Quarterback exterior and interior
After removing all the protective foam (believe me, it's quite a lot), the Quarterback reveals itself. First impressions are always important and I'm quite happy to say this unit delivered. It looks very robust but slim and even somewhat small at the same time. The contrast between the black and silver is a winner for me. The silver front acts as a door and uses magnets instead of a latch. It is possible you find the grills on the front distracting or downright unappealing but as for me; I never had a problem with that.
Observing the front a little more closely, we can see the silver door dividing the front in four compartments. The top two can be used for your average 5.25" devices. The third one from the top carries the Sunbeamtech website URL in a glossy silver look. The last one is a bit larger because it can house an intake 120mm fan. Notice that there are two buttons here as well; the left one is the reset button, the other one the power button.
However, that's not the end of this story; we can see the two buttons are contoured with a LED. I won't let the tension get to you and tell you right away that the left one will act as the HDD led and the other as a standby led. When powered on both will be colored blue, which gives the already succeeding silver/black combo an even more complete look. The front also shows two USB 2.0 ports, an audio and a microphone jack.
The sober style is continued on the left hand side with a nice, square shaped, acrylic window. Its obvious Sunbeamtech wanted to create a somewhat regular casing structure with little to no extra features. It's quite a double edged sword here; while some may find it plain and dull looking, others will agree with this look.
There are both positives and negatives but it's almost impossible creating a case that appeals to everyone. I think Sunbeamtech made the right choice here by not going overboard on the little things and just provide us with a good finishing and quality control. The side can be screwed off with two thumb screws and you've been given the possibility here to attach a 120mm to the side if you please.
The back is again quite standard stuff. We have enough space to place the PSU, a pre-installed 120mm fan and off course, loads of PCI expansion slots (seven in total). Notice the two thumb screws at the top and bottom right; screwing them off will give you access to the inside of the Quarterback.
Looking at the innards, we see Sunbeamtech provided the case with three 120mm fans in total which are all rated at 1000rpm. The two fans at the center are placed on a vertical bar, which is referred to by Sunbeamtech as Core Fan Technology
. This allows for different configurations and we'll test some later to help you getting optimal airflow in this case. We advice you to remove the bar when installing your new rig to avoid any damage.
On the left below the fan we see seven clamps which can be used for installing your PCI(e) cards. Moving to the right we see a removable cage which can hold up to three 3.5" devices. There's still some room left between the front panel and the cage for a 120mm fan. Directly on top of that we find another bay that can hold up to two other 3.5" devices and five 5.25" slots for optical drives. All of them except the removable cage can be installed without the need of a screwdriver and/or screws.