Startech Cool Aluminator Case Review


Update: Startech informed me that this case in fact does not come with the PSU.  It is separate...My bad on that.

When a case comes by, it always has something different with it. Something going for it. Startech has a wide array of products and says that Startech is the place to find hard to find computer parts. Today we will be reviewing their high-end case, the Cool Aluminator.

Nice Packaging

The Startech Cool Aluminator Case arrived without any harm. Startech seems to have one of the best packaging I have seen with any case thus far. There are two big double-walled corrugated pieces with foam protecting the top and bottom portions along with another piece in the front middle portion to minimize damage to the side window.


  • Enclosure Construction: 1.0mm anodized Aluminum Alloy
  • Coating: Hardness scale - 3
  • Case Dimensions:
  • Width: 7.9 Inches
  • Height: 16.2 Inches
  • Length: 19.3 Inches
  • Expansion Bays:
  • External Drive Bays: 4 x 5.25” Drive Bays & 2 x 3.5” Drive Bays
  • Internal Drive Bays: 4 x 3.5” Drive Bays
  • Expansion Slots: 7 slots with screwdriver-free thumbscrews
  • Motherboard Compatibility: ATX or Micro ATX
  • Front Jacks:
  • USB2.0: 2 ports
  • IEEE 1394: 1 port
  • Microphone: 1 jack
  • Earphone: 1 jack
  • LED Indicators: Time, Temperature, Hard Drive status and System status

The Startech Cool Aluminator is an anodized Aluminum alloy case that saves money than regular aluminum and is 1.0mm thick. The Startech Cool Aluminator is a mid-tower case, which supports four 5.25” Drive Bays and two 3.25” Drive Bays (four in total). The case also comes with thumbscrews on the rear but none are present inside. The Startech Cool Aluminator also has a front portion of front connection ports that has two USB ports, one Firewire port, a microphone jack and earphone jack. What is really cool about the Startech Cool Aluminator is the LED panel on the front. The Startech Cool Aluminator allows you to measure one temperature source via thermal probe. Not only is it for measuring temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit, it also displays the time.


At the front of this case there is a motorized door. Yes, I did say motorized. While the computer is on, you can press the button located on the top right to open and close the door. If you accidentally close the door on the lower portion, which has the power switch, then there is another power switch located with the front connections. The motorized door is relatively quiet which just a small noise in which it is in use. This door helps noise out the sounds of optical drives in use, and does also give the system a unique look.

Rear shot and the right side of the case

The rear of the Startech Cool Aluminator has room for two 80mm exhaust fans but the stamped fan grills and also the adaptor, which we will talk a bit later, are impeding air. No company as of yet has gotten the rear and front grills correct; cut them out and replace it with a fan guard. The PCI extension slot covers are not reusable which really is bad. There are two reusable bays in the package though.

Bundle includes manual, power cable, fan adaptor, and some screws, fan adaptor and reusable PCI slot covers and there is no fan on the side window!

The rear pic of the side window and it's handle

The Startech Cool Aluminator features a cool side window tinted with a touch of blue. Unfortunately it does not come with a fan. The whole case doesn’t come with at least one fan, which is a disappointment.

To remove the side panels, first remove the thumbscrews, and then begin to pull out the panels with the handle. Unfortunately this kind of side panel design is reminiscent of the Galaxy case we reviewed a bit back. This design is weak, and flimsy and is prone to damage over time. It takes great force to remove the side panel and put back the side panel.

LCD is sweet

Lastly we have that great front LCD. The LCD display is used for monitoring one temperature source and is very accurate and has no lag. It has a backlit display of a bluish color that is very bright and a treat to the eyes. The LCD is very easy to read.

Inside of the case and it's motherboard connectors

Inside the Startech Cool Aluminator is relatively big with ample room to install your computer. The chassis of this case looks very much of that of a Maxtop case, which in it’s on respects is very easy to use. However, the chassis doesn’t seem to be stronger than before. I guess this is due to the alloy aluminum. It doesn’t feel right. There is no drive rail system or removable motherboard tray as well.
While installing my system, there were few instances where I got cut slightly near the optical drive bay portions. Some other edges were sharp and this experience of installing my system left me with mixed reactions. You should note that if you have a big heatsink/fan combination that it could possibly have a problem because it could reach the power supply.  You also have two sets of spacers which stinks during my experience.  You have metal spacers and plastic spacers that like to move around.

To install the rear fans you will have to use a fan adaptor. I really don’t like this adaptor because it is big and makes the system look smaller. It also impedes airflow as well because of the fins. Not a bright idea.  You will see it below with the final computer shot.

The Startech Cool Aluminator comes with a Dual Fan 400Watt ATX PSU. The Startech ATXPOW400DF. This power supply is very quiet with just a small hum and packs nice power.  It lacks a high +12V line though which is a concern if you have many hard drives.


Here are the connections you have to make in order to get the system running. I like the fact that the USB connection cables are not separate pin ones but are just one full end to connect. This helps the installation to be easier and faster. The Firewire cable on the other hand is not. The cables are neatly placed because of the cable organizer located on the bottom. Overall computer installation was good and bad.

End result

Inside finished.  Notice the fan adaptor is huge and not effective and using the CCFL Fan.  Needs no cold cathodes, the CCFL fan is bright!

Sweet :=D

PSU Voltage Results

Idle (30 mins)
Load (Toast 5 mins)
+12V = 11.85
+12V = 11.73
+5V = 5.00
+5V = 4.99
-12V = -11.97
-12V = -12.05
-5V = -5.04
-5V = -4.99

No problems to report with this PSU.  Rock solid.


The Startech Cool Aluminator is a case with its ups and downs. Unfortunately I feel that the case has more downs than goods. The Startech Cool Aluminator features a unique motorized door, a great PSU and nice LCD display but the case suffers from the lack of drive rail systems, some sharp corners, and more bad decisions by the maker thus making the install of a system a hassle at times. There is also another nagging thing.  If you have loud optical drives while in operation, then it is going to vibrate throughout the whole case loudly.  I do not recommend picking up this case unless you find a great price and are in it for the looks.

I rate the Startech Cool Aluminator a…


Pros and Cons

+ Nice looks day and night
+ Motorized Door
- No reusable PCI slot covers
- Not quite as strong
- No drive rail systems
- No removable motherboard tray
- Some problems with install
- Airflow issues
- Flimsy side panel

- PSU is not included; view update in the beginning of this review...


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