Introducing the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra

We've long maintained that Rosewill's Thor v2 is one of the best deals floating around for enthusiasts. In that enclosure, Rosewill has a product that's fairly feature rich, quiet, and offers stellar performance. Yet the Thor v2 isn't the flagship of their enclosure line, but today we have that flagship in house. Given its predecessor's stellar performance, expectations are pretty high for the Blackhawk Ultra.

This case is huge, enthusiast class through and through, but it's far less ostentatious than the Thor v2. Our rep at Rosewill has repeatedly cited the Blackhawk Ultra as a bestseller and consistently highly rated enclosure, and it's not hard to see why users might buy it without a second thought: in every sense of the word, this case has a lot of fans. Just about anywhere Rosewill could put a fan, they did, and you'll see when I start breaking it down exactly what I mean.

Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, HPTX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25" (5.25" to 3.5" adapters included)
Internal 10x 3.5"/2.5"
Cooling Front 2x 140mm red LED intake fan, 2x 140mm intake fan (behind drive cage)
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan (supports 120mm)
Top 2x 230mm red LED exhaust fan (supports 2x 180mm, 3x 120mm/140mm)
Side 1x 230mm red LED intake fan (supports 9x 120mm)
1x 120mm/140mm fan mount behind motherboard tray
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 10
I/O Port 4x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 170mm
PSU 220mm
GPU 404mm
Dimensions 9.45" x 25" x 25.99"
240mm x 635mm x 660mm
Weight 36.6 lbs. / 16.6 kg
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
Hotswap SATA bay
Secondary power supply bay
Internal fan hubs
Price $179

Rosewill cites the Blackhawk Ultra as supporting the Corsair H100, which is almost like saying something might explode in a Michael Bay film. The reality is that the Blackhawk Ultra has very healthy radiator support, and a lot of that is due to the substantially increased height as a result of the secondary power supply bay at the top of the case. This bay is blocked off initially, and you'll have to remove one of the 230mm fans from the top to use it.

In keeping with the Thor v2's design, though, it's interesting to see just how much mileage Rosewill is willing to get out of these enormous 230mm fans. Suffice to say that cooling shouldn't be a huge issue, but at eight fans installed stock, it's easy to suspect the Blackhawk Ultra will have trouble with noise. That trouble may be compounded by the one feature the Thor v2 has that the Blackhawk Ultra lacks: a fan controller. Rosewill opted instead for a pair of fan hubs inside the enclosure that support five fans apiece, and the whole thing comes wired and ready to go for the most part.

In and Around the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra
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  • GUYFIERI - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Whats wrong with the title? Reply
  • epoon2 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    it's all in the last page:

    given the price, there are other products which optimized for both noise & cooling
    Reply
  • lever_age - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I wonder what that top middle fan mount does other than (1) ensure that a conspicuous meshed area has a fan behind it, (2) light up, and (3) steal air from the CPU cooler. Maybe it helps the graphics cards in some setups? Possibly? Or it's just the aesthetics and we-crammed-three-230mm-fans-in-a-case appeal. Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Not sure which one of the two you think is the "middle" one, but either way it is an exhaust fan. To take air away from the CPU cooler after it has been pushed through there and heated up is exactly what it is there for. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I suspect it's the forward fan on the top (since there's a fair amount of case forward of it). As it is it's probably aimed toward maxing out total airflow.

    Having that much space to install fans OTOH does fit one major feature checkbox; it makes this one of the very few cases able to fit a 3x140mm radiator without being modded. The only others I know of are from MountainMods and CaseLabs; both of whose cases are significantly more expensive.
    Reply
  • BMAN61 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    There are 2 other chassis with native support for a triple 140mm radiator; namely the NZXT Switch 810, and their other offering the Phantom 820.

    So no need to spend megabucks for a chassis from CaseLabs or Mountain Mods.
    Reply
  • lever_age - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Sorry, I meant the 230mm top fan (the one halfway between the front and back of the case, not the one toward the rear that's above the motherboard).

    With a typical ATX layout with say two 120mm / 140mm fan positions on top, it sometimes doesn't help (sometimes even hurts) to have the second one, the one towards the middle of the case. If used as exhaust, it takes air away from the intake of a side-blowing tower CPU cooler as we have here. If used as intake right next to the other top fan (and exhaust), that creates turbulence and doesn't work too well unless you actually add ducting to the CPU cooler intake.

    Here, the position of the second top fan looks ridiculous because the two are so large. That said, because of the size of the case, distance to the CPU intake area is not that small. Having the mesh, cutout, and space for a 3x140mm radiator is nice, but that doesn't mean that putting a second fan there actually helps anything (other than arguably aesthetics and checkbox on the feature list, which would be my guess).

    Seems like it could be a situation where marketing trumps engineering, which is what I was getting at. We have airflow for the sake of airflow, rather than directing air to useful places.
    Reply
  • RosewillEye - Thursday, May 30, 2013 - link

    One can never have too many fans. Reply
  • HobgoblinX - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    As usual, I really enjoy reading your reviews. Great detail. Great humor. I just have one question. Could you please re-test the Thor V2? You changed your test bed very shortly after reviewing the Thor V2, and it's a little frustrating to have a case referenced in numerous reviews that I cannot compare to the case under review because the Thor V2 has no compatible numbers. Reply
  • Ilias78 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    And as always, Dustin complains about cable management. Yet he does the worst cable management in the business - regardless the case or the review. Reply

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