VG Tribune

REVIEW: EVGA DG-87 Full Tower Case

June 6, 2017 / 2:51 AM

By: Zack O'Neill

FULL DISCLOSURE: This case was provided as a review unit from EVGA for review purposes. This did not affect the opinions in this article in any way.

 In the current climate of the PC hardware market, we see all kinds of products labeling themselves as VR-Ready. This can include CPUs and GPUs, which actually make sense considering those are very important in processing games in general and for VR require quite a bit of horsepower; or it could be things like power supplies and hard drives, which have absolutely nothing to do with improving the VR experience. And in most cases (pun intended) a PC case would have absolutely nothing to do with improving said VR experience, but in the case of the DG-87 it very well could mean quite a bit.

EVGA’s latest venture into the PC chassis market is the DG-8 series, with the DG-87 being at the top of the food chain. The features of this case are beyond anything normally seen outside of the deepest of the enthusiast circles, including a built-in fan controller with an LCD display on the mirror-style panel on the front (yes, that’s the front) of the case, which can also give ambient temperatures from the inside, along with two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a USB-C port (not Thunderbolt 3 compatible), audio jacks, and a K-boost button, which allows for automatic overclocking of the CPU and GPU while cranking the fan speeds up to 100%. All of that is just what’s on the front. Once you actually get inside the thing, you’ll begin to notice a lot more, which I’ll go ahead and put in a bullet point format for readability.

  • Eight 3.5-inch HDD mounts, all of which can fit 2.5-inch SSDs as well, with an additional four mounts specifically for 2.5-inch SSDs
  • Two USB 2.0 ports on the top next to additional K-Boost and power buttons
  • A fully-removable back panel made of annodized alluminum
  • A removable door for easier installation of components
  • Built-in motherboard standoffs
  • Eight fans routed to the fan controller
  • Three white LED strips for lighting your rig
  • A removable panel featuring the EVGA logo (which glows because of the lighting strips)
  • Mounts for a watercooling reservoir
  • An HDMI cable that can connect to your GPU to route the signal to the front HDMI port
  • Rubber grommets for cable management

After reading all that, you may be wondering just how big this thing is, and unsurprisingly it’s absolutely massive. It measures in at 686x270x642.45mm and weighs in at a gross weight of 51.1 Lbs. If you do choose to get this case, I don’t recommend moving it too much, as it’s not an easy task. What is easy though, is building inside it. Because of all the room that it lays out for you, cables can be routed any way you want to ensure that you have the absolute best management possible. This didn’t quite work out as well when I had to replace my dead PSU and replace it with my non-modular backup, but that’s not the fault of the case; more a problem with the PSU’s CPU power cable not being quite long enough to be routed through the back.

EVGA’s previous solution to VR cable management

Now to follow up on the statement I made in the beginning on this being a VR-ready case, I was of course referring to the front-mounted HDMI and USB 3.0 ports, allowing users to plug your VR headset of choice into the front and unplug when necessary, rather than reach around the back of the case to plug in the HDMI cable. This not only makes a more convenient plugging/unplugging situation, but gives you a bit more slack on your cable for roomscale VR while you wait for TPCast and Intel to make their wireless Vive adapters widely available. This isn’t the first time EVGA has presented this solution for VR fans: Their 980 Ti VR Edition released last year with a rear-mounted HDMI port that could connect to a panel on the front, which I just happen to be using on my main build right now.

EVGA advertises this feature for being used with VR edition graphics cards, but they’ve only ever released the one VR Edition card, and while it can absolutely be used with the 980 Ti VR Edition, it is compatible with any graphics card with an HDMI port. The only downside to using any other graphics card is that you’re down an HDMI port this way, so you’ll have to resort to Displayport or DVI for your monitors.

You’ll obviously want to know how convenient this case is outside of just VR though, and in terms of building, it’s very convenient. You’ll be able to configure your hardware any way you want to with the room provided and all of the mounting brackets being removable. In terms of repairing the case itself though, it’s not quite as convenient, which I learned the hard way.

The broken panel

I’ve been using this case for a few months now and wanted to hold off on doing this review to see how well it handled regular use. From the moment it came in the mail, there was something broken. The EVGA logo panel was rattling around on the inside because the case was shipped with it screwed onto the inside of the case with its one securing mount, which broke off in transit. This was an easy fix, as it was just a small piece of plastic that could be easily superglued back on. What wasn’t quite as easy to fix were the USB 3.0 ports on the front, which were completely dead upon the first use. I tested the cable on a USB 3 header on two separate motherboards and a USB 3 PCI card, and the ports just would not work, so that was another problem from the beginning, but I could bear it since I had plenty of other ports on my motherboard’s main I/O and I wasn’t plugging that many things into it anyway. The biggest problem came last week when the fan controller broke and none of the fans were running anymore. Now I could have just re-routed all of the fans to plug into the motherboard, but that would eliminate one of the main draws of this case, and I wasn’t ready to just give up. After having a conversation with EVGA customer support, who are very helpful by the way, I got a new front panel shipped to me so I could repair the case myself, rather than go through the hassle of shipping a 50 lb PC case and having bare components while I wait for the replacement. I can say this much: replacing this part of the case is not easy at all. You’ll need to disassemble just about every part of it without instruction and hope that you don’t break anything.

It did eventually come out being repaired without any problems with perfect performance in the fan controller and the formerly broken USB 3.0 ports, so I can say it is doable, but it’s nowhere near easy. Even after all that though, I can’t say that I bear any ill will towards this case, as it has managed to hold up pretty damn well, and put my parts on display while making them perform even better with the K-boost button. Would I recommend getting this case for the full price of $230 though? Not if you’re anything other than a PC enthusiast who wants to really flaunt just how beautiful your PC can be. There’s no denying that this behemoth of a case is an eyecatcher in all the best ways, but unless you’re willing to shell out money that you could use on a new graphics card, then I wouldn’t really say it’s suitable for the average Joe.

If you want a huge case like this, but don’t want to shell out the big dough for all the extra features, there are some more bare-bones models that EVGA put out there with most of the same important things, like the front mounted HDMI port and the cable management room, for much less money. The DG-84 for example is the same size, has all the same room, and the HDMI port for nearly $100 less. You’ll be missing out on some things, like the USB-C port, the front window, the fan controller, and a lot of the HDD mounts, but that all comes with the price drop.

The fact here is that this is a very nice case as long as it’s working correctly, but for the price that it’s at I would recommend getting something else unless you really want to show off.

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About the author /

Zack started working at VGTribune at 15 years old and has been gaming since the the age of 2. He is currently in college studying film and technology with plans to continue in the game industry. He’s also really good at Counter Strike.

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