Introducing the Rosewill Ranger

When you start dipping well below an MSRP of $99 for an enclosure, you'll see manufacturers having to make compromises in the design and build quality in order to keep the price down. That's not unusual, and it gives the opportunity for smart engineering to come to the forefront in a bid to maximize value at minimal expense. We've seen a lot of exciting cases at $99 and in that neighborhood, but Rosewill's Ranger can be had for just $69.99, putting it in direct competition with crowd favorites like Bitfenix's Shinobi. Rosewill offered superior value with their full-sized Thor v2; can they repeat that success at half the cost?

We've seen a lot of decent contenders for budget cases lately, but things start to get really tight once you hit the Ranger's price tag, as you start to lose a lot of the amenities from more expensive enclosures. A good, inexpensive enclosure is a fine deal for an enthusiast at home, but boutiques would also do well to see what's available down here. I've griped about boutiques using mediocre cases for otherwise powerful builds in my desktop reviews, but there's a key difference between inexpensive and cheap. It's fine to save money on the case if the case itself is a good deal for the price, and that's what we're going to try and determine with the Rosewill Ranger today.

Rosewill Ranger Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Micro-ATX, ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25", 1x3.5"
Internal 4x 3.5" (2x 2.5" with included adaptor tray)
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 140mm exhaust fan (supports 2x 120/140mm fans)
Side 2x 120mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
Front I/O Port eSATA, 2x USB 3.0, mic and headphone jacks
Top I/O Port -
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 10.5" (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF), 200mm (PSU)
Weight 9.36 lbs.
Dimensions 7.88" x 18.23" x 18.98"
Price $69

Rosewill seems to be offering a decent amount of expandability for the price, but there are some odd tradeoffs here. While most users (especially users buying a case in this price range) aren't going to need more than four hard drive bays, the four external 5.25" bays are even less likely to see use. A smarter plan might have been to kill one of the 5.25" bays to add one more 3.5" bay, which would feel at least a little more balanced.

You'll also notice this is a pretty small enclosure, and while it's not quite the devil to assemble that the Lian Li PC-A05FN was, you'll see it's not particularly easy to work in either.

In and Around the Rosewill Ranger
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  • Onus - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    As far as metrics go, I agree with you; consistent testbeds are required to make comparisons based on objective metrics valid. All the comments about build difficulty are fairly subjective though, and I believe could have been "adjusted" to take into account the sort of build for which this case would be appropriate. Just as every other part in a computer should be chosen based on the intended uses of the completed system, so should the case be selected based on the components it will house. Despite good thermals, I would not choose this case for a high-end build, but it looks very good for something more modest.
    Please think of my initial remarks more of a reading between the lines than a criticism of the article; it provided very useful information, but I thought it would benefit from a little more context.
  • Blaze-Senpai - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I'd be tempted to just pop ope, the 5.25 inch bays and place a wire mesh in place of it and see how cool the thing really runs.

    I'm surprised no one has attempted a GPU with power connectors mounted near the bottom edge of the card though, most of the cards are either top or top edge mounted.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Looking at the gallery pics I think it uses the same bay covers as my Rosewill X3. They're a relatively coarse metal weave with a foam pad as backing for noise/dust abatement. Pull the foam out and you'll have a fairly free airflow path.

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