NZXT Rogue Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 13, 2009
Rogue from NZXT is a hybrid steel/aluminum small form factor case targeted to gamers, but we do believe that regular users may be interested in building a PC using this case due to its compact size and high quality.
Even though it only accepts microATX motherboards due to its reduced size, the positioning of the internal bays allows you to install high-end video cards up to 11 ½” (29 cm) long. Other features make this a good choice for gamers: its compact size makes it easier to carry the computer around; very robust construction; aluminum parts that help reducing the weight; support for five 120 mm fans; and the carrying strap that comes with the product.
NZXT Rogue is available in two choices of color (black or silver) and two choices of color for the rear fan and front panel LED’s (red or blue). We reviewed the black version.
As you can see, this case has a thick aluminum door. In Figure 3, you can see the case with its door opened. The front panel uses an even thicker aluminum sheet and there you will find two 5.25” external bays and one 3.5” external bay.
In Figure 4, you can see the connectors available on the front of the case. The good news is that you can access them even with the door closed. The two USB ports, however, are too close to each other, preventing you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time. There is an eSATA port, which is terrific, but no FireWire port.
Usually small form factor cases the left, right and top panels are connected together using a single metal sheet. On Rogue, however, these three panels are independent and to open the case you must remove the top panel (which is attached to the rear panel using a thumbscrew), not the side panel like it happens on regular tower cases.
The top panel features an acrylic window and is manufactured using a thin aluminum sheet.
The rear panel, on the other hand, is made from steel, like the internal frame where the disk drive bays are attached to and the bottom panel. There you can find a 120 mm fan that glows when turned on (red or blue, depending on your choice when buying the case) and four expansion slots. It comes with a frame for the power supply and you need to install the power supply to this frame before installing the power supply to the case. If you power supply doesn’t fit the case you can use an extender that comes with the case and makes 1” (2.5 cm) of the power supply to be located outside the case. The motherboard tray is removable, what helps a lot building a PC on such a small case, and is attached to the rear panel using thumbscrews.
Before opening the case, we’d like to show the carrying straps that come with Rogue, which is a terrific option if you want to carry your PC around.
In Figure 9 you have an overall look from the interior of this case with its top panel removed. If you pay close attention you will notice the two screws that hold each side panel to the case. You can easily remove these screws in order to remove the side panels, which is a great option to help you building your PC and installing more fans.
Rogue comes with one 120 mm fan on each side, with a space for installing another fan. Thus it comes with three 120 mm fans with space for installing two more.
The fans are configured on a different way and you must pay attention when adding extra fans. The fan from the right panel works under ventilation mode, i.e., pushing air from outside the case to the inside. This fan comes with a dust filter and so do the space for installing the extra fan on this panel. The fan from the left panel, however, works under exhaustion mode, i.e., pulling air from inside the case to the outside. This fan and the space to install another fan on the left panel do not feature dust filters. When adding the extra fan you have to install it with the correct airflow direction.
This case does not come with any speed control for the fans and they all use a regular peripheral power plug, so you cannot connect them to the motherboard in order to monitor their speed. NZXT also does not publish any information about speed, airflow and noise level from the fans used.
The side panels, by the way, are made of aluminum.
As mentioned, on Rogue you can remove the motherboard tray – which is also manufactured in aluminum –, which helps a lot building your PC, especially on a small case like this. Rogue uses regular screws to fasten daughterboards and we think a case with this construction quality deserved thumbscrews here.
In Figure 12, you can see Rogue with the top and side panels and the motherboard tray removed.
As mentioned, this case has two external 5.25” bays and one 3.5” external bay. It also has four internal 3.5” bays, two located on each side from the case. Thus you can install up to four or five (if you are not using a floppy disk drive or memory card reader) hard disk drives on Rogue. Drives must be installed using regular screws.
NZXT Rogue case main specs include:
* Researched at Shopper.com on the day we published this review.
NXZT Rogue is a small form factor case targeted to gamers that like to go to LAN parties and users that want a small high-end case. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.
In summary, this is a good case for gamers and users that want a small yet high-end case. You have to carefully research prices before buying, though. As of today, prices are crazy at Newegg.com. The black model with red fan is quoted at USD 150, however the same model with blue fan is being sold for USD 100. And if you like the silver model, you can have it for only USD 90.