View Full Version : Review: Apevia X-Discovery mid-tower case

10-05-2008, 05:26 AM
A little while back, a friend of mine was looking for a case upgrade. He was using the 90's beige box he'd had since I met him and, after being indroduced to modding in general and TBCS in particular, he got tired of looking at it pretty quickly. Much to my joy, he turned to me for inspiration. He hasn't the time to mod anything himself yet (though he is working on it), and as I don't either (my present build is on hold), he asked that I set him up with something from the "pre-mod" arena. After a good deal of looking, I decided on the Apevia X-Discovery mid-tower case (http://www.xoxide.com/aspire-x-discovery-black.html).

Though the X-Discovery is available from several outlets, I decided to obtain his from Xoxide (http://xoxide.com/). The price was competitive and their customer service has always been top notch. Shipping costs were actually below the others and the package arrived in a timely fashion. It did not, however, arrive entirely intact.

The box I got from the freight truck was in fine shape and gave me no reason to think anything was amiss. After I took it inside, opened it and extracted the Apevia box, however, I was in for a shock.




As you can see, the box had not only been damaged before being packaged to ship, the damage was known, as it had been opened and resealed with black tape. Needless to say, I was upset. Thankfully, though, the people at Apevia package their products well, and the damage was limited to the box. Evidently the people at Xoxide saw the damage, opened the box to inspect it, found none and resealed it. Not a problem.


They even thought to add a sheet of styrofoam behind the beautiful acrylic front door for shipping.


After unpacking and inspecting the case (with a sigh of relief) I set it up for a few glamour shots. Apevia cases (http://www.xoxide.com/aspirecases.html) are just about always attractive. This thing is beautiful.






In the shot below you can see the acrylic door mentioned above. This will be a love-it-or-hate-it feature for sure. Personally, I love it and I think my friend will as well. It opens more than 180 degrees and fully out of the way of the front of the case, unlike other doors I have seen, and the magnetic latches are perfectly placed and just the right strength. Thankfully, the door is reversible and completely removable also, without marring the sleek look of the case. Surprisingly, when I reversed the door at my friend's request (a somewhat complicated task but nothing that can't be done with a single screwdriver), it fit the case as perfectly as it had originally. Not easy to do and a very nice touch from the designers.


The X-Discovery comes with four 5.25-inch external drive bays, and the upper two are covered with spring-loaded "stealth" drive covers, so that no matter what your optical drives look like, the whole machine will match in color, finish and style. Each also has a large activity light bar below the door. I have seen other factory-stealthed drives, and these are the best I have seen. The size of the doors, the range of motion, the placement of the activation button, all top notch.


The biggest eyecatcher on the X-Discovery, for me at least, is the large chrome-encircled analog temperature gauge. This thing is another of the jewels of this beautiful case. The styling and finish are excellent, and the power and reset buttons are incorporated into it, allowing for more open sleek surface on the front of the case. The gauge is functional, though I can't vouch for its accuracy, and is backlit with a blue LED, which is a little bit overpowering for my taste. The temperature probe on it is fairly long, and can be placed anywhere the user likes, but like most care should be taken as many thermistors are fragile.


The X-Discovery also comes with two external 3.5-inch bays, and strangely for a case that was obviously designed and built for appearance at least as much as performance, the folks at Apevia have decided to cover one with a blank drive bay cover and the other with a floppy drive cover. While this is a good thought for those with floppy drives (again, so the whole system has that nice uniform appearance), it is a huge eyesore for those who do not have anything in their system to fill one of these smaller bays. For Apevia to have gone to the obvious trouble they have for the appearance of this case, one would think the inclusion of an extra blank drive bay cover would have been standard.


Back to the positive, the X-Discovery has a large clear acrylic side panel, with a mount for an 80mm fan and vent slots also. It comes with an Apevia fan with blue LEDs and the Apevia fan grill we see here. Just to the left of the fan you can see one of the chrome screw covers that is used all the way around the acrylic panel. Again, a beautiful touch. It should be mentioned that though the X-Discovery ships with this 80mm fan and also a non-illuminated 120mm fan, these fans are surprisingly loud. Those who prefer quieter equipment may want to consider buying aftermarket fans. There are also two mounts in the front of the case for additional 80mm fans, though these fans do not come with the case.


When we open the X-Discovery up we see what has come to be a fairly standard setup for midtower cases. In this case there are quite a few wires running to the front panel, but that's because there is a lot going on there. With the analog temp gauge (and associated LED), power switch, reset switch, USB and IEEEE1394 ports, power and HDD activity lights, optical drive activity lights, and four more LED's for the side columns, a few extra wires are unavoidable. We can also see here that the X-Discovery is "old-school" when it comes to mounting hardware. There are no tool-less bays or attachments here, just old-fashioned threaded holes. This may be a con for some, but I prefer the security of mounting screws anyway.



The X-Discovery sports seven expansion slots in the rear, and a feature that was far too late in coming to mid-range cases: a removable motherboard tray.


After a coat of paint on the interior (personal perference), we have the test system installed on the tray and the tray installed in the case. I have to mention that the material the X-Discovery is made of does seem somewhat thin compared to other cases I have used in the same price range. Be careful when moving it or when side panels are off, it would be a pity to mar that shiny black finish with a crease.



And with the huge video card/heat sink combo and side panels installed. This setup includes a PNY 8800GT video card with an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 heat sink, and there was room to spare. Clearance should not be an issue.


I mentioned the LED front columns above, here are some pics of the X-Discovery in action, in all its blue-LED glory. (The three blue knobs in front are an add-on fan controller and do not ship with the case.)




Pretty, isn't it?

Let's sum it all up.

Type: ATX mid tower
Color: Black
Material: Steel
Motherboard compatibility: ATX, Micro ATX, Baby ATX
External 5.25-inch bays: 4
External 3.5-inch bays: 2
Internal 3.5-inch bays: 4
Expansion slots: 7

Appearance. I've said it in this review too many times already.
Large acrylic side panel
Front analog temperature gauge
Front USB 2.0 and Firewire ports
80mm blue LED and 120mm non-illuminated fan included
Placement for two additional 80mm fans

Thin material
No tool-less attachment (only a con for some)
Front USB and Firewire port mounting is weak

Summary: The X-Discovery is exactly what it was designed to be: an eye-catching piece of hardware that fills all of the requirements of a mid-tower case. While it may not have some of the features that many have come to expect in a modern mid-tower, it performs the function satisfactorily and looks beautiful doing it. At this price range, if appearance is important to you, this case comes highly recommended.
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10-06-2008, 08:58 AM
That's the case I used for Superbee!


Great choice!!

10-06-2008, 10:47 AM
nice write-up! +rep :up:

10-06-2008, 03:41 PM
TGS - I LOVE Super Bee! Great work! :D
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06-23-2009, 02:23 PM
i WAS searching for a case, just found it :P thanks

+Rep for this very detailed revieuw and just sheer awsomeness the way you wrote it!


*EDIT* seem they dont sell these cases around my country or anywhere near...*EDIT*

06-23-2009, 07:06 PM
*EDIT* seem they dont sell these cases around my country or anywhere near...*EDIT*

Amazon in the UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/APEVIA-X-DISCOVERY-BLACK-GAMING-SUPPLY/dp/B000E5Q7IU) have 'em... that's not all that far, after all.

Alternatively, MindFactory have this case (http://www.mindfactory.de/product_info.php/info/p496598_ATX-Midi-Apevia-X-DISCOVERY-BK--Ohne-Netzteil-.html); they're based in Germany.

06-24-2009, 11:04 AM
haha thank's, but im now turning to the ThermalTake V9 with window, ill do an revieuw later on.

P.S. Thanks tho.