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Revoltec Rhodium Tower

The Revoltec Rhodium is a case that Revoltec hopes will grab the attention of gamers and regular users alike. With a sober look and lots of space there is much to like about it.

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INTRODUCTION

PC cases have undergone a huge evolution the last 10-15 years. While at the dawn of the PC era you could only find beige and boring cases, now basically every case looks designed. This of course means that it is hard to stand out from the competition, even more if you are not a big case-company like Antec or Thermaltake.

A little while ago we reviewed the Revoltec Zirconium case, a relatively cheap case from Revoltec which unfortunately scored pretty low and today I am looking at the slightly more expensive, and more exclusive, Revoltec Rhodium case. Will it fair better than the Zirconium case?

ABOUT REVOLTEC

Revoltec is one of those companies that sell a lot of different types of products. They sell cables, fans, cases, enclosures, mice, and keyboards, just to name a few. The complete product list can be found here.

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS

The Rhodium case has the following specifications: 

Technical data:

Feature/Specification

 Revoltec Rhodium Tower
Type
Super Midi Tower Case

Mainboard 
Micro-ATX, ATX, EEB3.61, CEB 1.01
LED Light Guide
inclusive (blue LED)
Drive Bays
5.25″ x 4 (ext.), 3.5″ x 2 (ext.), 3.5″ x 3 (int.)
Material
1,0 mm SECC
Power Supply
PS/ll (not included)
Case Fans
1 x 12 cm rear Revoltec “Air Guard” fan, 1 x 12 cm front Revoltec “Dark Blue” LED fan
Slots 
7 Slots
Top I/O Panel
USB 2.0 x 2, IEEE1394 Firewire, Audio, e-SATA
Dimensions
565 x 205 (Front 235) x 470 mm ( DxWxH)
Compliance
CE, FCC, RoHS, WEEE

The main features of the case are:

Aluminium Front
The whole front is made out of aluminium giving it a cool sophisticated look.

Screwless layout
The screwless layout enables a quick and simple installation of all components.

External connectors
Two USB 2.0, one Firewire, one e-SATA and two audio connectors are available for the connection of external peripheral equipment at the top of the case.

Two preinstalled 120mm fans
Two preinstalled 120 mm fans at the front and back assure an optimal air supply. (Front: Revoltec “Dark Blue” (4x blue LED), Back: Revoltec “Air Guard”)

THE BOX AND BUNDLE

The case comes in a huge box. Inside the box we find the case well packed in styrofoam. Even after the long trip from Germany there were no dents on the case.

Box

You do not get a lot with this case. The bundle consists of:

  • Manual
  • Backplate (usually comes with motherboards)
  • Two extra rubber “things” that are used to hold the fans
  • Hex-tool to open the two top screws
  • Small box with screws etc.

Bundle

CLOSER LOOK: EXTERNAL

The Rhodium case is a really big and heavy case. The version I am reviewing is black but it is also available in silver. I think the black colour gives it a nice sophisticated look.

Chassi

At the front of the case we find a door made out of aluminium which has a nice sturdy feel to it.

Open Door
The black protection over the 5.25″ bay came loose when I was closing the front, 
something which took some force. It was quite simple to fix though without having to 
remove 
the front again.

Behind the door we find mostly black plastic. This is not necessarily a bad thing and it does not detract from the good looks of the case. On the door we find the only extravagant item you can find on the case: a blue led-rod. This lights up when the computer is running.

Top
The connectors are situated at the top of the case.

At the top of the case we find the external connectors: two USB 2.0 connectors, one eSATA-connector, one Firewire connector and two audio-connectors. Some people prefer to have these connectors at the bottom or front of the case but I actually prefer them at the top of the case. The reason is quite simple: my cases always stand on the floor and thus it is much easier to hook something up on the top of the case than at the bottom side or at the front.

Side

The sides of the case are equally clean looking as the rest of the case. No case window can be found and there are only a few small ventilation holes.

Back

The back of the case looks like expected. This case only allows for the PSU to be placed at the top. As there already is a big 120mm fan isntalled there is no more room for any more fans in the back. Revoltec actually includes a backplate with the case but since most motherboards come with one chances are you will not need to install it. Revoltec has choosen not to include any pre-cut holes for watercooling in the back of the case.

CLOSER LOOK: INTERNAL

As mentioned earlier, the case is big. This means there is ample of space inside the case for motherboard, PSU and so on.

Oepn Side

Inside the case you find 4×5.25” bays, 2×3.5” (ext) and 3×3.5” (int) bays. I’m a bit disappointed that you only have space for 3 internal 3.5” drives. I know I am not alone in having a lot of hard drives and I will definitely have to use the external 3.5” bays also to have space for all the drives.

Open Front

To access the external bays you need to completely remove the front. This is done by removing two screws (more on that later) and removing the whole front, including the door. After you have done this you have access to not only the drive bays but also to the front fan as well as the lock for the side panel.

INSTALLATION

Opening up the case was actually harder than expected. I had problems getting the side to slide loose. One look in the manual indicated that I had to remove the front and unlock access to the side panel. There was just one tiny problem with this: two screws that needed to be removed to remove the front.

Note

Revoltec has put a huge sticker on the top of the case mentioning two screws that need to be removed before removing the front. At first I was confused. The screws in question were of the “IKEA-type” (hex @ Wikipedia) but the tool that I needed to unscrew them was inside the case. So how on earth would I get the side open if I could not remove the screws and unlock the side?

The screw

In the end it turns out that the side actually was unlocked from the beginning, just that you needed to use considerable force to get it to slide loose. Removing the screws allowed me to remove the front and look at the locking mechanism there. I find it a quite odd solution to require the use of a tool to unscrew the screws just to access the locking mechanism but it certainly makes it harder for a thief to quickly open the side of the case and grab something.

Mobohelp

As the case is so big you really have lots of space in it to insert and fasten the motherboard. Revoltec includes a guide on the case which indicates which holes to use for which motherboard type. While I like motherboard trays I really did not miss it here as there was so much space to insert the motherboard anyway. The same goes for the PSU.

PSU

As you can see from the image there is lots of room for a larger 1000W+ PSU even if, as in this case, a full length DVD burner is installed. With a large motherboard the bar which holds the PSU slightly overlaps the motherboard which could affect a large CPU cooler but I had no problems with a large MSI AM2 motherboard, an AM2 FX-62 and a Zalman cooler.

Fan connectors

Both the fans that are included with the case use the smaller 3-pin fan-connector. I actually prefer this over a regular MOLEX connector as it allows me to hook them up to the motherboard and control them.

Front cables

The cables from the external connectors come in through the front at the top of the case. In addition to the regular USB, Firewire and audio cables we also find a regular SATA-cable which is used for the eSATA connector. Unfortunately Revoltec has chosen not to use regular internal audio and USB connectors and instead split the connectors up. I really hate this. It means I have to dig deep into the motherboard manual to figure out how to connect them. The cables also are quite short making it hard to route them nicely through the case.

Front power cables

The cables for the front connectors (reset, power led, hd led, power on/off) also come into the case from the top of the case. As they usually connect at the back end of the motherboard it is a bit easier to route those cables nicely through the case. Revoltec has chosen to split the power on/off cable and the power led cable. This however I like. There still are some motherboards that want a 3-pin power led connector while the rest want a 2-pin power led connector and this way you can get the power led working with either motherboard.

No screws

The add-on cards are fastened with a tool-less mechanism. This works fine for single slot cards but has a problem with some dual-slot cards.

Error

The problem is that there is a thin black plastic wall between each closing mechanism that simply is in the way for a card that has a back panel that pans over two slots. The simple solution is to cut the plastic away.

HDD

Drives and hard drives are fastened with another tool-less mechanism. This works fine and makes it easy to slide in/out the drives. Unfortunately you have to remove the front to slide in the larger 5.24” drives.

USING THE CASE

Installation went completely painless and it was time to test the case. The on/off button can be found behind the front door. You can also find the reset button there although it is very small and quite hard to access.

LED

Starting up the case I was surprised by the lack of noise. In fact, the only indication that the computer was running was the blue led on the front of the case. It is quite obvious that the steel doors are doing a great job of keeping noise inside the case.

LED in Fan

The LED itself looks quite nice and luckily does not shine too bright. If you open the door you also get a nice blue light from the front fan.

As expected with steel doors and limited ventilation holes on the side the case heats up a bit. The air being pushed out at the back of the case was quite hot and I noticed the temperatures of the CPU being a few centigrade’s higher than when using the same hardware in my big Thermaltake Stacker case. The Stacker on the other hand has much more fans and is much louder so the silence has a price

CONCLUSION

The Revoltec Rhodium is a well built case that has a sober air surrounding it. It might not have an extravagant look and might look boring to some users but in the end it performs well in one of the most important areas, at least to me, noise. I keep my cases on the floor and rarely look at them so I’d rather take a silent case with a nice clean, but boring design over a case filled with windows, LEDs and other show-off stuff that is plain noisy. 

I do not have many complaints about the case. True, it is heavy and small issues like no motherboard tray or the split up front connector cables does affect the score a bit but to be honest these are minor issues that should not stop anyone from getting the case. The case also is not mind numbingly expensive like the Antec P190 or the Zalman Miditower Z-Machine GT1000 Gaming Case, instead slotting in neatly towards the cheaper end around the same price as a Antec P180 (~130€). Unfortunately at that price it goes head to head with various Antec cases (like the P160W or the P180) as well as some Lian Li cases and in many ways these cases have an edge over the Rhodium being lighter and in some cases, still just as silent.

Pros

+ Good clean look
+ Front LED actually looks good
+ Almost tool less design
+ Two great 120mm fans includes
+ Silent!
+ Lots of room for motherboard, PSU’s etc.
+ eSATA front connector

Cons 

– Heavy
– Need to unscrew 2 hex-screws to be able to open the front
– Not as good ventilation as other cases and no way to add more fans
– No motherboard tray
– Short cables for external connectors
– USB and Audio cable split up
– Tool less design interferes with dual-slot cards
– Priced similar as some very good compeititor products like the Antec P180

The Revoltec Rhodium earns a 8 out of 10 and a Bjorn3D Seal of Approval award. 

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