The Korean PC case developer GMC has long been known for their stylish and novel enclosure designs. One of their latest designs, the Noblesse K-2 ended up in our capable hands so we put it through the motions.
As you can see, the Noblesse K-2 Ebony is no slouch in the looks department. Everything on the front of the case is a button of some kind, and the integrated LCD panel that displays temperature and fan speed (among other things) is a blessing for those performance-minded individuals out there. The case would look equally great in an a/v cabinet or out in the open. It is not only functional but also a good conversation piece. Also included in the case is an ir remote control.
Here is the full list of front-panel controls:
-Volume control and mute function
-Multi Memory Card Reader(9 in 1)
-System condition LCD display
-Hot key, Navigation jog button
-Music and Movie control by play control button
Most of these functions are readily accessible through the included iMedian software, which acts a Windows Media Center replacement. Something we appreciated was that this application comes with most of the code cs you will need whereas the Windows Media Center usually requires some additional codec downloading.
We enjoyed many hours of South Park videos, HD-DVDs (yes we are one of those), and even some streaming vids of the ‘net. The experience was very enjoyable, and the K-2 Ebony was a joy to use.
The side-swapping hard drive bays are an excellent addition to the case which allows for a quick installation and removal of HDDs without having to take off both sides of the case. We wish more enclosure manufacturers would take note of this feature.
The only real problem we could see is the issue of space. When fitted with a large Nvidia graphics card there is not a lot of wiggle room left in there. This can make cable management a slippery slope. One change they might want to consider is swapping the location of the power supply from the top of the case to the bottom and shifting everything else upwards.
Bare in mind, however, that this case is designed as a multimedia PC more than anything else. If they were to come out with a ‘gaming model’ of this enclosure, we would hope they would another fan or two to compliment its front-mounted 140mm and rear-mounted 120mm fans.As it stands, we would not recommend a Gtx 280 be placed in this case as we were getting temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius at its core when playing Age of Conan, however it is worth noting that the Gtx 280 is the hottest-running GPU on the market today.For an upper mid-level gaming system running a Radeon 4850 or 4870, the K-2 would work great and also turn heads at a LAN event to boot.
The case is a bit pricey at an MSRP of $250 dollars, but if you are looking for the ultimate desktop-style multimedia PC case you can’t do much better than the Noblesse K-2 Ebony. It is a solid upgrade from the K-1 and features a ton of improvements in case design which make it an excellent home theater PC enclosure.