Raidmax Typhoon Review

Indybird - 2010-03-01 20:03:50 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Indybird   
Reviewed on: April 21, 2010
Price: $44.99

Introduction:

Since the establishment of the ATX standard in 1995 with the infamous beige boxes, inexpensive and/or lower-end computer case design has evolved very little to this day. With today's demand for larger, hotter components, along with more bang for the buck, the standard beige box just doesn't cut it any more. Raidmax has heard this demand and has brought the low-cost case up to 2010 standards. Enter the Raidmax Typhoon. Here you'll find a three-fan cooling system, side window, LED lighting, tool-less drive bays and a flat-black interior all for around $45! The Raidmax Typhoon brings enthusiast features to entry-level price tags, so let's see if it truly transcends the stereotype of inexpensive cases.

Closer Look:

Much like any other case the Typhoon comes packaged in a plain and simple cardboard box. The front and back simply have the Raidmax logo and website; the only way to distinguish this being a Typhoon is the barcode on one of the sides. Also on the side is a sticker stating that this case does not have a power supply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The case comes in fairly standard packaging; two molded foam pieces attached to cardboard to protect the case from blunt forces and a plastic bag to protect from scratches.

 

 

Inside the case you'll find a small bag of hardware including the system speaker and some paper washers. Oddly enough there was no manual.

 

Now on to a closer look at the outside of the case.

Closer Look:

With the accessories and packaging out of the way we can take a look at the Typhoon itself. The front of the case is dominated by the large 120mm grill-covered intake complete with the name of the case. Here you'll find the four 5.25" drive bays and one external 3.5" bay. The side of the case sports a blue plastic case window and 80mm exhaust fan. 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 . The only problem with the fan is it has a very short cable, making it hard to keep the cable out of the way. Also the fact that it is an exhaust fan above the CPU is slightly weird; most users will probably find themselves reversing it. Around the back, everything is fairly standard; PSU on top, single rear exhaust and seven expansions slots. The exhaust by default holds a single 80mm fan, but there is a strange set of fan-like mounting holes above and below the exhaust; I'm not quite sure as to the purpose of these. Also, here in the back, we see the first example of the matte-black core case paint job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the bottom of the case we find four plastic feet and no ventilation.The Raidmax Typhoon's front I/O consists of two USB 2.0 ports and standard audio ports. The power and reset buttons are both "stealthed" into the slotted design on the front panel. Although it looks very cool, it is harder to see the power and reset symbols on each. The power and hard drive activity lights are above the power and reset buttons, they glow green and red, respectively.

 

 

Now on to the working components.

Closer Look:

Opening up the case, you'll see the Typhoon uses a very simple standard layout; PSU on top, hard drives in the front and a standard motherboard tray. Though there are no cable management features and there is a decent amount of room to work with, so keeping cables out of the way shouldn't be a problem. The back is also very simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

To remove the front panel, you remove six screws. Interestingly, the drive covers are not of the break-off type, but instead screw on and are replaceable. It's an interesting touch, but I'm not sure how much a system builder would appreciate it. The front panel itself is made of plastic that does not feel cheap at all. The 120mm fan is Raidmax branded, runs at 12V, uses a Molex connection and has blue LEDs, and it moves a decent amount of air while staying very quiet. The fan also has a square dust filter, which is good because it acts as the main intake for the case. As far as the front panel cables go, they are a decent length - not too long and not too short. The power LED pins are split to accommodate all motherboards.

 

 

All of the drives are held in by special tool-less clips. The clips themselves work pretty well, but there is nothing holding the drives in place on the opposite side.

 

The back of the case is home to the 80mm exhaust and the standard seven expansion slots. The 80mm exhaust fan is Raidmax branded, runs at 12V, uses a Molex connection and has no LEDs. While it doesn't move a lot of air, it's not very loud. The expansion slots have break-away covers and are not bent or twisted in any way.

 

 

Here is the case inside and out with the test system installed.

 

 

During assembly I ran into only one problem and that was with the hard drive mounting. The tool-less clip works flawlessly but there is nothing holding the hard drive in place on the left side, leaving it completely free to move. I then noticed two possible problems that system builders might encounter. The first is, that once installed, the hard drives hang about half an inch over the motherboard. This could cause interference with SATA ports, and longer graphics cards. The second 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
Typhoon ATX-312WS
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 Clear Blue-LED Fan, 2x80mm Black Fan
Front Panel
USB, Audio In/Out

 

Features:

 

 

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

Testing:

Aside from features that make the case look better or the system builder easier, users want the case to cool the components to more desirable temperatures. 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 is left to its automatic fan adjustment then stress-tested with FurMark. We will be testing the Typhoon against a Raidmax Hurricane (no GPU would not fit), Cooler Master Centurion 534 and an NZXT Lexa with non-stock fans. Let's see how it performs.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

The Typhoon remained on par with the more expensive NZXT Lexa and Cooler Master Centurion 534 in all departments except for the hard drive at load (which is strange considering the 120mm front intake that blows directly over the hard drives). The Typhoon definitely proves itself with its cooling capabilities.

Conclusion:

Raidmax has most definitely achieved what it set out to do with the Typhoon, and this is to bring the cooling performance, looks and features of a higher-end case into the entry-level price range. The case looks great with the oversized front intake and the blue side window. It also has incredible cooling performance for a case of its size and price. But what makes the Typhoon unique is that it has two features that are nearly non-existent in the lower price range, and those are the tool-less drive mounts and matte black interior. The matte black interior really sticks out, giving the impression of a much more expensive case.

I encountered only one main issue and that was with the hard drive mounting, but it should be noted that it is a tight fit with the hard drives and the CPU cooler. The CPU cooler issue is more of a warning than it is a con, because limitations such as these are bound to be encountered giving the physical size of the case. The hard drive mounting however, needs to be reworked. A 90° twist and perhaps the use of a rail system would be a slightly costly upgrade to fix the hard drive issues, but would make this case flawless around this price tag.

The Typhoon does not make any sacrifices in looks, build quality, features and especially cooling, just to maintain its price tag. System builders on a budget will most likely find this case to be their primary choice.

 

Pros:

Cons: