Assembling the Rosewill Armor EVO

I'll just get it out of the way now and hopefully not have to repeat myself later: while assembly of the Armor EVO went mostly smoothly, I absolutely loathe the notched side panels. Maybe it's because they're a royal pain to replace, maybe it's because one actually drew blood when I tried to close up, I'm not sure. These aren't specific to Rosewill; other case designers like BitFenix (case designers who should know better) have employed them in recent designs as well. This is a tired, old, impractical mounting system that needs to be put out to pasture.

With that grievance out of the way, motherboard installation went mostly smoothly. You'll have to install the standoffs yourself, but that's more a convenience issue than anything seriously meaningful. Drive installation went better, actually; the drive trays that Rosewill uses in the EVO are nice and sturdy, and the mechanisms for securing the optical drive in the 5.25" bay are both easy to use and very firm. Actually, even getting the expansion card and power supply into the EVO was mostly a breeze.

Cabling was a little more fraught but not by much. I feel like the routing holes for the motherboard headers could stand to be a bit bigger, and the opening for the AUX 12V line is still getting caught on the side panel rail behind the motherboard tray, but cabling mostly went pretty easily. The fans all include both 3-pin headers and molex connectors, and the molex connectors can be daisy chained. Really the only problem child as far as the fans go is the side panel fan; NZXT includes an extension cable for this that runs back to their hub in the pricier (and more awesome) Phantom 630, but in the EVO you're on your own and there's no easy place to daisy chain it unless you run more fan cables into the inside of the case instead of keeping them behind the motherboard tray.

If you've assembled an ATX case before, the Armor EVO isn't going to have any surprises for you apart from the struggle to close it back up without putting it on its side. Like I said before, the design of the EVO is pretty bog standard; there are no great innovations and outside of the fans and side panels no major steps backward. This is a pretty brute force design: install your system and then let six fans move a boatload of air.

In and Around the Rosewill Armor EVO Testing Methodology
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  • 1d107 - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    Completely agree. In older days I tested an Antec P-180 with a 130W Core-i7 and didn't find any advantages of having the top fan. And now, when CPUs have lower TDPs, this becomes even less relevant.

    But, mot of all, this case looks plain ugly on the outside. Look at all those unused mounting holes on the side panel. Even the most hidden corner of my closet doesn't deserve this.
  • Galatian - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    Actually you are missing the point of the opening. It is (at least for some persons) the best spot to put in the radiator in their water cooling loop. And I believe people who buy cases with as many fan screw holes as this are usually the market demography this case is designed for. A complete silent freak (who doesn't use watercooling) will probably just get a smaller case with noise insulation.
  • WeaselITB - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    I don't understand the slight against this case (and others) for lack of a fan controller. Sure, back in the day when motherboards had 1 fan plug for your CPU (if you were lucky), I could understand, but doesn't everyone just plug the fans into the motherboard and let the automatic thermal monitoring control them? It seems odd to ding the case for not including a fan controller, but then ding the motherboard for not having enough fan plugs on the board (which has happened in other reviews).

    Which is it?

  • chaos215bar2 - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    This is pretty much what I thought. I have no interest in a manual fan controller, builtin or otherwise. The inclusion of one is actually a drawback, since it wastes space with controls that I don't want or need.

    There's definitely room for a case to do something really innovative in this area, but until that happens, I'll either use the motherboard's builtin thermal controls or, if there aren't enough headers, I'll use one of the various third party options. That way I end up with a system that doesn't need any manual intervention for thermal control and has exactly the features and behavior that I want.
  • Onus - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    I also agree with this. Furthermore, sometimes proprietary fans are used, for example Antec's, with the HL (or HML) switches.
    Although I've been satisfied with all of the Rosewill cases I've used so far, that top fan problem looks like a dealbreaker on this one.
  • dtolios - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    I agree that the manual fun controller is kinda outdated. I would prefer a smart placed pwm splitter with aux power supplied directly through the psu. Long cabling and sharing a "fan xpert" or equiv smart fan header with more than one fan is more than enough. Imho
  • ezekiel68 - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    It's good that you pointed out the top grommet flaw, but I'm not sure it's fatal. Most radiator designs have the screws pointing into the case with the screw heads on the exterior. Knowing the grommets could come loose, a simple set of four (slightly) larger black washers could be used to ensure a cooling unit would not fall in.

    Should this be necessary? No, of course not. Rosewill should certainly address the issue. But, given the other pluses of the case, it's worth noting there is an easy work-around.
  • ol1bit - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link


    I must have missed that info in the past. Interesting it is a New Egg brand.
  • Mike89 - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    Looks like a pretty nice case to me. The way the sides connect are no issue to me, I've had a lot of them and they are no problem to open and close (I think the reviewer made too big a deal out of that). What's attractive to me is the extended side and top for more room inside the case and I think it looks good. Another really good thing is all fan's are included. You hardly ever see that in any case even the expensive ones. Adding a fan controller would be a cheap and easy thing to do here. The price is about $100 now so I think it's a pretty good deal. I think the reviewer should spend less time on cooling comparisons and more on the case itself. This review didn't even pop off the front to show the fans. I personally could care less about cooling comparisons and skip them when I'm reading about a case. I mean with front, rear, side and top fans I already know what the airflow and cooling is going to be like. Thought this review could have been more thorough.

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