Completing the Build, Performance, and Conclusion
I would be remiss if I didn't test the fit of a liquid CPU cooler in the Shogun, and for this final step I needed to remove the top panel.
This was as easy as popping it off once the side panels were removed, and with it removed the top fan mounts are easily accessed – making it a simple matter to mount a radiator.
Fit was a non-issue with this Corsair H100i GTX, a standard 240 mm all-in-one cooler, and while there is plenty of room for a custom loop inside the Shogun I didn't go any farther than this simple build – though I did add some BitFenix light strips which were provided for the review.
The finished product (under the very red lights of the optional lighting strips) looks great, even with my modest build which needed no additional configuration (like the addition of the included 'Quick Custom Design' EATX motherboard support). The 'GPU Safe' graphics card support did keep the R9 290X in the finished build from sagging – though it would be of greater benefit to a longer card than this reference design.
The rear of the case (which for some reason I apparently did not photograph) ended up very tidy thanks to the excellent cable management, and the blacked-out rear glass would have hidden any messy cables anyhow. In all, a simple build process that resulted in a great-looking system. The perfect combination.
Temperatures and Noise
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|Motherboard||MSI B150A Gaming Pro|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon R9 290X (Reference)|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD|
|Power Supply||SilverStone Strider ST55F-G 550 W Modular PSU|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
The results, taken with ambient temps hovering between 23.4 - 24.1 C, are quite good, and well within the limits of the components in this particular build.
The GPU load temp - from a toasty reference R9 290X, no less - was particularly good here. But was there a noise penalty for good thermals? Not at all. With the room noise at approximately 31 dBA, I only measured 31.5 dBA at system idle and CPU load (the Noctua cooler was very quiet), and even at full GPU load the 48.8 dBA isn't as bad as that looks - considering this reference blower is among the loudest I've heard. To compare, noise from this R9 290X was recorded at 53.5 dBA with the last enclosure I tested it in. A good overall showing, but this case will not mask component noise as well as some due to the glass sides and vented panels.
The Shogun is a roomy mid-tower with a design that stands out thanks to the glass sides and aluminum top and bottom panels. At $149 it is certainly playing in the premium enclosure space, and while more tempered glass options are available at lower prices than ever, the Shogun - which not only has the thickest glass I've encountered on a case so far - offers enough of a premium experience to help justify the price tag. The Shogun is very well made, thoughtfully designed, and the result is a great looking build without a lot of effort. It is very large for a mid-tower, though EATX support explains some of the bulk. In all, an excellent choice if you need a larger case and are seeking a tempered-glass option.