Ultra m998 Mid-Tower Chassis

Ultra m998 Mid-Tower Chassis



  1. unholy
    Introduction

    On review today is the new Ultra m998 Mid-Tower ATX chassis. The chassis was named after one of the world’s toughest and most versatile military vehicles. This case is designed to be the ultimate gaming weapon.


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    Exterior

    The case is made from black coated brushed aluminium, which helps prevent smudges and gives a nice metal effect. The front of the Case is a plastic panel with holes for the small I/O access and the power and reset buttons. The front grill is quite covered however there is a large opening on the bottom section of the front panel to allow air flow through. The side panel has quite a large plexiglass window and two grills.

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    The side panels of the case are screwed in by thumb screws and clip in at the front for a strong lock. The bonus on this case is that the top panel is removable via a single thumb screw and clips in like the side panels.

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    The front IO connectors are concealed by a small push clip flap which integrates into the right side of the front panel. The USB/eSATA/Firewire/Headphones/Mic connectors are all hidden behind the flap.


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    The Power and Reset buttons are on the front panel at the top right, which is a common place to put them however these buttons are not like a standard button power buttons they use a small button similar to that of a monitors buttons which is easy to press but not too easy. The LED’s are flush with the area surrounding the groove. For some unknown reason Ultra has decided to place 2 HDD LED’s instead of a single, I could guess this may be because of HDD racks or a secondary HDD output from a PCI(e) card.


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    A neat accessory that is included with this case is the Castors (or wheels). Whatever you may intend their use for is up to you, but it’s a nice additional feature to add.


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    Interior

    The m998 interior is quite extensive, with a large amount of space and some new features Ultra have decided to include in the m998 package.

    The chassis itself is quite sturdy without the motherboard tray or the side panels. The Motherboard tray slides into a small slot and is screwed in internally and externally.

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    The chassis has some additional cable management for the front IO connectors, these cables are also removable.

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    Both HDD racks are removable and only one needs to be removed in order to access the front fan.

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    Moving onto the insides of the front panel some nice features appear. The eSATA/Firewire/Audio connectors are actually a PCI bracket in which can be replaced to enable the use of switches for lights or just add more front USB’s. (The Front USB connections are separate from the PCI bracket)

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    The front fan has a dust filter cover which can be cleaned or replaced quite easily.

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    The motherboard tray, this can be removed from the rear of the case. The motherboard tray has a mirror finish. The tray has the rear 120mm fan attached to it, also the Ultra power bar (which will be explain more later on). I found that the tray was not completely sturdy the rear of the tray where the PCI slots and fan are attached will flex however this is fixed when any expansion cards are attached.

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    The power bar, this is a new and useful feature in which Ultra has added to this case. It allows the distribution of power to occur along a PCB instead of running wires everywhere, its how Ultra has decided to combat the cable management problem.

    I was at first slightly confused with the 8 Pin PCI-e connector and its compatibility with the common 6 pin, the only difference is a slight slit between two poles of the connector.

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    This case just continues to please me, and nothing is better then a massive space for your power supply or even a non standard power supply. The Plate that screws to the power supply and then to the case can be rotated flipped or even replaced for what ever purpose, and to top off that the space for the power supply is massive, you can easily fit your 2 kW power supply with space to spare, or if you just have extra cables you can hide them (like I did).

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    The side panel is quite a simple window, nothing to fancy and that’s the way it should be. It should always be left up to the owner to do what they please with the side panel. Although I am not a fan of the small ducts this one is no different to the rest, the grills for the duct and the VGA panel are quite good, never hurts to advertise your favourite cases manufacture at a LAN.

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    Despite all those nice things there are a few problems I would like to note about the interior of the case. There are two problems both quite minor but are still existent and should be fixed. The first is the front fan cable, it is not long enough to reach the plug on the motherboard, I know that an extension cable could be used, but not everyone has one laying around, it only needs to be lengthened by a couple of cm’s. (It just doesn’t reach)

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    The second problem is not so much a problem but something for some uses to be aware of. It concerns the Audio Module on the DFI LanParty boards. The module sticks up a small amount from the rear IO plate on the motherboard. The fan on the tray in factory position for me would not allow the module to pass under it, I only needed to unscrew the fan install the motherboard and then screw the fan back on. (Just in case some people have problems) The clearance there is 1mm or less.

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    Conclusion

    The Ultra m998 Mid-Tower Chassis is what Ultra intended it to be for, a Ultimate Gaming Chassis, it doesn’t have fancy LCD’s or fan controllers because it’s meant to be carted around for LAN’s and gaming events, and because gamers like to install their own fan controllers and LCD’s.

    One thing that first caught my mind is the size of the chassis, its wider and longer then a standard ATX case. This makes its perfect for the gamers because of their need to use over sized power supplies, coolers and video cards.
    Among all of the features this case includes the most innovatively designed feature, the Front IO flap that allows the replacement of itself with any PCI brackets. This reduces the need to drill holes for switches.

    If you’re looking for a case for your new ultimate gaming machine or you’re planning on replacing your old case this is the one you want. It has everything you could ask for from a case. That is why this case is the one I use, and will continue to use until I find one better then it.

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    Pros:
    • Depth (for those long video cards)
    • Side Panel with window
    • Castors (wheels)
    • PCI bracket at the Front IO Door
    • Aluminium Chassis
    • Side Panels and Top panel are easily removed
    • Dust filter on front fan
    • Large space for over sized power supplies
    • Power supply can be flipped without the requirement of drilling holes
    • Ultra’s Power Bar
    • Removable Motherboard tray
    • Large inside with places to hide cables
    • Removable HDD cages (Bottom one can be removed and a Radiator could be installed)
    • Expansion cards have their own mesh/grill
    • Front panel is very clean, no logo milled or etched in, just painted
    • Only two 120mm fans, which keep the computer very silent

    Cons:
    • The front fan cable is too short to reach the fan header on some motherboards
    • The mirror finished motherboard tray attracts finger prints, however not very noticeable as a motherboard covers it

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    Images

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