Completed Build, Performance, and Conclusion
The KL05-W is quite spacious and provided a simple, problem-free build experience. As you can see there is a lot of room with a simple build like this one, as I only used a 120mm AIO liquid cooler on the rear fan mount and didn’t use traditional storage with a single SSD mounted behind the motherboard.
The build remained pretty clean with plenty of room to organize cables, and I couldn’t help but think that flat PSU cables – a growing trend found on many PSUs – would have provided a better look and eliminated the slight bulge I had with the back panel reinstalled. The cables with my SilverStone 1000W PSU are quite thick so I don’t deduct any points for this here. The important thing to take away here is that a build with this case provides enough room for effectively organize cables, and there are sufficient openings to rout things efficiently.
Temperatures and Noise
Testing was done in a room with an ambient temperature of 18° C and a noise floor of 34 dB.
|Processor||AMD FX 8350|
|Memory||Samsung 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 (OEM)|
|Graphics Card||MSI AMD Radeon R9 290X Lightning|
|Storage||Plextor M6 Pro 128GB SSD|
|Cooling||Corsair Hydro Series H75 Liquid CPU Cooler | Stock AMD HSF|
|Power Supply||SilverStone Strider ST-1000P 1000W Modular PSU|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
First we'll look at how the Kublai KL05-W performed in temperature testing. For CPU testing an AMD FX 8350 CPU was paired with a Corsair H75 liquid cooler and Prime95 was used to simulate a worst-case scenario for heat. GPU load temps on the R9 290X were created using the Unigine Valley benchmark.
Pretty good results here as the load temperatures were within 2 °C of the rest of the pack, though NZXT's S340 (also $69) outperformed the KL05-W, albeit in a smaller case. The CPU idle temps were higher with the KL05-W as well, but still in the good range.
The KL05-W had a better showing in the GPU temp department with a maximum load temperature of 71 °C with the MSI R9 290X Lightning card. This result matches the recently reviewed NZXT S340, but the idle temperature advantage does go to this SilverStone case.
Finally we'll look at noise results from the Kublai KL05-W. Readings were taken from 18" with a digital sound pressure meter, and all cases were tested under the same conditions.
Here the Kublai really shines among the enclosures in this small group, but the KL05-W is a very quiet case regardless. Barely 1 dB above the noise floor is outstanding and slightly better than the other cases tested with these components so far. Load noise is also excellent, and overall the KL05-W was a quiet enough enclosure that I'm very curious as to how well the quiet version - the KL05-Q - would perform here.
The Kublai KL05 enclosures hit an attractive price point at $69.99, and the windowed version tested here provides a bit more style with a lighted front intake fan (and of course the side window). Performance was on par with what I’d expect from a bigger mid-tower case with good airflow, and while I was satisfied with my build in the case I couldn’t help but think I wasn’t even scratching the surface with what this can do. With three of the four perimeter sides of the case offering dual 120/140mm fan mounts, and the hidden space above the chassis for larger radiators or additional room for push/pull fans above the motherboard just adding to the flexibility here.
The style of the KL05-W is a little dated, but not bad especially considering the price. Sure, there are plenty of enclosures available for less than $70, but the level of fit and finish with this was high enough to make it seem like a really good value. My own tendency is to build smaller systems and I like enclosures that don’t waste space supporting things I won’t use. This Kublai case is on the opposite end of the spectrum, providing plenty of choice - and room - for whatever a builder might decide to do with it down the road. This is a really good thing, especially considering the asking price.
- Solid construction
- Massive cooling support
- Plenty of storage flexibility
- Good level of fit and finish
- Removable filters for fan intakes
- Low noise output
- Boxy appearance won’t appeal to everyone
Bottom line: The Kublai KL05-W is a solid mid-tower case with plenty of flexibility for storage and cooling, and performed well enough to earn it an easy recommendation as an affordable enclosure.