In Win D-Frame Case Review

By on June 17, 2013, 12:12 AM

Before last year, no In Win cases really caught our attention. That changed when we spotted the open-air X-Frame midway through 2012. Although the X-Frame was fairly featureless and extremely expensive, its unusual construction proved interesting enough to win over many enthusiasts. Following the X-Frame's success, In Win introduced the H-Frame -- a similarly unique and equally pricey chassis with a feature list that includes eleven diamond-cut aluminum plates.

Although we didn't review those products, they certainly piqued our interest enough that we had to lay hands on the D-Frame, In Win's latest open-air chassis and its finest creation yet in our opinion. Unveiled at CES 2013, the D-Frame will only be available in a limited quantity of 1,000 units -- half of them painted red and half orange.

Accompanying its unusual looks, the D-Frame's aluminum pipe and tempered glass construction offers a unique user experience in that the case must be assembled before housing components. Building the enclosure is a little time consuming and the instructions are difficult to follow at times, but the process is simple enough that most folks should manage with a little patience. Besides, we figure if you're spending $400 on a computer case, you probably don't mind getting a bit more hands-on.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 33

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LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Pretty cool case. I'm not into the red though. I'd paint it a matte black.

Guest said:

What about this case in a fish tank with mineral oil?

Guest said:

Doesnt really look like a case for a smegalheims heatsink, I sure as hell wouldnt be going with any kind of air cooling in a case thats so open.

It does have the looks that say RIG. And so I see it as a gaming rig, with water cooling and colored coolant. Lights. All flashy. If you had of done something like that you would of helped sell this product.

I do not like the motherboard placement and how far in it looks like the connections are from the top, the glass getting in the way of what looks like slightly more discreet path to connect them through. So everything over the top and in. Cant really hide the cabling like that. Awful.

3/10

Guest said:

I'm always suspicious of non-metal/open cases. There's a reason why processors were traditionally enclosed in, what is essentially, a Faraday cage: to block electromagnetic radiation that could induce currents within the electronics.

I concede that how much impact the weak signals from the devices around one's home have is arguable. Particularly with ECC measures, and really, how great an error would one incorrect bit make? But really, better to err on the side of caution, no?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

What about this case in a fish tank with mineral oil?

What about it

Pretty cool case. I'm not into the red though. I'd paint it a matte black.

That would look great and I have to admit I would prefer it as well.

I'm always suspicious of non-metal/open cases. There's a reason why processors were traditionally enclosed in, what is essentially, a Faraday cage: to block electromagnetic radiation that could induce currents within the electronics.

I concede that how much impact the weak signals from the devices around one's home have is arguable. Particularly with ECC measures, and really, how great an error would one incorrect bit make? But really, better to err on the side of caution, no?

If there was even a remote chance of this being an issue we would have seen this and we haven't. I run 3-4 completely open test beds most days and can't say what you are talking about has been an issue. So quite sure you don't need to worry about it.

Doesnt really look like a case for a smegalheims heatsink, I sure as hell wouldnt be going with any kind of air cooling in a case thats so open.

It does have the looks that say RIG. And so I see it as a gaming rig, with water cooling and colored coolant. Lights. All flashy. If you had of done something like that you would of helped sell this product.

I do not like the motherboard placement and how far in it looks like the connections are from the top, the glass getting in the way of what looks like slightly more discreet path to connect them through. So everything over the top and in. Cant really hide the cabling like that. Awful.

3/10

Again we run plenty of systems in open air environments without any problems, it's an incentive to do more cleaning The glass does not get in the way and I don't understand what your issue with the motherboard placement is, it works very well. You can hide the cables very easily and it looks great, not awful. Although it's completely opinion based 3/10 doesn't seem right for such a beautiful and unique product.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Sweet, a roll cage for a computer rig.

Easy to lug around if nothing else.

Actually seems like something that a DIYer could get their teeth into making if you had access to a set of mandrel tube benders, a MIG/TIG/Arc welding kit, some extruded acrylic/plexi, and a donor chassis (or scratch build a mobo tray and hdd caddies etc.)

JC713 JC713 said:

Awesome. I just wouldnt want that laying around xD. Settling dust will be a big problem after a few weeks, especially with the PSU and GPUs exhausts sticking up. If you dont use the PC, dust will get into the GPU and PSU exhausts, but in relatively minor amounts.

2 people like this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

This product is to show off your computer, not for those who assemble computers for using them.

Good luck cleaning dust from this contraption!

2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

This product is to show off your computer, not for those who assemble computers for using them.

Good luck cleaning dust from this contraption!

No kidding... that's what came to mind for me too. What will this thing look like after 6 months? Without careful and frequent cleaning you'll be looking at dust in every little crack all over your components. I wish there was an easy way to solve that because I like the look of it, and I'd bet it's a lot of fun to build.

JC713 JC713 said:

No kidding... that's what came to mind for me too. What will this thing look like after 6 months? Without careful and frequent cleaning you'll be looking at dust in every little crack all over your components. I wish there was an easy way to solve that because I like the look of it, and I'd bet it's a lot of fun to build.

The GPU and PSU exhaust facing upwards with no protection is the issue.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

I heard of this case awhile back, its a unique specimen to be sure of. Reminds me of my Lanboy air case except much more open. At least with this case, its easier to clean, but its going to get very dusty very fast.

Though this case has an amazing look to it, it would definitely be a piece to talk about at a LAN party for sure. I might get this for a friend for his birthday because he likes open air cases and this just says his name all over it.

...Nvm noticed the price...

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It looks nice, and it's different but $400??? I hope you're kidding.

Guest said:

Did they steal that frame from a small petrol generator?

cmbjive said:

How to build your own Gaming Rig.

Step One: Assemble the tower.

Wait, what?

It's a nice case, but I'd be more concerned about all kinds of airborne pathogens getting in the thing.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

This product is to show off your computer, not for those who assemble computers for using them.

Good luck cleaning dust from this contraption!

No kidding... that's what came to mind for me too. What will this thing look like after 6 months? Without careful and frequent cleaning you'll be looking at dust in every little crack all over your components. I wish there was an easy way to solve that because I like the look of it, and I'd bet it's a lot of fun to build.

Honestly guys I am pretty amazed by all the negative talk over dust :S How dirty is the room where you have your computer? As enthusiasts that read tech site content I would have just assumed that you clean out your PC at least once a year if not more. I know I feel a bit guilty if I go more than 6 months without hitting my system with some compressed air.

Speaking of which I have not had the case door on my system for about 2 years now and it's as clean as a whistle. MilwaukeeMike there is an easy way to solve it 'compressed air', common knowledge I know but it can turn the most dust infested PC into something that resembles what it looked like the day it was put together.

5 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

It's a nice case, but I'd be more concerned about all kinds of airborne pathogens getting in the thing.

You do realize that there isn't a conventional desktop computer that can keep out pathogens don't you?

If you're worried about germs getting into a computer (although I'm not sure how these types of virus are supposed to harm a computer...I'm pretty certain that a chassis won't turn into an incubator for Anthrax) then you may need to outfit both yourself and the computer with a suitable barrier...

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Is EMI shielding no longer a concern in computers? I'd be afraid to set my cell phone next to this chassis.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Is EMI shielding no longer a concern in computers? I'd be afraid to set my cell phone next to this chassis.

Like I said I have never ever had a problem with it, my mobile sits about a foot from an open chassis and its there all day most days.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Honestly guys I am pretty amazed by all the negative talk over dust :S How dirty is the room where you have your computer? As enthusiasts that read tech site content I would have just assumed that you clean out your PC at least once a year if not more. I know I feel a bit guilty if I go more than 6 months without hitting my system with some compressed air.

Speaking of which I have not had the case door on my system for about 2 years now and it's as clean as a whistle. MilwaukeeMike there is an easy way to solve it 'compressed air', common knowledge I know but it can turn the most dust infested PC into something that resembles what it looked like the day it was put together.

You're right, I'm probably biased because I have a negative pressure case (fans inside are blowing out) and it means that dust collects on every little crack where air could get sucked into the case and it makes for a chore to get it cleaned up. It's not so much that dust would get all over the place, just a bummer that you'd have to see it.

Don't get me wrong... I think this thing looks sweet. If I had the skill to build something out of metal with welding etc, I'd make some similar. The GPU noise would annoy me more than the dust, once those magnetic noise cancelling fans come out, we'll be all set!

Staff
Steve Steve said:

That's fair enough and I have had similar thoughts about building my own. The D-Frame really is an awesome bit of kit but it doesn't suit my needs so I won't be using our sample for long or at least as my main system. There simply are not enough hard drive bays for me but like you I have been inspired to build my own, at least to a certain extent.

I have all the gear and skill to weld stainless steel and thought about making one, I still might, it's just a matter of finding the time and a little more motivation.

ypsylon said:

Hmm, while pretty cool idea (except red ghastly color) for me real bummer is that it doesn't support 10-11 PCI slots.

I will stick with DimasTech Easy XL. With optional modules it is easy to adapt it for anything: a test bench (really?), gaming rig, storage farm, F@H farm or bitcoin miner. Of course downer is that it isn't an aluminum (just like D-F), but on the upside it doesn't contain any glass. He, he.

As for dust build-up. While bench is not working DT provides really nice cover, and when it is running pressure from fans is enough to blow dust away. Normal PC, running in normal tower case needs cleaning once a year or so. I see no problem with doing that 2, maybe 3, times a year (in fairly dusty environment).

ypsylon said:

Oh and BTW: There is nothing more fun that assembling whole case on your own. It literally means you have built it from the scratch, not just put bits and pieces into ready made box.

cmbjive said:

My house is CONSTANTLY dirty. I have two kids, two dogs and and two cats. The last four shed hair like crazy and that hair is in every crevice in the house. I try my best to keep all of them out of my office where my tower's located, but reality sets in and somehow they all end up in there.

My current tower, an NZXT Phantom tower, had enough dust on one side to rival the dirt mounds in my front yard. No way will this case do a good job of keeping dirt or animal pathogens from my PC. It is a nice case, but an open case would effectively be the death knell of my PC (and it took me years to get the parts to build it).

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Oh and BTW: There is nothing more fun that assembling whole case on your own. It literally means you have built it from the scratch, not just put bits and pieces into ready made box.

Building a box seems better suited to the likes of peon class, while assembling a electric puzzle is well suited for luminaries such as myself. *smug* Lol jk... building a case just doesn't seem very tech oriented. It's the opposite of tech. It's a box.

avoidz avoidz said:

Hello dust, my old friend...

andrewyoung andrewyoung said:

I live in arizona and I blow mine out every two months. The dust here is so bad and my tower sets on top ov my desk and I got filters on my intake fans.

This product is to show off your computer, not for those who assemble computers for using them.

Good luck cleaning dust from this contraption!

No kidding... that's what came to mind for me too. What will this thing look like after 6 months? Without careful and frequent cleaning you'll be looking at dust in every little crack all over your components. I wish there was an easy way to solve that because I like the look of it, and I'd bet it's a lot of fun to build.

Honestly guys I am pretty amazed by all the negative talk over dust :S How dirty is the room where you have your computer? As enthusiasts that read tech site content I would have just assumed that you clean out your PC at least once a year if not more. I know I feel a bit guilty if I go more than 6 months without hitting my system with some compressed air.

Speaking of which I have not had the case door on my system for about 2 years now and it's as clean as a whistle. MilwaukeeMike there is an easy way to solve it 'compressed air', common knowledge I know but it can turn the most dust infested PC into something that resembles what it looked like the day it was put together.

1 person liked this | Mike89 said:

I'm on open air over 3 years now. I use the HSPC Top Deck Tech Station. I figured as much money as I spend on components, I might as well get to see them in all their glory. Love the work bench look and cooling is great being heat is not trapped in a case and I don't have to have a bazillion fans running. As far as comments about an open air case getting dirtier than enclosed case. Nothing is further from the truth. How often do you open your enclosed case? Not often I bet and when you do, holy moly it's like looking inside the bag of a vacuum cleaner (cause that's essentially what an enclosed case is). The cool thing about open air is you see it right in front of you so can hit it with air whenever you see something and it stays as clean as the day you put it together. The same sure cannot be said about an enclosed case. After running open air over 3 years, I'll never go back. Of course it's not portable but it stays right where I want it to be anyway. If this was a forum I'd post some pics of it.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Thanks for the feedback on your open air chassis Mike, I have found the exact same thing. Ohh and these are forums, click the forums button up the top. Here is a link to this very thread...

[link]

Lou3 said:

One of my first cases was an In-Win. I bought in Akihabara (the electronics district in Tokyo), because the computer store worker recommended it. It was indeed a quality case.

I'd like this D-Frame if it were completely enclosed, but I wouldn't want it as is.

1 person liked this | Mike89 said:

My caseless Man Rig. As Tim Taylor would say, "ooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaa"

Staff
Steve Steve said:

My caseless Man Rig

Very nice, looks like my old test systems before moving to the Cooler Master HAF XB cases.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Yeah OK well, the best I can say for it is, "wow scaffolding chic".

Or maybe, "wow Erector Set Provincial".

Maybe you could slap some plastic slipcovers on it to control the airflow.

That's fair enough and I have had similar thoughts about building my own. The D-Frame really is an awesome bit of kit but it doesn't suit my needs so I won't be using our sample for long or at least as my main system. There simply are not enough hard drive bays for me but like you I have been inspired to build my own, at least to a certain extent.

I have all the gear and skill to weld stainless steel and thought about making one, I still might, it's just a matter of finding the time and a little more motivation.

The hell with that thing. If you're going to succumb to "techo-tacky", I say do all in, and take out a loan for the original Thermaltake "Level 10", And none of these flimsy excuses about not having enough space for drives or video cards either. Style is what matters. In fact you could keep an empty Level 10 on the desk, and play the heavy game stuff with a HAF X rig, built into a secret panel in the wall behind it.

(Although I freely admit I'm impressed with your welding skills)

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