About four weeks ago, the manufacturer Sharkoon presented the latest addition to its housing division. The spacious midi tower is named PURE STEEL and is available in three different versions. Beside a black* and a white* version Sharkoon also offers the PURE STEEL in a RGB-Version*. The white and black variants are priced at € 78.04 * and € 42.94 * and the RGB variant at € 82.90 *. The manufacturer promotes high-end hardware with a high degree of compatibility, a minimally designed body made entirely of steel and a high degree of modding friendliness.
Whether the PURE STEEL can do justice to this description and how it performs in general we will find out for you in this review.
Scope of Delivery
The Sharkoon PURE STEEL comes well and safely packed in a black and white printed cardboard box. The accessories are packed in a brown cardboard box, which was placed in the HDD cage, and include all important screws, ten black cable ties, an instruction manual, an MB speaker, a sticker with the Sharkoon logo and a tool for screwing in the spacers. In addition, the case contains two pre-installed black case fans and the pre-installed spacers for the mainboard.
Optically, the Sharkoon PURE STEEL is one of the minimalist housings. The front and the cover are made entirely of steel and painted in the main colour of the case (black or white). There are no outwardly visible logos and lettering. Only the glass side window and the right side part with the honeycomb ventilation openings give the PURE STEEL a more playful appearance. Overall the tower has a certain resemblance to the IN WIN 101.
But the interior is a bit more interesting. This is always painted in the same colour as the outside and has a different layout contrary to the current trend. Where most housings currently have a power supply cover at the bottom, the PURE STEEL offers three fan slots and a side-removable dust filter. The power supply cover and the hard disk cage are located in the upper part of the interior. To get enough air for the power supply, a part of the power supply cover at the back has been removed.
The rest of the interior is very open and offers plenty of space for hardware. Around the mainboard tray there are numerous and partly rubberized cable management openings. Furthermore, there is a steel plate to the right of the mainboard which can be used to mount one 3.5″ hard disk or two 2.5″ hard disks. If these drive slots are not required, this plate can be removed with four screws and enables the installation of a 240 mm radiator.
Further data carriers can be mounted on the rear side. Behind the mainboard tray, two 2.5″ devices fit into the corresponding frames. For hard disks in 3.5″ format, a cage for two data carriers is available to the left of the power supply unit. This can be removed by removing a knurled screw and has rubber rings for decoupling.
Sharkoon promotes the PURE STEEL among other things with a high modding friendliness. This is actually the case due to the simple front and the simple lid. To make modding even easier, the front can be removed after removing six screws inside. In addition, Sharkoon has already installed rails for a fan or radiator mounting behind it.
With a price of € 42.94 * the PURE STEEL moves between the beginner area and the middle class. Nevertheless, the general workmanship of PURE STEEL is very good. There are no painting defects, sharp edges or other manufacturing defects to be found. Because the body is completely made of steel, it appears very solid and stable. In addition, due to the high proportion of steel, the weight of 8.7 kg is relatively high for a housing with a volume of 47 litres. What unfortunately looks a bit cheap is the plastic frame for the side window. Here, a steel frame would have definitely improved the look and feel of the side panel.
All modular components such as the dust filter or the drive cages can be easily removed. In addition, the feel of the buttons on the I/O panel can be described as pleasant.
Overall, there are no complaints about the workmanship quality of the Sharkoon PURE STEEL. Only the material selection of the frame for the side window could have been better.
The Sharkoon PURE STEEL is located in the midi tower area with seven PCI slots. With the given dimensions and a total volume of 47 litres, the tower is of normal size. The PURE STEEL supports motherboards up to size E-ATX and CPU coolers with a maximum height of 160 mm. For graphic accelerators there is 420 mm space available if no radiator is installed in the side. When using a radiator, the maximum length is reduced to 300 mm. Built-in power supplies must not exceed a total length of 295 mm.
|Housing type:||Midi Tower|
|Dimensions:||210 mm (W) x 475 mm (H) x 474 mm (D)|
|Material:||Steel, Plastic, Tempered Glass|
|Color:||Black, white, black with RGB fans|
|Front connections||2x USB 3.0, 1x speaker, 1x microphone|
|Drive bays:||3x 3,5″, 5x 2,5″|
|Form factors:||E-ATX, ATX, mATX, mini-ITX|
|Ventilation:||rear: 1x 120 mm
side: 2x 120 mm
bottom: 3x 120 mm
|Radiators:||rear: 1x 120 mm
side: 1x 240 mm
bottom: 1x 360 mm
|Max. CPU cooler height:||160 mm|
|Max. Graphics card length:||300 mm (with radiator)
420 mm (without radiator)
|Max. Power supply length:||295 mm|
|Cable management space:||20 mm|
|Price:||ab € 42.94 *|
|Special features:||power supply top, dust filter, graphics card holder, glass window|
To get enough fresh air into the case Sharkoon uses two black fans with a speed of 1500 rpm for the black and white version. If the buyer opts for the RGB version, he will receive four RGB fans including an addressable controller. To protect these fans and the interior from dust, the manufacturer has implemented a long dust filter in the floor, which can be pulled out laterally.
If you want to install a water cooling system in the PURE STEEL, this would also be possible. Sharkoon officially states that it is possible to install a 360 mm radiator in the ground and a 240 mm radiator on the side.
System Construction in PURE STEEL
Now we come to system installation. As hardware I use a Intel Xeon 1230v3 on a Gigabyte H87M-D3H with 16GB RAM. The Xeon is identified by Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer 240 All-in-One Water Cooling with two Fractal Design HP-12 PWM cooled. An HD 7850 2GB from Asus is responsible for the image output. The power supply is done by the non-modular be quiet! Pure Power with 400W*.
Because the PURE STEEL has now been built in an unconventional way, it was really refreshing to install the system. The cable management openings are well placed and together with the 20 mm space behind the mainboard allow a tidy system. In addition, there is the generously designed interior, which offers plenty of space for large components. Only with the CPU cooler one cannot install every CPU cooler due to the maximum supported height of 160 mm.
Further features that have made the installation of all parts easier are the tool-free mechanisms, the labelled accessory bags and the attachment for a screwdriver to screw in the spacers. Both side panels have practical pull-out aids and “captive” knurled screws, which remain on the side panel after disassembly. The covers for the PCI slots and the hard disk cages are each secured with a single knurled screw and are easy to remove.
The two pre-installed fans are plain black fans with a maximum speed of 1500 rpm and a 3-pin or 4-pin Molex connector. Unfortunately, the ratio between pumping volume and volume is rather poor. From 900 rpm, both fans can be clearly heard out of the case and produce audible background noise at any speed. Here it might have made more sense to remove both fans and offer the case at a lower price.
Water cooling systems can also be installed in the PURE STEEL. A 360 mm radiator fits in the base and a 240 mm radiator on the side. However, rough measurements have shown that this combination can only be used to a limited extent. Between the fan in the floor and the built-in Artic Freezer Liquid there is still about 20-25 mm space. A total of 50 mm could be quite tight for a radiator including fan.
Finally, we come to the temperatures reached in the PURE STEEL. During the load test, 15 minutes of Prime95 and FurMark were run. At a room temperature of 17.5°C the following values were measured during three different scenarios: all fan settings on Silent (CPU:65°C, GPU:70°C), CPU cooler on Silent and case fan on Full Speed (CPU:61°C, GPU:70°C) and all fan settings on Full Speed (CPU:57°C, GPU:70°C). All in all, the temperatures are in the green range even at lower speeds.
Conclusion of the Sharkoon PURE STEEL Review
The Sharkoon PURE STEEL offers for a price of € 42.94 * a good workmanship, lots of space for hardware and a side window made of real glass. In addition, there is the very simple design and the associated modding possibilities. In addition, the PURE STEEL is available for all RGB fans for approx. 15 € more in a corresponding version including a control board and four RGB fans.
The meanwhile unusual layout with a power supply unit installed at the top is criticized by some PC builders, because the power supply unit is exposed to the heat development of the CPU due to its position. In our tests with water or air cooling, we could not detect any problems with the actively cooled power supply even during longer load tests. Only passive power supplies should not be installed in the PURE STEEL.
In view of the well-known competition, the selection of cases with glass viewing windows in the price range between 50 € and 70 € is quite high. The Sharkoon PURE STEEL does not have to hide from the competition because of its features and the quality of its workmanship and represents a solid offer.