Rosewill Galaxy-03 ATX Mid Tower Case Introduction
Rosewill makes a plethora of products, including but not limited to: networking equipment, PC peripherals, computer cases, and even binoculars. They’ve been known to make a well functioning low cost alternative to the big boys, while also providing higher end products, which keeps them in the eyes of many. I personally have purchased a few products from them over the years and I think that they’re all great. Today we’re going to take a look at Rosewill’s Galaxy-03 case, which is a mid tower budget minded case. So if you’re looking to build yourself a new computer on a budget for the holidays, or even looking to gift a case for that great friend who is on a limited budget for his/her new gaming PC, you will definitely want to read on and see how this case fairs!
Rosewill’s Galaxy-03 is a sleek mid tower chassis that is painted a flat black throughout. To make things not look boring on the outside, this case provides several color accents and designs in attempt to help make it look a bit more aggressive. One other aspect that Rosewill touched on was the weight. You’ll find that this case weighs in only a little more than 10 lbs, which absolutely makes moving this case around a breeze.
The whole idea of a mid tower chassis is to keep things tight and this case is no exception. The interior does feel like it has a lot of room to work with; this is exactly what Rosewill aimed for. Inside you’ll find plenty of wire pass-thru holes, seven expansion slots, three 5.25 inch bays, room for four 3.5 inch hard drives, and even a place to mount a 2.5 inch solid state drive. We can’t forget about the fans; Rosewill includes one blue LED 120mm intake fan on the front and two 120mm exhaust fans on the rear/top.
Rosewill Galaxy-03 Technical Specifications:
- Model: Galaxy-03
- Type: ATX Mid Tower
- Case Material: Steel
- With Power Supply: No
- Power Supply Mounted: Bottom
- Motherboard Compatibility: Micro ATX, ATX
- With Side Panel Window: No
- External 5.25" Drive Bays: 3/2
- External 3.5" Drive Bays: 0/1
- Internal 3.5" Drive Bays: 4
- Internal2.5" Drive Bays: 1
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Front Ports:
- 1 x USB 3.0 (internal 20-pin connector to MB)
- 2 x USB 2.0
- Audio In/Out: (AC97, HD)
- 1 x Front 120mm Blue LED Fan (pre-installed)
- 1 x Rear 120mm Fan (pre-installed)
- 1 x Top 120mm Fan (pre-installed)
- 1 x Side 120/140mm Fan (option)
- Side Air duct: No
- Dimensions: 8.2” x 18.5” x 18.5” (WxHxD)
- Weight: 10.14 lbs
The Galaxy-03 will currently run you $49.99 shipped on Amazon or $39.99 after $10 rebate on Newegg and comes with a full 1 year warranty. Does the cost of this case make it feel too cheap, or does it provide a ton of value for the money? With all of the aforementioned features that this case is offering, it feels like a good value so far, but we’ll still have to take a look and see if it functions well and isn’t cheap feeling.
Read on to briefly check out the retail packaging and then onto the exterior impressions.
Rosewill Galaxy-03 Packaging & Unboxing
For the cost of a single Ulysses S. Grant ($50), or even two Andrew Jackson's ($40), this case can be yours. Keeping that cost in mind, the question we have to ask is: Did Rosewill package this case well enough for it to not get damaged in transport, or did they cut costs too much here?
The packaging of the Galaxy-03 is about as plain as you can get. The face of the box features the Rosewill logo and Galaxy printed very large – that’s it!
The sides of the box don’t tell you much more than what model you’re getting.
Cracking the top of the box, we find that the Galaxy-03 is encased in plastic and two large Styrofoam blocks. It looks like Rosewill was able to pack it as well as more expensive cases, despite the low cost.
One more quick view pulled out of the box.
Pulling the packing materials off, this is what the Galaxy-03 looks like.
Included with this case is the instruction manual, all the screws you will need to install your components, zip ties, a 5.25 inch to 3.5 inch adapter bracket, and two expansion slot filler plates.
Let’s move on and check out what the exterior of the Galaxy-03 has to offer.
Rosewill Galaxy-03 Exterior Impressions
Rosewill wanted to keep the cost of the Galaxy line down to assist the budget gamer with sticking to their budget. Obviously a budget case will knock out some features that you’ll find on say a $150 case, so let’s take a look at the outside of this case and see what it all has to offer you for a mere $50.
The outside of the case was designed to look aggressive. As you can see from this shot, they definitely tried by adding sharp lines and some accent colors. This design may not appeal to everyone, but for the price could you look past some features that you don’t like? I don’t think the Galaxy-03 looks half bad for what you’re paying.
Looking a bit closer at the front end, there are three 5.25 inch bays with fillers that are tool-free and very easy to remove.
Another full front end view:
Removing the front end is very easy and done by simply tugging from the bottom. It will then expose the front intake fan and everything else.
Moving to the left side of the case is a location to mount a 120 or 140mm fan to the side panel. The panel is bumped out to keep it uniform with the right hand side and looks nice.
Checking out the rear of the case, we find three holes for external water cooling, which have rubber grommets in them. I am honestly surprised to see the rubber grommets here, as I have seen more expensive cases just have metal knockouts. Also, back here we can see the rear mounted 120mm exhaust fan, seven expansion slots, and the bottom mounted power supply.
Looking a bit closer at the expansion slots, you can’t help but notice that six of the slots have different fillers than the top most slot. Rosewill opted to have only the top slot utilize a filler that can get screwed into place and the rest have to be knocked out. Fortunately included with the case are two extra fillers that can screw into place, should you find yourself removing an incorrect one or moving/removing a card.
On the right side is just about nothing. This side panel has a bump out that matches the left side panel and this should help prove useful for wire management inside this case.
Hopping up top is where the I/O ports are located. I’m happy to say that Rosewill didn’t cheap out on this case and exclude USB 3.0, because they included a single USB 3.0 port along with two USB 2.0 ports. Also up here are headphone and microphone jacks, a reset button, and the large power button.
A closer view of the I/O panel:
The top panel can be removed completely, but only after you remove the front. When you remove the top panel, you expose the mounting for the top 120mm exhaust fan.
Looking a bit closer at the 120mm fan, we can see the model number of: DF1202512SEMN, but unfortunately I cannot reference any proper specs to them, not even on Rosewill's website.
On the bottom of the case Rosewill did cut costs a little bit here. The feet are just plain old feet; no rubber here – they’re all plastic. There is also a filter on the bottom that covers the PSU. This is a nice touch considering the cost of this case.
Removing the filter is a bit tricky and I have to say Rosewill didn’t do a good job with this one. You have to essentially push a little clip (left side) and then move it towards the front of the case. This is backwards, and not to mention trying to push that clip in was very tricky. I’d just recommend unclipping it and not clipping it back in place.
Here is another shot of how the filter removes.
That sums up the exterior of the Galaxy-03, so let’s rip off the side panels and see what’s under the hood.
Rosewill Galaxy-03 Interior Impressions
Will the interior of a fifty dollar case be sufficient for a gamer to build in? Will there be enough room to work with, or is it so scrunched you don’t even want to touch this case? Cracking off the left side cover, we expose the interior and all of its goodness. Well, actually it’s quite basic in here, but let’s take a closer look at the features that are included here.
A couple quick technical specs: Inside this case, you can install a video card up to 11 inches long. This does limit what you can purchase, but it should not be a problem for many with a tighter budget. CPU coolers can also stand up to 160mm tall, which should give you plenty of room.
To start off, I had a very difficult time getting the left side panel off, even after putting it back on and pulling it off a few times. Looking at the next picture, you can see how this panel attaches to the case. What I ended up having to do to remedy this problem was bend these tabs slightly. Now the side panel goes on and comes off with ease.
I’m really happy to see a nice large hole on the motherboard tray behind the CPU. If you wanted to mount a water cooler to your system, or a really heavy air cooler, this will make it nice and easy to install that back plate. Rosewill also preinstalled six standoffs and only leaves you to install the other three for a full sized ATX board. If you want to use a Micro ATX board in here, you’re more than welcome to.
The HDD tray on the bottom right is not tool-less at all, nor is anything else in this case. This case goes back to the old “slide your drive in and screw it down” method, which was totally expected at the cost of this case.
The 5.25 inch bays aren’t anything special and require you to screw your device in place.
Did you happen to notice the four mounting holes on the vertical support between the 3.5 inch and 5.25 inch bays? This is the single location designed into the case that you can mount a 2.5 inch (SSD) drive.
Jumping to the top left you’ll find two 120mm exhaust fans mounted. There is no option for more or larger cooling here, so WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) is in play here. You could always install a different fan for superior airflow, but then you’re investing more money into this case.
The PSU is a traditional bottom mount and does not offer any vibration protection. It’s about as basic as you can get. If you recall the PSU does have an air filter on the bottom of the case that is a nice added touch.
Flipping to the backside of the motherboard tray, you’ll notice that it’s pretty tight looking here.
There is a whole 1/8” (approximately) behind the motherboard tray. Yuck!
Fear not, the bump out on the side panel is to the rescue here. The bump out is roughly the thickness of my Samsung Galaxy S3, which that measures 8.6mm thick (~1/3 inch). This added room should give you more than enough room to work with if you want to hide your cables. It's a bit tough to tell from the picture below, but you will get the idea.
This sums up the interior of the Rosewill Galaxy-03 case, so let’s move on and see how easy it was to build a system inside!
Hardware Installation Inside The Galaxy-03
Part of me dreads working with mid tower cases just due to their cramped nature. I usually end up looking for a full tower or larger for my builds, but I was a bit deceived by how tight the Cooler Master Cosmos SE was in my recent review, and that’s a full tower chassis.
From a clean slate, this case looks like it should be good. The mounting holes look fine, as do the wire pass-thru holes.
Installing the remaining standoffs and dropping in the motherboard in went along easy as always. There was plenty of room to get those I/O edge screws in place.
I went to remove the expansion slot fillers and forgot that there was only one that was able to be removed and replaced - the others need to be knocked out. I didn't feel like removing my motherboard, but fortunately I was still able to get the knockouts removed for my video card. The capacitors on my motherboard got in the way and made it more difficult than it should have been.
Installing my 10.83 inch (275mm) video card proved to have more than enough room to work with. To screw them in place, you need to go to the back side of the case and remove two screws from this plate, then put it back in place:
There isn’t much to say about installing my ODD and HDD, since they’re installing via the old school screw method. The hard drive does poke out a bit more than I am used to and you will see that in the final picture.
Dropping the power supply in was plenty easy, but you will want to take note of how little room I had left between it and the motherboard. Let’s just say, it wasn’t much!
Routing all of my wires behind the motherboard tray and utilizing the bump out on the side panel went well. The wire pass-thru holes were actually placed plenty far enough from the motherboard and allowed me to actually use them, not to mention they were placed in decent positions. I felt like I could have used a tiny bit more room behind the motherboard tray, but I got everything to work after fiddling with the wires a bit before putting the side panel on.
This is what everything looked like installed. You can see that the hard drive pokes out a bit and was challenging keeping the wires hidden or neat. I didn’t really expect to be totally neat in this type of case.
Once I fired it up, the fans were plenty quiet. The front fan has a blue LED that could be distracting to some, as you can see in the picture below. The activity lights were also blue in color, which you can see poking through the gap between my ODD and the case.
Overall hardware installation was pretty simple with this case. The hard drive poking out a bit far was the only real big annoyance that I had. I do wish that there was a smidge more room between the PSU and motherboard, too, but there was just enough to get it installed with ease.
One other side note regarding SSD (2.5 inch) installation: The bracket that converts the ODD bay to a 3.5 inch bay can be installed hidden behind the 5.25 inch cover. You just simply push it back a bit farther and put the screws into place. Snap the cover back in and you’re done. There is plenty of room inside the case to get this installed without causing other headaches.
Of course you can always mount it flush for whatever you may want to put here…
This sums up the installation portion. Next up we will get into the final thoughts and conclusion.
Rosewill Galaxy-03 Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Rosewill designed the Galaxy case series with the gamer in mind, but also the gamer on a budget. It was designed to have an aggressive feel and give you the important things you want. The Galaxy-03 that we reviewed today was indeed feature filled, but did not come without flaws. It definitely didn't feel too cheaply built, which is always a good thing.
The outside of the Galaxy-03 is decent looking, but by no means “blow your mind” spectacular. The sharp lines do add a bit of nice eye candy, but at the same time they do feel a bit awkward. To each their own, though, as some may really like it. I actually don’t mind a small, unobtrusive company logo on my case so I can proclaim who it was made by, but this case had no sign that I could find that it was made by Rosewill. This isn’t a con by any means, but rather an observation.
The filter on the bottom of the case is a nice addition, but it’s also a nice try. It removes backwards from what it should, plus it’s very difficult to remove as it is clipped in place. This filter should slide out from the rear to the rear, not from the rear to the front.
One other minor annoyance that I had, but one annoyance that was easily remedied, was with the side panel. The side panel on the left side of the case was extremely difficult to remove. I found that the clips that hold it in place were scrunched down just a little too much, but I fixed that by bending them outward slightly.
On the inside, everything was laid about as best as it could in this mid tower case. I worked with a full tower case recently that wasn’t easy to work with the wire management, but the Galaxy-03 actually out shined that one for function, because it actually worked. In all honesty, though, cable management isn’t a very strong point with this case, but the bump out on the side panel helps assist with that flaw.
I wasn’t a huge fan with how the hard drive installed, as it seemed a bit too close to the motherboard, making cable management difficult. The PSU also mounted rather close to the motherboard, but fortunately there was still enough room to get it in with ease.
Speaking of “fans,” the included fans were decent and very quiet, but the blue LED on the front intake fan may be a problem for some. There is no way to turn this light off, unfortunately. I personally like blue LEDs, but they can be obnoxiously bright at times. You won’t find yourself doing any larger water cooling outside of a 120mm radiator, if you even want to attempt that in this case.
The next question you have to ask yourself, do you save a few more bucks and buy something a little nicer yet, or stick to your strict budget? That said, for $39.99 shipped after rebate the Rosewill Galaxy-03 offers a solid foundation for the average desktop PC and it is very affordable.
Legit Bottom Line: Rosewill’s Galaxy line is designed for users with a very limited budget in mind, and overall isn’t too bad given how much it costs and seems to only have a few mostly minor flaws.