Rosewill Thor v2: The God of Cooling and Silence?by Dustin Sklavos on August 24, 2011 2:15 AM EST
- Posted in
In and Around the Rosewill Thor v2
If there's one major difference I've noticed between the Rosewill Thor v2 and the last case I reviewed, the SilverStone FT02, it's that the Thor is freaking huge and remarkably tall. So large in fact that I'm honestly surprised it's not more than 30 pounds, though Rosewill likely saved some steel (along with weight and effort by the end user) by going with a plastic top and face.
Most end users probably aren't going to need six 5.25" external bays, but Rosewill had the extra space and must've figured they might as well use it. One of the faceplates for the bays can be used to convert a bay to a 3.5" external, and below the column of bays is the enormous 230mm intake fan. Unlike the other fans, this one glows with red LEDs (as does the Thor logo at the top when the system is powered on), though as I mentioned before there's a button recessed next to the intake fan that can be used to toggle the LEDs on and off. So if you'd rather your case not look like it's possessed, the option is there.
At the top is a very healthy port cluster featuring all the modern amenities, but unfortunately the USB 3.0 ports are routed through the back instead of using an internal motherboard header. Two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, audio jacks, and even an eSATA port should handle the majority of the connectivity any end user could ask for. Where I do waffle is on the fan controller knobs, which felt loose in my original review unit along with the replacement Rosewill sent. You'll also note a recessed reset button, which I think is a nice touch and prevents the end user [Ed: or their little ones!] from accidentally hitting it. Behind the ports is a small nook for resting external drives or CDs, and then there's the unusual vent system.
As I mentioned before, being able to open and close the top vents of the Thor v2 would seem like a great idea if there were still at least some openings for the top exhaust fan to vent through, but there aren't. In future revisions I would just as soon eschew this part of the design entirely and replace it with something akin to the top panel of the SilverStone Raven RV03.
When I opened up the side of the Thor v2, I was treated with an interior that looks very familiar. Apart from just making it more spacious, Rosewill seems to have taken some cues from other designs like Corsair's cases. There's a very healthy ten expansion slots, but the whole thing feels intelligently laid out. The six 3.5"/2.5" drive trays all face behind the motherboard tray, there's a sizable cutout in the tray for installing cooling backplates, and then the top of the case is able to support a 240mm radiator for water-cooling. There are a series of rubber-lined cutouts in the motherboard tray for routing cables, too.
Last but not remotely least, the side panel of the Thor v2 features a huge 230mm intake fan that the craziest of end users can choose to replace with four 120mm fans, though in testing I can't imagine why they'd need to. There's also ventilation near the top for the processor cooling and it's liable to help the aforementioned 240mm radiator if that's a route you're inclined to take.
Thus far the Thor v2 is largely nothing but upshot, but I do have some concerns. While build quality is by no means terrible, the Thor v2 does feel a little bit chintzier than the other cases I've reviewed. The plastic used for the front feels cheap, and as you'll see in assembly, the rubber grommets that line the motherboard tray cutouts are held in place virtually entirely through the power of prayer. Rosewill addressed my concerns with my initial review unit by sending me a replacement, and the replacement does feel a bit more solid, but I think the build quality is still a fundamental weak point. If this case isn't going to be moved around much (and really, at this size it shouldn't be), I don't think it's necessarily horribly rickety or inclined to break; it just doesn't feel quite as solid as some of the other enclosures I've tested.
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bobbyh - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkGreat review, I might have to pick one of these up for a new build.
piroroadkill - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkIt gives you the option to disconnect the top fan and close the top vents, which is actually important for some people - if you own a cat, it'll love sitting on the top of your warm PC. Top vents aren't always a blessing.
piroroadkill - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkOh, that's not even to mention the possibility of spilling beer into it.
Blaze-Senpai - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkCould always install one of those 40mm server fans and rev it past 9000, if that don't scare your cat then somethings wrong :3
Can I get one in literally half the size though? I only want a Micro ATX build s:
Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkSurprisingly I have yet to see my cat perch on top of my FT02. She mostly settles for perching on the subwoofer or the scanner.
OwnedKThxBye - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkI also think being able to close the top vent is a great feature. Will be looking at this case when building the next system.
Typo on page 3: "I wound up either accidentally or deliberately popped them out"
jonup - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkI cant agree more with you. Disconnecting the fan and closing the vents is what I would do. I might even put some sound dampening material undernit it. From my experience with mini P180 are horrible for acoustics - I can hear the airflow from every single fan inside my case.
jonup - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link"From my experience with mini P180 are horrible for acoustics "
"From my experience with mini P180 "top vents" are horrible for acoustics "
Mitch101 - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkLots of cat owners here. Anyone for dog slobber in the top?
mooseunc - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - linkIt could also be so that you can close the vents when powered off to prevent dust or the aforementioned pet hair/liquids/etc from getting inside. Sure it might be cool if they auto opened when powered on, like some sort of jet exhaust, but it's only cool until it breaks.