iON EC-2 Aluminum ATX Media Center/HTPC Desktop Case Review

Cases & PSU/Cases by SidneyWong @ 2007-08-20

If you have not heard of the name iON before, I am with you. iON is a brand under MGE, a manufacturer of PC products from Taiwan. This all aluminum Media Center HPTC case has an elegant look and will fit full size ATX board; it is marketed by Eagle Tech in the U.S.

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With the loud power supply, I decided I would not put it back in. But, there is little room left in between the PSU and Optical/HDD/Floppy tray. My original plan of using the OCZ PowerStream 420 was out of the question. The standard size Scythe Kamarariki II 550W [M] reviewed last year with 38.4 dBA idle and maximum level of 43.8 dBA (at 3”) should fit.

Installation is a challenge with this case. Second time seems not as bad, but not that easy neither. There is little or no room left between the Optical Drive and memory slot; PATA and SATA cable will find a very tight fit coming out to the mainboard.

My recommendation:

1) Remove the HD/Optical tray
2) Install the mainboard without memory
3) Install the PATA or SATA cable and power cable before the tray is put back in.
4) Connect all the necessary wirings and cables
5) Last is to install memory

Location of the HDD is not ideal. Although bottom tray is vented, I decide to install a HDD cooling fan which I purchased 5 or 6 years ago. But, there is no room to use the mounting screws in this setup. Surprisingly, the slide mount of the tray allows room for the cooler without the use of mounting screws. Photos below self-explain the installation process.

Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c)
The cooler uses two 50mm fans

Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c)
The HDD cooler is a perfect fit.

Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c)
The two 50mm running at 12volt were pretty loud; I wired them to 7-volt.
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Comment from Sidney @ 2007/08/20
Comment from jmke @ 2007/08/20
The 450W edition doesn't have the rebate
Comment from Sidney @ 2007/10/22
The case has absolutely no air flow going thru; finally got time over the weekend to do a minor mod by opening up 4 round holes at the right places on the cover.

Good result with no additional fan required; 7600GT dropped 8°C, CPU temp dropped 6°C. Load temp 7600GT 70°C, CPU 50°C (E4400 1.38V 3.0 GHz stock alum HSF) at 23°C ambient using SpeedFan 4.33.

Load temp from OCCT for CPU and playing UT3 for 45 minutes for GPU.

The case in reality is divided into 2 zones once a full height GPU is installed. With PSU being at the front of the case, the PSU intake will act as exhaust going thru the long tunnel routed to the rear of the case. The two holes near the top of the GPU will become intake.

On the right side, the two holes will act as intake for cooler air straight down the to memory modules and pulled by the exhaust fan at the rear. I use alum screen hot glued from the inside and "Sharpie" to blacken the the screen. The holes aren't noticeable from the front viewing angle.
Comment from jmke @ 2007/10/23
did the same mods with the first Antec HTPC case their later revisions included my extra air in/out-take paths