Raidmax Blackstorm Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on September 22, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

The Blackstorm is a mid-tower case from Raidmax, offered in two color options, black or white, both with blue trim and fans. The unique feature of this case is that its motherboard tray is attached to the right-side panel, and comes off the case together with the panel. Costing USD 80, it promises a good cost/benefit ratio. Let’s check it out.

We reviewed the black version of the case.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 1: Raidmax Blackstorm case

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 2: Raidmax Blackstorm case

The side panels can be easily removed by lifting the existing latches. The right-side panel has a mesh for an 80 mm fan, while the left-side panel has a huge mesh and comes with a 180 mm fan that glows blue when turned on. This fan comes with a standard peripheral power connector, so you can’t monitor its speed. The manufacturer doesn’t publish the technical specifications for this fan. This fan can be replaced by a 120 mm model, but we doubt that anyone will perform this downgrade.

This case doesn’t come with an air filter for the left-side mesh.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 3: Left-side panel

The Front Panel

The front panel of the Raidmax Blackstorm has four external 5.25” bays, all using meshed covers with air filters. One external 3.5” bay is also available, but using a solid cover.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 4: Front panel

At the bottom part of the front panel, the Raidmax Blackstorm comes with one 120 mm fan that glows blue when turned on. This fan comes with a standard peripheral power connector, so you can’t monitor its speed. The manufacturer doesn’t publish the technical specifications for this fan. There is an air filter in front of this fan.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 5: Front fan

The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels

The top panel of the Raidmax Blackstorm is solid, with no place for you to install fans. This is because the power supply is installed on the top part of the case. The buttons and connectors of this case are located on the top panel.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 6: Top panel

The case comes with two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, and the traditional audio jacks. It would be nice if it had USB 3.0 ports.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 7: Buttons and connectors

The bottom panel is plain, with no special features.

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Figure 8: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the Raidmax Blackstorm are painted black.

As mentioned, the power supply goes on the top part of the case.

The Raidmax Blackstorm comes with a 120 mm fan installed on its rear panel. This fan doesn’t glow when turned on, but similarly to the other fans, it uses a standard peripheral power connector, and the manufacturer doesn’t publish its technical specifications.

There are seven expansion slots, using vented covers.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 9: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Raidmax Blackstorm.

Inside the Raidmax Blackstorm

One of the highlights of this case is that you don’t need to remove screws in order to open it. All you need to do is lift the latch available on the top part of the side panel you want to remove and voilà. The motherboard tray comes attached to the right-side panel, making it easier to build your PC. Because of this feature, however, you can’t route cables behind the motherboard tray, and the tray doesn’t have a hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 10: Overall look

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 11: The motherboard tray is attached to the right-side panel

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 12: A view with the right-side panel removed

You can, if you want, remove the motherboard tray from the right-side panel. This is easily done by removing three screws.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 13: Motherboard tray removed from the right-side panel

In Figure 14, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using regular silver screws. The manufacturer could have used at least black screws here. The Raidmax Blackstorm supports video cards up to 10.5” (267 mm) long.

Raidmax Blackstorm case
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Figure 14: Overall look

The Disk Drive Bays

The Raidmax Blackstorm has four 5.25” external bays, one 3.5” external bay, and five 3.5” internal bays (four inside the main hard drive cage and one outside), all using tool-less installation mechanisms. This case also has one additional 3.5” bay for floppy disk drives that is not opened on the outside, so we wonder what it is doing there. You can force the installation of a hard drive there, but you will need to use regular screws to attach the drive, since the installation mechanism that comes on this bay is for a floppy disk drive. Unfortunately, this case doesn’t come with 2.5” bays.

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Figure 15: Disk drive bays

The hard drive cage can be rotated and even entirely removed from the case. Hard drives are installed in the cage using ruler-based mechanisms.

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Figure 16: Hard drive cage removed from the case

The case comes with a small toolbox below the hard drive cage, which has the rulers for installing hard drives, screws, and a buzzer.

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Figure 17: Toolbox

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Raidmax Blackstorm include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The Raidmax Blackstorm brings two interesting features: the side panels that are easily removed by simply lifting a latch and the motherboard tray that is attached to the right-side panel, making it easier for you to install the motherboard. This case is not perfect, as it doesn’t come with 2.5” bays or clips for organizing cables. However, for the user who likes the way the motherboard tray easily comes out of the case, this product is perfect and comes with a very attractive price tag.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Raidmax-Blackstorm-Case-Review/1386


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