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There isn't a lot to dislike about Raidmax's new mid tower offering, and it has some novel ideas behind it; but there are things that leave it wanting compared to other similarly priced cases. It's a basic case with some innovations, such as the entire front faceplate is nonexistent, replaced by filtered, easy to remove bay covers. On the other hand, I don't care for the lightweight 180mm fan Raidmax chose. Then again, you can swap the 180mm fan with a 120mm if you wish. I also don't like the fact there is a total number of three fans, but three fans should be enough to cool your rig, unless you're into serious OCing or live in an unusually warm place.
Think about this, though: You're main cooling is going to be two fans, one back and one side. So, if that doesn't do it, your out of luck, unless you water cool. Personally, I'm also not a fan of backward mounted drives, either, as opposed to side mounted drives. Again, even with the backward mounted drives, you get almost 12" of video card space. The point of this comparison is that there are many mid tower cases in this price range that (a) have more fans; (b) have side mounted drives, while offering nearly the same options as the Seiran elsewhere. I mean, when looking for a case, it's not about one case. You obviously need to compare cases, and one or the other will be the winner for you based on your needs. With that explained, let's continue our comparative analysis.
There are some nice upgrades over the budget Raidmax Blade mid tower, such as a little rubber on the feet, more drive locks, drive caddies, more general internal space, easy to remove front bays for cleaning or general access, and more cable space. But that's compared to a budget mid tower, and the Seiran isn't a budget case. Comparing it to other similarly priced mid towers tells a different story.
For instance, while the Seiran has an LED dimmer switch and a painted interior, the Cooler Master HAF 922 does not. However, the 922 has 200mm fans x2 with the option of mounting a total of three 200mm fans, plus an optional bottom 140mm fan, for a total possible of five fans! The Seiran has a total of three fans, with only one having a size option of 180mm or 120mm, but the 180mm option is very lightweight.
As far as value goes, if you can get the Seiran down into the 70ish USD range, then it's value is looking much better; but adding insult to injury, we have the Cooler Master Storm Scout at Newegg for 70.00USD, which also sports more fan options, side mounted drives, a painted interior, and four front USB 2.0 ports, but not a USB 3.0 port (Storm Scout review at Benchmark Reviews). At the 99.00USD range (MSRP), well, in my opinion, the Seiran is simply outclassed, having tons of scary competition, such as Cooler Master's HAF series. A quick search shows me that the CM HAF 922 can be had for 90.00USD! As I mentioned beforehand, the competition in this range is not only fierce, but predatory. As always, compare before you buy.
Raidmax Seiran Conclusion
The Raidmax Seiran is definitely a step up from the Blade mid tower I reviewed earlier this year, but that's expected, since the Blade is a budget case. There are some nice upgrades and innovative design improvements too, such as drive caddies, tool-less lock downs for both sides of the drive, a completely open front end that is comprised of unique and nice looking filtered bay covers, and a very roomy interior, boasting almost a full 12" of video card space (Thanks to the unique staggered drive bay/fan mount implementation).
Appearance is a subjective matter, but the Seiran is a bold aesthetic squarely aimed at the gamer market. The side panels are good looking and not overdone. The back of the case looks nice too with red mesh slot covers and a blue bladed fan. The front I/O panel is also clean and unobtrusive.
The construction of the Seiran is adequate but nothing to awe over. It's thin side panels feel tinny. Putting a micrometer on both the side panel of the Cooler Master Silencio 550 and the Sieran confirms this: The Silencio measures 00.03" while the Sieran measures 00.025". Overall, though, the case is plenty sturdy, and light. The internal paint is a nice touch, and so too for its nice, thick, beefy, filtered front drive covers. The panels were some of the best fitting I've used, coming off easily, and more importantly, going back on positively, without those infuriating line up errors.
Functionally speaking, it does what it needs to do, except it's a little light on fan power, with a maximum of three fans total. There is tons of space in the Seiran, however, with almost 7" of cooling tower space and almost 12" of video card space. The drive mounts are your traditional back facing into the motherboard area. Cable space is adequate to good, but not great. With a total of nine drive bays, you should also have plenty of drive space, and with seven expansion slots, enough room for expansion cards too. The front I/O panel has both a fan controller and an LED fan dimmer switch, plus one USB 3.0 port, along with the normal I/O ports and two USB.
With excellent cases, not good, not decent, but excellent cases running in the $80-90 USD range, the value for the Seiran is a little on the low side, if it comes in at around the same price. If it comes in at around $99, then comparing it to other offerings, it's options are outclassed. It's a decent case, but better cases can be had for the same or lower price. If, however, you like the design and the unique features of the Seiran, you won't go wrong buying it. It's not a bad case at all, and it's decent looking and easy to get to the front without pulling any faceplates off. It's just not excellent in the areas other cases are already excellent, and for the same price.
For these reasons, like the Blade, no special recommendation is given this time based on my analysis and the competition; but I would like to stress again that the Seiran is a decent case by any standards, with lots of interior space. It's just not up to a recommendation based on other like priced mid tower cases available (e.g, Cooler Master's HAF and Storm series). Please let me know what you think about my analysis because this is really the hardest part of the review. The people at Raidmax are people too, and their just trying to make it like the rest of us. If you think I'm being biased or unfair, let me know how or why in the comments section.
+ Video card space
+ Cooling tower space
+ Front bay covers
+ Painted Interior
- Back mounted drives
- Adequate, but not great cable routing
- Total of three fans
- Side panels a little tinny
- Presentation: 8.00
- Appearance: 8.50
- Construction: 8.00
- Functionality: 8.00
- Value: 7.50
Final Score: 8.0 out of 10.
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