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  • Sttm - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Especially when it's molded like that on the front in. It'd look better and be just as cheap I'd wager with a cleaner design and with a matte finish. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Hah, that is exactly the first thing I thought when I saw it.

    Then I was dismayed by the sheer number of holes all over it. It would be terrible for keeping quiet.

    Spend a bit more and get yourself a Fractal Design Define R3. Who even wants that many 5.25" bays anyway?

    The only thing I do like about the design on this is the ventilated back panel that extends beyond the 120mm fan and down the side where the graphics card(s) would be.

    That would be nice to let the graphics card breathe a bit more, but it's not on the side, so it's unlikely it would create a path for sound directly to your ear. Fractal Design, take note of that minor point. (I also prefer ports and buttons on the front, and honestly I'd rather have the power button BEHIND the door. Ports collect dust when they're facing up!).
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    That said, it's almost certainly made the same OEM that Fractal Design uses. It shares a very high number of case elements, although it's done them in a slightly more half-assed way than the Define case does. Filtered fans, and so on.

    It also looks like it has the same rubber grommets, which are terrible. They're too soft and they fall out of the hole if you so much as breathe on them. The ones that came on the back of my Antec P182 are perfect in comparison, you can jam your finger in, pull it out, and the grommet does not fall out.

    Try that on these or on the Fractal Design cases (like I said, looks like the same OEM), and those things will pop out as soon as you push.
    Reply
  • rrohbeck - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Fractal Design has fixed that. I built with a Define XL (new model) recently and the grommets stuck where they should. Reply
  • ckryan - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    ... for the increase in quality their products have been getting recently. Better power supplies, better cases, better Rosewill-branded nose/ear hair trimmers too. But damn, the Ranger is hideous... not in a pseudo-good way, or a quirky way. It's first degree murder with the ugly stick.

    But from a functional point of view, I guess it works. It's just not as sexy as the Lian Li PC A05NB while doing it.
    Reply
  • marvdmartian - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    They still have a long way to go, IMHO.

    And asking $70 for this case is a joke. Don't be surprised if Newegg has it on sale for $40 (or less) soon, just to clear out their inventory. This is a hideous case, and I can't see any serious system builder wanting to use it.

    Oh, and Dustin? There's plenty of sub-$100 cases that look good and perform well. The snobbery that exists for high prices (versus low priced) cases is just ridiculous.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    You guys keep accusing me of snobbery when I've spent the last year testing these cases and have a big fat spreadsheet full of results.

    I do have a sub-$50 case review coming up that I was quite fond of, but the reality is that you ARE going to have to spend if you want heavy duty cooling performance with good acoustics.
    Reply
  • marvdmartian - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Sorry, Dustin. Didn't mean to point a finger solely at you, in the case snobbery comment.

    The snobbery seems, instead, to exist in a general way among many computer building enthusiasts. Some places I've seen, it's a prevailing attitude for years now (the whole, "Oh, it's not a Lian Li case"? comment gets old, ya know?).

    I will agree to disagree with you, concerning your cost versus heavy duty cooling and good accoustics point, though. To me, unless it's an HTPC case, I don't worry as much about accoustics (pushing 50 years old, with bad hearing, probably has something to do with that). My previous build was with an Antec 900 case, which offers excellent cooling, and is pretty darn quiet, but pushes the $100 price range. My current build was done in an Antec 100 case, which also offers pretty decent cooling, at half that price......and the only thing I hear from it is the hard drive winding up when it first starts up (sorry, no $$ for an SSD in my near future).

    But computer cases are like cars, and we're all going to have different tastes in what we like. Personally, I'd rather have an inexpensive box, filled with good quality components.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    Antec 300 for $30 is the hands down value winner. I do have to spend some time adding some time to the side, taping up holes and neutering the top fan. I also took a marker to the blue LED but it's still kinda too bright.

    On the bright side, it is just barely audible beside hdd seek, but that sound is acceptable to me.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Is an extremely bad thing when fitting the case.

    My P182 lacked enough holes and space to route cables efficiently round the back of the case.

    When I took my motherboard out (I was having random issues), I discovered that just the force of putting the case side on had, over time, slowly bent the motherboard tray, and thus the motherboard, which I'm now pretty certain caused my issues.

    I never pushed it on with a lot of force or anything, either. It's a cautionary tale, and a HUGE point against any case when you can't fit things without a real shove.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    IIIIIIIII find this hard to believe... motherboards have plenty of flex Reply
  • ShieTar - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Sure, but operating them while bent, with maybe some thermal cycling on top, does not sound like a good Idea.

    Of course, if the routing is this bad, why not just leave it be and live with the cables within the case, like it has been done with any case before 2008 or so. I'd rather have a somewhat uglified interior and a slightly disturbed airflow, rather than turn assembly into a comical "You sit on it, I close it" episode.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Oh, I got a new case, Fractal Design Define R3, now, and made sure to bear this fact in mind.

    My system is OK now, although I do have a new board.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Well, you can find it hard to believe, but when I was about to fit a new motherboard, I unscrewed my old one, took it out, put my brand new one in, and noticed there was a gap of about 4mm or something silly between the motherboard and the standoffs near the bottom of the case.

    I had to push the crap out of the tray to get it back to flat, so the motherboard would actually sit flat on all the standoffs.

    My old motherboard had clearly been bent by the motherboard tray. I'm not sure why that's unbelievable.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I believe what the poster found hard to believe was that the motherboard flex was the cause of your issues, not that the tray was in fact bent and, therefore, flexing your mobo. Although, usually the side panel of the case will bend outwards rather than pushing the motherboard try in, since it is generally going to be a lot more flexible than the tray.

    I would have to concur with that poster, unless there was really an extreme amount of flex going on with your mobo.

    However, I would concur that case manufacturers really need to provide enough space to actually route cables behind the tray and enable the side panel to go without an overt amount of force and/or bending the side panel out.
    Reply
  • IvanChess - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I own the Rosewill Gear X3 and it has lots of plastic and it uses a pass-thru cable instead of a motherboard header for the USB 3.0 (my motherboard doesn't have that so no big loss and you can buy a converter) but it was actually a nice build for under $50 at the time. Lot's of room inside and behind the motherboard tray plus it has a hole for the ATX CPU power cable at the top of the case. The top fans are mounted in plastic outside the case which looks terrible but keeps the inside roomy. In conclusion, the case looks cheap and is cheap but it is very functional especially if you replace the fans and add a fan controller. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I picked one of those up during the sale too to give my 2ndary box a case that wasn't an exercise in frustration/impossible to get a full size GPU in. The Gear x3's plastic has just a hint of gloss but is much more heavily skewed toward matte. Cable space was a bit tight; but as long as you use right angle sata connectors and make sure none of the fat cables are overlapping the panel goes on reasonably easily. Reply
  • IvanChess - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    The plastic is mostly matte but it is a different black from the rest of the case so it looks weird. Also, I should have said the case has plenty of room for cables given the price tag although using right angle SATA connectors I did fit three drives into the case without much problem and zip-ties (with handy tie down points built-in to the case) can really compress the cables so they fit into that channel behind the motherboard. Reply
  • mfenn - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    "The routing holes around the motherboard tray are seeming slightly off center, especially around the side-mounted SATA ports, but your mileage may vary; side-mounted SATA ports on a full-sized ATX board are going to result in serious cable bending."

    Dustin, here's PROTIP for you: Other motherboards exist in this world besides the P7P55D-E Pro. Many of them even have 90 degree SATA ports in different locations! Interesting concept, I know.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    "Your mileage may vary."

    Stunning, I know.
    Reply
  • Aphelion02 - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    God that red and black color theme hurts my eyes. Chea plastic isn't helping either. These case manufacturers really need to hire designers with some modicum of taste. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I haven't finished reading this piece, but I still feel like I have to comment on this:
    "A smarter plan might have been to kill one of the 5.25" bays to add one more 3.5" bay, which would feel at least a little more balanced."
    Why? A 3.5" internal bay is about the most useless thing once you have enough room to install the HDDs you want. A 5.25" bay on the other hand offers up a world of customization and usability, with room for fan controllers, displays, a whole bunch of 2.5" bays (1-to-6 converters are available), decoupled HDDs to dampen noise, reservoirs for water cooling, card readers....
    Reply
  • Holler - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    agreed 5.25 much more useful. Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - link

    3 5.25" = 1 120mm fan mount. Reply
  • AssBall - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I also agree? What the hell are you going to do with more 3.5"s? The only things I can think of you'd want to jam in there are maybe a card reader and a rheostat/fan/temp monitor. That's 2. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    5.25" can be used for 3.5" and other devices, sure, but four of them is overkill for an already cramped case. I'd rather they just dropped the fourth (and even third) 5.25" bay altogether. There's obviously personal opinion and intended use as factors to consider, but I have four mid-tower desktops right now and not a single one uses more than two 5.25" bays...and only one uses two bays. YMMV, naturally. Reply
  • AssBall - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Fair enough. Maybe my "keep my old shit" stuff is killing my in builds, but I generally end up with two optical drives and 3-4 hard drives that those extra slots are nice for. You are right though, the case is a little too cramped to shove all that in there and expect decent thermals and avoid cable cluster. Reply
  • Onus - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    I am using three 5.25" external bays; one DVD burner, one 5.25" storage drawer (for thumbdrives, O/S, and recovery CDs), and a memory card reader. If I wanted a fan controller, I'd need the fourth and last one available on my case (Enermax Hoplite). The memory card reader could also be installed in a 3.5" bay, but this case does not have one. The two listed for it in Newegg's description are actually a 2-drive 3.5" backplane with drive drawers; they aren't usable for other things. Reply
  • Onus - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I think this review was good, but I suspect the cable-routing issues would not have come up with a more "typical" build; 1155 or AM3 mobo (possibly a mATX), 1x optical, 2x 3.5" (or make one a 2.5"), HD6770 or other GPU with a single power connector, and a 350W-450W PSU like an Antec Earthwatts or Corsair Builder. With a lot less cables to route, the shortcomings described should essentially vanish; and such builds, once created, are indeed typically left alone.
    Whether or not I personally like the style, this case does nothing to knock Rosewill off the short list of cases I consider at just about any price point, and where they typically win, often on features like an extra included fan (or two).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    If we take the approach you're suggesting, there are several difficulties.

    1) We would need to get Dustin additional hardware for testing (and he'd need to store it when it's not in use). We can certainly do this, but it's inconvenient at best.

    2) More importantly, we would either need to test each case with several sets of hardware (one more set of hardware would double the testing time, two additional points of reference would triple it).

    3) Alternately, we would only test a case with hardware that "makes sense" -- according to us, which naturally others would disagree with our choices, whatever they might be. Then we would have a database of test results where we can only compare cases tested with the same configuration. So, Define R3 works fine with our current setup; do we test it with that or with a more "sensible" HD 6770 card and a smaller PSU? What about [insert a case]?

    This gets very messy very fast, and ultimately results in either substantially more work for Dustin (with no additional pay), or substantially less useful comparisons. This is why we ended up with the current test beds -- and we do have more than one, but it's either Mini-ITX or full ATX testing.
    Reply
  • Onus - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    As far as metrics go, I agree with you; consistent testbeds are required to make comparisons based on objective metrics valid. All the comments about build difficulty are fairly subjective though, and I believe could have been "adjusted" to take into account the sort of build for which this case would be appropriate. Just as every other part in a computer should be chosen based on the intended uses of the completed system, so should the case be selected based on the components it will house. Despite good thermals, I would not choose this case for a high-end build, but it looks very good for something more modest.
    Please think of my initial remarks more of a reading between the lines than a criticism of the article; it provided very useful information, but I thought it would benefit from a little more context.
    Reply
  • Blaze-Senpai - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I'd be tempted to just pop ope, the 5.25 inch bays and place a wire mesh in place of it and see how cool the thing really runs.

    I'm surprised no one has attempted a GPU with power connectors mounted near the bottom edge of the card though, most of the cards are either top or top edge mounted.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Looking at the gallery pics I think it uses the same bay covers as my Rosewill X3. They're a relatively coarse metal weave with a foam pad as backing for noise/dust abatement. Pull the foam out and you'll have a fairly free airflow path. Reply

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