Spire Pininfarina SP-ATX-PALU/S ATX Case Review

Cases & PSU/Cases by piotke @ 2006-08-18

Pininfarina is responsible for the design of some of the world?s most exclusive sports cars including Ferrari. Spire has hired their gifted design team to come up with a computer case which they hope will give them the edge in the heated race between case manufacturers. We take the Pininfarina SP-ATX-PALU/S for a test drive around our noise,temperature and performance track.

  • prev
  • next

Features & Installation

Main Features:

  • Stylish curved Italian design
  • Aluminum Alloy Bezel & Metal SECC Chassis
  • Full folded edge, full screen, radiation protected
  • Front USB/IEEE1394/SOUND connections
  • Removable HDD Cage
  • Removable Motherboard Tray / Side-Panel
  • Tool-less side panel access for fast and easy upgrade
  • 120mm Fan duct system on the side panel for maximum airflow

  • Dimensions: 495x200x450mm (L x W x H)
  • Material: Aluminum Alloy Bezel & Metal SECC Galvanized Steel Chassis
  • Cooling: 3x 80x80x25mm fans (rear included, right included, left not included); 1x 120x120x25mm (front included); 1x 120 Fan Duct (left included)
  • External Connections: USB 2.0 x 2 | MIC x 1 | Earphone jack x 1 | IEEE 1394 x 1
  • Features: Lightweight aluminum & Durable metal frame. Italian Stylish design.
  • N.W. Weight: 13.50 K.G

    Spire made a nifty flash animation where you can take a closer 3D look at the case:

    More specifications can be found here.


    Before you start the installation make sure you?ll have some space in your room. This case has no side panels that can be removed, as with a normal case. So how do you open this case? Some of you might already have worked with Dell or Apple desktop tower computers, you open de sides of the case as a door..

    To keep the panels closed a multi point lock secures it to the chassis. With a handle on each side of the case you can open it. The advantage of this is that you don?t need screws all the time to open the case. But it does make access very easy at LAN parties, you can screw the panels tight if you want to make it harder to get into.

    So now that we opened the case you see why you needed some place. Both the panels cover a large part of my floor. You have easy access everything. Under the lowest hard disk cage there is a little piece of plastic sticking out. Pull it and a little box will appear. Inside you?ll find:

    Madshrimps (c)

  • A bag with the screws
  • The rails needed to install hard disks
  • Speaker to connect to the motherboard (for error and post beep codes)
  • A clip with double sided tape, this can be used to keep some cables together and route the through the case.
  • Pin alignment of the front panel connections

    Now you have everything needed to start installation. Let?s get going with the motherboard. The I/O bracket, which add a finishing tough to the I/O ports (such as PS/2, USB, LAN, ?) should be installed first. Push out the one that?s already installed because it won?t fit most recent motherboards. Once that?s done you just pop in the I/O panel that comes with your motherboard. Put the motherboard on the stands, these are already installed and screw it tight. Now that this is done you remove the rear PCI brackets that block PCI slots, insert add on cards in the supposed slots and screw that together as well.

    There?s room in this case for:

  • Three 5,25? devices (such as Cd-rom, DVD, ?)
  • Two floppy drives
  • Five Hard disks (If you don?t use floppy drives you can stack up to seven hard disks)

    Installation of 5.25 inch devices is fairly easy. Slide the drive into its desired position. Push the special lock into the screw holes and turn it into locked position. There is no need for screws or screwdriver, in just a few seconds a drive can be installed.

    Now we?re moving down in the case. The middle cage can house 2 floppy drives and one hard disk (or three hard disks). The installation of those is similar, so that?s easy to do.
    In the lowest disk cage there is room for 4 hard disks. Installation is slightly different.
    Remember the black box which contained some rails? Well, there are eight of these rails to be precise, two for every disk. You just take a disk and push the rails into the screw holes. Now that this is done you push the disk into the cage. When you?re almost at the end you?ll hear a click and the disk sits secured. To remove it you push the two lips and then you pull the disk back out.

    To further easy the installation of the hard drives (or make room for some water cooling components?) you can remove the bottom hard disk cage. To do that you remove the thumb screws at the bottom then you can pull the cage a few cm backwards and rotate it.

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)

    In a regular case the power supply installation is quite easy. Put the unit in the desired place and screw it tight. This case isn?t different, until I wanted to place the screws, you see, because of the stylish rear I couldn?t reach some of the screws. The rear ?panel? can be removed by squeezing the push pins. This way the panel comes off. Now the PSU can be installed without any problems and when you?re done you click the rear panel back into position.

    The installation is nearing done, but before we close the case there?s one more thing that drew my attention. In the middle of the case there is an ?enforce bar?. Next to it you can install a 80 mm fan , there is also a module to secure larger PCI(e) or AGP cards. This is ideal for video cards with larger coolers.

    You can choose whether you install the PSU cables with the motherboard panel opened or closed. I would recommend doing it closed. This way you can nicely route the cables. You?ll also need quite long cables if you want to install them with the right panel opened.

    You might have seen that this case has quit some fans. Let?s take a look what they?re for and how they perform. ->

    • prev
    • next