Assembling the Rosewill Armor EVO

I'll just get it out of the way now and hopefully not have to repeat myself later: while assembly of the Armor EVO went mostly smoothly, I absolutely loathe the notched side panels. Maybe it's because they're a royal pain to replace, maybe it's because one actually drew blood when I tried to close up, I'm not sure. These aren't specific to Rosewill; other case designers like BitFenix (case designers who should know better) have employed them in recent designs as well. This is a tired, old, impractical mounting system that needs to be put out to pasture.

With that grievance out of the way, motherboard installation went mostly smoothly. You'll have to install the standoffs yourself, but that's more a convenience issue than anything seriously meaningful. Drive installation went better, actually; the drive trays that Rosewill uses in the EVO are nice and sturdy, and the mechanisms for securing the optical drive in the 5.25" bay are both easy to use and very firm. Actually, even getting the expansion card and power supply into the EVO was mostly a breeze.

Cabling was a little more fraught but not by much. I feel like the routing holes for the motherboard headers could stand to be a bit bigger, and the opening for the AUX 12V line is still getting caught on the side panel rail behind the motherboard tray, but cabling mostly went pretty easily. The fans all include both 3-pin headers and molex connectors, and the molex connectors can be daisy chained. Really the only problem child as far as the fans go is the side panel fan; NZXT includes an extension cable for this that runs back to their hub in the pricier (and more awesome) Phantom 630, but in the EVO you're on your own and there's no easy place to daisy chain it unless you run more fan cables into the inside of the case instead of keeping them behind the motherboard tray.

If you've assembled an ATX case before, the Armor EVO isn't going to have any surprises for you apart from the struggle to close it back up without putting it on its side. Like I said before, the design of the EVO is pretty bog standard; there are no great innovations and outside of the fans and side panels no major steps backward. This is a pretty brute force design: install your system and then let six fans move a boatload of air.

In and Around the Rosewill Armor EVO Testing Methodology
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  • max347 - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    Second paragraph, second sentence, seen->see*?
  • SunLord - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    You know what I would like to see in case reviews photos of the case with different size motherboards. I don't care about them testing the case with all the different sizes but it would be nice to see what a Full ATX and an E-ATX would look like installed in the cases that support them using a MicroATX MB is nice for a constant variable in testing across all cases but gives you zero clue on how well a motherboard you would actually use in this case would fit or look
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    I agree here. I understand the reson to stick with one size mainboard for all testing, but I'm very skeptical of the clams of some of these case manufacturers when they say their case will hold "XL-ATX" and "E-ATX". Get one of those EVGA SR-2s and slap that baby in there, heh.
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    reason*; claims*. Sheesh, my error checker was way on the blink on this post.
  • Barbarossa - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    The SR-2 is HPTX, most cases don't claim compatibility with that.

    By E-ATX most people mean a Rampage or Maximus board from Asus or similar, which isn't actually the same as the TRUE E-ATX spec.

    XL-ATX is kind of a made-up spec, but it was used to define longer than standard boards (more than 8 slots).
  • ForeverAlone - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    It's nice to see that twin-120mm fans on the front are standard now.
  • number58 - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    I noticed that the numbers from the recently reviewed phantom 630 were not in the tables to compare with this case. Any particular reason?
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    Not sure this would have much of an impact on results, but do you take ambient temperature before/during (maybe even after) tests?
  • pensive69 - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    how about a marriage between a small home or dorm room fridge maker and a case maker? you'd be able to do your install INSIDE an actual fridge with insulation and temp controls provided in a system designed to work at 35 - 45 F anyway?
    ambient air solutions start around 30 - 40 F higher out of the box
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    Some of the PC case makers seem to have lost the plot...

    There is a reason why the original tower PC cases were built the way they were with no openings in the top of the case. Here's a hint: what blows out can also fall in...

    While in theory an open top allows warm air to escape easily, it also allows dirt/dust/liquids/small objects, etc. to enter - even when unintended or unwanted. Thus top openings in PC cases are a bad idea on several fronts including NOISE, for those who don't already know.

    As far as buying this Rosewill case based on it's "thermal headroom", that is a sick joke. It hardly matters if your OC'd CPU runs at 49C or 51C as either is well within the low end of the operating range for ANY CPU. Hell 59C isn't even an issue.

    With all of the disadvantages to this case design be it the top opening, which being raised is REALLY bad, the noise, the shoddy construction, the excessive fan noise, the screened side panel and the excessive price, this unit can hardly be recommended for anyone with a clue. Yes some folks will buy it for it's "stealthy" look or it's pretty LEDs but not anyone with a clue, especially when you can buy a quality conventional PC casr for ~$70.

    It's actually quite silly what the PC case market has become in recent years to entice the 13 year old kids. I'm surprised they aren't selling PC cases with tit and arse plastered on the outside of them - aka Lara Croft/Anjie Jolie, like they do GPU cards. Those would fly out the door faster than they could produce them. The 13 year old kids could have their favorite fantasy babe half naked sprawling all over the outside of their PC case. Oh baby, I can't wait for these...soon to be on shelves no doubt. :(

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