External Design

Cubitek uses a clean and minimalistic design for all its ICE cases. As previously noted, the HPTX-ICE measures 559mm (22") tall, 613mm (24") long and 230mm (9") wide, and weighs 19.6lbs (8.9kg) when empty, which is surprisingly light for its dimensions.

In front, it has a sleek brushed black aluminum bezel with a large fan grill and five 5.25" drive bays. While front panel connectivity is found on top of the case, power and reset buttons along with activity lights are up front. I/O includes two USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports along with headphone and mic jacks. Also on the top of the HPTX-ICE are two fan grills similar to the grill on the front.

The 5.25" drive bay covers look great, but almost every time I grabbed the case to move it around they would press in, often falling inside. This introduced another annoying aspect of the HPTX-ICE: you have to remove four screws per door.

While most case doors feature clips every few inches around the perimeter to ensure a tight fit, the HPTX-ICE simply relies on one screw per corner. This is annoying in and of itself, but it's more than just an inconvenience.

Once hardware is installed, cables pressing even gently on the door cause it to buckle outwards. This leaves the HPTX-ICE looking unattractive and we spent quite a lot of time trying to tuck the cables away to avoid this issue. The doors are bland with no distinguishable features, though they blend into the design well -- if you can get them to sit flush, that is.

We also dislike Cubitek's use of four pop rivots to connect the back panel to the panel that covers the top and front of the chassis. This isn't necessarily bad, but the panels don't align correctly, giving the impression of poor craftsmanship.

Nevertheless, the back is quite clean with a polished aluminum insert that houses the motherboard's I/O panel, a rear fan, water cooling holes and ten expansion brackets. At the bottom is a bracket for an ATX power supply.

Overall, the HPTX-ICE's external design isn't bad, it just lacks refinement as noted with how the doors and panels attach. Given the case's size and price, Cubitek had room to come up with a more intelligent means of accomplishing both.