Based on the principles of flexibility, innovation, and efficiency, Chieftec has been producing computer cases and power supplies since 1990. Its products aren’t typically flashy or heavily advertised, but they have always featured sturdy construction, subdued looks, and good value for the money. Today, we’re looking at Chieftec’s unique CH-02 case.
The Chieftec CH-02 is part of their “Mesh” line of computer chassis. This line is focused on workstation and gaming towers with open mesh front and side panels for optimum air flow. The model Icrontic received is silver, but the CH-02 is also available in black, green, and red.
- Model: CH-02SL-SL
- Case Type: ATX Mid-Tower
- Dimensions: (w x h x d) 205 x 442 x 540 mm
- Rear, 1 x 120mm Fan
- Side, 2 x 90mm Fans
- Drive Bays
- 3 External 5.25”
- 1 External 3.5”
- 6 Internal 3.5”
- Expansion slots: 7
- Tool-less rail design
- Weight: 28.7 lbs
- Motherboard Support: Extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX
The design is sleek and appealing, yet doesn’t do much to push the limits of flashiness. There is a window in the side panel, but rather than glass it is made of a steel mesh to allow airflow. There are no flashy LEDs on the front or on the fans, and the case lacks any kind of LCD display or other trendy features. Despite the lack of bells and whistles, the chassis maintains a very modern look.
The sturdiness of the chassis is immediately evident the moment it is removed from the box. It’s heavy. Quite heavy. This isn’t flimsy aluminum. This metal is thick and feels rather dent-resistant.
The front door is made of plastic and feels like the weakest part of the ensemble, but its hinges are tight and its latches are solid, so the door represents itself well for a plastic design.
The side panel is effortlessly opened thanks to two thumbscrews on the back. Unfortunately, the panel also tends to swing open the moment the screws are removed. We would have preferred some sort of mechanism that prevents this from happening; it might save a user’s fingers or the finish of the panel.
The interior of the CH-02 is very spacious. There are three bays for optical drives, and six for hard disks. The hard drives are mounted perpendicularly and cooled by a pair of fans that lie at the back of the bays. This is a very welcome arrangement for anyone running a glut of hard disks.
Regarding the cabling, Chieftec clearly took great care to make it presentable to the end user. The chassis’ wiring was dressed, bundled, color-coded and placed at the factory to great effect. We never had any trouble locating the cable we needed to complete a given task.
With a 120MM fan at the rear and two fans in the drive cage, cooling for the CH-02 is sufficient but not extraordinary; the unit could do with an intake fan located at the front of the chassis. Display models from the Chieftec website also exhibit a vertical exhaust for the top of the chassis, but our review sample did not arrive in this configuration.
Lastly, the included accessories and parts were very basic. The chassis came with a manual and the standard bag of screws. Though not necessary, it would have been nice to have extra mounting rails — perhaps even power converter cables — as some other high-end cases come supplied with.