Rosewill has a reputation as a budget case and peripheral provider but the company is working to change that perception. The company’s latest full-tower offering—the Rosewill Thor V2-W PC case –lists for $129, which is significantly more than some of its budget products. But it’s still quite competitive with full-tower designs from the likes of Corsair or Coolermaster. And the Thor V2-W offers a good feature set housed in a striking chassis design.
At first glance, the Thor hits all the right notes. The case is available in white (our review unit) and black. There’s a full-featured front panel with two fan control knobs, four USB ports (2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0), microphone and headphone jacks, and an eSATA port. There’s room for six 5.25″ drives inside the case and six 3.5″ drives as well. The rear panel includes support for up to 10 expansion cards, where most enthusiast cases top out at nine. It’s a 30 lb case, which isn’t bad for a full tower — the plastic front panel and bezels probably shaved ounces and dollars off the system. Total chassis size is 22.84 inches long, 21.89 inches tall, and 9.14 inches wide. That’s about standard for a full tower, and Rosewill has designed the case to leave room behind the chassis for cable routing.
There are several features that set the Thor apart from other towers. First, it relies exclusively on massive, low-speed fans for exhaust and intake; the smallest fan inside this case is a 140mm rear exhaust fan. Three 230mm fans handle front air intake, side intake, and top exhaust. The benefit of using this type of configuration is that the fans don’t need to spin very quickly to move large quantities of air.
Second, there’s the user-controlled fan vents at the top of the unit. Users can choose to close the plastic shroud at the top of the case to reduce noise, or open them for increased ventilation. Vent position can be controlled by the end user, but there are only two options — fully open or fully closed. The fans inside are slow enough that air noise isn’t a major issue, but it’d be nice if the case included at least one vent position midway between fully closed and fully open.
Then there’s the styling. The white look works well for the Thor; it’s a striking contrast to the usual black on most cases. Rosewill didn’t skimp on the paint, either — sometimes, with light colors, the metal’s undercoat or natural color will bleed through. That’s not a problem here. The case supports E-ATX and XL-ATX motherboards, which makes it suitable for a wide range of high-end / workstation builds.
The Thor’s full-tower status means that it can accommodate any graphics card—I had no trouble slipping Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan into the case. The large number of connections in the front panel means there’s a large cable bundle descending from the top of the case to the motherboard, but these are long enough to route around the back. The front-panel USB 3.0 ports connect to the motherboard via an internal header (older versions of the Thor had to be routed and plugged into the back of the case).
Like many more expensive cases on the market, the Thor V2 makes extensive use of board cutouts for optimal cable routing. There’s a large space for CPU cooler access and multiple cable channels along the top and sides of the board. The PSU mounts at the bottom and has its own vent grating. There are rubber-reinforced grommets for mounting an external water block as well.
External optical drives can be screwed in, but there’s an optional locking slide that also works quite well. The 3.5″ internal bays are easily accessible and tool-less, and there’s enough space on the backside for comfortable power cable routing.
The one negative we noticed is that the plastic bezel pieces on the front of the case—the black-and-white triangles—aren’t secured particularly well. They have a tendency to pop off if used as grip-points when moving the case, which led to a panicked moment the first time it was moved. The bezels didn’t break and can be reattached, but they feel a bit cheap.
At $129, the Thor V2-W is significantly cheaper than many of the other full towers on the market, and while it’s not perfect, we like the white/black color scheme, the large, quiet fans, and the front-mounted fan controllers. If you need a case this big for a workstation or major gaming rig, the Thor is a worthwhile option to consider.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc