|Raidmax Blade Mid-Tower Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Doug Dallam|
|Monday, 03 October 2011|
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Raidmax Blad Mid-tower Case Final Thoughts
Let me say that the front design is pretty cool looking. I like it, and I like the colors. My black review version, however, makes the front facia disappear, so the design is lost. With the new colors, though, you can really see it and that's a high point for the case--it's looks. The bay covers look nice too, and they are unique in that they slide left to release. The paint, the black base coat, seems fine too and the internal steel is rolled with no sharp edges. The internal paint is on par with the external, which is good quality. The Blade is also sturdy and I didn't notice any main struts flexing or bending at all.
On the other hand, the nonexistent cable routing space, the screwed on front bezel with the front filters that don't serve much of a filter service, and the hardly functionaing toolless mounts left me a little cold. On the front, you'll find two front USB 2.0 ports and two audio ports, plus a hard drive indicator and power light. If you want an externally cool looking and internally sturdy case on the cheap, this would do it. Just don't expect to use the toolless mounts, unless you don't care about a really loose fit and the danger of your drive falling onto your motherboard when you move the case or the drives ratteling when they spin up, and double that for opticals. It just doesn't add up though. Consider that the case has a viewing side window, but with almost no cable routing space. Who wants to peer in the window only to see a ratball-wire mess? Okay, you can clean it up if you spend some tme, after all, that use to be the way it was for all cases, and we got along just fine, but I trust you get my point.
Raidmax Blade Conclusion
The Raidmax Blade is a good looking case on the outside, but it's internals leave room for improvement. You get a power supply air filter, but, for example, the front fan filters don't line up too well with the fan itself, and draw most (or at least a lot) of the air directly in from the front grill--which has no filter. Perhaps it's normal for sub-fifty dollar cases, so take this with some salt, but the front bezel screws on and the screws tap directly into the plastic front bezel itself. In order to take the bezel off, you'll need to first take off both side panels in order to get to the screws.
The construction is solid with rolled internals and no sharp edges. The motherboard tray was a little flexi on the bottom right, but that shouldn't be a problem, and I'm not suggestiong it is in the least. The black paint, externally and internally, seemed very good too, but I could not check the pin stripe quality because Raidmax sent me the all black option. Last, one reviewer on Newegg said that one of his feet broke right away. They are plastic and not rubbrrized, so be careful about that. They don't feel fragile though.
Functionality speaking, you will get 11.5" of vid card space as long as you don't have a drive in that location. If you do, it'll cost you 2" because that's how much a 3.5" mechanical drive protrudes into the case (the hard drives mount into the motherboard area). Externally, you'll find two USB 2 ports and the normal audio input and output. The toolless mounts were sloppy at best, and I wouldn't call them functioning mounts at all. There is virtually no cable routing space. I measured less than a 1/4". Finally, the drive cages are not removable.
This is an average case functionally speaking, and it's main upside is its external looks and inexpensive price. On the up side, it's plenty sturdy too. If you want this case, you're problably going to want it for the external design, which I think quite nice for the price. However, make sure you get a colored model because the all black option hides the front robot like design and looks plain and bulky. No award this time, but given the information here, you can safely buy it knowing what you're getting. Please let me know if you think I'm being too harsh on this little case or not. I look forward to your comments.
+ Nice external design
- Bezel requires tools to take off
Final Score: 7.75 out of 10.Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.