Riotoro CR480 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Riotoro's CR480 Mid-Tower Chassis is not feature rich, nor is it fancy, but for the great price, it does rather well.

Manufacturer: RIOTORO
12 minutes & 38 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 88%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

The CR480 is not feature rich, nor is it fancy, but at this price, it does not need to be. Riotoro offers a well built chassis for the beginner, the system builder, or anyone who needs a slick looking case on the cheap.

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Only seeing one product from a company does not set our opinion in stone, but with what we saw from the Riotoro CR240, we can at this point say, that we are impressed so far. With a total of four cases to offer, we are moving one step up in size this time, venturing into the mid-tower chassis segment. If what we saw in the Mini-ITX chassis is any indication of what we should expect to see in this mid-tower case, simply put, we are eager to get started.

If you missed our CR240 review, we will again, address what it is that Riotoro stands for. They have a "No Bull" way of existing, where they choose not to tell tall tales about their products, rather Riotoro let what they make speak for themselves. Riotoro is also a company that prides themselves on making sure to take in all of the chatter and ideas of what makes a great chassis, and does their best to incorporate these types of things into their designs, rather than delivering a generic product for the masses to just have to accept. The other thing that many of their potential customers will appreciate is that with all of their designs, pricing is a major key in the attempt to make Riotoro a household name, and they are not attacking your wallet for vast amounts of money.

What we have for you today is the Riotoro CR480 mid-tower chassis. In many ways, it looks much like the CR240 we just had a look at recently, but it is all grown up and accepting of a few things which its smaller compatriot is not able to address. That being said, aesthetically the CR480 is just as appealing with all of the trademark properties we found present in the other chassis. If the CR240 piqued your interest but may have been a bit smaller than you are willing to use, then it is possible that this CR480 is right up your alley.

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The specifications we found for the CR480 are more in-depth this time around, showing us nearly everything there is to know about this mid-tower design. First of all, the CR480 ships with a two-year warranty, and empty, it weighs in at just 12.1 pounds. The case is built to the ATX form factor and is 464.82mm deep; it is 209.80mm wide, stands 447.04mm tall, and will house either an ATX, Micro-ATX, or Mini-ITX motherboard. The maximum length for GPUs is 320mm; there is 164.8mm of room for tower CPU coolers and over 220mm of room for the PSU. The last thing we see in the top section of this chart is that the rear of the case has seven expansion slots which you can fill.

Where cooling is concerned, there is room for a pair of 120mm fans in the top of the case. The front of the CR480 can only hold a single fan, and one is shipped in that location. The bottom of the chassis can house a 120mm fan, as can the back of the chassis, and the back is where the second included fan is located. Water cooling options in the chassis are very limited, however. The front can house a single radiator, the top cannot house any, the floor can have a single 120mm radiator used, and so can the back. There is nowhere where a 240mm radiator can be supported.

The remainder of the chart shows us that there are two 5.25" bays at the front of the chassis, and there is also room for three 3.5" drives, and also a pair of 2.5" drives in another location. The front I/O panel contains two USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm HD Audio jacks, a power button, and a reset button. What is not discussed is that the chassis is made of steel, it is painted black and highly textured. The CR480 comes with red trim and pressed in T logos on the sides. We also know that there are two dust filters in this chassis, one at the front of the case, and one under the PSU. Unlike the CR240, the CR480 does not have a third filter clipped in at the top.

Pricing for this mid-tower is one thing that will certainly attract many potential customers. If you look at the store on the Riotoro site, it shows the CR480 priced at $54.99, which is not all that bad. Sadly, though, while we champion Amazon quite a bit for having good prices, acquiring the CR480 from them will set you back $69.99. If you are looking to get the best deal possible, then you want to look to Newegg for this chassis. There, we find that Newegg beats even the MSRP, asking just $45.15 for this mid-tower chassis. One thing is for sure, if you do not mind looking around for the best deal, the CR480, if nothing else, is affordable.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications


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The Riotoro CR480 is shipped inside of a plain cardboard box which uses screen printing to deliver information. We can see the company name at the top, and we see the chassis name on the right, but splitting the two in the corner is the company logo. The majority of the panel contains a look at the chassis inside, and it also describes the case as a mid-tower ATX chassis.

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The model and serial number can be found on the tiny white sticker in the top-left corner. Using black as the background on the lower section, we see a bull icon, the Riotoro name, and characters which we will not even attempt to translate, as not to embarrass ourselves.

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The back of the box starts out with the names across the top but moves into a section with four renderings in it. It is here is which we see the top view of the chassis, one of the inside, an indication of a couple of fans, and a look at the CR480 from the front. The lower section in black is used for a specifications chart.

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The last panel is nearly identical to its opposite side, just that this time the colors have been reversed. At the bottom, we again see the company name, but this is also where they display their web address.

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When it comes to the interior packaging of the CR480, Riotoro stuck with what works. The chassis is wrapped up tightly inside of a plastic bag, and to take on the drops, tumbles, and kicks to the box, Styrofoam is used at the top and the bottom. Both the outer and inner packaging did well, as this sample has not a single indication of any damages or blemishes in the finish.

Riotoro CR480 Mid-Tower Chassis

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The CR480, when viewed from the front, shows that the front I/O panel is fitted in at the top of the bezel. Just below that, we run into a pair of plastic bay covers which will expose the 5.25" bays behind them. The rest of the panel has round holes drilled in it for airflow, and in red letters across the bottom, we find the Riotoro name staring back at us.

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The front I/O panel starts off with the power button on the left side. It is then followed by the USB 3.0 port, a pair of HD Audio jacks, another USB 3.0 port, and ends with a much smaller reset button on the right.

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The top panel matches the face of the chassis with its various size round holes drilled into it. We can also see eight holes to install a pair of 120mm fans into it, but unlike the CR240, in the CR480, there is not a dust filter found here.

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The left side of the chassis offers a relatively big window which is tinted a bit but affords a view inside of the chassis. We can make out the T logo near the top of the panel, and there is a red racing stripe which goes along with the name on the bezel.

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The back of the chassis is ready to accept an I/O cover and has a 120mm fan mounted in the exhaust location next to it. There are seven expansion slots which are accessed by removing the plastic cover, which leaves room at the bottom for the PSU.

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The right side of the CR480 is dressed for the party too. The racing stripe at the front is on this side, as well as another T-logo near the top of the panel.

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Hard rubber feet are used to support this chassis, and at the front, we see it is drilled for passive ventilation. There is an optional fan location in the middle, which supports a 120mm fan, but the back has a dust filter in place blocking the view of the ventilation the PSU will draw air through.

Inside the CR480

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The front bezel has metal tabs which make removal of the bezel somewhat tough to do. However, with it out of the way, we can see the I/O panel is mounted to the chassis, and we can also see a single fan location with a dust filter in place.

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Looking inside of this chassis for the first time, we find a standard layout for many mid-tower cases. The wires have been tied to the motherboard tray, and the hardware is tucked away in the HDD bays, ensuring no damage to the window in this side panel.

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At the top, we find the pair of 5.25" drive bays. There are quick release tabs used along the back of this side, but for secure mounting, we suggest screws at the front as well as on the other side.

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Just under the ODD bays, in the widest section of the interior, we find the 120mm intake fan. Riotoro is still using the FBK120 fans in this CR480, and are known to be a bit noisy.

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On the floor, still at the front of the chassis, we find a cage which is permanently mounted into the CR480. This drive cage uses slides but is capable of housing three 3.5" drives.

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The motherboard tray delivers three holes without grommets for the wires, it has a long CPU cooler opening, and six locations to tie wires down. The motherboard tray standoffs are not marked, but there is a helper standoff in the middle, and the other eight standoffs are in place to accept an ATX motherboard.

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The floor of the chassis has small rubber pads to support the PSU, and just in front of those is the optional 120mm fan location. There is a large hole in the motherboard tray to pass wires through, but again we do not find a grommet in it.

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The back of the CR480 is where the second preinstalled fan is located, and both fans use a 3-pin connection for power. The expansion slot covers are locked in with thumbscrews, but access is external, even though there is a section of the frame removed there where normal access would be.

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Behind the motherboard tray, space is limited to 20mm of room. The lower section of the motherboard tray is deeper at 30mm of room, but off to the left is where you could easily stash a bunch of wires. The metal frames on the left, in the middle, is where you can mount a pair of 2.5" drives.

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We like that all of the wires are black, and have enough length that once connected there is some left over to wire correctly. There is the native USB 3.0 connection closest to us, followed by the HD Audio. At the top, we find four wires from the LEDs and switches, covering the power and reset buttons, the HDD LED, and the power LED found under the front bezel.

Hardware & Documentation

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There is a tad more hardware shipped with the CR480. There is a pair of extra standoffs, M3 screws for 2.5" drive mounting, three thumbscrews to lock in HDDs, and eight rubber washers for fan installations. The bottom row offers up the 6/32 motherboard screws, four long fan screws, and eight normal fan screws.

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Also found inside of the hardware box is this set of six slides to use with installing the HDDs. Riotoro also makes sure that you have one zip tie per tab on the motherboard tray. While it may not be a lot, there are plenty here to manage the wires correctly.

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We hope Riotoro sort the site out soon, as with our best guess, the installation guide is to be found with the QR code. However, just like the CR280, we are delivered to the company site, but there are no instructions to be had in the download section.

The second part of the paperwork is a multi-lingual paper explaining what Riotoro offers in their warranty period, and just what will be accepted as their problem.

Case Build & Finished Product

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Once again, we return to the front of the chassis, this time with everything installed inside of the chassis. While we would tend to use the external bays for a reservoir or a card reader, we have long since stopped using optical drives, and we would rather have had room for another 120mm fan with radiator support here.

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The motherboard went into place fine, and the card is nearly level. We could fit the AIO in at the back of the chassis, and still, have plenty of room before running into the HDD cage. Also notice that we did use the optional 2.5" drive location to mount our SSD, too bad we won't see it from the window.

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The dust shield snapped ring into the back of the CR480, and with external access, we found the video card easy to install as well. Using the Riotoro PSU again, we did not expect issues when it came to mounting it, and found none either.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we found the tie points to work well for the 8-pin lead on the right, and the left side holds everything else. Note the amount of extra front I/O wiring we have at the top-left corner, and we were able to keep things clean and tidy back here, without interference with the door.

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Taking a step back to take it all in, there is no way to get away from the fact that this looks just like the CR240, but one that has been put on the rack and stretched out a bit. Although, there are still the rounded corners, the tight body lines, the red accents, and the same tinted window that we liked then, and still do here.

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Adding power to the system, we found two things at this point that we need to bring up. The chassis, with both fans running at full speed, comes in at 38 dB as soon as the motherboard boots. We also found a glow coming from under the CR480 at the front. There is also the occasional flicker of the amber HDD activity light, but the glow that matches the red accents is on all the time.

Final Thoughts

Jumping out of the saddle with both guns blazing, there are some things we appreciated with the CR480, but there are nearly as many things that we did not find appealing either. On the good side of the fence, the aesthetics are clean and easy on the eyes. The case is structurally solid, even while using a thinner steel to make the components. We like the red accents, and we even dig the glow of LED light under it. What we like is the price in which this CR480 sells for, which in some ways will make many look past some of the foibles in this design, but we wouldn't be doing our job if we ignored them.

The downsides are somewhat personal dislikes and a few things we just cannot figure out why it has to be so. We did not care for the fact that the CR480 does not have removable HDD bays for two reasons. Initially, we would rather have had a fan option in that location, but there is no room. Secondly, following along the same idea is that we could then have 240mm radiator support. This is even because we have no use for 5.25" bays, and if they were not there, 360mm and 280mm cooling options could have been on the table. We feel we could have used more wiring space behind the motherboard tray, we feel the window could have been bigger to show off more of your components, and we feel this design is not unique since it is essentially just a larger CR240.

While most of the complaints are when it comes to comparing this to every other mid-tower chassis on the market, so keep in mind the fact that we are speaking of cases that cost twice as much, if not more. That said, the fact that the CR480 can be had for as little as $45.15, we can see this as a chassis system builders would gravitate to. Included in that cost is also a pair of fans, not the quietest fans out there, but most in this price range do not ship with any. All things considered, we feel that we can overlook some of the things we do not necessarily agree with in this design, as it all works and leaves room for typical components.

It is not a chassis that has room to expand with all of your wants and desires, but at this price, it doesn't have to be. Even though many might pass on this chassis for extravagant builds, we can easily see this all over an office, a local internet café, or stocked at your local PC shops.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance 85%
Quality 90%
Features 80%
Value 98%
Overall 88%

The Bottom Line: The CR480 is not feature rich, nor is it fancy, but at this price, it does not need to be. Riotoro offers a well built chassis for the beginner, the system builder, or anyone who needs a slick looking case on the cheap.

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. 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 and coolers.

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