RAIDMAX Monster II Reviewred454 -
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RAIDMAX Monster II Introduction:
Back in 2003, RAIDMAX started to supply budget-oriented gaming cases to the masses. RAIDMAX have since grown to supply an impressive line of power supplies and even offer a liquid All-in-One (AIO) CPU cooler line called the Cobra 120 and Cobra 240. The range of gaming cases has expanded to around 40, so there are plenty of cases for a variety of tastes and needs. Pricing that comes in well below $100 leaves a nice chunk of money on the table to put toward the internal hardware of your buildd, which is always a good thing.
The original Monster case was released around 2009, and RAIDMAX have reworked the Monster II with the necessary updates and improvements to make it a serious contender in the sub $75 catagory. Gone is the eSATA port on the top I/O panel and the side panel latches. Say hello to USB 3.0 ports on top and support for liquid cooling. Speaking of liquid cooling, the front of the Monster II now has only two external 5.25" optical drive bays instead of the four found on the original Monster case, and this change clears out space for extended front radiator support. Now let's take a closer look.
RAIDMAX Monster II Closer Look:
The front fascia of the case has deep vertical grooves that run the full length. These grooves are vented to allow fresh intake air to be pulled into the case by the included front 140mm blue LED fan. The top and bottom of the case are almost symmetrical. The side panel window allows for a view of the internal components. It is only a partial window, but for a few dollars more the Monster II SE variation includes a full side glass panel.
Looking at the top of the case reveals the same deep grooves that are found on the front. These grooves on top are also vented to allow warm air to escape. The bottom of the case has a removable filter panel to keep dust out of the intake for the PSU. There are four small rubber pads to keep the case from sliding on the floor and, of course, the rubber helps to quiet vibrations.
With the side panels removed, you can see that there is a generous cut out in the motherboard tray for easy CPU cooler installation. There are two small rectangular access holes at the top of the motherboard tray that come in handy when you are trying to connect the CPU power cable. The power supply is shrouded by a fixed cover. Behind the power supply shroud is space for two hard drives and this fixed cover doubles as a nice way to hide excess cables from the PSU. Behind the motherboard tray there are two mounting brackets for SSDs, so you can have a total of four hard drives in the Monster II.
With the front fascia removed, you can see the included 140mm front blue LED fan, and that there is room for a second fan. From the rear of the case you can see that there are seven slots and one 140mm rear exhaust fan (non LED). At the bottom is the opening for the power supply.
On top of the case is where you find the I/O panel. Starting off there are two USB 3.0 ports, but absent are any USB 2.0 ports, and I don't think anyone will miss them. Moving toward the front there are the microphone and headphone jacks, a small red hard drive activity LED, a small blue power LED, and finally the reset and start buttons. The I/O layout is simple, but gets the job done. The hardware bags are labeled and I really like that RAIDMAX took the time to do this. Many times you have hardware thrown together and you don't intuitively know what goes where.
Some more detail from inside the case. A closer look reveals a perforated top panel that looks like it is ripe for a top mounted radiator, but sadly there is only room for two 120mm or two 140mm fans. This isn't all bad, as there is space at the front of the case for liquid cooling, as you can see in the next picture. There is space for a 240 or 280mm front radiator and a set of fans. If you really want to push your liquid cooling, the top optical drive bay rack can be removed to allow for up to a 360mm radiator.
The front blue LED fan looks nice as the blue glow shows through the front panel. The effect can be intensified by adding another blue LED above the included fan. Don't forget that there is room at the top for two more fans!
Here is a little better view of the front 140mm blue LED fan. It definitely has a strong blue glow and lights up the interior of the case.
Now it is time to take a look at the case in more detail, so click below for a video review of the RAIDMAX Monster II case, then come back and check out more information on the Specifications, Features, and Testing page.