In the CR280, we find that Riotoro is a company worth keeping our eye on. They may use thinner metal for the construction, but it is done for weight reduction because even stripped down this chassis is seriously solid. We like the black and red theme, as it goes along with many components on the market today, and the glow of red LED under the front does not hurt the aesthetics one bit. While this is a cube style case, gently rounding the edges supplies this design with an elegant feel to it, and even though we know you can pack a ton of gear inside of it. The CR280 is a bit of a "sleeper" as it sits there calmly as it cools your components and protects them from dust while you game away with it sitting next to you.
We appreciated the modularity ion this design, which allowed us to remove the HDD cage for two benefits. The first one is that you can install a longer PSU if desired, and the second is that it makes a bunch of room for water cooling components. Having the pair of 2.5" drive locations on the motherboard tray, and a way to rig a 3.5" drive behind the tray, the HDD cage will likely not be missed. Speaking of the HDD bracket behind the motherboard tray, this was the only miss in the design from what we can tell. The pins on the floor of the chassis or those of the bracket did not line up with our HDD of choice as the pins are too close together. Outside of that, we feel that the layout and features are better than we expected for the price.
Considering this chassis can be had for less than $50, we find it to be feature rich and well thought out. Even with the company name brightly displayed across the front of the case, having the thin red line around it, and even when it comes down to the pair of T logos on the sides, we feel that many customers can appreciate what Riotoro is doing here. Based on the fact that we found this CR280 Mini-ITX chassis available for just $47.48 at Newegg, we can find no real reason to attempt to dissuade you from buying this chassis. Riotoro may be new to the scene, but they have proved themselves to be value oriented with a firm ear on the pulse of the market, and is indeed able to deliver a case in which many will find them to be a perfect fit to their next Mini-ITX build.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: With such a low cost involved, the CR280 from Riotoro shines! The smooth black and red appeal, the modularity and room for additional hardware, and its structural stability all come together for a great start into our relationship with this new company.
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