The dominance of airflow over static volume pits full-tower enthusiasts against those who seek a less-intrusive form factor even after custom designed systems proved that more power could be sufficiently packaged in less space, but where does that leave off-the-shelf builders who want the best of both big components and small enclosures? Gamdias believes it has a solution.
Shipped back-side down in an amazingly small box, our Talos E3 WH review sample arrived with protective plastic sheets on both sides of the glass side panel, but only the outside of its glass face. That’s good news, since the face glass is permanently attached to its plastic frame.
Underneath the wrap are extra-dark glass panels that match a black magnetic sheet top filter in contrasting the white-painted steel body and plastic facia frame. This simple black and white theme sits at a traditional 17.6” mid-tower height, but is only 14.6” deep including the protruding card bracket on its rear panel. These proportions give it the look of a classic full-tower at around 2/3 scale.
Exterior features include power and RGB LED mode buttons, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.x ports, headphone and microphone jacks, and a set of eight special holes on the vented top panel spaced that support two 120mm fans offset all the way to the right side. The integrated RGB controller features 14 settings plus lights-off mode, and the top panel’s radiator offset will play a key role in our component installation.
Assuming that you’re using the top fan mounts as exhaust, the only intake filter is the one under the power supply on the bottom. It’s not easy to remove, being secured by sheet metal tabs on all sides. Also seen on the bottom are a double set of mounting holes for the internal hard drive cage, which is factory configured at 184mm from the power supply mount. Sitting about 27mm behind the front panel in its stock location, the cage can be moved forward another 19mm. Strangely, Gamdias says that only a 150mm-deep power supply will fit, though our larger one fit fine.
The Talos E3 WH packs two 120mm RGB fans up front and one more in the rear, and even has enough space to mount a 360mm radiator behind the front panel. Unfortunately, there’s no room between the fascia and metal understructure to mount a third 120mm fan, as the face has a separator between the open glass upper-portion and semi-closed bottom. For those who are fully committed to mount a triple-fan radiator in this mostly-compact case, a 60mm hole in the top of the power supply tunnel allows a radiator and fans to be mounted behind the structural panel, with the bottom fan drawing air through a large hole in the bottom of the fascia and the upper fans drawing air through the gaps at the side of the glass.
Moving the fans behind the inner frame would drastically change the case’s appearance, though the top 2/3 of such a radiator could potentially have fans on both sides. Regardless, one must be prepared to forgo the lower drive cage altogether to fit so large a radiator, along with any 3.5” drives that it would support. That makes us wonder why Gamdias chose to mount that cage in its rearmost position and rate the case as supporting a shorter power supply, rather than place the cage on its forward mounts and rating the case as having more power supply space. Regardless of what the user does with lower drive cage positioning, the two 2.5” drive mounts located on the front of the motherboard tray are unaffected.
|Gamdias Talos E3 WH|
|Motherboard Support||ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX|
|Max Motherboard Depth||12.4″ (31.6 cm)|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||17.6 x 14.6 x 8.3″ (44.8 x 37.1 x 21 cm)|
|Air Cooler Clearance||160mm|
|Card Length||316mm (measured), Rated 300mm|
|Power Supply Format||PS/2: 184mm mm/203mm with movable HDD cage (rated 150mm)|
|Weight||10.6 lbs (4.80 kg)|
|Internal Bays||(1) 3.5″, (1) 3.5/2.5″, (2) 2.5″|
|Ports/Jacks||(1) USB 3.x, (2) USB 2.0, Headphone/Mic|
|Other||LED Controller Button|
|Included Fans||(2) 120mm Front, (1) 120mm Rear|
|Front Fan Mounts||(3) 120mm or (2) 140mm|
|Rear Fan Mounts||(1) 120mm|
|Top Fan Mounts||(2) 120mm|
|Bottom Fan Mounts||(2) 120mm (on PSU tunnel)|
|Side Fan Mounts||X|
|Top Rad. Clearance||20mm vertical, 44mm horizontal|
|Front Rad. Clearance||27mm with HDD cage|
|Top Filter||Magnetic perforated sheet|
|Bottom Filter||Tab-secured perforated sheet|