Raidmax Wind Storm ReviewRHKCommander959 - January 5, 2009
With the side panel removed, eyes are immediately drawn to the hard drive bay, and blue tool-free devices. Also readily visible is a tangle of cords hanging like vines in a jungle. Two clear 120mm blue-LED fans, both of which are four-pin with male and female connections, adorn the side panel. Both sides of the acrylic window are protected from scratches by sheets of plastic, and the panel is held in place by screws.
The seven expansion slots are tool free with blue rotating locking mechanisms that work by means of pressure – to open slot, push the blue arc in and rotate it. Closing the lock is much simpler with just rotating it back in place, and making sure the arch snaps back into place. The five 5.25” drive bays use a locking mechanism that is enabled by sliding the blue switch.
Surrounding the power supply area is an outline of foam to both absorb vibrations, but also to more firmly hold the power supply in place, and form a gasket to allow the power supply to more effectively vent. Underneath the power supply opening is a grill with four rubber dots which both help support the power supply’s weight, absorb vibration, and to allow any secondary or top mounted power supply fan to suck in fresh air from under the case if angled properly – which allows the power supply to operate more efficiently than if it were to pump in warmer case air. There are holes for either setup however. The drives are easily removed and enclosed in a special tray with four rubber grommets each which absorb any vibration from the drives, helping to provide silence and stability – the drives are also raised allowing heat to vent from the drives better, and are cooled by the front mounted clear 120mm blue-LED fan. At the bottom of the case is a black retention mechanism that can additionally fit up to 140mm fans, and some single 120mm radiators for water-cooling.
Included inside of the case is a 5.25” to 3.5”converter, so that one of the five bays can be used for a smaller drive, such as a floppy drive or card reader. The hard drive slots are simple, but effective. The silver tabs are squeezed together to remove the drive, and snap back into place when slid into the rack.
The front panel comes with the four standard wires: power button, power LED, hard drive LED, and reset button. The other connections are the front USB, and variable AC ’97 and HD Audio connections for front audio in/out. The cords are run through holes installed for easier wire management.
The black case fans are entirely absent of labels, and feature black stickers where labels would be found. The front fan is attached to a removable grill both of which are held in place by four screws. The clear fans also have the black stickers, but there are labels underneath of these, though fairly non-discreet, they look to be around 60cfm fans using 12V/0.22A, sleeve bearings.
The expansion slots can be used with the tool-free method, or used with screws for a more permanent installation, as the 5.25” bays tool-free system can be removed also and used with screws. Sitting next to the expansion slots are two grommets for water-cooling tubes, but they are too small and must be removed for tubing that is half-inch thick or thicker internally. The front mesh drive covers are a nice touch and help with airflow while looking snazzy. One is a two-stage cover that houses a 3.5” cover, for use in conjunction with the 5.25” to 3.5” converter.