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Old July 28, 2007, 08:45 AM
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BALISTX BALISTX is offline
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Default Raidmax Xforce Case Review

Raidmax Xforce Case Review
by BALISTX








Case: Raidmax Xforce
Purchased:
PC Cyber - Ottawa
Price:
$104.00


Table of Contents


  • Introduction
  • Specifications
  • Packaging
  • Appearance (Exterior & Interior)
  • Conclusion
Introduction


I was in the process of looking for a case to house my next build, so I decided to visit a local computer shop here in Ottawa called PC Cyber. I had originally decided to go with the NZXT Lexa Blackline but upon the advice of some folks here and the sales person and my own opinion of the case after seeing it hands on, decided against. The biggest turn off was how cheap the plastic door felt. I then spotted a demo model of the Raidmax Xforce on the self above the Lexa Black line and the first think I thought was this case looks awesome, the red Xfoce logo was red (completely going with my red theme) and when I felt the door it was a solid aluminum door. Right there I was pretty much sold. I checked the rest of the case and it was a solid built case. The price being $1 less than the Lexa Blackline I couldn't go wrong. So I bought it. Now on to the review.



Specifications

Model
Brand RAIDMAX
Series xForce
Model ATX-728WB / ATX-728WS
Spec
Type ATX Mid Tower
Color Black / Silver
Case Material SECC STEEL
With Power Supply YES
Power Supply N/A
Motherboard Compatibility ATX
With Side Panel Window Yes
Expansion
External 5.25" Drive Bays 9
External 3.5" Drive Bays 0
Internal 3.5" Drive Bays 3 Aluminum H.D. Rack
Expansion Slots 7
Front Ports
Front Ports 2 x USB2.0, 2 x Audio
Cooling System
80mm Fans 1 x 80mm blue LED on the side
120mm Fans 1 x 120mm front in take fan,
Side Air duct No
Physical Spec
Dimensions 18" x 8" x 17" (DxWxH)
Features

Aluminum front panel Tool-Less design,Perforated Front Bay Covers for Maximum Air Flow, Aluminum H.D. Rack with 120mm Blue LED Cooling Fan, See through Side Window, 80mm Blue LED Side Fan for CPU,Front access 2.0V USB and Audio Ports, Retractable Foot Stand.






Packaging


My first impression of the packages was that it was like most companies, pretty standard package showing the case on the front and smaller photos pointing key features about the case. The side has your standard specs about the case.

When I first lifted the box it was pretty light, to my surprise for a steel case.


Here we have the front of the box showing the case and key features.


Here we have the side of the box showing the specifications of the case.


Here we have the top of the box with the Xforce logo on it.

When I opened the box I could see that the case was wrapped in a plastic bag and had to foam end caps to protect the case. This is pretty standard packaging on most case.



The case comes with a box and an simiple instructions manual. I wish the manual was more thorough. Now lets see what's in the box.



It's a plastic zip lock bag full of the usual goodies, screws, copper stand offs, a small speaker and one zip tie. I guess the zip tie is used to keep the wires for the front control panel organized.






Once I had the case out of the box I noticed that they even put plastic on the inside and outside the widow on the side panel. I know a lot of companies put protection on the outside of the window but it's nice to see Raidmax go the extra bit and place plastic on the side of the window.






Appearance (Exterior & Interior)


I noticed that this case is a beautiful case, very simple and stylish. Usually you see in my opinion gauddy sci-fi based cases from Raidmax and the Xforce is a nice step away from their usual designs.

The case is composed of a steel chassis with an aluminion split door and aluminum mesh front panel along with an acrylic side window. The panels on the case (front top and sides) have textured finished so you won't get fingerprints all over it.



Here is a shot of the case showing how a nice simple and stylish case can go along way.



Here you see the front door that is made out of aluminum instead of cheap plastic. The door has a brushed aluminum look to it.



Here you see the side panel with the acrylic window and the 80mm blue LED fan with the black grille over it. The side panels are held on by four thumb screws, two per side.


With the door open you can see the front aluminum mesh panel that helps to allow airflow through the case and the 120mm fan in the front helping to suck that cool air in.



A close up of the front panel showing the USB, audio ports, Hard Drive and Power LEDs along with the small black (hardly visible) reset button and large silver power button. I am expecting the symbol on the power button to light up blue. I do have a complaint that the power button has a cheap plastic flimsy feel to it.

The only other plastic on the case is the top piece holding the door on which feels very sturdy and the four feet on the bottom of the case that fold out for better stability.

A nice feature with the front panel is all the drive bay covers are held on with two phillips screws and the front control panel is movable by undoing four phillips screws. This is usually something we see the more expensive cases.



Regarding the front door, as I said earlier it is constructed of aluminum with a brushed aluminum look and the laser cut Xforce logo. The interesting thing about the logo is that the red in behind is a removable strip of red vinyl paper used for signs, which means you can take this out and replace it with whatever colour of vinyl or paper you wish.

The doors is a split door with split more the right of the door and is held together by a light magnet.



The back of the case is pretty standard with your hole for your PSU on top and the remove I/O shield on the side with a spot for 120mm fan beside that. Below you see the expansion card knock outs with the tooless expansion card holders. More on that later.

Onto the interior.



The front panel opens on hinges to allow access to the front of the case and to the front 120mm fan that is mounted onto the hard drive cage. My only complaint with the front panel is it uses plastic clips to hold the front panel closed. With time I suspect these will be prone to breaking but then again once you have your optical drives in there is really no need to open the front panel.



Here you can see that all the wires for the front control panel that holds the USB, Auido and power and rest button are long enough to reach any spot in the case.



Pictured here is the 120mm front fan that is mounted onto this unique hard drive cage. With the mesh front there will be room for plenty of airflow with the front doors open. I don't know why there is a plastic twist tie on the hard drive cage.


Here we have your pretty stand side panel with the acryclic window that I discovered is prone to fingerprints. My plan is to change the 80mm blue LED fan with a red one.



Here is close up of the fan.



As you can see there is plenty of room inside to work, which I will be writing more about when I do the second the part of the review in which I will be installing all my hardware.



Here you see the tool less 5 /14" drive holders, these simply lock the optical drives into place by sliding back.



Here you see the spot for the 120mm exhaust fan which I will be installing a red LED fan. As well you can see the plastic expansion card holders. Now a lot of people opt for the old screw method which I am a fan of and in the second part of this review I will let you know how well these work. From what I can tell it is a pretty simple design.


Conclusion

All in all I love this case. The simple and sleek design won me over. The build and craftsmanship that has gone into this case shows and it proves that you don't need to spend $300 on a case to get good quality. For steel case this case is pretty light, even though I did not actually weight it I would say it's no more than 10 lbs - 15 lbs. Which is pretty light for an steel chassis. It also as good sturdy feel to which I like over the aluminum cases. I nice bonus is that all the side panels are held on with four thumbscrews, two per side, which is nice and again making this case tool less. As well the motherboard tray is removable.

I think Raidmax did a great job and although there were some minor things mainly being the clips that hold the front door on and the cheap feeling plastic power button. I would recommend this case.


Pros

+ Sturdy design
+ Removable motherboard tray
+ Simple and Sleek design
+ Movable front control panel
+ Secure drive bay covers
+ Mesh front panel
+ Brushed Aluminum door
+ Laser cute logo with changeable color insert
+ Tool less design
+ Price

Cons

- Plastic clips to hold front panel closed
- Small almost invisible reset button
- Cheap feeling plastic power button.


4 out of 5
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Last edited by BALISTX; July 28, 2007 at 09:01 AM.
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