Raidmax Hurricane Review

Indybird - 2010-03-01 09:32:19 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Indybird   
Reviewed on: March 31, 2010
Price: $39.99

Introduction:

One of the most important components of a computer build is the case; it determines the ease of the system build, the longevity of the system as a whole, and the thermal performance of the system. Often, a decent case is overlooked due to budget, leaving a less desirable system build. This is where Raidmax comes in with the Hurricane. Raidmax is known for their computer cases that have the looks and performance of more expensive cases, but at a more affordable price tag. The Hurricane is available in 6 sixdifferent colors with or without a power supply. Touting three included fans, a side window, and LED lighting all for around $40, the Raidmax Hurricane just may be the perfect middle ground between cost and performance.

Closer Look:

The Raidmax Hurricane comes in a standard cardboard box (there isn't really much room for innovation here). The front and back both have similar frontal views of the case, but the back has some thumbnails and brief descriptions of the special features of the case. The sides are also nearly identical, both containing the basic specifications of the case and the available colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The packaging is simple, yet effective. Two molded foam pieces protect the case from shock during shipping, while the plastic bag protects from scratches.

 

 

Inside the case you'll find a small bag of hardware, the system speaker, and the manual.

 

 

Now let's take a gander at the Hurricane itself.

Closer Look:

With all of the packaging removed you can see the Hurricane in its full glory. The front sports a sharp angular design, giving it a "stealth fighter" or "alien ship" look. There are four 5.25" drive bays and one 3.5" bay. At the bottom is the black mesh grill for the front intake. On the left panel is the blue tinted case window, and 80mm fan intake. This fan is Raidmax branded, runs at 12V, uses a Molex connection and has no LEDs; it doesn't move a whole lot of air, but is nearly silent. On the back you'll find the top-mounted PSU bay, 120mm fan exhaust, seven Expansion slots, expansion slot side exhaust and the default I/O panel. Included I/O panels are becoming less and less common in cases, because there are hundreds of rear I/O layouts, and these will only cater to very old standardized layouts. The right panel doesn't have any items of interest, but it was interesting to see both doors held on by thumbscrews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the front, the USB and Audio are right below the 3.5" bay. The power and reset buttons are both chrome in appearance and have a non-cheap feel and click. Jutting out from the power button are two strips of LEDs that both light up blue for power, and flash red for hard drive activity. As this case does not have lower ventilation, the case is only held up by small metal feet. There are two small metal vents about 50mm square, but I'm not particularly sure about their purpose.

 

 

Now that we've examined the outside, let's take a look at the inner workings of the Hurricane.

Closer Look:

Removing the side panel reveals a simple, and perhaps outdated interior layout; the hard drive bays face front-back, and the motherboard tray (which is exactly ATX width) is directly next to the drive cage. Although there are no cable management features, but there is room behind the hard drive racks to store extra cable. Around the back, everything is once again kept simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front panel is held on by six screws and its removal reveals the break-off temporary drive covers. The 80mm intake fan is Raidmax branded, runs at 12V, uses a Molex connection and has blue LEDs; it moves a decent amount of air while staying fairly quiet. Also, the intake has 120mm fan mounts, giving you the option to upgrade later. The front panel itself is made of plastic, but doesn't have a cheap feel to it. Raidmax included an air filter which is a welcome feature, but it is not a standard shape so it will be hard to replace. The front panel cables are just the right length; they can reach pins placed anywhere on the motherboard but aren't so long they are unmanageable. Also I like to note when case manufacturers split the power LED pins, as not all motherboards use the same size connector. It's a small thing, but it makes all the difference in a system build.

 

 

Moving over to the 5.25" rack, drives are mounted via plain screws. The external 3.5" drive and hard drives are also mounted in the same manner. Over on the back we can see the seven expansion slots - nothing special here, just more temporary break-off covers. Raidmax has squeezed in a 12V 120mm fan for exhaust, which is very quiet but at the same time doesn't move a whole lot of air.

 

 

Here is the case inside and out with the test system installed, minus the test video card. Unfortunately, I ran into a couple hitches during the system assembly. The first was that Raidmax only included six M3 stand-offs with this particular case, while you need at least eight to properly mount a full-ATX motherboard. Luckily I had extra stand-offs, so the build continued. The second came after installing the PSU and first hard drive; there were only four 6x32 screws left, which means only one more hard drive could be installed. I encountered the final hitch when it came time to install the graphics card. In this case, our test system 10.5-inch Palit GTX 260 did not fit. As you can see, the hard drive rack obstructs the installation. After measuring, the case can fit up to 10" cards. Aside from the three problems encountered with this particular build, I observed two other possible issues. The first is, once installed, the hard drives hang about 1.5 inches over the motherboard. This could cause interference with SATA ports, memory, graphics cards and other expansion cards.

 

 

The second issue is that the CPU cooler (in this case an Arctic Cooling Freezer64) came very close to hitting the side intake fan. After measurement, coolers taller than 5" will hit the fan, while removing the intake fan would allow for up to 6" tall coolers.

  


 

Specifications:

Brand
Raidmax
Model
Hurricane ATX-248WB
Style
ATX Mid Tower
Dimensions
463mm(L) x 184mm(W) x 425mm(H) (18.25" x 7.25" x 16.75")
Motherboard Compatibility
ATX/MicroATX
Power Supply Compatibility Standard ATX
Material Chassis: 1.0mm SECC; Front Panel: Plastic + Meshed grill
External 5.25" Bays 4
Internal 5.25" Bays
0
External 3.5" Bays
1
Internal 3.5" Bays
5
Expansion slots
7
Cooling system
1x120mm Black Fan, 1x80mm Clear Blue-LED Fan, 1x80mm Black Fan
Front Panel
USB, Audio In/Out

 

Features:

 

 

All information courtesy of Raidmax @ http://www.raidmax.com/product/hurricane.html

Testing:

The main concern when buying a computer case is its cooling performance. To best test the performance, temperatures will be measured at idle (Windows Vista at the desktop with no applications running), and under induced full stress of the components. The components tested are the CPU, motherboard, hard drive and video card. The CPU and motherboard are tested using Prime 95 with the CPU fan set to 100% speed. The video card, however, would normally be left to its automatic fan adjustment then tested with FurMark, but since the test system card did not fit, there is no temperature data for the GPU. We will be testing the Hurricane against a Cooler Master Centurion 534 and an NZXT Lexa with non-stock fans. Let's see how it fares.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

The overall cooling performance of the Raidmax Hurricane is very respectable. The CPU was on-par with the NZXT Lexa, and though the motherboard and hard drive temperatures were somewhat higher, they remained at more than stable temperatures. The Hurricane's temperatures kept fairly close to those of the the NZXT Lexa and Cooler Master Centurion 534, both of which are nearly double the price. The Raidmax Hurricane has definitely proved itself with its cooling capabilities.

Conclusion:

Overall, this case turned out to be a mixed bag. It seems that while we gained many higher-end features at a lower price tag, the quality of some of the baseline features were lost. The most prevalent issue with case was the severe lack of space.  The hard drives overlap the motherboard and can block expansion cards, it can only hold up to 10" graphics cards, and it can only hold up to 5" tall coolers. Part of the reason for this is the layout of the case. Some simple design changes could increase the space, but then again, it adds cost to an inexpensive design that really is most likely targeted to reach the people who want a case that is far from the pedestrian beige box. The strangest issue on this case was the lack of screws and stand-offs, which is a problem I never thought I would encounter.

However, the Hurricane has strong list of pros: it sports an interesting and unique exterior, has decent build quality, and proves its worthiness in the cooling department all while remaining fairly quiet.  The design was overall flashy, but not over the top. Unlike many budget "gamer" cases, the use of LEDs and molded plastic was very tasteful.  Though the metal is more flimsy than what you would find in, say a $100 case, I encountered absolutely no problems relating to cheap materials. There were no bent panels, no sharp edges and also no cheap plastic. With that in mind, this case probably wouldn't be able to take the beating from transportation to something like a LAN party on a regular basis without some additional care. The cooling capabilities of this case, however, were what surprised me most.  This $40 case held up against the aforementioned 'pricier' cases in its cooling performance, even while staying fairly quiet.

If you are working with less or smaller components, and you don't mind being a little creative with your system assembly, then you will find little wrong with this affordable but decent-performing case.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: