The Alpha from Raidmax adds remote RGB control to low-cost gaming. Does it also perform like a gaming case?
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With a black steel case that weighs barely more than 12 pounds, there’s no denying that Raidmax focuses its Alpha case line on budget gaming. Even with an RGB controller, it comes in at a scant $70 web price (and estimated $80 MSRP for local dealers). Buyers this interested in saving cost will likely be pleased to see that the panels fit nicely, the finish looks good, and the plastic side window is fairly flat and extremely shiny. It’s also devoid of any frivolous design gimmicks, except of course for the LED lighting that many buyers prefer. And even that feature can be turned off without opening the case.
Ports and buttons are placed on the right and left edges, smoothing the front panel design and providing easy access for those who prefer to have their computer sit on the desk to the left of their monitor. This preference is most common with right-handed users who want extra desktop real estate on the side where their mouse sits.
The rear panel is flat, with the card bracket protruding out of it, because it’s cheaper to make a case this way than to add a separate stamping for inset card slots. Inset fan mounts and an offset grill are designed to reduce noise that might otherwise occur if the fan blades were too close to the grill: this becomes more important for users who flip the exhaust fan over to use as an intake, which is often done to accommodate cool air intake when installing a single-fan radiator on the back panel.
The motherboard tray has a large access hole to ease CPU cooler support plate access, and is offset 0.7” from the side panel for easier cable routing. Cable space is deepened to 1.1” in front of the motherboard, but that inset limits motherboards to a maximum 10.3” depth.
The deeper cable space at the front of the case also holds two 2.5” trays, which are modular and can be repositioned atop the case’s power supply shroud.
Two 3.5” trays beneath the power supply shroud use silicon-damped pins to isolate 3.5” drive vibration, and are also drilled for screw-in installation of 2.5” drives.
Removing the 3.5” drive cage, which is screwed to both the bottom panel and power supply shroud, allows user to install extra-long power supplies. The power supply’s air inlet filter is also accessed from the bottom, and is held in place with flat tabs.
The front panel supports up to two 140mm or three 120mm fans, along with radiators up to 15.2” long, within a 2.4” gap in the top of the power supply shroud. Space in front of the fan mounts is filled with an RGB LED strip, and the traditional fan grill is filled with a plastic light diffuser. Air is drawn from a large gap at the bottom of the front panel cover, and motherboard-zone dust filtration is limited to only the top panel.
Under a magnetic filter sheet, the top panel also supports two 140mm or three 120mm fans, but its 1.2” of space above the motherboard is too narrow for most motherboard and radiator combinations. From this angle we can also see the top of the power supply shroud, with its two alternative 2.5” tray mounting locations and 2.4” front-panel radiator gap.
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