XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis Review

XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis Review

The first computer case out on the market by XPG is its Invader mid-tower chassis. Here's our full review of it.

| Jan 20, 2020 at 10:46 am CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: XPGModel: INVADER-BKCWW

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

XPG or the ADATA gaming brand is something we have seen quite a bit with our memory reviews over the years, but now in a move that was a bit unexpected, they now offer PC cases. XPG seems to have split off into its own brand now. With that being said and the fact that ADATA or XPG as it is, it also moved into peripherals. It is a natural progression that to be an end to end solution provider that chassis would be on the roadmap eventually. Now it is up to us to see what sort of merit the new XPG chassis offers.

XPG Chassis are part of the gaming lineup, so you can bet that first and foremost, they will be targeted at gaming and enthusiast. This holds when you look at the marketing material from the XPG page for the chassis. As expected, there will be RGB as well, because gaming has become synonymous with RGB in the eyes of many manufacturers.

Key features pulled from the XPG Invader product page are as follows:

  • Comes in Black or White
  • A Sleek Front Panel with a Side Glass Panel
  • Front ARGB downlight
  • XPG Prime ARGB Combo Controller
  • Versatile I/O Ports
  • High Airflow Design with Pre-Installed Fans
  • Dust Filters with Detachable Magnetic Design
  • Tool-Less Design
  • Supports Radiators of up to 360mm in Front
  • Supports Radiators of up to 240mm on Top

The Invader includes an ARGB controller along with extra leads to synchronize components and even synchronize to music. The Invader is said to support a 360mm radiator up front while the top or parallel to the motherboard can support 240mm as well. The Invader comes with two pre-installed 120mm fans, which are DC controlled.

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The Invader carries a reasonably simple part number of INVADER-BKCWW, which is far more comfortable than some of the alphanumeric identifiers we have seen. The Invader is listed as a mid-tower and comes in at 470mm tall, 482mm deep, and 206mm wide. The width is worrisome as I think taller memory modules may block the ability to mount a 240mm radiator up top.

Motherboard fitment is from ITX up to ATX. No eATX, which is ok, but something to keep in mind. 2.5" and 3.5" drive fitment is two and two; however, the 3.5" HDD trays can fit 2.5" drives alternatively, which means up to four 2.5" drives is possible. PSU fitment is listed as up to 225mm, which is more than enough. But we do have to see if the HDD cage cuts into this. The PSU is hidden under a PSU shroud at the lower-end of the chassis and has passthrough ports for cables to ease installation.

Fan fitment up front is up to three 120mm or two 140mm fans. The top will fit up to two 120mm same with the vertical mounting running parallel to the motherboard. Rear fan fitment is a single 120mm, and even a lower mounted 120mm fan is possible. Radiators are similar but absent 140mm based units. CPU cooler height is limited to 170mm if you call that a limit as that fits all but the most extreme tower coolers. The Invader comes with two DC fans at 120mm, and both are DC. The fan placement is one in the front for Intake, while the rear has the same model fan as exhaust. I do see that while the top fan mounting is offset to the outer panel, I do worry that the 206mm width of the chassis may limit RAM height, as previously mentioned, if installing a radiator up top.

The XPG Invader comes to the market at $89.99, which is a pretty aggressive price point and will find itself among many competitors. The $89 price point is also inhabited by such contenders as the Meshify C and Define C from Fractal, the Eclipse P400A, P400S from Phanteks, and even the Enthoo Pro M form the latter. XPG is a new brand to the chassis market, is going to have to pull off some reliable performance and features to stand out among those in this price range.

Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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The front or main side of the box, we find a line drawing of the Invader chassis. There is also the brand, model name, and class identifier at the bottom left. Three listed feature icons are flanking the top left side of the package.

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Rotating the Invader packaging ninety degrees, and we find the first smaller side. Here we have some safety notice icons up top, followed by an inventory control sticker. Next, we have the model name along with a color ID option. Lastly, we have two small line drawings showing the Invader's external measurements.

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Rotating another ninety degrees, we find the rear of the package, which shows an exploded view of the Invader. This side shows all of the removable parts for the Invader. With all filters and internal trays and removable components pushed away from the chassis. There is a legend at the bottom right which lists each part.

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The final ninety degrees rotation gets us the last thin side of the packaging and the same safety icons up top. This time, however, we have a large spec table spanning most of this side of the packaging.

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Puling the invader form the packaging and we see the entire unit wrapped in a plastic bag which should help with vibration damage or abrasion. The whole thing is then encapsulated between two softer polystyrene end caps, which squish and give a bit more help to shock or potential shipping damage.

XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the Invader is a metal panel black in color with an XPG logo embellishment in red. We can see the glass panel protruding slightly to the left and the plastic feet down below.

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On the top of the Invader, we have a magnetic filter in place covering the top 2x120mm mounting. Up front we have the I/O, which we will look at next.

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The I/O, as we observed previously, is along the front most edge of the metal chassis. The I/O is outfitted with the following:

  • 2x USB 3.0 (USB 3.2 Gen 1) Type-A ports
  • Microphone and Headphone combo port
  • LED controller mode button
  • Reset button with integrated HDD LED
  • Triangular power button with integrated power LED

The triangular button I instantly thought of a "play button," and sure enough, when looking at the XPG material for the Invader chassis, we see them reference it the same way. The power LED in the power switch is white in color while the tiny LED for HDD activity shines through red on the reset button. The RGB control button has over ten modes, including some ARGB color flow modes for the bottom-firing front LED along with static color modes for the additional 4-pin RGB connectors.

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The central panel of the Invader is a tempered glass panel. I do like that XPG opted for a model with rear screws as the on panel fasteners can take away from the clean aesthetic of the glass panel. We can see the accessory box inside along with the XPG logo on the PSU shroud peeking out from behind the glass panel. We can now see the gap on the front panel, which feeds air to the front cooling mounting.

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Here at the rear of the Invader, we find that the chassis is outfitted with everything you would expect. The rear fan mount has about 4-6mm of vertical adjustment with its very mildly slotted mounting. The seven expansion slots are accessed externally and have two screws holding on the access cover. The PSU mounts to the chassis with an external bracket that comes in the accessory kit. Here we see the plastic handled panel attachment screws used on both the main glass and cable management steel panel.

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Here we have the cable management side of the Invader and the solid steel panel in place covering up this area. There is triangular ventilation here up front, which matches the vertical cooling mounting to allow ingestion or exhaust through this area. The ventilation here is filtered with an internally mounted magnetic filter. The front panel, we see once again that there is the same gap here for airflow ingress into the chassis.

XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis Review 12 | TweakTown.com

The bottom of the Invader has two small filters covering both the PSU inlet along with the bottom fan mounting. The feet are also visible here, one per corner. The feet are plastic with rubber bottom pads to avoid skidding. The bottom of the front panel can also be observed here with an opaque white plastic in place. This plastic is designed to help diffuse the bottom-firing ARGB LEDs.

Inside the XPG Invader

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Peeking behind the curtain, or front panel in this case, we see the full cover magnetic plastic and mesh filter stuck up front. The front panel's panel we removed is a metal plate that magnetically retains to the front and provides the aesthetic while having the open chamber behind it to allow airflow to the front.

XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis Review 14 | TweakTown.com

Removing the filter and we now see the six neodymium magnets around the perimeter, which retains it to the chassis. Now we also get a clear view of the front mounting with the filter removed. The front fan/radiator mounting is somewhat slotted, not as much as we have seen on others, but good enough to match the needs of most users.

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Peering inside the main chassis chamber and the first thing you notice is the bright red XPG embellishment on the PSU shroud. Also, the colossal CPU backplate cutout is plenty large enough to serve virtually anything. Adjacent to the motherboard tray is the vertical cooling mounting, which allows vertical mounting to run fans or a radiator parallel to the motherboard. You may notice the lack of passthrough holes with grommets, and this is because the vertical cooling mount adjacent to the motherboard tray is elevated above the motherboard tray, which works as a form of cable passthrough.

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Taking a look at the front mounting from the inside, we see the slotted fan mounting along with the stepped vertical cooling mounting creating the aforementioned cable management gap. We also see the single installed DC 120mm fan up front.

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Removing the magnetic filter from the top of the Invader allows us to now see the slotted top cooling mount. The mount is 120mm and offset toward the main panel edge, which can trick you into a false sense of security. I say this because, with the cooling offset like this, you would assume that there is plenty of room for DIMMs to fit with the top-mounted 240mm AIO. We found that, unfortunately, the fitment is not very good with a top-mounted radiator, this is not to say it's a lousy chassis just a fitment issue I am seeing all too common these days that need to be considered.

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Peeking down to the PSU shroud, we can see the large opening up front, which is filled with the 3.5" dual tray HDD cage. This is removable, but as it sits out of the box, a 360mm radiator may have a tough time fitting here with a fan installed. Until we discover a 4th dimension and a way to access it, unfortunately, we cannot have two objects occupying the same space, so plan your build accordingly. There are two screw mounts at the top of the PSU shroud, which can be used to move the motherboard tray mounted SSD trays to the top of the PSU shroud should you want to show off your SSDs. There are cable pass-throughs on the PSU shroud, two of them on the motherboard edge to help with panel cabling, along with an opening further outward, which can be used to pass cables to the GPU.

Inside the XPG Invader Continued

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Here we look at the rear I/O area from the inside, and we see the pre-installed 120mm fan. One thing to note is that the XPG fans which come installed have a pigtail form their connector allowing you to daisy chain your fans should you so choose.

XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Here in the rear cable management area, we see the space XPG gives you to manage your cabling and any ancillary components. The two SSD trays you see here on the motherboard tray are relocatable as previously mentioned to the PSU shroud, depending on your aesthetic needs. There are several cable management loops here in this area, but the vertical fan mounting is where I worry most cables may be visible as you tie them off there, which is what we will attempt in our build.

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Here we have the 3.5" cage, and you can see the two trays in place. The HDD cage has bottom-mounted screws along with one visible mounting screw attached to the vertical cooling bracket, which should then allow it to be removed should you want to install a fan here.

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Here we have the PSU space, which has stands for the PSU to stand on. One weird part is the fact that the feet that the PSU sits on are plastic and not rubberized foam like we have seen previously. This is better than direct metal to metal contact. Still, being plastic, it does not shield against vibration or any sort of harmonics passing into the PSU nearly as well as the capabilities of a foam/rubber component would.

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The chassis cabling is as follows:

  • Power, reset, power LED, HDD LED connectors
  • HD audio connector
  • 3x RGB connectors
  • SATA power connector (Feeds internal RGB controller)
  • 20-pin USB 3.2 Gen 1 connector (feeds front panel Type-A ports)

The cable array is in line with everything you would expect, but the addition of three ancillary RGB connectors is excellent. The RGB controller has both an ancillary ARGB connector along with the three 5050 non-addressable style connectors.

Hardware & Documentation

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The XPG Invader has quite the stout fastener count and comes outfitted as follows:

  • 4x zip ties
  • 20x large fan screws
  • 17x 3.5" HDD and motherboard screws
  • 16x 2.5" SSD screws
  • 8x PSU/bracket mounting screws

The fastener array is more than we get in many cases and covers almost anything you would do in the Invader.

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Also, in the accessory pack is the PSU bracket and the sticker sheet.

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The manual for the Invader is a 34-page booklet which is primarily in English but has pictorial references for most everything in the chassis. The cleaning and safety instructions, however, are represented in several languages in the latter pages of the manual.

Case Build & Finished Product

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The front of the chassis being a solid panel does not change no matter what you install in the chassis. It will always look the same here, although the side inlet ports may be RGB lit if you install RGB fans up front. Otherwise, from the front, the chassis passes as a sleek subdued entry until you flip around to the glass side where you can see the hardware in place.

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All of our hardware fit in here; however, you will notice that our H100i Pro AIO is mounted on the vertical section. This is because, with our Vengeance pro RGB memory in place, the AIO could not be installed at the top and clear the memory. This is something for you all to keep in mind when planning your build as the lack of chassis width leads to these sorts of issues. Luckily for XPG, the front and vertical mount make up for this as you have options for mounting. Also, if using more standard-sized memory, you may not see this issue, but it is something to keep in mind.

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The rear of the build filled in with no notable issues or inconveniences, everything slotted in as expected and installed without any unique finesse needed.

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Cabling, the Invader went a bit better than I expected. The slots and cutouts paid dividends during the build as I was able to cinch down everything with relative ease, and cables had places where they could be fastened that did not go far from where they need to be.

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With the system closed up and finished, the tinted glass does a reasonably good job of hiding the internals when powered off. The glass is just smoked enough that you can see hints of what's inside, but it's not until you power it that the magic springs to life.

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Firing up the rig in the Invader, and you see everything suddenly brighten up. The RGB components help light the interior and provide a glow to showcase that the internal system means serious business. If you were to add additional RGB strips to illuminate the main chamber, I think it would help the Invader make your new rig a real showpiece when powered on while dropping into stealth mode when powered down.

Final Thoughts

When I first heard XPG was going to offer cases, I was interested to see which direction they would choose. Like many chassis, we see on the market, many are OEM form a manufacturer, and the XPG Invader is no different. However, after building in it, I do find that the XPG Invader was nice to build in and had many features in place to make the build painless and to create an overall solid aesthetic while being reasonably priced.

Testing the Invader was another area of surprise for me, as these styles of cases tend to be a mishmash where some things are ok, but usually not a chart-topper. The Invader did not top any charts, but it came close here. In testing, we measured an ambient of 22.4C with an RH of 45%. The CPU on the H100i saw an average delta over ambient of 44.6C, which is on par with some of the chassis many would consider far better and pricier as well. The GPU showed similar with an average delta over ambient of 38.8C.

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Now let's look at what we liked about the Invader. First up would be an integrated RGB controller supporting both ARGB along with standard RGB, this is a rare amenity at this price point. The use of magnets to affix the front panel and filter are excellent applications and are well suited to increase the ease of building. The subtle yet suitable array of cable tie-downs is a welcome addition. The channel to pass cables through versus holes with grommets adds extra flexibility to builds allowing more direct routing of your cables.

Now let's look at what we did not care for as much on the Invader. First up would be the lack of appropriate width for the chassis to support taller memory with a top-mounted radiator. This, of course, is subjective, and there are other mounting points. Still, if you are going to advertise radiator fitment up top, I expect either a case wide enough to accommodate conventional RGB memory. Or, the chassis should be tall enough that the motherboard tray is moved low enough to avoid interference, similar to what we saw on the Antec DA601. I would also like to see a bit more slotting to the front, and top mounting as this would allow for more flexible cooling installation.

Many of the things we mentioned above have to be taken with a grain of salt, due to the price point at which the Invader resides. And this brings us to the final part of this review. That is assessing all of the information preceding this and how the Invader fares at its given price point. Overall while there are some small niggles here and there I would like to see better, I do think the Invader is quite well done and has some merit at its $89.99 price tag. Are there better options? Arguably yes, but PC cases are always fraught with several features and capabilities that may be better than another, but it is all based on what you want and need. I think that the Invader will find a home with many gamers, and I hope that we see XPG show more upward mobility from here with their chassis options and features.

XPG brought the Invader as one of their first entries into the PC chassis market. They made some great choices, setting them up to be a force in the PC chassis industry as they mature and learn what the market wants to see.

Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications

Last updated: Jun 28, 2020 at 12:19 am CDT

Buy at Amazon

Performance

93%

Quality

92%

Features

89%

Value

90%

Overall Rating

91%

The Bottom Line

Being the first entry from XPG, the Invader is a solid value case in a crowded market. Users who build wisely can make a great rig at a decent value.

TweakTown award
91%

XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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