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Written by David Ramsey   
Friday, 09 December 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Building a System
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

HPTX Super Tower Final Thoughts

Rosewill calls the Blackhawk Ultra a "super tower" case, and that's as good a description as any. Its huge size means that it can accommodate virtually any build, and it's by far the least expensive case that EVGA certifies as being able to handle their SR-2 HPTX motherboard.

In fact, the price of this case makes it worth your consideration if you want the space of a full tower, even if you just have an ATX motherboard. For just $20 more than many high end full tower cases, you get vastly more room and better cooling, which is something to keep in mind if you're an avid overclocker (even with all the fans going, the case is very quiet). Water cooling enthusiasts have plenty of space for reservoirs and several options for mounting large radiators.

rosewill_blackhawk_ultra_left_rear_34.jpg

I wish the case had better intake filtering; the only filter on the case is the unimpressive perforated plastic sheet on the bottom. Given the amount of air this case will move with its eight fans, interior dust will be a problem, especially if the case sits on the floor, which is likely given its size.

The size also brings another problem: transportation. There are no handles on this large and very heavy case, and even moving the empty case is something that requires both strength and care. A fully loaded system will be very difficult for one person to move, although attaching the supplied casters will at least make it easy to move around on the floor.

Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Conclusion

Although we strive for objectivity here at Benchmark Reviews, please remember that each author perceives these points differently, and our conclusions and recommendations will necessarily differ from others. Also, prices can fluctuate and designs change after publication, so that the product we review might not have the same price and specifications of a product that's available later. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary of each of the areas that we rate.

The performance of the case was exceptional. It's delivered with eight fans, three of which are giant 230mm units, and you can mount several more. If you like water cooling, your biggest problem will be to choose which of the many possible radiator mounting options you want to use.

This is one of the plainest-looking cases I've ever seen, especially in this market segment. There's not even a "Rosewill" badge-- or any other badges or branding-- anywhere on the case. While many current cases take styling to sometimes-silly extremes, the Blackhawk Ultra could use a little more visual distinction.

The quality of the case was top-notch. Although Rosewill used plain painted steel for the case structure, it's well made, with all parts fitting easily and all edges rounded or smoothed so there are no sharp places to injure the unwary.

This case's functionality derives mostly from the sheer space its size makes available. The fan power breakout boards are a nice touch, as are the plentiful cable routing features. My only real complaints are the lack of intake air filtration (I really can't count the "filter" at the bottom of the case) and the difficulty of moving a fully loaded system.

As of December 2011 the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra costs $199.99 at Newegg, a price that makes this computer case an excellent value, and an obvious choice for anyone actually building an HTPX or XL-ATX based system. It's really a one-trick pony, but all that space is quite a trick.

Pros:Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ Fully painted interior
+ Incredible amount of internal space
+ Excellent cable management
+ Space for 10 3.5" hard drives
+ 3x120 radiator support
+ Integrated fan power breakout boards

Cons:

- No USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapter cable
- No intake air filtration
- Extremely plain appearance
- Very large and heavy case with no easy way to carry it

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.5
  • Appearance: 7.0
  • Construction: 9.0
  • Functionality: 9.0
  • Value: 9.5

Final Score: 8.8 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer CaseDoug Dallam 2011-12-14 01:00
Good, concise review David. I think you're pros and cons throughout were spot on. I'd hate to have to move that monstrosity. I'd hate to look at it too. It looks kinda like a "grandpa case." I'm in awe of it's size. I thought the Rosewill THOR v2 was huge at 22" x 23". This thing is gimongous.

I think my next build will be in a micro case. We'll see after I get one to review.
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# RE: RE: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-12-14 07:43
Yeah, I've been reviewing a lot of huge cases of late: the Storm Trooper, the Blackhawk Ultra, and the one I'm doing now...

Of course for a micro case you need a mATX motherboard.
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# RE: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer CaseChris 2011-12-14 19:55
Put a mini-ATX board in just for fun. :P

Otherwise, I think you mentioned in your HAF-X review that there are some cases that are so big as to be impractical ... hmm. This would be only good for somebody that doesn't want to move around a lot.

To be honest though, I'm not sure about who is to buy this case.

1. People who want a mobile case or something small are obviously going to skip

2. People who don't need an HPTX really don't need something like this. If you're getting something like the Asus ROG series XL ATX boards, there are other cases under $250 and many have a better build quality (ex: the power supply dust filter isn't so cheap)

3. People who can afford an HPTX probably can get something a bit ... higher end. At that price point, we're talking a motherboard that costs $600, 2 Xeons, and likely a lot of GPUs.

For that, there's cases like the Lian Li PC-P80N, the PC-V2120, or to go with something like the CaseLabs series of cases.

I guess it's for people that like big cases, but who don't want to (or cannot afford to) spend on something costlier?
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# RE: RE: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-12-14 21:08
Chris, I think a case like the Cooler Master Storm Trooper is better for most people, and costs slightly less to boot. The Blackhawk Ultra wins if you actually have an HPTX motherboard, or have another need for lots of interior space, such as with an elaborate water cooling setup.
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# Looking for a well filtered case.MikeBravo 2011-12-14 20:18
David said "I wish the case had better intake filtering...". Would someone please name some cases with excellent input filtering. I have foam mesh velcroed over my inputs. It is really ugly but it makes a big difference on the inside.
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# Cases with FilteringHank 2011-12-14 20:47
Thermaltake Level 10 GT

Antec Lanboy Air
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# RE: Looking for a well filtered case.Doug Dallam 2011-12-14 21:00
There are some. The Cooler Master Silencio 550 has a nice and easy to clean filter. the Silverstone PS07 micro case has a really nice filter system. I hear you. When I review cases, one of my pet peeves is easy to clean front /side/bottom filters.
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# RE: Looking for a well filtered case.Athlonite 2011-12-15 08:58
the Silverstone Raven RV02 has excellent filtering aswell
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# RE: Looking for a well filtered case.Mighty Warrior 2011-12-15 12:04
I have run the inexpensive ($80.00) NZXT Tempest for 3 years now. It has foam inserts under the front bezel and fine mesh screens over the front intake fans. The side intake fan has a very fine metal mesh cover. My inside is almost as clean as day 1. I clean the filters every 6 mos.
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# CorsairMergatroid 2011-12-18 14:26
Pretty much the entire Corsair lineup have filter mesh that is removable for cleaning.

Of course, some people change around their fan setup. For example, many people install closed-loop water coolers. The manufacturers recommend using them as intake. So, you may find yourself taking what was an exhaust and making it into an intake for a rad like the H100 or H80. If you did that you may be looking for filters again.

There are a few companies that make professional intake filters for various cases. There is one company in South Africa that makes a great filter kit for the Corsair 600T so even if you use the stock top exhaust area as an intake (for the H100) you can still have an easily removable filter. I believe the kit comes with filters for all the fan spots including the side panel mesh that can mount 4 120mm fans.

If you give them dimensions they will custom make filters for just about any case. If you drop by overclock.net you can likely find them by doing a search for South Africa or 600T filters.
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# Sweet caseMergatroid 2011-12-15 16:07
Personally I like the plane looks of this case, and the room is great. This case has almost every feature you look for in a great case. I do have a couple of beefs though. You cannot remove the front 3.5" drive cages or separate them for better air flow.

Also, the biggest beef in my opinion, only 4 5 1/4" bays on a full tower case? My 600T mid tower has four external bays. A lot of people with water cooling builds (a market this case is obviously aimed at) could fill up those four bays with just two duel bay reservoirs. Many water coolers will have two loops. If they did use two reses, there would be nowhere left for fan controllers, card readers, optical drives or any other 5 1/4 device. Even the Half 932 you showed beside it has more external bays and it's a smaller case.

I really like everything else about this case and I'm sure they will sell many of them to people who don't need the extra external bays.
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# RE: Sweet caseDavid Ramsey 2011-12-15 20:44
It's a valid complaint, but there's tons of room for reservoirs in other parts of the case...
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# Just an observationMergatroid 2011-12-16 16:21
I'm not really complaining. I realize not everyone doing a water build wants bay reses and most cases don't allow removal of the hard drive bays anyway. It's a nice case, I just thought any full tower should have more external bays.
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# Thank youMikeBravo 2011-12-17 14:53
Thank you to everyone who responded to my question about air filtering. Filtering intake air will a major criteria in my next case purchase.
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# RE: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer CaseLuay 2011-12-19 05:32
For building the most powerful, most silent air-cooled gaming rig possible today from commercially available parts, I really don't see any equal to this case.

$200 for this case + $270 for the cheapest 4-way SLI GA-X79-UD3 motherboard + $600 i7 3930k under a $90 phantek cooler overclocked as near to 5ghz as you can + four $600 EVGA GTX 580 Classified Ultra video cards voltage tweaked and overclocked beyond 1 ghz + two $220 Seasonic Platinum 860W PSUs installed in top and bottom and sharing the load + Memory and storage of your choice. Even if there is another case that can accommodate such a build I don't believe it will be as cool or as quite as this case.

Now get your choice of three 120hz 3d displays and hook them up to this rig. Play the newest games on the highest settings in 5760x1080 resolution without sounding like an air jet or exploding. The only item missing is $6,000.

Credit goes to Rosewill for this case. PC cases should do their simple job without asking too much $$$ in return for brand, looks and other stuff that a self-respecting money-earning gamer does not care about. I don't know who the original manufacturer is (some Chinese company) but this case has been licensed as two other models, Enermax Fulmo GT and Xigmatek Elysium but neither had multiple high quality fans as the BlackHawkUltra.
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# RE: Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra HPTX Computer CaseArron 2011-12-19 21:39
Filtering: Mike bravo: My Lian Li PC-P80 / N (new one) is filtered well enough to serve in an iron ore mine in the Pilbara - needs to be removed and reverse cleaned with compressed air daily... don't stand nearby when they blow it out. It is an 11 slot HPTX+ beast.
Luay: The PC-P80N is about half the weight and probably also half the noise - my AMD 8 core / Noctua NH14 / Giga UD7 / Corsair 16Gb 2000 Vengeance RAM (minus the insulating cosmetic only "heat sinks")and 950W PSU / 2 * Giga 6770 Silent (no fans!) / Adaptec 51645 / 2* Pioneer Bluray recorders / 16 * 1 Tb Hitachi drives combo is virtually silent (can sleep in the same room), and I can still lift it easily. Mind you, it is a lot dearer - you get what you pay for. Makes a good game machine plus an ERPS server at the same time.

Cheers

Arron
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# doggrell3000frank doggrell 2012-05-11 00:14
thank you for a great review . benchmark is my go to site for all computer parts opinions . the rosewill blackhawk ultra hptx super tower computer case is the best computer case ever designed . i love the giant size and the unassuming exterior and the front side and top red led fans . plus the fact that it has no logo or badge anywhere on the outside of the case is brilliant . i hate badges and logos . there is no front door .... i really dislike front doors on a computer case . there are plenty of fans included and the interior is painted black . the rosewill blackhawk ultra might be heavy but that is why they include casters . this is the best computer case under two hundred dollars and possibly the greatest case at any price . i am ordering my rosewill blackhawk ultra immediately . thank you .

doggrell3000
new york ny
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# RE: doggrell3000David Ramsey 2012-05-11 07:40
The case' appearance is a little plain, but you can't beat he functionality. I think you'll really like it.
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# doggrell3000frank doggrell 2012-05-18 18:44
dear david
i love the giant size and plain appearance of the rosewill blackhawk ultra . having no brand label on the exterior is ultra cool . one thing though -- i like the red led fans ( and will probably add even more of them ) but is there a relatively easy way to mount a simple on / off switch on the red leds so that i can switch off the red leds without switching off the fans ? sometimes i would like the red glow but sometimes i just want no lights at all . did i notice in your review that there is some kind of fan plug in module ? could that be modded with an on / off switch that only turns off the leds ? i do not want or need multi colored fans - red is just fine with me - and i do not want a fancy fan controller with rheostats . i just want an on / off switch that will turn off the red leds whenever the mood strikes me . besides the omission of a red led light switch the rosewill blackhawk ultra is in my humble opinion the best computer case ever designed for around $150 usd street . thank you for your feedback and suggestions .

doggrell3000
frank doggrell
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# RE: doggrell3000David Ramsey 2012-05-18 18:49
Sadly, the supplied fans do not have separate power leads for the LEDs-- they're powered by the same circuit that powers the fan motor. So there's no way to easily turn the LEDs on and off.

Fans with separately powered LEDs do exist. For example, some are used in the Cooler Master Cosmos II case. But you'd have to buy them separately and mount your own switches somewhere.
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