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Rosewill Gram Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Rosewill Gram Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Rosewill's Gram mid-tower case goes under the spotlight today as we determine if it's worth buying or not. Let's see.

@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Thu, Jan 26 2017 11:50 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Nov 15 2019 1:16 PM CST
Rating: 79%Manufacturer: Rosewill

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

We already know that Rosewill is into rebranding already existing designs, putting the Rosewill name on them, and selling them more affordable than the original design. While we immediately thought of Xigmatek due to the Norse mythology behind the name of one of their latest cases to be released, it is not one of their designs. We are sure someone out there is aware of the first version of this chassis and what it is called, but there are simply too many cases out there we have never seen, to track it down to a particular unit. Even though we realize that this is not the first the world has seen this orientation and layout in a chassis, to us, it is almost as if Rosewill has come up with this design, as we have never laid eyes on this amalgam of parts making up a chassis.

We had to do a bit of fact-checking, as Norse mythology is not something we spent much time on, outside of the Thor movie series. For those well aware of the full history of the Norse, the many characters, and the many tools which they used, it is easy to assess that the name of this mid-tower has nothing to do with its weight. If not for the "Broken Sword" sub-name to this chassis, we would never have Googled it up to see that this case was named after a sword once used by Sigmund, given to him at the wedding feast of Signy, by Odin, once it was pulled from the trunk of a tree. Once we ascertained this information, our gut said Xigmatek as the OEM, as we all know Norse mythology has lead to a full lineup of products whose names originated here.

If you still are clueless as to the angle Rosewill is taking with this tale, let us introduce you to the Gram mid-tower chassis. In all honesty, we are not sure yet what to make of this chassis as it is a mix of older elements that give this product a dated feel to it, yet it offers many things featured in some of the best and brightest designs we have seen in cases. Hopefully, by the time we make it to a conclusion, we will make up our mind if the affordability found with the Rosewill Gram offsets a few of the irregularities enough to make us want to use it in the future, or better yet recommend it to our readers. Until we reach that verdict, how about we show you what the Gram Mid-tower is all about and see if this Rosewill offering is just somewhat cool to look at, or if it is worthy of our full support and recommendation.

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We took this chart from the Rosewill Gram product page, and find that the information is listed willy-nilly, and not grouped as well as we would like to see. Of course, the list starts with the Gram chassis name and also shows the 11-147-257 SKU for it. It is then that we see its 14.6-pound weight, jump past the Rosewill Gaming series, and find the 17.91" length, the 8.27" width, and the 18.31" height. Moving down the chart a bit, we then see that is it made of steel and plastic and is categorized as an ATX mid-tower chassis. For some reason, Rosewill also lists the measurements again at the bottom too.

Cooling inside of this chassis is handled by two fans out of the box. If you want to use 120mm fans, the front has room for a pair, one spot with a fan pre-installed. The top can also use a pair of 120mm fans, and the back can house one, which is filled with a clear fan with blue LEDs. If you wanted to try using 140mm fans, you could use them in the front, and at the top, in pairs. As for water cooling, you can use the front fan locations and the one in the back for support, but the top does not sit far enough from the motherboard for compatibility.

While there is still plenty more going on with this design, that is all Rosewill has supplied us, the customers, to gauge this chassis with. There is a bright side to this still, though, and that is that the Gram from Rosewill will not break the bank. We fully expected the Gram to be listed at Newegg, as Rosewill was created by them, and it is there where we find the Gram listed at $79.99. What strikes us as a bit odd is that you can also shop at Amazon and find the Gram, but the pricing, not on sale, is set to $62.67, still well under the MSRP. While this is an affordable solution, seeing how high the NZXT S340 Elite raised the bar for mid-tower designs, Rosewill has stiff competition to the worth of this Gram chassis.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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The front of the box in which the chassis is shipped, we find the Rosewill name and logo at the top and a bit of the chassis in a rendering on the left side. The right side is used for a stylized Gram name with the center of the M looking like a sword, and a large box at the bottom and a notation of it being made in China.

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The side panel offers some iconography along the top, just above the handle. The lower section of it shows some shipping information, is where FedEx stickered the box and is also another place for Rosewill to put the Gram name.

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To help save on the cost associated with the packaging, the back of the box has nothing new to offer. It is an exact match to what we saw on the other side of this box.

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The same is said for the second smaller panel. The only thing that changed in this image is that you can now see the packaging information on this lower side, as there is not a shipping label blocking its view.

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There is a clear side window in this design, and both sides of it have plastic clinging to it in this image. The chassis is also wrapped in a liner to protect the paint and plastic from abrasions, with thin foam used at the top and bottom in hopes to protect it if dropped. Even though the box was crooked, and some of the foam is broken, our Gram chassis seems to be square and blemish free.

Rosewill Gram Mid-Tower Chassis

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Many angles and unusual shapes make up the bezel of the Gram. This is made entirely of plastic, it is textured in most of the areas, and has the Rosewill name at the bottom if it, with a single optical bay at the top.

Rosewill Gram Mid-Tower Chassis Review 08 | TweakTown.com

The front I/O panel is spread across the front of the chassis. At the top are HDD activity LEDs, with a backlit power button below it, and a tiny reset button found below that. Off to the right, we are offered a pair of USB 3.0 ports above and below the HD Audio 3.5mm jacks.

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The top of the Gram is flat, and near the back is a large expanse of honeycomb mesh. Two 120mm fans can be installed, and if you remove the pins holding the dust filter on the inside of this, you can use 140mm fan instead.

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From the left side of the Gram, we see two things. First is the large window adorning the steel panel, which allows a view of the inside. The second thing we see is that the bezel is angled so that the top protrudes further than the bottom of it does.

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The back of the Gram offers the exhaust fan and rear I/O at the upper part of the case. Moving down the chassis, we see seven expansion slots, one slot with a cover that can reinstall, while the other six are break-out covers. These are accessed externally and have a cover in place to seal the gap. This leaves the bottom with a large hole to mount the PSU.

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The right side of the Gram is plain, flat, and made up of textured paint and the plastic we can see on the bezel. Both panels have tabs at the back to get a grip on them and are held onto the case via thumbscrews.

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The bottom of the chassis uses small, round, hard rubber feet, and while there is a dust filter, it is complicated to get in and out to clean it. There are holes near the front, but they are too far apart to mount a single HDD or SSD, and the smaller holes around it seem to serve no purpose either.

Inside the Gram

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Something we loathe when it comes to chassis design is when the front bezel cannot be removed entirely due to wires being attached. We also do not find any dust management behind the bezel mesh strips or covering the fan locations on the front of the case.

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Glancing into the Gram for the first time initially looks good with all of the wires tended to so that they do not hit the side window, and the bottom being broken up with the long PSU cover. The bulk of the interior is open to anything you wish to install and offering many things appreciated in case design.

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At the top of the Gram, near the front of the chassis, we find this single 5.25" bay. It can be used tool-free with the clip on this side, and if you have no need for this bay, it can be removed from the other side, via screws.

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Below the single ODD bay, there is room for a pair of fans in the front and is where Rosewill plants the first of two 120mm fans. We can also see ventilation in the PSU cover just below the fan, and the back wall has wire tie points and hints at drive trays being attached to it on the other side.

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The motherboard tray comes without any standoffs installed in it, and we also find that the holes are not marked for beginners. Three holes flank the top, a large CPU cooler access hole is located in the middle, while to the right is a bent bit of steel to allow wires through it.

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The PSU cover offers a louvered side with a couple of angular lines to dress up its appearance. The top of it has spots for 2.5" drive trays and a hole near the back for the front I/O wires. Around the louvers at the front, there are also four screws found which allows the HDD cage to be removed.

Inside the Gram Continued

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A look inside the back end of the Gram shows us the 3-pin powered clear 120mm fan. As the blue dot on the left side of the fan frame indicates, this will glow blue when powered. Not much to say about the slots, as the small screw used to hold in cards are found outside of the case.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we find a minimum of 15mm of room for wiring, and some areas have much more room to play. There is a pair of 2.5" drive trays mounted on the left, and the bottom of the chassis is all opened up with a lot of room for wiring to be hidden.

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If the need is there to use a couple of 3.5" drives, simply install them into the plastic trays, and then slide them back into this cage. If you do not have a need to use these, removing four screws allows this cage to be freed from the Gram.

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The remainder of the bottom section of the Gram is then used to allow a PSU to slide in from this side, and then rest upon the four rubber pads stuck to the floor. If you plan to use the HDD cage, we suggest plugging in modular cable before sliding the PSU into the chassis.

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The cables are not short in length, but not very long either; just right. The HD Audio and the native USB 3.0 cables have a bit extra when it comes to their length and can be easily routed to reach the ports on the motherboard. As to the front panel button and LED wires, they are long enough to reach but is a touch shorter than the others.

Hardware & Documentation

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When we first opened the Gram and looked on the left side of it, we saw the wires tied up initially, but did not see the hardware. Come to find out the standoffs, PSU screws, 6-32 motherboard screws, and the M3 SSD screws were in a plastic bag tied to that wiring as well.

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Also, in that same bag, we found some other hardware too. There is a motherboard POST speaker, something we do not see a lot, a socket to drive the standoffs into the motherboard tray, and a set of five zip-ties.

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The manual is presented with a black cover where it was difficult to see the chassis image, but the company and product name stand out well against it. Inside, you get a parts list, the basics of installation and they are done with quality images and text to ensure anyone can get through the process.

Case Build & Finished Product

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For us, no matter if it is fresh out of the box, or when our build was completed, we had no need to remove the panel in the bezel and detract from the geometric design it offers.

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The standoffs went into the case fine, but the threads inside them were not done properly, making it tough to screw down the motherboard. The AIO went in easily enough, and we did not have issues installing the video card, but it is sagging quite a bit in the Gram.

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The dust shield was no problem to lock it into place, and when it came to the video card, the holes lined up well, just remember to move the cover plate, and that you have to break out the lower expansion slots. When it came to the PSU, it is simple to slide in from the right side of the Gram, and once on the rubber supports, it lined up perfectly with the chassis to be screwed into place.

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Wire management was quick and simple to do. The 24-pin and GPU wires fit in the groove to the right of the motherboard but are tough to pass through the bent metal cover. A bit extra length to the front I/O wires allows them to stay away from the 2.5" drive trays and still run where they need to be. The 8-pin lead reached the motherboard, and as you can see, fills the space left behind the motherboard.

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None of the wiring impeded us in placing the right side of the chassis back onto the frame, but the door does warp corner to corner and need extra love to get the tabs into the frames. The left side of the case warps much less, but there is one corner that will need attention to make certain the tabs are locked. Once they are on the chassis, the holes line up well to reinstall the thumbscrews.

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Once we added some power to the Gram, it is easy to tell it is alive. The front of the Gram sports a backlit power icon, where the stem at the top of the circle is the power switch too. We also can see the bright glow flooding the interior space, via the 120mm fan installed as the exhaust.

Noises are minimal, as we only saw 31 dB on our sound meter. As to the four bars across the front, those will flash red when the HDD is active, but we missed that flicker or three when taking this image.

Final Thoughts

There are a few things we liked about this design. The Gram offers a great view through the left side panel, allowing us to see every bit of the motherboard, cooler, video card, and possibly even an SSD. That brings us to the second thing, the 2.5" drive trays. While they come installed behind the tray, they can be moved to the top of the PSU cover if that option strikes you better. That then leads us to the PSU cover, and while a bit too dressed up for the party for us, we do like that it is there at all.

The HDD cage is hidden, which is a plus, and the cage is removable if not needed, making more room for wiring or anything else you deem worthy of hiding there instead. There are many points to tie wiring too, and the routing holes are where they need to be. However, the bent steel cover along the right side of the motherboard tray could use a bit of stretching to function better.

While we do not mind the aesthetics too much, we do find it to be made for the younger crowd. There is a certain feel of old-school throughout this case, even though there are updated parts, you cannot shake that feeling. The steel is thin, and when the case is gutted, it does become more flexible. We do not like to fight door panels, and a warped door is never fun to try to get back onto the chassis. There may come a time you just need quick access, which can turn into a 20-minute battle of fighting the panel, as you cannot lay it down and use your forearms all the time.

We do not like that there is not a large intake dust filter, and while there is one under the PSU, it is a pain to remove and replace under normal conditions. For as much as the Gram had to go for it, we tend to find ourselves with a counterpoint as to why you may want to pass on a case like this.

If you can get this chassis on sale for half off the MSRP, that would change the game altogether. The reality is, though, that we have just liked much of it, but ranted just as long about things we did not like. Considering this chassis ships with a $79.99 MSRP, we cannot keep from comparing it to the NZXT S340 Elite we just saw. Side to side, both mid-tower designs, if you are going to spend $79.99 in the first place, step up and buy the NZXT. The Gram plays itself off as a higher-end gaming chassis, but it is built like a builder's chassis, and even though there were some nice features, we feel Rosewill is asking too much for what this Gram presents.

If these cases were $39.99, even $49.99, it would have fared much better, but being that close to $100, we have to be picky about what is on the market, and where your dollar is best spent. Sadly, we do not feel that the Gram is worth the effort.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Performance89%
Quality including Design and Build75%
General Features85%
Bundle and Packaging80%
Value for Money65%
Overall79%

The Bottom Line: The Gram from Rosewill is an interesting option in mid-tower cases. However, we do feel the price is set too high, and while the feature set is decent, the build quality is not that great.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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