Raidmax Vampire Case Reviewhornybluecow - November 7, 2013
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Raidmax Vampire: Conclusion
Let us recap my reasoning and scoring method before diving into my final words. First I look at what the company is saying it offers. For example, say the company states the case supports large / long graphic cards or ten quiet fans. In this example, I examine what is advertised versus what is actually offered. Most of this becomes uncovered as I take pictures to document the product. If the company does not stay true to its word, then it loses points because no one ever wants to be sold on false advertisement. Next I look at what the product is marketed for and put it into perspective. An example of this could be trying to overclock a CPU in a Mini-ITX case and expecting a low temperature. This would contradict its target market and something I try to catch so it does not affect the score. The last bit is my own interjection. What could the case offer in its price range, and what do other companies offer. This category may include an extra fan, cable management, different color paint, or support for larger video cards. This list is endless so let's move on to the conclusion.
Raidmax has taken me on a roller coaster of ups and downs with a few issues that put me off from time to time. Before I say my final words, let me explain the pros and cons. Starting with the negative and working to what the chassis has to redeem itself, I'm going to start with one of my larger complaints of false advertising. This I cannot let go; I have been duped in the past and more than once. It's that feeling when you get a gift for Christmas and realize your parents meant well, but got you the off brand, cheaper version of your favorite toy. Raidmax intentionally, or unintentionally, has played a role in creating a false image of a chassis with a nice blue glow to it. It's simply not what is pictured, not even close in my mind. As explained before, both the website and box show a nice glowing blue chassis and what you receive is a semi-blue fan in the front; nothing else. Raidmax could resolve this by either adding a blue LED fan in the rear or just changing the image.
Next is a mixture of a few things. Number one issue is price, which ties into the rest. The fan controller feels cheap and really an afterthought, along with the missing motherboard cut out for the CPU connector. For that I really cannot see the chassis worth the asking price. Having cables going across a motherboard is forgivable sometimes, but this isn't one of them.
With all that negative energy out of the way and after walking away for a bit, I can talk about a few good things this chassis has to offer. The frame is well built and solid metal; this is great because all too often cheap metal means it will easily bend and dent from moving it around. I did not have this issue; in fact my back hurt a little after a few lifts because I wasn't prepared for the weight.
Next up are two things any large chassis should offer, which is support for large video cards and aftermarket CPU coolers. This is a given and any full tower chassis that does not offer these accommodations shoulnd't be sold. The Vampire's 160mm CPU cooler clearance is enough for some of the best on the market, and while the video card length is shorter than a few other chassis', I cannot see ever needing 13" of space.
Last up is internal cables. I would like to say, "good job Raidmax for including extra long cables just in case someone is using an E-ATX motherboard!" I was able to connect everything with room to spare and that makes me a happy camper.
With all that said and done, I feel the Raidmax Vampire has a lot of things going for it, but ultimately is held back by an unjustified price tag and some design issues. After spending ridiculous amounts of time with this chassis, I grew a bond to the look and style. I secretly hope Raidmax would switch out my chassis while I was sleeping so I could say only the good things, but alas it's still the same chassis with the same flaws. If you can find this for under $100 on sale and my gripes do not bother you, it's worth a second look. As it stands, however, the Raidmax Vampire falls short of my expectations.
- Well-built metal frame
- Support for high-end graphics cards (330mm)
- Support for large aftermarket CPU coolers (160mm)
- Long internal cables
- Easy cable management (26mm behind tray)
- SSI EEB Support
- Good stock airflow
- Side panels
- False image advertising (very little blue)
- Cheap fan controller and fans
- No 8-pin CPU cable hole by the connector on the motherboard