There are a countless number of cases on the market today but few are what you could call original or innovative. Cases from Antec and the like are, of course, excellently designed for their specific functions but compared to a normal, generic case there is no major design change. It is an unusual sight to see a case that has taken all the usual design concepts seen on 99% of all cases and rotated them 90 degrees, literally. GMC has created a case very different from the norm which allows the optical drive to be placed facing upwards. This design can have its advantages and of course disadvantages. Today we will be looking at the GMC R-2 ‘TOAST’.
“GM Corporation Ltd is a manufacturer and distributor headquartered in Seoul, Korea and founded in 1996. The company offers a wide range of PC cases, power supplies, computer peripheral and service to customers worldwide.”
- Model: R2 ‘TOAST’
- Dimension ( W x D x H ): Chassis: 170 x 328 x 420mm – Carton Box: 220 x 420 x 480mm
- Colour: White
- Multi Port: USB 2.0 x 2port, Audio + MIC
- Form Factor: ATX
- Drive Bay: 5.25″ x 1, 3.5″ x 2(Internal)
- Expansion Slots: 7 Slots
- M/B Size: ATX, Micro ATX, Full ATX
- Weight: Net: 3.5Kg – Gross: 4.2Kg
- Cooling: CAG 1.1
- Fan: Rear: 80mm x 2
The size of the box does not ‘fit in’ with the small size of the R-2, a sort of betrayal. The box, unlike some others, is not very colourful which does not do any favours for a case with decent looks. The accessories you receive are pretty basic, contained in a plastic bag are; some screws, hardware and a short manual.
A quick look at the R-2 Toast reveals that this is no ordinary case. At first we were unsure about it. The R-2 case is a lot smaller than a normal ATX tower and weights extremely little. As a comparison, we’d say it weighs less than most HTPC cases out there. The paint (pink for us) is of good quality and smoothly applied. Although the R-2 looks like a small case, that is not quite true. Even with its small size, the R-2 can fit any modern ATX system without a problem; that is if you require no more than one optical drive and two hard drives.
The left side panel of the R-2 Toast has the usual perforation to allow air movement as well as around the PCI slot and HDD cage area. You will also find a funnel above the CPU area which was cleverly placed to allow the CPU cooler to suck in cool, fresh air from outside. The funnel is removable so if you need the space, it’s there.
The rear of the R-2 is simple, and there’s nothing out of ordinary to comment on. You can install two 80mm fans no problem. A 120mm, fan which would provide the same airflow but less noise, will not fit due to the narrowness of the case.
The front panel is obviously the main attraction of the R-2 Toast. You won’t find any 5.25” or even 3.5” slots there. As mentioned earlier, the R-2 allows only a single 5.25” device to be mounted in a vertical position. This way the disc tray opens upright inside the front panel opening without protruding from the case at all. GMC also provides sticky plastic disc holders you can install in your optical drive tray if you need them. When the system is powered on, the front panel area is illuminated blue, and it looks good.
Above the front panel at the top of the case you will find a door covering the front USB ports, audio jacks and the reset button.
While the interior of the R-2 is limited in certain ways, it is sufficiently roomy for the motherboard and the PCI devices. The 3.5” HDD cage is placed perpendicularly and can hold only 2 drives which might be quite limiting for some. Also, there are no intake fans so cooling might be an issue depending on how many fans you have installed around the case. If you have the case, it’s a good idea to allow those perforations on the side of the case freely pass air because you want as much ventilation as possible. You get one 80mm fan installed on the rear of the case and there is room for another above it. We recommend having 2 fans for most people, but one may just be enough if it’s a good fan.
The front panel of the R-2 comes off easily; a quick pull will do the job. Installation of the optical drive is not hard and nearly all drives should fit in fine just as long as they aren’t long in length, you won’t have a problem. The eject button mechanism is adjustable so you should not have a problem with that either. There isn’t much room at the rear of the drive for cables and such so we recommend a drive with SATA interface to make it easier for you.
The GMC R-2 Toast is clearly a unique case. It’s pretty good looking for a start, extremely light and is compact. The unorthodox vertical optical drive certainly saves some space but at the same time you lose the ability to have another optical drive and more than 2 HDDs. To sum it up, the vertical optical drive is the main feature of the case, but unfortunately with that it brings all of its downsides. It is an original design but we’d say more suited for a living room than anywhere else. You will have no problem installing a powerful system in the R-2 Toast albeit limited with the number of drives, but you have to remember you’re limited when it comes to cooling too.
The GMC R-2 Toast is not yet available, however, it is expected to be selling for 50€/60$ retail price which is a good price if you ask us. The GMC R-2 Toast is a high quality, small and light case which should be considered if you are a ‘lightweight’ user who does not need super cooling to keep your components in solid form.
- Limited number of drives
- Cooling options limited