In Win Dragon Rider Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on February 3, 2011
The Dragon Rider is the latest full-tower case from In Win. Its left-side panel is identical to the one used on the Ironclad and on the Maelstrom –two full-tower cases from In Win –, but the Dragon Rider brings several new features. Let’s take a look at them!
Differently from most cases, the Dragon Rider comes with a 120 mm fan on its right panel to cool down the bottom area of the CPU. This fan is attached to a standard peripheral power connector, and thus you can’t monitor its speed.
The left panel, better seen in Figure 3, comes with a big 220 mm fan that glows in blue when turned on. A switch is available for you to turn off the LEDs, and the fan is connected to a standard peripheral power connector, so you can’t monitor its speed. If you remove this fan you can install up to six 120 mm fans. So, if you are paranoid with air flow, this case should please you. On the good side, all holes for screwing the fans have a rubber washer, helping reducing vibration and thus noise. On the bad side, both the left and the righr panels don’t come with air filters.
The front panel of the Dragon Rider can be seen in Figure 4. This case has five 5.25” bays, and the top-most can be used as an external 3.5” bay. All bays feature meshed covers with air filters. At the bottom part of the front panel there is a 120 mm fan, this time with a three-pin connector, so you can install it on the motherboard and, thus, monitor its speed.
The buttons and connectors of this case come on the top panel, and it is one of the most complete panels we’ve seen to date. This case comes with two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, one FireWire (IEEE1394) port, and the traditional audio jacks.
The top panel of the Dragon Rider can be seen in Figure 7. It comes with one 120 mm fan identical to the front one, and you can install a second 120 mm fan, if you’d like to. The top fan can be removed if you want to install a 240 mm internal radiator from a liquid cooling solution.
The bottom panel (Figure 8), features an air intake for the power supply fan and you can choose to have the case feet showing or not.
In Figure 9, you can see the rear panel of the Dragon Rider. It comes with a 120 mm fan that is identical to the ones from the top and front panels. The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case, and the rear panel and the interior of the case are painted black. The Dragon Rider has eight expansion slots, which is definitely a plus, allowing you to install a dual-slot video card in the last slot of the motherboard (most cases come with seven slots, therefore not allowing this installation). All of them come with meshed covers.
The case also has four holes with rubber covers, two of them are for you to pass hoses of liquid cooling solutions, and the other two you must use to pass the cables coming from the USB 3.0 ports, which must be installed on the rear USB 3.0 ports of your motherboard.
Let’s now take a look inside the Dragon Rider.
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. Before talking about the interior of the Dragon Rider, let’s show the other side of the side panels (see Figures 10 and 11). As you can see, the left panel is covered with foam in order to reduce the noise level produced by the computer.
The motherboard tray has a huge hole around the area where the CPU is installed, so you can replace the backplate of the CPU cooler without the need to remove your motherboard. Also, there is a 120 mm fan cooling down the bottom part of the CPU.
You can route cables behind the motherboard tray, thanks to the presence of two holes on the motherboard tray. Plus, the motherboard tray doesn’t go all the way down to the bottom panel, making it very easy to route the power supply and hard drive cables.
The Dragon Rider supports Extended ATX motherboards and video cards up to 12.6” (320 mm) long. Expansion cards are fastened using individual tool-less mechanisms that are very sturdy.
In the Dragon Rider you can install the power supply with its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you will have to decide if you want the power supply to be pulling cool air from outside the case (fan facing down) or hot air from inside the case (fan facing up). The product comes with an air filter for the power supply fan, which is great. There are also four rubber stands for the power supply.
The Dragon Rider comes with five 5.25” external bays, six internal 3.5” bays, and one internal 2.5” bay. One external 3.5” device can be installed using the 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter that comes installed on the top-most 5.25” bay. This adapter can also be used by a hard drive, so you have up to seven 3.5” hard drives installed, plus a 2.5” hard drive or SSD. Sweet!
All drive bays use tool-less installation mechanisms, except the 2.5” one. The system used on the Dragon Rider requires a rail to be installed on each side of the drive to be installed, and then sliding the drive inside the proper bay. To remove 5.25” devices, however, you have to first remove the front panel in order to have access to the rails release tabs. These rails come inside a storage compartment that comes installed in the bottom-most 5.25” bay.
The 2.5” bay is available inside a drawer.
In Figure 21, you can see the accessories that come with the product.
The main specs for the In Win Dragon Rider case include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Dragon Rider is a very nice full-tower case if you are looking for a case with lots of nice features supporting several fans.