GELID DARKFORCE Introduction: When it comes to PC component companies Gelid Solutions is still a fairly young player in the game. Founded in 2008 the Swiss managed, Hong Kong based company has garnered a reputation for their range of fans, coolers and more recently the CG Extreme thermal paste. Trailing of this success Gelid have ventured into the ever evolving and always competitive world of PC Cases with their new case the "DarkForce". Specification: The DarkForce falls at the more expensive end of low budget cases coming in with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $135 USD, $130 Aus. With a Matte Black finish the case is made of a combination of Steel and Plastic and comes with a Factory installed 3mm thick acrylic window. This Mid-Size chassis is compatible with both Standard ATX / Micro ATX motherboards, and comes backed with a two year manufacturer's warranty. Packaging: The DarkForce comes in a simple no gimmick blue tone box with the necessary Specs displayed clearly on the outside. The front side of the box displays a wide shot photo of the case as well as highlighting some of the key features. On the left side we can see a list of the DarkForce's specifications, with some packaging details and company logos displayed at the bottom. The Rear side of the box features a large picture of the case without the side panel installed highlighting some of the key interior features of the case. With the case removed from the box we can see that it has been wrapped in a thick plastic bag then held snugly in place by two Styrofoam packing ends. Exterior: Gelid seems to have taken a step back from the current trend of military themed cases and instead opted for a "less is more" strategy. The front and top panels are made up of a combination of gloss black mesh and matte black plastic molding. The mesh is backed with some wire dust filters which can be removed and cleaned when the need arises. The top of the case also houses a hot swap tray supporting both 5.25” / 3.5’ HDD or SDD, as well I/O panel. We can also find seated here, audio ports, 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 and an eSATA port. Moving to the left side we can see a large acrylic window protected by some clear sheet. The 3mm acrylic is held in place with twelve plastic split pins you may also notice the sheet is fixed to the outside of the steel case panel. This may have just been an oversight by Gelid and is my only overall issue with the outside of the case. Not a major issue though as the panel can easily be swapped to the inside by a crafty modder. Looking down the right side of the case there is an instantly noticeable feature, the inclusion of a fan mounts located directly over the CPU socket. This mount allows the option to install either a 80mm or 120mm fan with a max depth of 15mm (slim fan), over the rear of the socket to feed the area with cold air. Unfortunately for most users an extra fan will need to be purchased if wanting to use this mount as most case fans have a depth of around 25mm so any old 120 isn’t going to cut it. I would have liked if this fan came factory installed so I could fully utilize the feature straight from the box. Checking out round back of the DarkForce we can see a 120mm exhaust fan mounted at the top with the power supply mount sitting at the bottom of the case. Looking a bit closer reveals 8 PCI slots with an extra "Vertical" slot running parallel to the rest. This slot can be used for external devices or peripherals without interfering with the standard PCI mounts. The Case also features three water tube grommets above the exhaust fan making the task of exterior mounted water cooling a lot easier. Underneath we start to see some of the other mounting features of the DarkForce. Besides the rear venting for the power supply there is some options for mounting some fans and a radiator. The cases feet are quite high which will provide a great air channel if going with floor mounted cooling. Next let's take a look at what hides inside.