If you choose to
install a 120mm intake fan, it will sit behind a thin black metal grill,
plastic grill, and in front of another punched metal grill. There isn't a dust filter
by any of these grills, and that is perplexing. Dust filters work wonders, particularly when
the chassis sits on the floor and every passing dust bunny is
like food for the monster. It's surprising that iStar built a case without
such and essential feature, the last thing anyone needs is a case fan blowing
dust directly onto a full rack of hard drives, and into the case itself.
Accessing the optical drives to drop in a disk
usually means cracking open the front bezel door first. The door hides all
of the optical drives from view, but if you are constantly opening and closing
it, iStar have another clever solution. The bezel door swings open 90 degrees only, then
stops. Pushing back on the door will force it to slide back
along a set of hidden tracks so that it rests flush against the
side of the case. Problem solved! The door is about an inch thick, and
when stowed at the side of the case the 5.25" drives are readily accessible.
The flap is designed to fold
down when the CDROM ejects a disk. It can also be folded down
The very top 5.25" drive bay in the
Nitro AX is accessible without even opening up the front bezel door. A special spring
loaded flap folds down, most likely with the drive tray on a
CD ROM opens, so you can insert a disc without cracking open the
entire front of the case. We really like the convenience of this slot being
integrated into the bezel door - it's a shame more cases don't follow suit.
The face of the iStar Nitro AX case is clean and
simple; just a slightly curved brushed aluminum plate with a series of vents.
The is intended to hide two CCFL or LED lights behind, with the light bouncing
off the convex plastic door frame and through the holes for effect. The aluminum plate extends the full height of the chassis, while
the plastic door is just long enough to conceal the five 5.25"
drive bays. The front bezel door opens to the left, can be slid back against the side
of the chassis so it's out of the way when not needed. There are five 5.25"
ODD bays, and two 3.5" FDD bays at your disposal. An intake fan can
be placed behind the grill at the bottom of the front bezel, to
help cool the rack of hard drives which are directly behind this area.
aluminum extenion which goes all the way to the base when the
door is open (at right). There are 5 optical drive bays, and 2 floppy
dirve bays. The front panel data ports are all located along the right edge of the
front bezel is removable if you need to get at the dust filter in front of the
120mm intake fan. You'll need to remove both side panels to get it off,
and be careful as there are a few sharp edges. The Nitro AX is about 18"
A handy set of front pane connectors are located along
the left edge of the bezel, on a neat rotating insert. They are accessible with the door open or closed, and
the insert can be turned to face the front, or side depending on what you
prefer. There is one IEEE 1394a jack, two USB jacks and a pair of
microphone input and a headphone jacks. The power and reset buttons are hidden behind the
bezel door, just next to the two 3.5" FDD ports, and HDD activity and power
LEDs are set off to one side.
The front panel data connectors are set
on a tab that can rotate from the side to the front of
Next to all the front panel data ports is a thin black mesh screen where fresh air
is drawn into the case. A 120mm fan could be mounted in this space, but as
we mentioned there is no dust filter to keep particles out so that may not be a very