a candidate for a bottom mounted PSU revision or (B) Old unused case parts from another cheap case. More on this inside the case. Some extra ventilation along the bottom also. Soft plastic feet are installed also. Inside the case: | INSIDE | DRIVE BAYS | ACCESSORIES | GPU SIZE | BOTTOM MOUNTED PSU THING | Here we are inside the $35 case! Not too bad for a cheapy case. First looks are like some of Cooler Masters budget offerings. PSU is installed at the top of the case (More on that later as well) Standard motherboards can be installed (ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX - however the tray has mounting holes for AT boards and the socket 423 back plate. Another hint at a franken-case here. Standard bag of screws and a motherboard speaker were included within the case. 6 x 3.5" drives can be installed no problems. 4 x 5.25 drives can be installed, however 3 are only accesable at the front of the case. The fourth will be blocked by the front I/O. No cable management holes, this is to be expected. However there is ample space present behind the drive cage for hiding cables. Now, at MSY it was advertised as a "Gaming Case" However, this is not the "case"....hehe. For budget builds, no problems, but for anything gaming, look past it. Maybe something mid range. From the looks of it, up to a Hyper TX3 would be the max height for a CPU cooler. And in terms of video cards. My GTX 260 doesn't fit. So 9" Video Cards are the way to go if you want to do that.. If see at the bottom of the case, there is where a bottom mounted PSU would've been. The bumps to raise the PSU up, the ventilation, it's quite obvious it was meant to be here at some point. Would've been a big bonus. | USB 3.0 HEADER | ALL OTHER HEADERS | The front I/O offered is an HD Audio header, USB 2.0 Header, USB 3.0 (Superspeed accordingly) header and Power switch/reset and HDD LED also. Front power LED is controlled by a molex connector. The power supply: | PSU | PSU CONNECTORS | SHAW 775W PSU. Looking at the rating of the rails, it seems a bit stupid to be a 775W. Looking at the internals from the fan grill, it seems to be the same as the last gen of SHAW PSUs which had 2 x 12V rails. (Not the small silver tiny 680W ones). 120MM fan is present on the PSU and an assortment of cables included (1 x 24 ATX Power, 1 x 4 Pin ATX 12V connector, 1 x PCIE 6 pin power, 4 x Molex, 1 x FDD and 3 x SATA). For a budget build, this would probably be an alright PSU. Hard to tell without putting it under load and etc. Behind the motherboard tray: | BEHIND M/B TRAY | No space to hide cables except behind the 3.5 drive cage. Taking off the front panel: | SNAPS RIGHT OFF | 120MM FAN INSTALLATION | BACK OF FRONT PANEL | FILTER 1 | FILTER 2 | WIRING | Quite easy. Just snap off from the bottom and it's off. (You will have to feed the cables through the front of the case to get it off). Once that's taken off, you can see right through the case. A 120MM or an 80MM fan can be installed as an intake fan if preferred. (It should've come with one, for an extra $2 it would've been great!) No punch out metal tabs for any of the drive bays either, which saves some hassles I guess. You can now see behind the front panel, all the dust filters and tabs etc. Now you can see the I/O on the front panel, I don't know if the wiring would be correct to be USB 3.0, I don't quite know. And I don't have a spare board with an USB 3.0 header to test it either Testing power, fans and the LED. | POWER LED | PSU fan is pretty quiet. Not sure if it's temp controlled or not. Maybe a small diode is there, not too sure. 80MM Fan is surprisingly quiet, but would likely get noisy over time. The front LED is what really gives the case a kick - it's cheap and gimmicky, but gives it that charm. A 120MM Blue LED fan at the front of this would look quite nice actually! So, after a long review, what do we have to say about the case? Recap over important features - Mid Tower ATX Case (Mini/Micro/Full ATX Support) Front HD Audio. 1 x USB 3.0 SS Port, 1 x USB 2.0 Port. 1 x 80MM fan (Option to install 2 x Extra 80/120MM fans) 3 x 5.25" External Drive bays 1 x 3.5" External Drive Bay 6 x 3.5" Internal Drive bays 1 x 5.25" Random internal drive bay. "775W" EVO PSU included. RRP: $35AU. Conclusion: SHAW make cheap stuff. We know this. But this a bit of a step up from the previous gen of cases. It's still cheap, but for $35 and including USB 3.0 and a PSU (if it's decent) it's great. Positive Notes: *Price - $35AU @ MSY. *Looks - for the price you pay. The Front LED is cool ^_^ *Budget PSU offering, if it's only for simple stuff, it will be fine. *Offering USB 3.0 support (Will take this back if it isn't truly USB 3.0 ) *Some good fan options available. *Dust filters on the front intakes. Negative Notes: *Different colors for front panel and side panels. Not important though. *Should've taken advantage of having that bottom mounted PSU option. *Weak 80MM Fan exhaust. *No other fans included, 120MM front would've been a better offering. *A bit sharp in some corners inside the case, but not as bad as previous gen cases. Hope you have all enjoyed reading this long review. But hey, it gave me something fun to do for a while. And I wanted to showcase what SHAW have to offer nowadays. However I take no responsibility for anyone trying to run SLI setups on this PSU or trying to do anything ridiculous to it Don't flame me for liking SHAW, just showing interest on a cheap case that does have a bit of potential in the budget market. Thanks for reading!