In-Win S-Frame Case an $800 Masterpiece, Single-Piece Hand-Shaped Aluminum

By Published January 09, 2015 at 9:00 am

Boutique case manufacturer In-Win brought home yet another CES Innovation Award at this year's show. This time, the company’s award-winning case carries the moniker "S-Frame," an $800 piece of metalworked art befitting of a showroom.

There are several design elements that separate the S-Frame from other cases, namely the price tag -- it’s a staggering $800 USD, accounting for the high labor and material costs of the case.

How the In-Win S-Frame Case is Made

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The S-Frame "vision case" is made from a single piece of aluminum that is 2 meters long and 4mm thick. It is laser-cut and CNC-polished, which basically means that the edges are exact and perfectly finished. Once the cutting is complete, we are told that the aluminum goes through a two-stage anodizing process to create channels that contain the high-contrast two-tone coloring. Anodizing was chosen and is preferred to standard color treatment because an anodized surface chemically alters the metal, forming channels for the colored dye which makes it much more resistant to chipping and scratching. This ultimately means that the case continues to look new for a longer period of time.

After the anodizing and coloring process, two workers and a machine hand-bend the aluminum frame 15 total times to create the final shape. When the shape is finalized, two sheets of 4mm tempered glass are added to the front and rear via heavy duty thumb screws. Tempered glass, like the anodizing, makes the outer surface more durable and less susceptible to harm from accidents. The finished look is eye-catching as was witnessed by the constant crowds around the S-Frame during CES 2015.

The case can support ATX or micro-ATX motherboards and graphics cards up to 340mm (13.4”). On the backside, you can mount anything from a standard ATX PSU to a massive 300mm (11.8”) long model in a semi-concealed crevice. On the bottom of the frame, there's room for three 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator, but no fans are pre-installed because In-Win thinks the enclosure looks better with all liquid. For the CPU, heatsinks up to 195mm (7.7”) can be used, but let’s be serious -- anyone who buys this case is going to implement liquid cooling. The S-Frame has four 3.5”/2.5” bays near the front and four USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio near the front panel. It does take up quite a bit of room to display with measurements of H x W x D: 560 x 313 x 755mm (22” x 12.3” x 29.7”). You probably won’t be moving it around too much, either, as it weighs in at 17.41kg without the tempered glass and 23.2kg with the glass in place (that’s about 50 lbs.).

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One final note on the colors: anyone can pay the price and get the black and gold standard color scheme, but they will only be producing 500 or so black and red models which will be individually stamped as limited edition.
In-Win has indicated that a high demand may allow for longer-term case production, but given the wealthy requirement of buyers, it's likely to be a smaller manufacturing quantity.

- Patrick "Mocalcium" Stone.

Last modified on January 09, 2015 at 9:00 am

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