THE AOPEN BG45 MID-TOWER
have been building computers with AOpen BG45 Baby AT form-factor, mid-tower
computer case for years. Only recently have I switched to an ATX
case. This case is one of the best I've seen in recent years (since
the days when they were built like tanks and the metal was chrome-plated). My
customers like it. For those who want to build a computer with a
Baby AT motherboard, this case offers full expandability and good quality.
metal. The BG45 is made from 1 mm steel. The cover
easily slides on from the back and is secured with four screws.
Panel. The front panel is attractive, well-designed and
is fairly easy to remove. It has well-positioned keylock and power,
turbo, and reset switches. Power, turbo, and hard disk LEDs are included. The
speaker is inserted in a molded expansion card guide assembly which is
conveniently already snapped into the front of the metal chassis. A
muffin fan can also be mounted in the guide. The plastic is quality
bays. The case has six drive bays: two exposed and one internal
3 1/2" bays and three exposed 5 1/4" bays. The two exposed
3 1/2" bays are in a removable cage which is secured with one screw. This
makes it a snap to install and service, all-at-once, a Zip and floppy
drives. I mount the hard disk on the internal 3 1/2" bracket
above the power supply. All of the exposed bays come with with snap-on
dust covers. Drives are easily installed without rails.
board slots. The case has eight slots. All of them
are covered with annoying knockouts and which must be given a good whack
and some bending to remove. The hardware includes two reusable slot
bracket. The motherboard is mounts to a large stamped-metal
plate which is securely fastened to the left side of the chassis with a
single screw. It is easily removed and can be set on a bench to attach
the motherboard. I don't do this because there is plenty of space
in the case and it is easy to lay it on its side, screw-in the stand-offs,
and install the motherboard directly.
supplies. The case can be ordered with 200 or 250 Watt PS/2
power supplies. The 200 Watt supply is sufficient for
most computers. It runs very quietly.
hardware is complete and well-packaged. There is even a zip-tie to bundle
the cables going from the motherboard to the front panel. There are
four stick-on rubber feet to put on the bottom of the front of the motherboard
so it won't short against the chassis if it is flexed downward--a nice touch. Four
rubber chassis feet are included which are easily and securely fastened with
plastic pins instead of less reliable adhesive backing. There
are chassis knock-outs for Baby AT motherboard serial, parallel, and game
connectors (I always remove these connectors from the card edge mounts which
come with most motherboard cable sets and mount them directly to the chassis). I
would like to see knockouts for a PS/2 mouse and USB connectors. One annoyance
which is present in all of the AOpen cases I have used, is the four-pin connector
for the front panel hard disk LED. I really don't understand why Acer
uses a four-pin connector when only two of them are wired for the LED. The
connector works fine if you are using an AOpen motherboard. To connect
it to most other motherboards, one must cut the connector longitudinally
in half--I use diagonal cutters.
does an excellent job of packing their cases, This case normally comes
wrapped in plastic in the "small box." The packing consists
of two thick, well-made, Styrofoam restrainers which are not easily broken
when carefully lifting a computer, made with the case, and easing it into
the box. The box is well-made and will survive most shipping conditions. An
optional "large box" or all-in-one carton is available. It
has some additional room for a keyboard, mouse, etc.
all AOpen cases, this case includes a nicely-done, exploded diagram and assembly