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Raidmax Narwhal Review


Raidmax Narwhal Closer Look: Working Components

A great looking case from the outside can be less than exciting on the inside, and vice-versa, so let's take a closer look. The Narwhal is a versatile, mid-tower case that can handle a mini-ITX, micro ATX, or a full-sized ATX motherboard. With the side covers removed, the inside reveals the standard layout - nothing out of the ordinary. There is space for up to four optical drives and up to six hard drives, and adequate room for cable management.



Looking down into the case you can see the bottom vents - one for the power supply to draw in fresh air and the other to mount a fan for extra cooling. Looking toward the front is the lower hard drive cage, which can hold three hard drives. The top cage has been removed, but it also can hold three hard drives. The top cage can be left out if you have a long graphics card. Of course, you lose some hard drive space.



Looking up at the top you can see the mesh top cover. This is a nice spot for a 240mm top radiator if you decide to go with liquid cooling. Up towards the front is a rather large opening for the optical drives. As I mentioned earlier, cases with optical drive space are getting hard to find. If you are old enough to remember floppy drives, there was a time when they were being phased out in favor of optical drives. Then USB became popular, and as high-speed Internet and cloud storage have become common, the need for removable local storage has diminished. So, more and more cases are phasing out optical drives.



Here is one of the hard drive trays. They conveniently hold the hard drive in place and stack inside the hard drive cage. The cage slides into position in the case. There are mounting holes in the hard drive trays for solid state drives.



In the hardware box, you will find the hard drive mounting rails, motherboard installation screws, and a system speaker. The Narwhal uses Rail Slide HDD Technology for hard drive installation. It comes with enough slides to install a total of three hard drives (three 3.5" drives). The rails have small pins that locate on the existing mounting holes in the sides of the hard drives. They then push into the hard drive rack and lock into position. This is a nice design and requires no tools. Nothing really holds the rails to the drive until you slide it into the hard drive cage, which is where everything is sort of squeezed together and held in place.



The instructions are well illustrated and easy to follow. Sometimes it is nice to see how everything fits together, especially if you are adding fans to the case.



Now the motherboard is installed and you can see the Noctua D14 cooler when the top cover is removed. This allows for easy access when attaching fan cables and the main CPU power cable. There appears to be plenty of room above the motherboard for a liquid cooling system and the offset mounting at the top of the case takes advantage of the recessed area under the top cover. My graphics card is short enough that I could use the top hard drive cage if I needed to, but for now, I will just use the bottom cage.



The graphics card illumination is peeking through the side window. The case only comes with one front 120mm fan, but you could easily add a second fan. That one LED fan looks a little lonely there all by itself. 


  1. Raidmax Narwhal: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Raidmax Narwhal Closer Look: The Case
  3. Raidmax Narwhal Closer Look: Working Components
  4. Raidmax Narwhal Specifications & Features
  5. Raidmax Narwhal Testing: Setup & Results
  6. Raidmax Narwhal: Conclusion
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