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Thread: InWin N515 Nebula Ultra Cooling Edition

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    Apr 2011

    InWin N515 Nebula Ultra Cooling Edition


    Although the market for computer cases is large and we have designs from many different manufacturers to choose from, most of them are very similar to each other. Rarely does any company offer something really new, standing out from the competition. However, there are exceptions in the industry that show something original at almost every premiere. One of them is the Taiwanese company InWin, associated with premium class constructions. InWin is known for pushing very specific designs with their cases and in recent years has always tried to up itself at trade shows like CES and Computex with the next wildest concept case out there. This time, Asians have the N515 housing for us, the first of its new Nebula series, which combines good air circulation, a lot of space inside with an original front. The name ‘Nebula’ is derived from astronomy. Star nebula The inspiration was phenomenon. It's infinite shimmering shining stars adorning the front panel design and the mirrored, laser-cut surface in combination with colored backlighting is to offer cosmic views. If we prefer, we can also connect it to a motherboard compatible with lighting technology to synchronize it with our devices, although of course we would be wasting its enormous customization possibilities. And it's not all friends, because the manufacturer has also included one high-performance AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, the NR36 and 2 x Luna AL120 ARGB PWM fans. This exclusive eStore bundle comes in a smashing price when all combined under the tag: N515 Ultra Cooling Edition!


    Packaging & Contents

    The case ships in a really big box, which is unusual for a unit that can be considered traditional when it comes to its overall dimensions. The two opposing sides here show the product name on one side, while the other has the InWin naming.

    There are five listed features. There is also an inventory control label in the top left along with compliance/safety iconography at the bottom right. Above the icons is the color indication, which is black in our case, and the only color the N515 comes in at the time of writing.

    The final side of the packaging has the same dual color N515 naming, along with a copy of the specification table.

    Opening the box up and taking a look inside we find the case very well protected with large pieces of styrofoam and the entire case is covered in a bag.

    Getting the case out we find a zip lock bag filled with all of our screws and accessories, as well as a QR code for the installation manual.

    The accessory array is large and enough to easily build the N515. Here is everything you get in the package:
    10x Motherboard standoffs
    1x Standoff tool
    18x Hexagonal head screws (motherboard and PSU)
    18x 2.5" HDD screws
    10x 3.5" HDD screws
    8x Water cooling washers
    1x GPU support bracket
    ARGB One-Click Controller
    10x Zip ties
    The accessories are adequate to build the rig. It also does appear that InWin opted to give a few extra screws across the board to ensure that if you lose one, you have extra over the life of your rig.

    A Closer Look Outside

    The first impression of this case is that it’s big and pretty damn heavy, damn DAMN heavy! That’s actually somewhat reassuring, though, as this case certainly isn’t cheap, so all that mass really does make it feel like your money went into something as big as the price. It looks awesome, too. The InWin N515 is a Mid Tower case with dimensions of 502 x 225 x 515 (height x width x height) millimeters and a weight of 11.65 kilograms. We received the black verison of the case, and currently that is the only color that InWin is offering.

    The case is mainly made of SECC(1.2 mm thick), ABS, and of course you have tempered glass. Taking a look at the main side panel we have a tempered glass panel at the bottom, which is tinted. This panel will basically show off everything inside your system. It has a mesh part at the top.

    One thing I’ve always liked about InWin’s side panel design is that they use a simple button latch at the top of the panel. This allows you to easily remove the panel without even touching the glass part. The latch does a good job here and contains the panel well in place, but also releases easily when depressed.

    The opposite side panel is plain except for a row of honeycomb cut-outs towards the top of the case. These are actually used for ventilation, which we will get into a bit. This panel is held in place by two captive thumbscrews that are directly on the panel itself.

    The bottom of the InWin N515 is dominated by the removable filter and the two large feet. The feet span the two sides, which means that only two pieces are necessary as one in front and one toward the rear covers the needs that generally would be four smaller feet.

    The feet double as the filter retainer, which the filter slides into from the primary glass panel side.

    Removing the filter, we see that there is the full mounting capability for up to a 360mm radiator down here. However, as mentioned previously, you will want a thin radiator to ensure you have access to your PCIe slots.

    Taking a look at the front of the case. The upper part is in fact a luminous panel and the lower part is in mesh to ensure the arrival of air in the case. The Nebula Panel is composed of three defined layers, a configuration of inner and outer parallel mirrors, with a glass layer in between that creates a celestial universe with an infinite depth perception. A small InWin logo also is provided with RGB lighting.

    All of your connections and buttons are on the top of the case. The IO includes the latest 20Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 connectivity via USB Type-C connector, ensuring the fastest connections are always easily accessible for PC accessories such as external drives, DAS, direct data transfers or even eGPUs. Other connectivity includes Power button, two USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type-A, two USB 2.0 Type-A, and 3.5mm HD headphone and microphone sockets. Moving up to the top of the case we can see just a plain top with no ventilation. In typical InWin fashion this case does not have your ordinary cooling layout, which we’ll go over shortly.

    Moving around to the back of the case we have a pretty simple design. At the top is where you’ll power supply will go, then you have a 120 mm exhaust fan, and finally the spot where your motherboard will go along with seven expansion slots. Plus, all those slots are fitted with reusable ventilated covers, not that I would expect cheap snap off ones on a case of this calibre!

    There is a small button on the back of the tower. If you press this, the glass on the left side of the case can be easily removed.

    A Closer Look Inside

    Pulling the central glass panel away from the chassis shows us the interior where you will build your components into. There’s no escaping the fact that this is an utterly bonkers interior layout. However, it certainly makes sense. You can see the motherboard will mount in the lower section, where all the main hardware will generate heat. Heat rises, and that trilogy of fans will exhaust the heat, perfect. The CPU cutout is adequate for cooler backplates. At the very top, we have the underside of the upper part receiving the power supply and the cooling system.

    The dust grille is attached with magnets and is easy to remove.

    A panel is fixed with four screws on the upper floor. This must be removed in order to install three 120 mm fans and radiators up to 360mm. In our case the NR36.

    The entire bottom of the case is ventilated, which should give you an idea of how the cooling is setup in this case. You would have fans installed at the bottom bringing air into the case, then the 4 pre-installed fans at the top of the case will exhaust the hot air. The bottom of the case supports three 120 mm fans or radiators up to 360 mm.

    InWin delivers its N515 with its classic GPU support.

    We also find our seven expansion slots.

    The main motherboard tray supports motherboards up to E-ATX and towards the front we can see the two 2.5-inch hard drive mounts. There is actually room for a third, but it is not included with the case. These trays use a captive thumbscrew to be held in place, which means they are easily removable.Yes, this does mean your 2.5" SSD or HDD will be visible in the main chamber, so keep that in mind when making component choices. Adjacent to these mounts, we have vertical slits in the metal, which serve to mount the GPU support bracket.

    The faceplate is simply removed by pulling on it from below. A Couple of 120mm fans or an 240mm AIO can be installed there. The InWIn N515 Ultra Cooling Edition package contains two front Luna AL120 ARGB PWM fans. It runs between 400 to 1800 RPM (+/- 10%). It provides an airflow of 82.96 CFM and has a static pressure of 2.31 mm / H2O.

    Taking the opposite side panel off the case we get an idea of how the rest of the case is laid out. Simply remove the panel using two hand screws. The top section of the case is where you’ll install your power supply and you can see how the pre-installed AIO fans will exhaust through this section to the ventilated section in the back side panel. As far as space between the motherboard tray and back of the case you have about an inch of space, which should be more than enough (20mm). InWin has also carefully cut holes in the top part of the case to make it easy to route the cables from your power supply.

    On the backside of the motherboard tray there are two removable hard drive mounts. These trays support either a single 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard drive each. So in total this case will support 4 hard drives by default, and if you buy an extra SSD mount you can get five inside.

    To go with the all-black interior, all the cables within the N515 are black.

    Nebula NR36

    This exclusive eStore bundle contains also the new Nebula NR36 360mm AIO.

    Supported platforms are Intel LGA1700 / 1200/2066 / 2011V3 / 2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150, AMD Socket AM4 / AM3 + / AM3 / AM2 + / AM2 / FM2 + / FM2 / FM1 / TR4, AMD to be released in the future Support for Socket AM5 is also routed.

    It come's bundled with InWin's Luna AL120 ARGB fans, thermal paste, connecting wires, back panels, fasteners, QR code for the installation manual, ARGB One Click Controller and the modular, tool-free brackets for Intel and the AMD socket. All kinds of CPUs are installed with different screws, so InWin was very considerate to help users separate and pack them in plastic bags.

    Entirely made of aluminium, the radiator size of Nebula NR36 is 120mm in width, 397mm in length, 27mm in thickness, and 450mm in tube length. It has a label on the side with a barcode. The special microchannel fins have a high density and therefore have the best cooling properties.

    The tubes of the InWin NR36 are relatively flexible. They are rubber with a black nylon braided sheath. They end with two metal end caps at each end.

    With the new InWin Nebula NR36, the processor unit does not contain an AIO pump, but is placed as a separate unit between the hoses, which, according to the manufacturer, reduces vibrations from the pump and thus also dampens sound pressures. The pump runs at 5200RPM. This pump measures 66 x 50 x31 mm and It connects to the motherboard on a 3-pin port.

    The water block is connected to the pipes by two rotating plastic elbows. The pipes are embedded in these elbows by two metal fittings.

    The water block measures 87.3 x 75 x 68 mm. The stardome tops a black stripe emblazoned with InWIn's logo and branding.

    The block unit of the AIO cooler of the Nebula NR36 offers ARGB lighting that is supposed to simulate the glow of the stars, to which the manufacturer name Nebula also refers. The lighting effects of the InWin Nebula NR36 can be controlled via the ARGB motherboard software and synchronized with other ARGB elements in the PC build, of the Nebula N515 chassis. Effects can be adjusted and synchronized via motherboards with ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, ASRock PolyChrome Sync, and MSI Mystic Light Sync. Alternatively, InWin also bundles yours controller ARGB One-Click to ensure lighting effects are always accessible in all PC builds which may not support 3 pin and 5V ARGB lighting.

    The 68mm tall processor block has a copper base. The plate in contact with the processor measures 55 mm. It is protected by a plastic sticker.

    InWin associates the Nebula NR36 with its Luna AL120 fans. The fans rotate at a speed of 400 to 1800 rpm and are controlled by a PWM method. An air flow is formed with a volume of up to 141 cubic meters per hour. The maximum static pressure is 2.31 mm H2O.

    The Luna AL120 PWM fans feature nine crescent-shaped blades. With 16.8 million lighting combinations via ARGB LEDs, users can really color coordinate their PC builds to perfectly match other components around predetermined themes.

    The short cabling is expressly designed to mate with the AIO cooler, while the fans can also be daisy-chained to optimize cable routing convenience and simple fan control with a single adjustment parameter covering them all.

    Installation Process & Finished Looks

    Putting a system inside here really highlights just how oversized this case is, but it’s also rather tight in some respects too. There’s enough width for an E-ATX motherboard. There’s a small cut-out at the top for the 8-pin cables. Inside it we can mount E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards, CPU coolers with a height of up to 160 millimeters, graphics cards up to 385 millimeters long and ATX power supplies no longer than 200 millimeters. Fitting a GPU, clearly no issue. I don’t have a single card in the office that could max out this space! A graphics card of up to 350 mm fits in here and can be supported with the appropriate bracket on the PCIe slot. However, be careful when installing fans at the bottom with an ATX format motherboard. You have to remember to connect all the cables before because of the little space between the two. The InWin N515 Ultra Cooling Edition, when built due to its black-panel still is mostly blacked out thanks to its deeply tinted glass main panel. However, with some components such as the GPU being closer to the glass, you can sort of make out the fact that there are parts inside.

    All of the Drive trays require fasteners to mount the drives, which is not a huge deal but is more work than a slide-in drive tray that vibration mounts the drive with quick-swap metal pins.

    Here we have the PSU area, and as you can see, there are no pads for the PSU to rest on here. The PSU is mounted on its side up here means the PSU will lay on the metal panel above the motherboard top. It is also worth noting that the mounting location for the PSU means that your PSU fan will always be facing the fans as we see here, not the rear panel. This means that the PSU will be pulling air from the main chamber. I would like to see at least a small pad here for the PSU to rest on just to reduce potential harmonics and metal to metal contact.

    The rear of the chassis fills in as you would expect.

    Peeking behind the solid panel to the cable management, we see that the cables can be well managed. The amount of tie-downs does mean that you have to be a bit more judicious with your cable routing if you want the tied down and proper look. I would like to see a CPU EPS connector cutout in future chassis just to make the run not have to be across the top of the board. However, if that does not matter to you, the area has a large enough gap that everything can sit back here out of sight, and nobody would be the wiser. One thing to note is that there is a passthrough hole in the panel separating the PSU from the cable management area. Mind this, otherwise, you will notice it when you go to close the panel.

    Here we take a peek of the Nebula water block.

    This time I pumped my lights up a bit to better display the luminous panel on the front. The luminous panel connects either to the motherboard or to the ARGB lighting controller present in the bundle by an ARGB cable.

    All ARGB fans are synced up.

    Of course, looks aside, they’re moving a lot of air within the case too.

    The InWin N515 Ultra Cooling Edition is alive!



    To put this case through its cooling paces we will be using a test system consisting of an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and an SSD. This system allows us to produce a substantial amount of heat and effectively test the InWin N515 Ultra Cooling Edition‘s cooling capabilities.

    Test system

    PC Case: InWin N515
    Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (12 cores/24 threads)
    CPU Cooler: InWin NR36
    Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite
    Memory: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200MHz
    Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB
    Power supply: Corsair AX1600i 1600W Titanium
    SSD: Sabrent Rocket M.2 NVMe 4.0
    OS: Windows 10

    Our initial impression was that the InWin N515 Ultra Cooling Edition has great airflow and our testing proved that beyond any doubt. Overall, with the less than standard airflow layout, there is plenty of room to adjust things or even add cooling capacity via the various cooling mounting positions in the top, bottom, front and rear.

    Final Thoughts

    This is one of the best cases InWin has done yet. It makes no compromises on features and quality, and it just feels like it’s ready to be whatever you need it to be. Clearly, this is a very well made case. It’s the little details that make it exceptional though, and the engineering of it really stands out. I have to admit that I was sold on the InWin N515 Ultra Cooling Edition when I turned it on. I don't remember the last time I had so much fun with a chassis and its lighting elements. The Nebula luminous front panel is such a cool idea. It creates a celestial universe with an infinite depth perception. Building a PC setup used to be a huge challenge for newbies. Fortunately, manufacturers are making it much easier for potential screwdrivers to assemble a PC on their own these days. This is also the case with the N515. For example, the quick-release fasteners on the side allow convenient and screw-free access to the interior. Since InWin relies on magnets for its side panels, they can’t pop off unexpectedly. This should prevent unintentional hardware damage. The manufacturer also integrates a practical GPU mount ex-works. Larger and heavier graphics cards can also be installed here. Thanks to the so-called anti-sag function, they are also well protected during somewhat wobbly transports. The use of tempered glass and steel mesh in a dark color makes this case very elegant. It can sit on a desk, but can be fully integrated into a living room alongside other top-of-the-range products. The compatibility also is Super. So you should be able to install even large E-ATX motherboards here. There is also plenty of room for cooling elements. CPU coolers with a height of up to 160 millimeters, graphics cards up to 385 millimeters long and ATX power supplies no longer than 200 millimeters. You should be able to install up to nine 120 mm fans in the N515. InWin already installs three high-quality AL120 ARGB PWM fans in the N515, which are located at the rear and front of the case. These ensure that hot air is completely sucked out of the PC’s main chamber. The components were able to stay cool during the torture sessions we put them through. The ability to daisy chain things such as fans even if proprietary makes for a much cleaner cabling solution. In addition, up to four radiators for water cooling should be possible. On top of that, the case also offers space for four 2.5-inch SSDs and two 3.5-inch HDDs. So you shouldn’t have any storage problems here. Among other things, two USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type-A, two USB 2.0 Type-A and 3.5 mm HD headphone and microphone jacks are found on the front I/O. On top of that, the latest USB 3.2 Gen 22 with up to 20 GBit/s speed is supposed to be on the interface. With the new InWin Nebula NR36, your PC will not only stay cool, it will also become a beautiful design element. The new Nebula NR36 is designed to grab attention and enhance any PC build with a beautiful illumination function that resembles a Nebula on a water block. The NR36 puts glitter in our eyes! The product also comes with an ARGB controller, which allows you to switch colors and emission patterns even on motherboards that do not support the ARGB function. However, today it is difficult not to underline the absence of grommets even if the openings made are large enough. Floor fan/s or radiator setup will block access to bottom parts of ATX board. The other thing I would like to see better is some sort of protective surface for the PSU to rest upon. Lastly would be the almost complete omission of toolless capabilities on drive trays.

    There is no way that the InWin N515 Cooling Edition could walk away with anything short of an Outstanding Award. While it may not be cheap, you certainly get a lot for your money. Once you consider the 360MM Nebula NR36 AIO + two high-quality AL120 ARGB PWM fans, the MSRP of 317.90€ almost becomes a non-issue.

    Last edited by testman78; 03-06-2022 at 02:33 AM.



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