Rosewill Wind Ryder RZLS142-AP Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on September 23, 2008
Wind Ryder RZLS142-AP is a simple steel mid-tower case from Rosewill with four 5.25” bays, six 3.5” bays (two external for floppy disk drives) and two 120 mm fans, one on the rear and one on the front. This case is clearly targeted to the Average Joe, but is it a good pick? Let’s take an in-depth look at this new product from Rosewill.
The reviewed case is available in two colors for the front panel: black or yellow. We reviewed the yellow version, also known as RZLS142-AP YE (the black version has the letters BK added to the product name).
As you can see this case has a solid side panel with a duct and a small mesh on the lower part (we will talk more about these features later).
This case has a door, as you can see in Figure 3. This door has a couple of good features and a couple of bad ones. One the good side, it has a magnetic latch and extensions to the power and reset switches (the way these switches are positioned make them look like the number “2” pay attention on Figures 3 and 4 to see this).
On the bad side, it only opens to 90° – i.e., it doesn’t open fully. The mesh applied to it makes the case look like a little bit more aggressive but this is a “fake” mesh. You see, on cases featuring a real mesh to improve the computer internal airflow, the covers from the bays must be also meshed in order to allow air to enter the case. On RZLS142-AP the covers are solid and thus the door mesh has no other function besides aesthetics. The door also uses inferior-quality plastic. This wouldn’t be a problem for a very cheap case, what isn’t the case of the reviewed unit (more about this on the Conclusions section).
In Figure 4, you can see the four external 5.25” bays and two external 3.5” bays present on this case. The traditional USB ports and jacks from the audio system are located on the front panel. As an advantage over other cases, the two USB ports are far away from each other, allowing you to install two “fat” USB devices at the same time. On the other hand, they are too close to the audio jacks and maybe you will have trouble installing a “fat” USB flash drive while your headset is plugged in.
In Figure 5 we have the rear panel. It uses the traditional ATX layout with a rear 120 mm fan that comes with the product. This fan uses a small 3-pin connector, so you can install it on your motherboard and monitor its speed using your favorite monitoring software.
Now let’s see how Rosewill Wind Ryder (RZLS142-AP) looks like inside.
The side panels are fastened to the chassis using thumbscrews, which is great. Even though you can remove the right panel, the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis. In Figure 6, you can see the left panel remove from the case. As you can see it has a duct and a small mesh to make the case compatible with Intel’s Chassis Air Guide Design 1.1. This design, however, is targeted to Pentium 4 CPUs based on the “Prescott” core, so it looks like we are talking about a case with a dated design.
In Figure 7 you have an overall look from the interior of this case.
In Figure 8, you can see the rear panel viewed from inside, where you can see the rear 120 mm fan and the screwless mechanism for installing daughterboards.
As mentioned, the rear 120 mm fan uses a three-pin connector for motherboards. It is black and does not glow when the PC is turned on.
The mechanism for fastening daughterboards looks cheap. It is made with just one long plastic piece instead of using individual mechanisms. Also, the tip of the mechanism – which holds the mechanism to the bottom part of the case – is very thin and it is just a matter of time until you break it.
This case has four external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays and four internal 3.5” bays. The external 3.5” bays can be used by hard disk drives if you don’t have floppy disk drives or memory card readers installed, so you the maximum number of hard disk drives you can install is four, five or six, depending whether you use the external 3.5” bays or not.
The disk drive bays don’t use any kind of screwless mechanism for fastening disk drives. Rosewill website says “Tool-less design,” but this is incorrect. The internal 3.5” bays have a plastic holding mechanism, but it isn’t screwless. You need to add rounded head screws to the front holes from each hard disk drive and this can only be done by using a Phillips screwdriver. Then you slide the drive and the mechanism will lock the drive into place. Or sort of: the drive will be still lose so it’s better if you add a real screw to the rear holes from each hard disk drive. For the untrained eye the presence of these plastic holders for the hard drives can be deceitful, as you may think they are part of a screwless mechanism.
This case has another 120 mm fan between the hard disk drive bays and the front panel. This fan however uses a standard 4-pin peripheral power plug, so you can’t monitor its speed.
Rosewill Wind Ryder RZLS142-AP case main specs include:
* Researched at Newegg.com one day after we originally posted this review.
Rosewill Wind Ryder (RZLS142-AP) is a simple mid-tower case targeted to the average user looking for an inexpensive case with a little bit more features than very cheap cases. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.
On the day we published this review this case was listed as having a USD 85 suggested retail price on Rosewill's website. At that time, we said that this price was unrealistic for this case and the correct price for it should be USD 40 or below that. We are glad to see a manufacturer taking our constructive criticism into account: the day after we published this review they said they would be lowering their suggested price to USD 70 and at NewEgg.com they already lowered the price for exactly what we suggested: USD 40.
So if you want to spend only up to USD 40 on a case, Rosewill Wind Ryder (RZLS142-AP) is certainly an option. However don't expect miracles: it isn't a "perfect" product. If you want a product with a better overall quality and more features you will need to spend more. On the USD 50-60 range, for example, we have the A+ Curbic from Tagan that we recently reviewed, which provides a great cost/benefit to average users looking for an inexpensive mid-tower case with several extra features.