In and Around the Rosewill Thor v2

If there's one major difference I've noticed between the Rosewill Thor v2 and the last case I reviewed, the SilverStone FT02, it's that the Thor is freaking huge and remarkably tall. So large in fact that I'm honestly surprised it's not more than 30 pounds, though Rosewill likely saved some steel (along with weight and effort by the end user) by going with a plastic top and face.

Most end users probably aren't going to need six 5.25" external bays, but Rosewill had the extra space and must've figured they might as well use it. One of the faceplates for the bays can be used to convert a bay to a 3.5" external, and below the column of bays is the enormous 230mm intake fan. Unlike the other fans, this one glows with red LEDs (as does the Thor logo at the top when the system is powered on), though as I mentioned before there's a button recessed next to the intake fan that can be used to toggle the LEDs on and off. So if you'd rather your case not look like it's possessed, the option is there.

At the top is a very healthy port cluster featuring all the modern amenities, but unfortunately the USB 3.0 ports are routed through the back instead of using an internal motherboard header. Two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, audio jacks, and even an eSATA port should handle the majority of the connectivity any end user could ask for. Where I do waffle is on the fan controller knobs, which felt loose in my original review unit along with the replacement Rosewill sent. You'll also note a recessed reset button, which I think is a nice touch and prevents the end user [Ed: or their little ones!] from accidentally hitting it. Behind the ports is a small nook for resting external drives or CDs, and then there's the unusual vent system.

As I mentioned before, being able to open and close the top vents of the Thor v2 would seem like a great idea if there were still at least some openings for the top exhaust fan to vent through, but there aren't. In future revisions I would just as soon eschew this part of the design entirely and replace it with something akin to the top panel of the SilverStone Raven RV03.

When I opened up the side of the Thor v2, I was treated with an interior that looks very familiar. Apart from just making it more spacious, Rosewill seems to have taken some cues from other designs like Corsair's cases. There's a very healthy ten expansion slots, but the whole thing feels intelligently laid out. The six 3.5"/2.5" drive trays all face behind the motherboard tray, there's a sizable cutout in the tray for installing cooling backplates, and then the top of the case is able to support a 240mm radiator for water-cooling. There are a series of rubber-lined cutouts in the motherboard tray for routing cables, too.

Last but not remotely least, the side panel of the Thor v2 features a huge 230mm intake fan that the craziest of end users can choose to replace with four 120mm fans, though in testing I can't imagine why they'd need to. There's also ventilation near the top for the processor cooling and it's liable to help the aforementioned 240mm radiator if that's a route you're inclined to take.

Thus far the Thor v2 is largely nothing but upshot, but I do have some concerns. While build quality is by no means terrible, the Thor v2 does feel a little bit chintzier than the other cases I've reviewed. The plastic used for the front feels cheap, and as you'll see in assembly, the rubber grommets that line the motherboard tray cutouts are held in place virtually entirely through the power of prayer. Rosewill addressed my concerns with my initial review unit by sending me a replacement, and the replacement does feel a bit more solid, but I think the build quality is still a fundamental weak point. If this case isn't going to be moved around much (and really, at this size it shouldn't be), I don't think it's necessarily horribly rickety or inclined to break; it just doesn't feel quite as solid as some of the other enclosures I've tested.

Introducing the Rosewill Thor v2 Assembling the Rosewill Thor v2
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  • flong777 - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    This review lists temperatures for the 650D which are not anywhere near what I am experiencing in my build. I own the 650D and following are my temps:

    1. CPU , Less than 40C under load
    2. GPU, Less than 60C under load
    3. Mobo - less than 40C under load
    4. HDD - less than 35C under load
    5. RAM - less than 40C under load
    6. Ambient temperature is 82F

    Note that these are MAX temps under load. My build is as follows:

    2600K CPU
    XFX 6950 GPU
    Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler
    Corsair 650D case
    AsRock Extreme 4 Gen 3 motherboard
    Gskill DDR3 1600 2 x 4GB

    For the life of me, I cannot imagine how Anandtech's temps are so high for the 650D. My builds is a full 20C- 40C cooler than the Anandtech build in the same case.

    Also, THIS IS IMPORTANT, if you remove the top HDD cage the front 200 mm fan blows directly on the motherboard, GPU and CPU unimpeded. This makes a huge difference in cooling and most people don't need more than three HDDS/SSDs. I am guessing that if Anandtech took out the top HDD cage in their build that temps would drop at least 3C - 5C over all components.

    Also, the case is very quiet on low fan and reasonably quiet on high fan. On low fan the case is almost inaudible (I hear the Noctua coolers fans as much as the case's fans). According to reviews, the case cools almost as well on low fan as on high fan.
    Reply
  • randinspace - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    I was tempted to say something snarky because you're really comparing apples and oranges (mid-range AMD GPU vs. upper tier NVIDIA GPU) and didn't give your full parameters (ie, whether you used the same testing procedures and measuring programs/equipment that Dustin did) and it's been a lousy day, but to be honest you've (put together an envious build) really exposed the essential flaw of case reviews in general and AT's in particular, at least when it comes to temps and noise: Sandy Bridge chips are just that much better in the categories you'd measure when reviewing an enthusiast case than anything else on the market that you'd stick into a case like this (no one is going to buy a chassis like this and stick one of AMD's Bobcat chips into it, right?), and even though those are what's selling and in demand it's absent from the testbed.

    Of course it could be worse, AT could be doing reviews with a Phenom II X6 for truly misleading results compared to the way it's almost impossible to find an article on here that doesn't praise SB's virtues (particularly their buying guides). Then again people were probably more likely to build a brand new rig (as opposed to cobbling together parts left over from other people's upgrades to SB) with that in it this year than the i7-875k.

    The other factor that contributes to the high thermals in their reviews is the near reference model NVIDIA GPU, but I'm sure there are plenty of enthusiasts who savor the extra FPS in Crysis 2 (patched) compared to a 6970 so even though you can get lower profile versions of the 580 than that particular Zotac model I'm not going to quibble about it (though again the AT buying guides usually say something about the price to performance ratio being in favor of AMD cards). Hell if anything people who do buy cards like that are probably the ones who really need to worry about whether or not the case they buy can keep the card running below spec.

    So that said, I can appreciate the "worst case scenario" that these reviews usually represent, but I just can't help but wonder how much differently they might have played out with components more representative of what people who follow sites like this and actually research their components to get the best fit for their needs (like the OP must have, and frankly I'd also rather save $250-300 and get a free game [Deus Ex ATM, Shogun 2 earlier in the year] by going with a 6950 than having the extra performance of a 580) would actually order.
    Reply
  • hoyanf - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    I have yet to see a review of cases that supports E-ATX or XL-ATX to have these kind of boards installed instead of using common ATX or M-ATX boards.

    I don't see the reason why not to use a bigger board on a case that supports it. For those using dual cpu boards would for sure like to see the capability of the case reviewed.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    Everything that Dustin discussed regarding case features is equally applicable, regardless of the size of the motherboard.
    If they were to use one of the larger motherboards, the only change to the review would be something like:
    "When we used an E-ATX motherboard, fitment was a bit tighter."

    You can look at the pictures in the gallery on page 3 and visualize how a board that is 90mm wider would fit. That would be true of any site that includes build pictures in their articles.

    Since XL-ATX is not an industry standard, I wouldn't expect anyone to use it in reviews, but the same process applies.

    Unfortunately, sites that are slanted more towards workstation/server systems, like 2cpu.com, are few and far between. They don't seem to review anything but finished systems.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    Rosewill is still Rosewill. I like the idea, and seems like it's layed out well. I want to go smaller with my next build though, not bigger. I want a quality case, Mid-Tower or smaller that is primally solid black. HEAVY focus on silent running. Built in handle would be really nice. As light as you can make it, Thermaltake used to have one that was "feather" light; I liked that one. USB 3.0 all the way around, no 2.0. No side vents or fans or lights or anything. Just front intake and rear exhaust, as large as you can make them. (for silence) Probably just gonna do one front fan, might not even need a rear fan with the PSU acting as an exhaust.

    I like the idea of a top vent you can open and close. Open for better cooling close for more silence. Tooless everything. If I can get all this for about 100 bucks from newegg I'd be pretty happy.
    Reply
  • etamin - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    Newegg is having a promo for the Thor v2 right now. It's only 129.99 with free shipping. Reply
  • killerclick - Saturday, August 27, 2011 - link

    Why not mention that Rosewill is owned by Newegg? It's not a secret Reply
  • Leyawiin - Saturday, August 27, 2011 - link

    I like this comparison reviews to alert me to brands/models I didn't even know about. IN WIN BUC is mid tower, only slightly less good in most categories and better in a few. $65 at Newegg. Reply
  • randinspace - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Now that you mention it the only thing missing from this review is Dustin's ubiquitous mention of how the BUC is a better proposition, so he must have really liked this case after all... Or maybe I just failed to read closely enough? Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Saturday, August 27, 2011 - link

    The guys on the forums will have a conniption. Reply

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