Raidmax chose the usual shaped-Styrofoam and heavy plastic bag to keep the Aztec cozy during shipping. They also used sticky protective sheeting on the acrylic window, which, combined with the Styrofoam, made for a shockingly static-charged case on arrival. Upon inspection, there was no noticeable damage due to shipping.
Made from plastic and some steel parts, the front panel has a very eccentric construction. The middle piece has a brushed aluminum look and feel to it, with two mesh air vents at the top and bottom extremes. At the bottom of the silver plastic façade, there are two blue LED lights that are meant to look like eyes and turn red for HDD activity. The door reaches all the way to the bottom of the chassis, making it impractical to try to keep the case on a rug or any floor with more than a case-foot's depth of give, but should work fine on desks, hard-wood floors, and the like.
At the bottom of the front panel you can see the mesh opening for the 120mm intake fan, the power and reset buttons, the front panel IO ports, and the power wires for the front two LED lights. It was pretty disappointing to see such a new case not even nod towards any faster forms of IO: if not eSATA, at least provide a Firewire connection of some sort. My other complaint about this placement is that you can't use the front ports without opening the door, which can turn into a huge hassle for folks like me who use the front panel microphone a lot or like to use USB ports.
The left side of the Aztec sports a very large window, an 80mm blue LED exhaust fan, and a handle for access to the case. The black bar across the window is advertised as an expansion card “support bar,” which I will get to a little later on in the review. The back side is similarly as routine, with the addition of an 80mm fan exhaust port that sits by the external 3.5” bays for optional hard drive cooling. This side also opens top-down, and takes with it the motherboard tray, which should be a refreshing change during installation.
On the back, you'll find the 120mm exhaust fan, stamped steel expansion slots, and a quite old fashioned IO panel. The honeycomb grill on the rear exhaust fan should not be very restrictive, and has a nice Raidmax logo in the center. The curved line through the main portion of the back panel is where the motherboard tray separates from the rest of the case, taking with it the expansion slots and IO panel. With both panels easily opened or fully removed, installation should be a breeze. Let's take a look at the inside, shall we?