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Raidmax Alpha Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Raidmax's Alpha mid-tower computer case has some fancy features like a remote control for the LEDs, but should you buy it? Let's see.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, Jun 1 2017 11:20 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 81%Manufacturer: Raidmax

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES

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.

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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

Packaging

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At the top of this shiny black and blue box, we find the Raidmax name and logo along with their site address. There is an extremely close up shot of the mesh insert in the front bezel, and we see the Alpha name in the bottom-left corner. Also, keep in mind this coloration in the bezel is just for the packaging, the chassis will not display in this manner.

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The side of the box is shiny and black, and below the company name, we find both versions of the Alpha shown. Separated by lime green bars, we are given the most basic of specifications in the chart between them.

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The back of the box is colorful and shows a few things worth noting. Again, both the white and black models are shown, but at the bottom, we see mentions of the magnetic dust filter on the top of the Alpha, a mention of the PSU cover, restrictions, where to install water cooling, and that the front of the case has RGB LED lighting.

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The last panel on the exterior is the same as what we saw on the other smaller panel. At the bottom, we do notice a sticker warning against cancer or reproductive hard, and another getting more specific to the fact that California has listed some of the chemicals used as cancer causing. Our advice. Don't lick or eat the chassis.

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To protect the Alpha on its journey, both the inside and outside of the left side panel window has plastic sticking to it, keeping it from being scratched. To protect the paint and ABS plastic parts on the outside from being scratched, the entire chassis is wrapped in a plastic bag. To take on the hits and tumbles of the trip, Raidmax opts for thin Styrofoam used at the top and bottom of the chassis. It has worked as intended though, as our Alpha was delivered in great condition.

Raidmax Alpha Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the Alpha is nothing stellar when it comes to flash or extreme design. The top, bottom, and sides are angled away from the bezel; two trim lines are running down either side. At the top of the bezel, we can see the ODD bay cover, leaving the rest of the panel to be opened for mesh, which is backed by a solid white plastic sheet.

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The top of the chassis is also flat and basic in its design, with just a thin bit of black steel running around the edges. The bulk of the top panel is covered with a tight plastic mesh which is magnetically attached to the chassis.

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The left side of the chassis is mostly a blue tinted window to view inside of the case. The amount of steel around it is even on all sides, and as we work towards the front, we find the side of the bezel is open to be used as the intake.

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Moving it much closer to the side of the bezel, we run into part one of the front I/O panel. In this section, we are given the power button, the reset button, a green PC activity LED, and a red HDD activity LED.

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Behind the Alpha, we find the rear I/O and exhaust fan sitting high in the chassis, leaving little room above the motherboard. Of the seven expansion slots, only one cover is reusable, and all of the screw access is done from outside of the chassis. The bottom opening is then used to mount the PSU into the Alpha.

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The right side of the Alpha is flat, textured, black, expanse of steel, and it matches up tightly to the front bezel. This side too has a section on the bezel to allow air into the chassis, above and below the rest of the I/O panel bits.

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Part two of the I/O panel is what we see on the right side of the bezel. This is where you can make your connections to the USB 3.0 ports, or plug in a microphone or set of headphones via the HD Audio jacks.

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Under the chassis, we see smaller, hard, rubber feet used to support the Alpha, and at the back is a dust filter which has to be unclipped to be removed. There is a mention of a 120mm fan location on the floor of the chassis, but that is not to be found, but we do see screws holding in the HDD cage, making it removable.

Inside the Alpha

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Inside of the bezel, where we would assume the air to flow into the chassis, is blocked with white plastic to aid the effects of the lighting. The front of the chassis keep a hold of the I/O panels, is wide open for optional fans, and we can also see the strip of LEDs running down the middle of it.

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Our first look inside shows that Raidmax is following what it popular right now. The alpha comes with a two-chamber design, where the top is wide open, and the bottom is covered with a PSU cover.

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There is a single ODD bay in the Alpha, and it comes with a tool-free mechanism on this side, while the other requires screws to secure the device. The bay can be removed, as there are four screws under the bezel, and a pair on the motherboard tray, and removing them allows this to come out of the chassis.

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The front of the chassis is wide open. No fans are shipped to the front of the Alpha, but there is room for three 120mm fans or a pair of 140mm fans. Looking toward the bottom, we see a gap in the PSU cover, which allows for a thin radiator and fan to still fit.

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When it comes to the top of the chassis, is seems we only were given part of the story. Unimpeded by the ODD bay is room for a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans, but should you choose to eliminate the ODD bay, you can add another 120mm or 140mm fan.

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The motherboard tray has a huge opening for CPU cooler access, two holes at the top to pass wires through, and a long covered slit down the right side for the rest of the wires. To help with wire management, there are twelve locations to tie wires to, but not a single grommet to be found.

Inside the Alpha Continued

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The PSU cover has a bit of styling added to the side viewed through the window, but the top has a few more things to cover. There are two locations for 2.5" drive trays, a large hole for the front I/O and VGA cables, screws holding the top of the HDD cage in place, and we can see the hole at the front as well.

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In the back of the Alpha, we find a 120mm fan with a black frame and gray blades, which is powered via either a 3-pin fan connector or a 4-pin Molex connector. There are seven slots with ventilation next to them, but the lower six slot covers have to be broken out if intended to be used.

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Behind the motherboard tray, there is a minimum of 20mm for wires, and we see the front I/O wiring bundled over the pair of 2.5" drive trays. We also finally located the hardware, which is sitting inside of the HDD cage.

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The HDD cage supports only two trays, but each is made to have pins slip into a 3.5" drive, or with the use of M3 screws, you can also mount a 2.5" drive into them. Keep in mind too; this whole assembly can be removed, should you need more room for the PSU or possibly a pump and reservoir combo kit that is compact.

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At the back, still under the PSU cover, is where the PSU is to be installed. The PSU is supported with dense foam pads, and this area is short, requiring a compact PSU if you plan to keep the HDD cage in the Alpha.

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In this image, we have all of the connections that need to be made from the chassis to the motherboard or PSU. On the left we see a 4-pin Molex connection which is used to power the RGB LEDs, there is a native USB 3.0 connection, there is an HD Audio connection, and smaller connections for the power button, reset button, and HDD Activity LED.

Hardware & Documentation

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Raidmax offers its customers fan screws to use with a pair of fans, there is an extra standoff, and screws to be used for the ODD bay and the PSU. The M3 screws in front of them are intended for the motherboard mounting, as well as any 2.5" drive mounting. The sad thing is, they do not provide enough to fill all of the holes.

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With the Alpha comes this handy little remote controller. This allows you to turn the LED lights on and off, cycle through modes, switch colors, change the speed and intensity of them, and even has seven preset colors you can pick with a single press. The back of this remote has a large magnet on it, which means it can be stuck to any metal part of the chassis when not in use.

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The user manual that ships with the Alpha are basic. It starts with exploded diagrams of the chassis denoting each of the components and moves right into the component installation. There is no mention of what bits you should have or what they are for; it is left to you to sort all of that out. The manual is decent enough to get an experienced builder through the process, but if you have never touched a chassis before, this manual will not answer all of the questions that may come up.

Case Build & Finished Product

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Without the need to use a DVD or Blu-ray reader in our builds, we find the front of the chassis has not changed one bit since we pulled it out of the box. While this is not fancy, it is not too basic either, making it something that could go anywhere.

Raidmax Alpha Mid-Tower Chassis Review 31 | TweakTown.com

There were no issues when it comes to mounting the motherboard or the AIO for that matter. However, we do see quite a bit of VGA sag, and we did have to force the back of the chassis inward to mount the card too. Outside of that, the wires are clean and mostly hidden, and the Alpha interior is tidy to see through the window. Also, notice, we stole an SSD tray from the back and put it on the PSU cover.

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The dust shield snapped right into place, and once the cover for the4 expansion slots is opened, the card fits without any force or jostling. The PSU at the bottom, slid right in to rest on the foam pads, and the holes lined right up for the screws.

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Wire management is fairly easy to accomplish with all of the tie points offered in the tray. We did have to remove the HDD cage to fit the PSU we do, but it also gave us plenty of room to tuck all the loose wires into.

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Stepping back, with the panels no securely mounted to the chassis, the Alpha, while cubic, does have a nice look to it. Even though the window is tinted, we can still see the parts inside, and even without lighting, you can see where all of the PC build money went.

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Blue was the color which tended to show up best in the images, so we are showing it, but keep in mind there are plenty more color options. There are nineteen other colors to pick, and modes where colors cycle, pulse, flash rapidly, the list goes on and on.

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Like we said, once you get the RGB LEDs set the way you like them, you can just attach the remote to the chassis via a magnet. This way the remote is never lost, should the urge strike you to play with the lights for a friend, or change it to match a second or third build inside of it, down the road.

Final Thoughts

With what we had seen in the past from Raidmax, granted it has been quite some time since, but our expectations were not all that high for the Alpha. However, Raidmax had done their due diligence when it came to designing this chassis, and the Alpha is a chassis ripe for today's market. The RGB LED system is fun to play with for a while, and the options to match a build theme are on point. Making it all happen by remote, may be a bit of fluff, but we liked it all the same. While we tend to prefer cases without ODD bays, the Alpha wins for both camps here, as the one it does offer is removable. In our experience, removing the HDD cage was a must to fit the PSU we use all of the time, and we are glad it is screwed into place. No0thing about this design will shock you, but the layout and features Raidmax builds into the Alpha are all done well and made the build process go by so much easier.

There are a few sticking points we need to address though. Our first is the lighting. We find the white plastic does more harm than good, as it blocks off the intake, and does not spread the LED lighting as Raidmax intends, nor can we have the awesome color pattern shown on the front of the box. We do wish they had sent a few more M3 screws so we could use both SSD trays, but we can get away with only two screws for SSDs, but we don't advise skimping on screws with mechanical drives. We did not like that the chassis comes with only one fan, and that fan is 38 dB. The last thing we did not much care for is a combination of things with the expansion slots. We did not care to have to break out slots, and why in this day and age offer only one replaceable cover; most cards are dual-slot. We had to force the back of the case inward to secure the screws, and the tension does not help the cards to stay aligned properly without sagging.

As a whole, we find the Alpha is sufficient for many and is a good place to start for beginners. There is 175mm of room for air coolers, so you aren't limited in choices, but you can always move to an AIO or custom water cooling later. Features like modular components, very good wire management capability and an RGB LED light show that is hard to beat in a chassis, all controlled via remote.

Typically, if this mid-tower were to hit the market, we would expect the price to be right where it is currently at. Aside for a select few minor inconveniences, we feel that at $74.99 you do get quite a bit for the investment. The Raidmax Alpha may not come in at the top, but Raidmax has come a long way in the last few years, and delivered a chassis fit to be used by just about anybody.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Performance78%
Quality81%
Features83%
Value80%
Overall81%

The Bottom Line: Raidmax has made a good showing with the Alpha Mid-Tower Chassis. Fancy RGB LEDs with a remote, modularity, water cooling support, but it could have been done better in our opinion. Still though, there is good value to be had.

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

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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.

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