titleFinding innovation and creativity in the case market today seems to get harder and harder as time goes by. It’s not that everything has been done, more that coming up with new and innovative ideas is getting tougher for all of the manufactures. We are starting to see more and more cases that look alike. A while back Raidmax sent over a case they wanted me to take a look at, something different they had been working on. Today I will be taking a look at the final version of that same case, the Agusta. With a few new ideas and a style that no other case has, it’s most likely for everyone, but I have a feeling we will see a few around at LAN’s in the future.

Product Name: Raidmax Agusta

Review Sample Provided by: Raidmax

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

Specifications

BASIC SPECIFICATION

EXTERNAL DRIVE BAYS:

5 X 5.25"

INTERNAL DRIVE BAYS:

6 X 3.5" H.D./2.5" SSD Racks

2 X 2.5" SSD

SYSTEM BOARD:

10” X 12” MAX SIZE ATX FORM FACTOR / MICRO ATX

EXPANSION SLOTS:

STANDARD ATX 7 SLOTS

I/O PORTS:

2 X USB2.0 / 2 x AUDIO / 1 x USB3.0

DIMENSIONS:

540(L) X 234(W) X 602(H)mm

COOLING SYSTEM

FRONT:

1 X 120mm LED fan

SIDE:

1 X 120mm or 1 x 180mm LED fan (optional)

BACK:

1 x 120mm Black fan

TOP:

2 X 120mm LED fan

LOWER THE FRONT:

1 X 80mm Black fan

LOWER THE BACK:

2 X 80mm Black fan

COLORS:

Black and white


Packaging

The front of the Agusta’s box basically gets right to the point and shows off one of the cases most notable features, the armor looking styling across the front of the case. Beyond that large photo across the front you will actually only find the Raidmax logo and the product name keeping the front of the packaging very simple.

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Around back Raidmax has included a few more angles of the Agusta as well as pictures of each of the cases features with short explanations under them. What I like the most is that they included a diagram of the cooling layout for the case as well.

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Inside we found the case with packaging slightly different than what we normally see. Rather than Styrofoam they went with a plastic based foam wrapped in cardboard. This combination is much stronger and will protect the case even more during shipping. It also makes the case a little easier to pull out. The case itself is wrapped in a nice fabric bag to protect it from damage and fingerprints and it doubles as a nice way to transport your case to LANs as well.

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Inside along with the case Raidmax packed all of the cases accessories. I was impressed that rather than going with a cheap bag they used a reusable heavy duty plastic bag to hold them all. This is great for holding onto all of your extra parts after your build is finished as well. Inside you get a user manual, speaker header, all screws needed, and even reusable Velcro wire ties as well!

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Outside

First let’s just address the elephant in the room.  The Agusta is a aggressive case by anyone’s measure. Just taking a look from this angle you can see that no part of the case looks anything like anything else on the market. Size wise this is what I would call a tall mid tower case. The White and black styling get your attention right away. Let’s take a look at some of the details on the overall outside of the case.

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Starting on the left side at the bottom, this plastic section extending off of the normal metal case is interesting. I actually had to take a double take the first time I saw it. I had no idea that there were two handles on the left and right side that allow this to open up. In between the handles you also have a nice mesh ventilation to keep its contents cool. We will take a look at the inside in our next section though.

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The side panel is far from flat like you would normally see. On top of that you have a vent that will support a 120mm fan or a 180mm fan. Even without a fan it is providing extra ventilation though.

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Up top we have what can only be described as an exoskeleton covering up a large vent on the top. If you look close you can also see a large handle. I was a little worried about using this because it wasn’t a feature listed on the box. Normally when this is the case something like this looks like a handle but turns out to be the easiest way to scatter your brand new pc across the floor in the quickest way possible. After testing it I can say that I had no issues with using this as a handle, but I would still be VERY careful.

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Also up top are the front control panel and I/O panel. You get two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports along with both microphone and headphone ports on the front I/O. Of course you get power and reset buttons, but there isn’t anything special here, simple plastic buttons. The power LED and hard drive activity LED’s are very unexciting as well. I would have preferred they did something a little better looking myself. You also have two matching knobs, one for fan speed and the second for lighting brightness.

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For front bays you have a total of three to work with so things will get a little tight if you plan anything like a dual bay res for your water-cooling, but its more than enough if you might just need to install a DVD drive or two. There is another way to go, but we will cover that soon enough. Raidmax included a small touch of white around the built in latch that lets you remove the bay covers right from the front. Around the bays you can also see some of the Agusta’s aggressive styling with what I would almost call fangs on each side.

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The bottom half of the front is where you can really see the Agusta’s “Gundam” styling. In a weird way it almost looks like the Transformers logo as well. This is the largest portion of white on the otherwise black case and it doubles as a door. Behind the door you have two more 5.25 inch drive bays hidden away from normal view. This is perfect for fan controllers, water cooling, and other rarely accessed devices that you might need to install.

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The right side of the case has the same aggressive styling as we found on the left side including the bottom door on the bottom section. The only thing different at all here is the lack of a fan vent.

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Around back you have a touch more white on the PCI slots with the rest being black. Above the rear IO they have packed in a full 120mm fan vent. The White PCI slot covers are all vented as well as vents above the PCI slots. Along with the vents above the PCI slots you also have four grommets for water cooling. The power supply is bottom mounted, but as you may remember there is an addition to the case on the bottom so the bottom mounted power supply looks a little high up on the back. Both side panels are held on with thumbscrews but also have handles built in that fold down to move out of the way. Last but not least on the back of the Agusta, the bottom section has vents all the way across as well.

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A quick peak at the bottom of the case shows its large molded feet. It’s also rare that we see a case without ventilation on the bottom as well, but this has everything to do with the base that was added to the bottom of the case.

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Inside

We will start with the bottom section of the Agusta because I’m sure some of you are very curious why they would add something like this to the bottom of the case. As you can see they have packed in six plastic hard drive trays. Although the picture is dark, I also snapped a picture of the two fans at the back of the hard drive rack to keep things cool as well as one on the front. They are all three 80mm fans. You also can take advantage of the door on the other side of the case to get to wiring as needed.

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Moving up slightly with the side panel off we can see the sharp looking white motherboard tray on the Agusta. Built into that tray you have a large access panel for the back of the CPU and three wire management holes for wiring. Two of those holes have nice rubber grommets, but the largest doesn’t have anything of the sort. The edges are rounded and won’t cause damage to your wiring, but it would be nice to be able to hide wiring a little more. There is also a grommeted wiring hole on the bottom for wires going to the hard drives. Because of all of the hard drive bays being in the bottom section of the Agusta I was expecting the top section to be a little more open but the two hidden 5.25 bays make that impossible. Speaking of those bays, the bottom two bays don’t have tool-less features, but the top three do. This isn’t a shocker because anything mounted down below would normally need to be screwed in (fan controllers, water cooling).

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Now that we are inside we can take a better look at cooling. You will notice up top there are two 120mm LED fans to push hot air out. On the back there is another 120mm fan. And In between the top and bottom 5.25 bays there is another 120mm LED fan. Combined with the three 80mm fans the Agusta has a lot of cooling power. This is especially impressive considering its lack of large 200mm+ fans. Raidmax made point to not just include the area’s to mount fans, but to actually include fans. This costs more but is going to give you the best cooling.

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The last section of the interior that needs covered is behind the motherboard tray. As first glance there looks to be little room, but we have to remember the oddly shaped side panels. When taking the side panels into account you end up with more than enough room for wire management. They have also included multiple zip tie mounting points for tie downs when cleaning up your wiring. Here we can get a better look at all of the wiring for the case itself as well. I was happy to see that all of the wiring comes in all black for consistency. There isn’t an oddly colored audio cable that will mess up your cases them.

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Performance/Installation

The Agusta supports up to full ATX motherboards, so anyone with an e-ATX or XL-ATX board may be out of luck. For our testing we used our Ivy Bridge test setup that is using an Asus Micro ATX board. While installing our setup I was a little concerned on how I would hide all of the extra cabling from our non-modular power supply. This ended up not being a big issue as expected due to the extra space the wide side panels give. The grommets to the right of the motherboard were a little tight fitting the 24 pin power connection as well but after a little fighting trying to keep it from pulling the grommet off it went through. Installing the hard drives were easy and getting power and SATA to them was simple because of their location just below the PSU and motherboard SATA ports.

With everything installed I played around with the fan control and lighting on the front panel. The fact that you have the fan controller is nice because all of the fans together do make a little bit of noise, not much but if you are looking for dead silent you are going to have to play with the speeds a little bit. Of course that is the downside to having so many fans. The upside is this case does a great job keeping things cool, simply by brute force with all of its fans.

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Overall/Final Verdict

This being our first review of a Raidmax case, I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. I was impressed with their attention to detail with small features as well as things like the bag all of the accessories came in. But at the same time, I wish they would have spent a little more time adjusting the front panel controls though. The front panel controls stand out against the rest of the cases styling. The White and black contrast is also very sharp but the armor look may not work for everyone. I also would love to see a side panel window on this case, the inside looks great but there isn’t any way to show it off. Really when you take into account that the Agusta doesn’t have a side panel window, it’s amazing how much detail Raidmax went into inside. At just under $110 currently, the case is a little pricey. But you have to remember all of the fans are adding to the cost as well. Hopefully we see that price come down slightly, this could be a good case for people who want an aggressive look.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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