Aerocool DS230 Mid-Tower Chassis Review




/ 3 years ago

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Introduction


Aerocool DS230 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

One of the most successful product ranges from Aerocool is without a doubt their Dead Silence series. The DS Cube chassis, the DS200 mid-tower chassis, and the DS fans, have all won awards from many sites around the world, including from myself here at eTeknix over the last few years. They delivered silent performance and stunning aesthetics, and that’s something Aerocool are keen to continue with the release of the Aerocool DS230 Mid-Tower Chassis.

  • Super-Silent mid tower gaming case solidly built with 0.7mm steel to block out most of the noise.
  • High quality noise insulator on both side panels to further reduce noise.
  • Intelligent PWM fan controller with LED color effect.
  • 7 LED lighting colors selection & 3 LED Lighting mode selection.
  • Supports either 360mm or 280mm water cooling system on front panel.
  • Supports either 240mm or 280mm water cooling system on top panel.
  • Magnetic noise reduce board on top panel is easy to remove.
  • Supports max. CPU cooler height of 170mm.
  • Supports max. PSU length of 180mm.
  • Removable PSU & front dust filter for easy cleaning.
  • Pre-drilled holes for cable management to reduce cable mess.
  • PSU cover design.

The DS230 comes with support for ATX motherboards, extra long graphics cards, plenty of room for fans and radiators, RGB lighting built-in, noise dampening material built-in, as well as hub for lighting and fan control as standard.

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The chassis features two lighting strips in the front panel, as well as under-lighting effects with a built-in control for changing colours, as well as a reactive lighting mode that changes colour based on your system load.

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A Closer Look – Exterior


Since this is a silence focused chassis, the left side panel is solid and features no window. However, it’s a very thick panel and comes with a deep layer of noise dampening material to help minimise any noise and vibrations from within the chassis.

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Another thick and noise dampened panel on the right side of the chassis, nothing fancy to look at, but the matte black finish means it looks smart and tidy.

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The front panel has a really nice design to it, with a brushed aluminum effect front face, two tall cut-outs for airflow to the front fans, and a pair of LED lighting strips; one near the top, the other near the bottom.

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Around the back, you’ll find plenty of ventilation, with a height adjustable 120mm fan/radiator mount, seven ventilated expansion slots and the PSU mount.

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The PSU mount has a slide out dust filter, allowing for clean airflow to the PSU from underneath the chassis.

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Finally, all of the expansion slots are fitted with reusable ventilated covers.

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The top panel looks nice and smart and comes fitted with a heavy-duty magnetically mounted plate.

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Remove this place, and you’ll find plenty of additional fan/radiator mounting options. Of course, using these will ruin the acoustic properties of the chassis, but it’s nice to have the option for future upgrades or to just let your system breathe a little more if things are too hot in the middle of summer.

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The front panel is nicely equipped too, with HD audio jacks, four USB ports, lighting controls, and the master power controls.

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You may have noticed that the main part of the chassis looks to be floating above the base, where you’ll find it suspended on a plinth, with a cool Dead Silence logo just on the underside, as well as all-round LED lighting, which we’ll see in action shortly.

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On the underside, there’s a large base for added stability, as well as four durable rubber pads that should protect harder surfaces.

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A Closer Look – Interior


The side panels are mounted with a pair of thumbscrews, so they’re pretty easy to open up. On the inside, you’ll find a huge covering of noise dampening material.

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There’s a huge amount of space on the interior, and behind the motherboard you’ll find a good size cut-out for mounting your CPU cooler, and to the side, six cable routing holes, and three more of them on the PSU shroud.

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The PSU shroud is pretty basic, but it keeps things looking neat and tidy on the interior and will provide you a lot of room to store excess cables.

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The PSU shroud stops short of the front of the chassis, which means you’ve got the full height of the front panel for fans/radiators.

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Toward the front, there are a few screw holes on the backplate, allowing you to directly screw a pair of 2.5″ drives. This also means they won’t conflict with any radiators/fans on the front panel.

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At the back, you’ll find all of the expansion slots are fitted with standard screws, the kind you often find mounting a PSU, and all of the covers are reusable, not cheaper snap-off ones.

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There’s a pre-installed 120mm fan with an extra long cable and 3-pin PWM header. Of course, you could easily take this fan out and fit a 120mm fan/radiator of your own here.

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There is a lot going on around the back too, with plenty of room for cable management, and a whole lot more of it under that PSU shroud.

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There are cable tie down loops everywhere too, so keeping things neat and tidy shouldn’t be difficult.

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There’s a velcro mounted PCB here too, with eight fan connectors; four 3-pin and four 4-pin.

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Towards the front, another Velcro mounted PCB, this time with four ports that hook up all of the LED lighting that comes pre-installed throughout the chassis. Next to that, two tool-free 3.5 hard drive trays.

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In the back, a decent amount of room for the PSU and your cables, as well as some anti-vibration pads to help reduce unwanted noise.

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While you’ll find two 2.5″ drive mounts up front, and two 3.5″ drive mounts in the base, there’s also a stealth mount for an additional 2.5″ drive right behind the motherboard.

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Complete System


First things first, we needed to get our HDD installed, and since there’s a neat and tidy 2.5″ drive bay right at the back, we’ll take full advantage of that!

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Right, so HDD stuff quickly out of the way, let’s take a look at the business end of the DS230. Immediately, you can see the advantages of that PSU shroud, as it hides so many ugly aspects of a build out of the way, and that means you can just cram your cable shame in there and not worry about it.

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There’s an extremely large amount of room in this chassis for extra-long expansion cards, so no fears of any GPU not fitting here. Of course, keep in mind that thicker radiators in the front will eat into that space, so be sure to measure twice before clicking buy on all your swag custom-loop stuff.

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There are no front panel fans installed here, so it makes sense to me that the front would be the perfect place to mount an AIO cooler for you CPU. You could use the top mount or even the rear 120mm, but keep in mind that the top mount would then require that lovely silencing cover to be removed.

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The clean cable management is killer, it’s really a shame there’s no window on our sample as this a great build to show off. Of course, the name “dead silence” didn’t come about from interior aesthetics, and those thick side panels are going to keep your system as quiet as a whisper.

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There’s a good amount of clearance for the CPU cooler, which isn’t surprising as the chassis is quite wide. There’s also a good space between the motherboard and the rear fan mount, so there shouldn’t be any issues fitting an AIO cooler here.

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Wide expansion cards won’t be an issue here either, obviously, and there’s easily room for a multi-GPU configuration too.

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All panels back in place and the DS230 looks just as neat and tidy as it did when we took it out of the box. Let’s power it up and see what the LED lighting has to offer us!

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The front panel looks awesome with the two lighting strips, and even cooler with the underlighting on the base.

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The underglow is really cool, the way it wraps around the front and sides of the chassis, and even more so how all the lights are synced, giving you some really cool colouring to pick from to suit your taste. There’s little else to say about the DS230 now, but enjoy the next series of pictures that show off the lovely colours on offer from the built-in lighting.

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Final Thoughts


Price

The Aerocool DS230 Mid-Tower is available now from most major retailers for around £75. We found it at Box.co.uk for just £74.92. It’s obviously not a budget chassis at this price, but given the range of features and build quality on offer, it’s very competitively priced.

Overview

Aerocool has done a fantastic job with the DS230. It’s one of those chassis that hasn’t really done much in the way of innovation, but everything it has got has been done really well. The obvious major standout feature of the chassis is the lighting, which is really cool and it’s nice to see a focus on external lighting effects for a change too. Some may see it as a bit of a gimmick, but it’s a damn good one and really adds a nice level of customisation you often don’t find on chassis with no side panel windows.

The build quality is rock solid throughout, yes there are some plastic components on the exterior, but they’re pretty chunky and robust overall. The side panels are the most interesting to me, as they’re incredibly durable, and with the addition of the noise dampening material that comes pre-installed, they’re pretty heavy too. This thickness and weight are going to go a long way to providing your build with excellent noise suppression.

The overall design is great, and while the exterior does have a nice aesthetic, the interior isn’t exactly lacking either. The PSU shroud, as well as plenty of cable routing holes, make it super easy to get a clean-looking build with unobstructed airflow. In fact, it’s almost a shame to have everything hiding behind solid panels, but if you want a windowed chassis, it’s not like there aren’t many other options on the market. If you want your build to be as quiet as possible, however, then the DS230 ticks all the right boxes.

With support for huge graphics cards, ATX motherboards, radiators, fans, and decent amount of storage, you’re not likely to be left wanting more from the DS230. The added bonus of the built-in lighting kit, as well as the built-in fan hub, only help to sweeten an already attractive deal.

Pros

  • Durable build quality
  • Thick panels with noise dampening material
  • Magnetic top panel cover
  • Slide out dust filter
  • Multi-colour LED lighting
  • Built-in fan hub
  • PSU shroud

Cons

  • None

Neutral

  • Only one fan pre-installed, not a deal break, but something to keep in mind

“Aerocool has created another great looking chassis here, appearing to float above its own base thanks to its gorgeous external LED lighting. If you want a unique looking chassis with rock-solid build quality and a strong focus on silent performance, the DS230 is the way to go.”

Aerocool DS230 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Aerocool DS230 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

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