Raidmax Vampire Case Reviewhornybluecow - November 7, 2013
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Raidmax Vampire Closer Look:
The front panel, like all other chassis, is detachable, but some are easier than others. This time around it was a bit scary to remove. Originally I gave up during my first round of photographs, but later returned once everything was completed in case I broke the front completely. The panel is held on by plastic pins that are common in so many chassis today. It's honestly my least favorite method and Cooler Master has shown us it's possible to break the norm once in a while with its creative clip design. Anyways, like almost all of these type of push pins, you have to squeeze and then push the pin back out of the hole. Once complete you must try to get the rest out before the others snap back into place. I was able to only get the bottom four before giving up and pulling the cover off with force. Underneath is nothing exciting and lucky for the users, a 200mm blue LED fan is already included. Unless you are just dying to see what's underneath for yourself or need to replace the fan, I suggest avoiding this exercise. It's also worth noting the front acts as a fan filter with the mesh, but isn't really a good design, since the mesh does not come out.
Getting back on track, the top portion of the chassis has most of the Vampire's goodies. The top front has a large power button on the left and a small reset button on the right, while the middle has each of its I/O ports initially covered by rubber caps to keep dust out and give it a more unified look. On the left near the power button are two USB 2.0 ports, the right holding two USB 3.0 ports, while the middle houses a mic and headphone jack. It's also nice to see Raidmax taking care of wire management even with the bulky USB 3.0 cable. Next up on the right side is the fan controller, which works but feels very cheaply made. I was able to get the buttons stuck more than once and the little fan speed slider just felt like it was one push away from breaking off. Overall it does it's job as a fan controller, but do not expect it to last forever. Last up, on the left side (window side) is a 2.5" hot swap bay. The bay itself is built well enough; I was able to slide an SSD in without much of an issue and it came out with a slight tug.
Inside one of the hard drive bays was a white box containing all the screws, along with some wire management accessories. Normally the inclusion of zip ties is enough, but Raidmax went a bit further and put in four Velcro ties for the wires that you may need to undue once in a while. This is great for someone like me, who constantly changes everything but the motherboard and power supply every few months. The major reason I upgrade less and less each year is because of how much I hate redoing all the wires and cutting all the zip ties. The rest is standard: a simple manual and a bunch of screws. This isn't anything to write home about so let's move on.
Okay, I tried to hold back long enough to say some good things about this chassis, but now I have to speak my mind. Raidmax made a huge mistake and it's one of my pet peeves; that is, do not provide false advertising. If you check out the website or box you will see a nice Photoshopped image of a glowing blue chassis. This lead me to believe before I even opened the box I was getting a chassis that had some sort of blue effect across the window panel or maybe even a blue tinted window. This is not the case and in fact the only blue you will receive is a dim blue light from the front 200mm fan. The chassis does not have any other blue lights or fans in it! The box itself, shown below, has a bit of under glow to the chassis, but on the side has the same image from the website. Raidmax really had something going for it and potential to light up the silver plastic; even a blue tinted window would be okay. In fact if you Google "Raidmax Vampire" I guarantee a few pictures of a blue glowing chassis.
Now I have that out of the way, let's quickly talk about the one thing that is truly blue. The fan itself has the blue LED built in; either you have blue lights or the fan is not on. The LED themselves are very dim and not much to look at. Like I said before, this was a huge potential for Raidmax and was blown by skipping a feature it's already trying to sell on its own website. If you are willing to go the extra mile, it's possible to install more fans and LED lights yourself, but I wish it was included.