The Enermax Staray chassis has simple lines and is quite easy on the eyes, it is not an overly ornamental case nor is it completely unadorned. The addition of the Apollish fans is really what dresses this case up, with multiple lighting options at just the click of a button. There are dust filters in the front bezel of the chassis which is always nice to see, especially on the intake fans to help reduce dust and pet hair from entering your case and jamming up the works. The front I/O panel is simple and doesn’t have a full feature set of ports but it does the job.
The frame of the Staray is well built and sturdy, but I found the right side panel to be a little flimsy at best bending quite easily. When I had finished putting the system into the case and put the side panel back on it was bent out of shape and a little difficult to put back on. Once I turned the system on the bottom fan on the side panel had a serious rattle to it, I tried to tighten it down but to no avail. The tool-less retention system worked like a charm keeping the HDD’s and ODD’s in place and were very easy to use. The total build went really smoothly and there were no major mishaps; but expect the usual woes of a mid-tower chassis.
There were only a few things that I truly did not understand or like about the Enermax Staray. One was the side panel fan switches. On the front bezel the switch is placed externally for easy access, but the side panel fans switches are internal just hanging there waiting to be caught up in an impeller of the fan. These switches could have easily been placed externally not only for the ease of access but for a little piece of mind as well. The second issue I had with the Staray was the very minimalist wire management system incorporated into the chassis. The PSU mounts at the top of the chassis and there is a little space at the bottom beside the HDD rack for wires to be hidden. But this is where the problem lies; the eight inches of messy cables you have to bunch up and tie strap down to get them where they need to be so they don’t obstruct airflow.
Overall this case does retain some value because of the cost, and the adequate cooling provided to keep a normal home users system temperatures in check. There could also be some improvements made to the wire management system to make the airflow in the chassis better as well as clean up the interior.
At $78 USD (we found it for $58 after rebate), you really can’t complain about the price and the value you get here. When you factor in that you get three Apollish fans that normally cost anywhere from $16-$20 apiece, that’s a great deal overall no matter how you slice it. If you’re looking for a good budget case that has some flashy appeal, the Enermax Staray is a great value deal.
Our thanks go to Enermax for providing the Staray for this review.