Xilence Interceptor Pro Case Review


When a case which holds just one system isn’t enough, call in the Interceptor Pro. Combining two separate chambers into a single full tower chassis allows this behemoth to support HPTX and mini-ITX systems simultaneously. So is this dual-system Goliath a gimmick or can it offer the flexibility that its competitors desire?
Built as the pinnacle of Xilence’s XQ series of cases, the Interceptor Pro is a bold statement from one of the market’s up-and-coming companies. Xilence makes the XQ series’ flagship unique to its lesser-priced sibling, the Interceptor, by the addition of a separate mini-ITX chamber.
With an abundance of cooling configurations, support for 480mm radiators and the ability to house two systems, can Xilence prove that they are ready to compete on the basis of innovation?
Specifications:
  • Material: SECC steel & ABS plastic.
  • 5.25″ drive bays: 6 (2 in upper section).
  • Internal drive bays: 4x 2.5/3.5″ (2 in upper section).
  • Hot-swap bays: 6x 2.5/3.5″ & 4x 2.5″.
  • Included fans: 2x 120mm red LED intake (front), 1x 140mm exhaust (rear).
  • Expansion slots: 10 in HPTX section, 1 in upper section.
  • Dimensions: 230mm x 605mm x 780mm.
Some of the key features such as “two systems in one case”, “support for extreme water cooling” and “hot-swap support for SSD and HDD” are listed on the box front. Let’s hope that the spelling mistake for ‘extreme’ isn’t a sign of poor quality.
Highlights of the Interceptor Pro are outlined on the box’s rear. An annotated image indicates the support for 480mm radiators, double IO front panels and the use of dust-filtered fan mounts.
Xilence supplies the necessary mounting equipment in individual bags. Zip-ties, a diagnostic speaker, the user manual and a dual power supply adapter are also included.
A pair of rubber-tipped, removable feet as well as two separate panels for the top chamber completes the included bundle.
The SECC side panel and red accent give the Interceptor Pro an attractive design. Xilence embosses its logo onto the upper chamber’s drop-down side panel. A large, dust-filtered mesh cut-out provides access for air to reach the case’s internal area. A thin acrylic window provides a point for users to view their system when it is complete.
The right side is almost identical to the left; only the fan mount and acrylic window are absent. Xilence extends the case’s side panel to provide extra clearance for cable management without increasing its dimensions.
At 780mm tall, the front panel demonstrates the vast dimensions of Xilence’s Interceptor Pro. A pair of 120mm red LED fans accounts for a small proportion of the front panel, with 6x 5.25″ bays and a mesh cover occupying the remaining area.
Opening the magnet-held door, in which sit the LED fans, provides access to 6x 3.5″ HDD/SSD and 4x 2.5″ SSD drive bays, all of which are hot-swappable. Cooling is clearly a priority for the Interceptor Pro; the drive trays utilise holes in their front allowing the coolant air to retain its intended path.
Xilence incorporates two effective methods of removing the drive trays. 3.5″ HDD/SSD trays are removed by freeing a holding-clip which then releases a spring-loaded retention mechanism. The drive tray can then be pulled out of its bay. 2.5″ drive holders are clipped in place allowing them to be removed with manual force.
Ease of removal is a positive for the 3.5″ HDD/SSD drive trays which can soon become a problem. When opening the door, we noticed that some of the trays had automatically freed themselves into the disconnected position. This will cause major problems if a drive is inadvertently disconnected when in use. We hope that Xilence takes note of this significant issue and fixes it by implementing stronger retention clips.
A row of grooves along each side of the Interceptor Pro’s top panel adds to the rugged style of this mammoth. The adjustable airflow vents are operated by a mechanical slider on the right side of the top panel.
The primary front IO panel consists of a single USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports, power and reset buttons, audio jacks and indicator LEDs. Xilence should have included a pair of USB 3.0 ports rather than under-supply users by providing just the one.
The secondary front IO panel is intended to control the mini-ITX system. It consists of 2x USB 2.0 ports, audio jacks, the power and reset buttons and the accompanying LEDs. There is no restriction to which ports you use with each system. If you feel the need, there is the possibility to use all of the USB ports with one system.
10 red PCI slot covers continue the colour scheme from the Interceptor Pro’s side panels. 7 rubber grommets located in the vicinity of the 140mm rear exhaust fan provide access for water cooling tubes or cables. Another rubber grommet is positioned above the IO shield – perfect for users wanting to route cables to the inside.
The default panel mounted to the upper chamber is for use with a mini-ITX motherboard and SFX power supply. This panel can be changed to accommodate an additional ATX power supply or a 120mm fan.
Space is abundant in the gigantic HPTX interior of Xilence’s Interceptor Pro. A continuation of the red accents to the case’s interior is an aesthetically-pleasing touch.
Pointing out the HPTX and XL-ATX motherboard support are 10 red PCI shields which also show that quad-GPU systems are a possibility. A lack of LEDs on the 140mm exhaust fan will disappoint some users and satisfy others.
4x 2.5″ and 6x 3.5/2.5″ drive bays form the internal hot-swap drive configuration with a further 2x 3.5″ mounts offering internal-installation only. Each of the 4x 5.25″ drive bays makes use of a simple tool-less installation method.
A convenient hub draws power from a single molex connector before redistributing it to a pair of drives and fans. Making the hot-swap possibility a reality are two SATA ports located on the handy input hub. While this input centre is convenient, it will increase the complexity of achieving a system which lacks visible cables.
Clearance for cable management is 20mm with a further 10mm available at points where the side panel bulges. A more significant 40 and 60mm of clearance is available adjacent to the 5.25″ and HDD drive bays, respectively. Fastening cables in place will become an issue due to the less than adequate number of tie-down points.
Rubber grommets and two CPU cooler backplate cut-outs should make building a system into this case an easy task.
Ease of use is evident for the mini-ITX chamber. Installing a HDD, 5.25″ drive, motherboard or SFX power supply shouldn’t be a problem with the top panel also removed.
Moving the dual-bay hard drive cage is straightforward… simply remove the screws before relocating it. An identical mounting hub is used for the pair of 2.5/3.5″ drives that can be installed.
A drop-down mechanism controls the upper chamber’s side panels. This mechanism makes getting inside the upper chamber a simple task.
Mounting a 480mm radiator in the roof is a possibility with the Interceptor Pro thanks to its 605mm length. Other cooling combinations include a configuration of 3x 140mm fans or a mixture of dual radiator as well as separate exhaust/intake fans. The flexibility to tailor cooling configurations to your needs is a big positive for Xilence’s flagship model.
Installing the feet is a tricky procedure which relies upon balancing the case on another object. Once the chassis is angled correctly allowing the feet to be slipped underneath, 4 screws attach each rubber-tipped piece of plastic.
4 screws hold both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives in place in the larger of the two mounting trays. A tool-less method would have preferable. Xilence has designed an innovative and effective tool-less mount for 2.5″ drives. Plastic housing folds around the drive keeping it tightly secured.
Building a system into the Xilence Interceptor Pro was predominantly simple. We ran into very few issues caused by the case and managed to achieve a relatively clean build.
Effective tool-less 2.5″ SSD and 5.25″ drive installation methods helped speed up the build process. Multi-GPU systems are an easy task for this monster to contend with. Our pair of AMD Radeon HD 6870 graphics cards was easily engulfed by the vast interior.
Achieving successful cable management demanded a good amount of time and care. Grommet positioning was near faultless with only the lack of a clear and effective 24-pin route hindering progress. Due to the hot-swap-enabling position of the storage drive cables, keeping the system tidy around these parts was awkward. A simple plastic shroud similar to that used on Corsair’s Obsidian 800D would solve this aesthetic problem.
Component clearance is not an issue thanks to the Interceptor Pro’s immense size. Power supply clearance is 380mm, graphics cards can stretch to 360mm (325mm with drive cables) and 190mm tall CPU coolers will fit with ease. Users can install a thick 360mm radiator in 55mm of room above the motherboard without interfering with the case’s upper section.
20mm of clearance behind the motherboard tray can make routing cables tricky. An extra 10mm of room provided by the bulged side panel helps reduce the constraint. Make sure that your power supply cables are of adequate length as this case certainly isn’t miniature. 60mm of free space adjacent to the HDD drive cage is valuable for storing unused power cables.
Styling of the case front is complemented by the black bezel of a DVD drive. A black fan controller or 5.25″ bay reservoir should also fit seamlessly.
Recessed PCI slots and IO panel help eliminate cable-connection problems which can arise when the case is used in a confined space. The power supply dust filter can be easily removed to eradicate any dust.
Complimented by the Interceptor Pro’s red and black colour scheme, a pair of red LED fans creates a smooth and attractive appearance.
To put this case through its cooling paces we will be using an enthusiast-grade test system comprised of an Intel Core i7 2600K, Radeon HD 4870 and multiple storage drives. This system allows us to produce a substantial amount of heat and effectively test the Xilence Interceptor Pro’s cooling capabilities.
For stress testing we use a mixture of Prime95 and MSI Kombustor to create the maximum heat output. Prime95′s ‘Small FFTs’ setting allows us to stress our CPU. MSI Kombustor’s ‘GPU Burn-in’ mode creates the maximum amount of load our GPU is ever likely to see.
Test System:
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 2600k.
  • Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65 (B3).
  • Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems CPU cooler with 2x Noctua NF-F12 fans in push/pull configuration.
  • Memory: 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 1333MHz.
  • Graphics card: Radeon HD 4870 1GB with Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro.
  • Power supply: Hiper Type-M 670W.
  • Storage drives: 128GB Kingston V100 (OS), 1TB Samsung F3, 320GB Seagate 7200.12.
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.
Thermal Performance Test Procedures:
  • The case’s default fan configuration is used to give an accurate interpretation of the out-of-the-box performance.
  • The Interceptor Pro′s default fan configuration is 2x 120mm intake fans and 1x 140mm exhaust fan.
  • The fans are operating at full speed.
  • We allow the system to idle for 15 minutes and record the stable temperatures.
  • We allow the system to operate under extreme stress for 15 minutes and record the stable temperatures.
The Interceptor Pro′s default cooling configuration of 2x 120mm intake and 1x 140mm exhaust fan was used. Room temperature was maintained at 23°C.
Cooling is a big strength for the Interceptor Pro. Component temperatures are kept at a respectable level with only three fans being used. Storage drive cooling is faultless. Their temperatures remain constant even with the extra heat of an extreme load being put into the case.
You need not worry if superior cooling is a requirement for your needs… simply exploit the remaining fan mounts.
Acoustic Performance Test Procedures:
  • We placed our Digital Sound Level Meter one metre away from the front of the case.
  • Only the case fans and our power supply are active to accurately isolate the acoustic performance of the case fans.
  • The case fans are set to maximum speed (connected to the 12V molex connectors of our PSU).
  • The Interceptor Pro′s default fan configuration is 2x 120mm intake and 1x 140mm exhaust fan.
Please refer to our KitGuru noise guide for a comparison between the noise levels of this case and everyday scenarios.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum
Silent isn’t a term that we would associate with Xilence’s flagship model. An acoustic output of 39.3 dBa is reputable for a case with an enthusiast target audience, but is by no means market-leading.
An inexpensive fan controller would have provided users with the tools required to manipulate fan speed and noise output. The economical device is sorely missed.
Innovation is definitely the basis upon which Xilence built the monster that is the Interceptor Pro. Good cooling performance, ease of use and extreme flexibility are all key points for this dual-system Gargantuan.
Built around an enthusiast-grade gamer styling scheme, Xilence was able to craft the HPTX-supporting Interceptor Pro with an alluring appearance. Jagged edges and mesh panels help divert attention away from the immense scale of the XQ series’ flagship.
An out-of-the-box cooling configuration consisting of 2x 120mm intake fans and a single 140mm exhaust fan is enough to provide adequate cooling performance. Users with systems comprised of multiple graphics cards and power-hungry processors should look to invest in extra fans and make use of the abundance of strategically-positioned mounts.
Extreme water-cooling is ideally coupled with the Interceptor Pro. An ability to house performance-orientated 360mm and 480mm radiators concurrently makes this one of the most water-cooling-friendly chassis’ on the market. Simple modifications will have the ability to make available room for further dual and single radiators.
You may question the relevance of a dual-system chassis. While the proportion of this case’s users that will actually exploit the two-system potential is going to be small, the flexibility remains an important factor. A cheap HTPC-type system will be perfectly housed in the upper chamber handling the simple tasks such as web-browsing and media playback. This can save the hassle of having to boot up a fully-fledged, water-cooled powerhouse for such an uncomplicated task. A separate server is another possibility.
HPTX support is another of the Interceptor Pro’s key features. Enormous dual-CPU motherboards such as EVGA’s SR-X are able to be installed in this chassis without having to go through a painful modification procedure.
This case does have some disappointing features. The exclusion of a simple, inexpensive fan controller is unforgivable for a case in this market segment. Design issues relating to the accidental release of hot-swap HDD drive trays could cause usage problems. Supplying a basic plastic shroud to cover the HDD cables would help improve internal tidiness.
Priced at £199.99, the Interceptor Pro may be expensive, but it does represent good value for money. It is packed to the brim with features such as dust-filtered fan mounts, hot-swap drive bays, tool-less installation methods, HPTX and mini-ITX support, tremendous water-cooling capabilities and effective cable management grommets.
As one of a discrete few of tower-style case’s to support two systems simultaneously, the Interceptor Pro could represent the emergence of a new contender to the high-performance chassis scene – Xilence. If this enthusiast-tailored creation is a sign of things to come, we can’t wait to see what other pioneering concepts Xilence has up its sleeve.
Pros:
  • HPTX support.
  • Dual-system compatibility.
  • Hot-swap drive bays.
  • Good cable management.
  • 3 fans included (2 of which are LED).
  • Attractive colour scheme.
  • Decent cooling.
  • Fairly quiet.
Cons:
  • No fan controller.
  • Enormous dimensions.
  • Some quality and design issues.
  • Only 1 USB 3.0 port.

Share on Google Plus

About Yomal Malinda

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

0 comments:

Post a Comment

We value your comments... Whether it is Good or Bad they are the only thing which we can get from you guys...! :) :) Please be kind enough to stop by and comment something about this post....!

Powered by Blogger.