Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
With as many products as Raidmax delivers every year, it is strange to say that we have only seen two cases before the one which we are about to show you. There was the Skyline, which we had a look at way back on 2009, and for the time, the chassis was advanced in its design on the exterior, yet the inside was bare steel, and with just one glance you feel nostalgic looking at it. Then, in early 2012 we had a look at the Viper. Again, not a bad chassis for its time, but if it were to be used today, many shortcomings and the trends of that day would have you wanting to step into the current age.
It may have been over five years since we last saw a chassis in our lab for testing, but Raidmax has upped the ante to pull at your heart strings, with a much more modern design and layout. To stay relevant, especially in the chassis game, you have to be ever changing, find the trends that customers desire, and get said product out before the market makes a swing again. Where it used to be that manufacturers could sit on an older design, today, that just is not going to cut it, and Raidmax has taken the necessary steps to be a company from your past that you may want to revisit with again.
Today we bring you the Alpha Mid-Tower Chassis from Raidmax, and unlike what we have seen before, this is a chassis which will make you take the time to get to know it. The Alpha has a lot of what many out there are looking for when it comes to picking out a new chassis. A large window to view the hardware, a PSU cover to hide what you don't want to look at, modular drive systems, water cooling support, wire management, even a fancy LED lighting system. The best thing going for this design is that with all of this going for it, it also comes at a very affordable price, which always helps when it comes to cases, as that means you can spend more on the components.
Following the chart found on the Raidmax Alpha product page, we will start tings off with the LED lighting. Behind the front bezel, just in front of the intake fans, there is a solid bar of LEDs running from the top to the bottom. This strip of LEDs is RGB, and can be displayed in twenty colors and has twenty-two modes of pulsating and blended lighting. The extra surprise here is that rather than having to cycle through everything with a button, Raidmax runs this RGB LED system from a remote control which can be stuck to the outside of the chassis via a large magnet on the back of the remote.
We already know Raidmax is calling this mid-tower chassis the Alpha, but it also comes in the black version we were sent, and it also comes white. The chassis is 450mm from front to back, it is 211mm wide, and stands 465mm tall, but there is no mention of the weight. There is a single 5.25" bay inside of the chassis, and the plastic bezel has a removable cover in it to use the bay. Inside of the steel chassis, we see there is a pair of 2.5" drive locations which use relocatable trays, and there is also a cage with room for a pair of 3.5" or 2.5" drives on top of that. The motherboard tray will accept Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX or ATX motherboards, and delivers seven expansion slots at the back. The I/O panel is split into two sections in the Alpha, and along with the power button, reset button, and the pair of LEDs, the other side offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports and 3.5mm HD Audio jacks. As to the restrictions of this tower, the CPU cooler can be 175mm tall, the video card can be 390mm long, and there is not a mention of PSU length.
To cool this chassis, Raidmax sends it with a single 120mm fan placed in the back, acting as the only source of air flow, as it exhausts hot air out of the chassis. However, there is room for many more fans. The front of the chassis can house a trio of 120mm fans, or you can use a pair of 140mm fans instead. The back of the chassis is already spoken for, but the top of the chassis has room for a pair of either 120mm or 140mm fans, and the bottom of the case can house a single 120mm fan as well. The front of th4e chassis will support water cooling, but to max out to a 360mm radiator, it has to be a thin one. The top of the chassis can also be used for water cooling, but to do so requires the removal of the ODD bay to use a 240 or 280mm radiator there. The back and the floor of the chassis could also be used to support water cooling, but there can be complications using the bottom for much cooling at all.
When it comes to mid-tower cases, we find that when we are shipped a chassis completely loaded to the gills with features, they tend to release at the $99.99 point, and we are fine with that. However, when it comes to what you get with the Raidmax Alpha, you will not have to dig quite that deep. It has been seemingly forever since we had a look at what Raidmax has been up to in chassis design, but with what you will find in the Alpha, we feel that the $74.99 asking price, at both Amazon and Newegg right now, we feel Raidmax is right in the ballpark. With all the possibilities that the Alpha offers, this could be one of the cases which grow as you do, through more than just a single 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)
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