GMC specialize in computer chassis, mainly HTPC cases. From what we’ve seen so far, GMC put together cases not only with good looks but also high quality engineering at reasonable prices. Today, we will be looking at one of the best mid sized tower cases GMC produce, the X-22.

About GMC:

“GM Corporation Ltd is a manufacturer and distributor headquartered in Seoul, Korea and founded in 1996. The company offers a wide range of PC cases, power supplies, computer peripheral and service to customers worldwide.”

Specifications:

  • Model: X-22
  • Dimension (W x D x H) Chassis 200 x 510 x 440mm
  • Colour: Red/Black (Blue/Black available)
  • Multi Port: USB 2.0 x 4Port, Audio + MIC port
  • Thermometer: Centigrade
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Driver Bay: 5.25″ x 4 / 3.5″ x 2 (Ext) / 3.5″ x 4 (Int)
  • Expansion Slots: 7 Slots
  • M/B Size: Full ATX
  • Weight: Net: 9.16Kg / Gross: 10.80Kg
  • Cooling: CAG 1.1
  • Fan Front: 120mm X 1
  • Rear: 120mm X 1
  • Option Fan: 120 mm cooling Fan

Features:

  • Middle Tower ATX Case – Support up to full ATX, Modern style Half mirror look and door type front panel
  • Thermal and Cooling – 120mm front and rear cooling fans, Independent fan controller(Front and Rear), Thermometer at the front panel Air duct and PCI express air hole in the side panel, meets with Intel CAG 1.1 Front air ventilation
  • Easy Installation – Detachable internal 3.5″ drive case, Side panel driverless screws
  • Safe Assembly – Folded edge for each part
  • USB 2.0 FPIO Support – Support USB 2.0 X 4, audio and microphone port FPIO
  • Security – Padlock

The X-22 comes well packaged in a thick cardboard box. The case is held securely inside with two Styrofoam pieces that absorb any shock. The case is not lightweight, but it sure is solid and there are not really any areas which you have to worry about that may get damaged easily. Now, onto the exterior of the case.

As you can see, with the exception of the front door, the case is entirely black. The front door is rather good looking with a mirror finish stripe bordered with a red. The stripe is a perfectly reflective mirror and also works as a handle for the bay door. The magnetic door opens and closes smoothly and unlike some other cases we’ve reviewed, the door is quite solid and not flimsy. Opening the door reveals slots for two 3.5” devices and four 5.25” devices.

If that wasn’t interesting enough for you, this should be. Towards the bottom of the front door, you will find two buttons and two rheostat knobs. The two buttons are your typical power on and reset buttons like you see on almost every case. The two knobs control the speed of the front and rear fans. On the left side of the case, you will find the front USB and audio ports uncovered. The X-22 has four USB ports, which is more than we normally see on the front. Finally, at the top of the mirror strip there is a small 3 digit LCD which displays the temperature taken from a wire sensor inside the case.

The right side panel of the case is completely plain and does not need any description or anything. The left side, while nothing over exciting, definitely needs some commentary. Some people may be disappointed that there is no window, but to be honest we didn’t mind because it still looks good. There are no fans on the left side panel itself, but there is a perforated area around where the CPU is and a funnel so your CPU cooler can suck in fresh cool air from outside of the case. The funnel can also be removed if you require space for your CPU cooler or some other component. The area above the expansion slots is perforated as well, to allow more air displacement.

Just to note, both the left and right side panels are held on with thumbscrews. On the rear, there is nothing to really talk about except the little lock. You can actually push the lock inside your case if you aren’t going to use it, which is pretty cool.

The first time we opened the X-22, we were surprised at how roomy and spacious it was. The layout was nothing out of the ordinary but it looked like GMC had given attention to detail. There were no sharp edges or any areas that could injure you whilst handling the case. The cables present were the typical switch and LED cables as well as the USB and audio cables. There was also the fan controller plugs and temperature sensor. The fan controller needs power from a single Molex plug and provides two Molex plugs for the front and rear fans. You will need a 3-pin to Molex adaptor if you wanted to connect to 3-pin fans to this controller.

The X-22 allows you to have up to four 5.25” devices (all external) and six 3.5” devices (four of which are internal). The four internal 3.5” devices are clearly meant for hard drives, the cage of those is removable and secured in place by a simple thumbscrew. A front 120mm fan comes pre-installed and should definitely provide more than sufficient airflow for any kind of internal hard drive.

The X-22 has another 120mm fan installed at the rear of the case, which works as an exhaust. The two fans together should easily be enough cooling for most peoples’ systems unless your PC is extreme. The X-22 does not have a tool-less locking system for the expansion cards, but thankfully all of the expansion slots covers are reusable.

After installing a mid/high-end system inside the X-22, we were still left with a lot of room to work with. There is a nice amount of space between the motherboard and the drive bays, as well as plenty of clearance between the CPU and the PSU, which allows large CPU coolers to be installed. The only possible negative aspect is the lack of any place to hide the unused cables, especially those coming out of the PSU. You can use tie wraps or any other cable management products on them but unfortunately you can’t really tie them anywhere or tuck them away.

Testing & Performance

We used the following system in the GMC X-22 case:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Core (Q6600) @ 3GHZ + stock cooling
Motherboard: MSI P6N SLI Platinum
RAM: 4GB DDR 800mhz (2x1GB Corsair XMS2 CL4, 2x1GB A-Data Extreme)
Video: MSI NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
HDD: 250GB SATA Maxtor
Optical: LG DVD+-RW-DL
PSU: Antec TPQ 850W

To test to test the thermal performance of the case, we took temperature measurements while the system was idle and under load. We took measurements for the CPU, motherboard and ambient temperatures under the two conditions. The motherboard and CPU temperature readings are taken from the motherboard sensors.

Idle readings were measured by leaving the computer idle at the Windows desktop until the temperature would not lower anymore. Load readings were taken after running Prime95 until the temperature would not go any higher. The speed of the X-22 front and rear fans was set to max.

Results

CPU Motherboard Ambient
Idle 31°C 36°C 28°C
Load 40°C 45°C 32°C

We weren’t expecting the X-22 to particularly break any temperature records but we think the results speak for themselves. If they don’t speak for you, we’ll tell you what they’re saying. The temperatures can be considered to be very good for a case of this design and specifically for its price range. There were no huge temperature fluctuations and the temperatures under load were very good. The CPU temperature is fantastic considering it’s a quad core beast and the motherboard looks about normal to us. At 100% throttle, the case fans are pretty quiet but slightly audible – nothing that will notice after about 10 minutes.

Conclusion

The X-22 definitely impressed us, and did actually surprise us a little too. It’s quite simple, well-designed and we quite liked the front door design with the mirror strip. The small temperature LCD adds a nice touch too. The paint of the case is smooth and resistant to scratches while all parts are solid and seem quite durable so should last for quite some time.

The thermal performance is pretty good for the case, and its quiet too. Sure, it isn’t the coolest and quietest, but for its price it could well be. We found no major issues with the X-22 and we thought the interior was pretty spacious but could do with some cable management system. With that being said though, this case is not windowed so it doesn’t really matter at all in the end unless you really want to tweak thermal performance. This can be overcome by using a modular PSU if you don’t have one in the first place.

As we said, the X-22 is nicely priced at around 70€, making this case great value for money..

Pros:

  • Looks good
  • High quality
  • Good build
  • Thermal performance was decent
  • Price

Cons:

  • Cable management