Raidmax Aztec Case
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 12-11-2007
Provided by: Raidmax
Inside the Beast

The tool-less installation system for the drive bays is a little clumsy, both for internal and external slots. For the external slots, you have to unlock the drive bay and remove the blue latch, then insert the drive to your choice of five different screw holes, then replace the blue latch and twist it into the lock position. There is no description anywhere about front panel removal, so you just have to pull from the bottom. In order to know which screw holes to use, though, you have to put the front panel back on before you lock in your drives… a little awkward if you ask me. One nice touch, though, was the addition of an HDD mounting system on the internal 3.5” bays, so you can put a hard drive right up next to that optional 80mm fan port.

The rear of the case, again, is quite standard. Some things to note, though, are the short cable length on the rear fan, and the stamped expansion brackets. Because of the short cabling, I had to rotate its mounting in order to get better access to the power supply and still have enough cable to power the side-panel fan. Also, with stamped steel expansion brackets, once you remove them, you can't put them back. They're surprisingly easy to bend out, but a tool-less mounting system here or at least real expansion brackets would have been nice to see.

On the right side of the 3.5” internal bays, you'll find a tool-less 80mm fan mount. The bracket easily swings open and pops out, so I figured I'd toss a fan in there and see how it fared. The mounting process here was surprisingly pleasant, and it's a great idea for fan placement.

The side panel “support bracket” is Raidmax' new idea to help easy the weight of expansion cards while adding some extra cooling. The heavy duty steel bracket can be easily removed, which is fortunate because my VGA cooler was much too wide to accommodate this interesting contraption. Behind the fan mount are three extending rubber buttresses, presumably to extend towards and under your VGA card and cooler. The idea is pretty cool and novel, but it seems like it would just get in the way having to swivel it open every time you want to change something about your setup.

Below the hard drive cage is a blue accessory box. Here you will find your hard drive rails, all necessary screws (though I only found eight motherboard standoffs in total), case speaker, and replacement PCI bracket. This box is meant to stay inside of the case at all times, so that you never lose anything, which is a really nice touch. The hard drive cage is removable and slides out of the case easily with the removal of one thumbscrew. This would be the ideal choice if you wanted to reduce airflow obstruction for the front intake fan and therefore maximize cooling capabilities.

For installation, the removable motherboard tray was a great touch. Installation was simplified for all components, moving drives out of the way of the processor and otherwise giving lots of extra room. Unfortunately, there is a very short clearance space between the hard drive cage and the rear of the case, making it hard to fit larger cards like the nVidia 8800 series while also using the cage. My X1900XTX had trouble fitting, and I ultimately moved one hard disk to the internal 3.5” slot and another to the 5.25” bays with an aftermarket cooler. All in all, installation went quickly and smoothly.

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