RAIDMAX Orion Case ReviewBluePanda - October 25, 2012
» Discuss this article (2)
Okay, enough about the box – I didn't even let you have the fun of seeing the case on the last page. Well let's dive in and look at the case already. The sides have a nice symmetrical look with the exception of the grill for an additional fan on the side of the case. You can already see the blue bleeding through the holes – I'm very excited to see inside (we'll have to wait). From this angle you can see the ridges from the front of the case sticking out almost like little shelves or ladders, as well as the control knobs up top on the front I/O panel. Let's keep looking around…
The front of the case itself lets some of the innards out with blue accents around the release clips for the external bay covers. Raidmax is in all capitals on the front, but isn't overdone in a way that screams at you from far across the room. I'm still not a big fan that it's even there – but I guess that's just a bit of the "wanna customize" in me. I don't like logos and branding on things; but that's beyond the point of this review…the front of the case is in other views clean and simple. The back of the case follows to give another "pop" of color in the PCI-E slot covers. I like the touch of color and it really adds to the overall appeal of this case. A 120mm black fan can be seen from the back here along with three water support ports to the right of the PCI-E slots. Here you can already see the issue I ran into later with the handles on the side panels; the handles don't really fold flat if you have cables from video cards in the way could you close the other with any type of tubing through the ports. It's probably a result of a bunch of good ideas thrown to make one idea that doesn't muster up to a solid idea anymore, but I don't think it ends the case entirely.
Getting a closer look at the front external bay covers I again want to emphasize the blue accents. I wouldn't say the light baby blue here is exactly on the inside but I can't whine too much about it as I know how hard it is to get anything painted plastic to match any painted metal – it just doesn't even work; car manufactures still struggle with this. Getting past this, the little black release lever just pushes to the left to release the panel. Pulling all three out reveals your classy rotate to remove plates that once removed don't go back in. I always found these fun to twist and turn waiting to see when it might come out like a jack in the box, but after so many times – it's no longer exciting and I wish manufactures would just ship cases without them. If they were there for support – then what was supposed to happen when I couldn't put the piece back after getting rid of my optical drive? Meh, it's one of those age old manufacturing problems "we've always done it this way" evoking little change. No matter --
Taking a look up on the top side of the case you can get a look at the front I/O panel and the essential control panel of any case. Here we've got a power button, reset button, respective LEDs, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 port, audio jacks, and knobs for controlling fan LED brightness and fan speed. It isn't anything super fancy, but as always it's always nice to have these things at your fingertips. I will say at this point, the knobs don't feel like the most substantial things in the world – I do worry that they may wear over time, but I don't think I will play with them enough to find out. The back side of this has a little area that may have once been thought to be a handle – though Raidmax covers their ground by not calling this an actual handle; I don't think it would hold under a full case load.
We're back to looking at those side panel handles. However, they are pretty nifty allowing you to swing around the panels like weapons when you first take them off but, I really see no true purpose to having handles here. Really, who carries their side panels around separately from the case? Most of us take them off to put things in or take things out and then put the side panels back on – the need for handles is beyond me. Nonetheless we have handles… that block video card ports and water tubing ports; this just might be a mistake.
Overall it's not a bad looking case from the outside as we've seen so far. There may be a thing or two out of place(such as the side panel handles and plastic fan controller knobs), but what can you do? The case is only 100 bucks so you can't expect the world series on such a low budget; however, if you have paid any attention at all, this might be a heck of a deal once you get it all together.