Rosewill Legacy MX2-B Mid-Tower Case
The Rosewill Legacy MX2 Mid-Tower case line is currently made up of two models, the MX2-B and MX2-S; the MX2-B is black, while the MX2-S is silver. Both cases can easily be found for $199.99 w/ free shipping. The Legacy MX2 line has a very minimalist look to it, however the curved edges and open bottom give it a high end look. The exterior is made out of brushed aluminum, while the interior is steel. The front panel feature a slim slot load optical drive bay, standard headphone/microphone jacks, dual USB 2.0 and dual SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports.
The Rosewill Legacy MX2-B measures 7.87 x 16.57 x 17.52 (WxDxH) inches, and weighs in at 16.31lbs. Don't let the size fool you, this case was not exclusively designed for the smaller motherboards; it fits ATX, Micro ATX, ITX and UATX motherboards. In addition, it will support many taller CPU coolers, with a maximum height of 150mm. This isn't enough room for some of the taller CPU coolers, but it will fit the vast majoirty. In addition, the video card is limited to 280mm, which again is just a little too short for the some high end video cards as both NVIDIA and AMD have released cards that are over 11-inches in length in recent years.
Designing a small case to fit standard ATX motherboards, some design changes had to take place. First, there are no 5.25" drive bays, the standard optical drive has been replaced with a slim slot load bay. Hard drive space is very limited to three hard drives, plus one hidden 2.5" hard drives. Finally, the power supply has been moved from being placed at the bottom (or top) of the case, to being placed at the front of the case, mounted vertically.For cooling, there are a few options, at the bottom of the case Rosewill has included two 120mm fans, while the top features one 140mm fan. If necessary, two additional 80mm fans can be mounted on the rear panel.
Features and Specifications:
- CPU Cooler: Not Higher than 150mm
- Display Card: Not Longer than 280mm
- Ideal for Intel & AMD Systems
- Support Standard ATX PSII PSU
- Sturdy Construction Ventilations for Display Card (within 280mm).
|Rosewill Legacy MX2-B Specifications|
|Type||ATX Mid Tower|
|Case Material||External: Aluminum Alloy
Internal: SGCC Steel
|With Power Supply||No|
|Motherboard Compatibility||Micro ATX / ATX / ITX / U-ATX|
|With Side Panel Window||No|
|Internal 3.5" Drive Bays||3|
|Internal 2.5" Drive Bays||1|
|Slot-in ODD Bays||1|
|Front Ports||2 x USB 3.0 Ports
2 x USB 2.0 Ports
|Side Air Duct||No|
7.87" x 16.57" x 17.52" (W x D x H)
200 x 421 x 445mm (W x D x H)
|Weight||16.31 lbs / 7.4 k.g.|
The specifications from Rosewill list compatibility for two 250mm fans and two internal 2.5" drive bays. It turns out that this was a typo and this case has just one internal 2.5" drive bay and no 250mm case fan. Rosewill is going through all their promotional materials and the channel to correct the mistake. They also have apologized for the mistake and hopefully caught it before too many people became upset. Let's take a look at the packaging.
Rosewill Legacy MX2-B Case Packaging
Rosewill does what it can to keep prices low, the Legacy MX2-B is packaged in a plain cardboard box which doesn't give any details what is inside the box; of course that's not a big deal as these will mostly be ordered over the internet. Keeping it simple, the front and back are identical. In the upper right corner, a little damage to the box happened in shipping.
As with the front and back being identical, the two sides are identical. Here some identification information is displayed such as the model name (Legacy MX2-B), and weight; very little information is provided on the box.
Inside the box, Rosewill has packed the Legacy MX2-B in pretty standard packing for a case. The case itself, is in a soft foam bag, which is then surrounded on two sides by plastic foam blocks.
Plenty of accessories are included with the Legacy MX2-B case, included are five optical drive screws, thirteen rubber hard drive anti-vibration gaskets, eight fan screws, two motherboard stand-offs, ten 3.5" drive thumbscrews, seven 2.5" drive screws, eight 3.5" drive screws, a large number of paper washers, motherboard screws, a tiny motherboard speaker and the important user manual. The number of screws included are more than enough to install all options within the Legacy MX2-B case.
Legacy MX2-B Exterior Impressions
Rosewill kept the look of the Legacy MX2 to the basics, while providing a very modern look with the brushed aluminum and curves. There are no strange angles or flashing lights to draw attention to the Legacy MX2, rather it relays on it's minimalist feel and sleek curved edges to grab attention. Rather than being very boxy, the four corners are rounded, and the base acts as its feet, raising the base of the case off the surface, allowing plenty of room for airflow into the case.
The standard 5.25" drive bay has been replaced with a slim line optical drive bay, which makes it hard enough to find the right components, however Rosewill has taken it one step further and also required it to be a slot load drive. While this keeps the front of the case smooth, it does make it all that more difficult to find the exact drive a user might want.
At the bottom of the front panel is the normal front I/O cluster, which includes headphone/microphone jacks, two USB 2.0 and two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. There are no vents here to interrupt the flow of the case.
Taking a look at the side panel (both of the side panels look identical, so no reason to waste time looking at the other side), we find it smooth and devoid of any fans, windows or other features. The only thing of not here is that the bottom edge is curved under the base of the case.
The back panel has the standard features, seven PCI expansion slots, motherboard I/O key slot, and two 80mm fans. There is no power supply hole, as that is mounted inside the case, instead there is only a power connector. In the rare times it is needed, a hard power switch would be a nice feature to have. However, simply pulling the power cable does the same thing.
The top of the case continues the minimalist flow with only the top fan exhaust being present.
The actual bottom of the case acts as a base, here two rubber anti-slide feet is present. This keeps the base looking great and from sliding around on a desk.
The actual bottom of the case we find two fan filters for the bottom 120mm intake fans, and the power supply exhaust port. The fan filters are easily removed for cleaning, which is vital as this is the only air intake on the case.
Legacy MX2-B Interior Impressions
With the side panel removed, we can take a quick look at the interior, which matches the exterior's color. Removing the side panel is tool-less as it pulls away from the case, rather than being secured by screws. In the lower right corner is a large area that is covered, which is where the power supply will eventually be installed.
With the side panel removed, we noticed a rubber gasket has been installed all the way around the case where the side panel touches the case. The rubber gasket will help reduce noise from the side panel vibrating against the metal. There are two pressure pin slots in the two top corners, and one in each of the bottom corners.
The side panel is held in place by plastic pins that squeeze into the pressure pin slots on the case, these feel fairly heavy duty, and don't appear to be easy broken.
The power supply bracket is secured by four screws and once those are removed, the bracket slides out of the case. The rear power connector has a long cable that connects to the power supply, this is a rather long cable and might be a little too long; cables that are un-necessarily long require additional cable routing to keep it clean.
The power supply bracket is simply a large L bracket to attach the power supply to. It has a large foam pad on one side, and a foam gasket around the power supply exhaust port. The way this is placed in the case, the exhaust will face down, pointing it out of the bottom.
On the other side of the power supply bracket, is a couple of large cable channels to give plenty of room for the power cable to connect to the power supply.
As mentioned in the specifications, the bottom of the Legacy MX2-B includes two 120mm intake fans. The thirteen blades of the fans have a s-wave design to them allowing for high airflow while reducing the noise from the fans.
The bottom fans are labeled as model A1220L12S, unfortunately no additional information could be found on Rosewill's site for these fans. Using SpeedFan, the fan speed was set at 1050RPM, and I was unable to adjust it. They are powered by a three pin fan connector, or an attached four pin Molex connector. I like the option, however if connecting with the fan connector, the extra cable and Molex connector can be a nuisance. I would much rather it be an add-on type connector rather than being hardwired.
The back panel is nothing surprising, the seven PCI expansion slots are held in place by thumbscrews. As there is an edge all the way around the edge to provide support for the side panel, there are holes to allow a screw driver access to the thumbscrews. The expansion slot covers are silver, which provides a nice contrast against the black of the case.
The top 140mm exhaust fan looks like a standard nine bladed fan. It has model number A1425L 12SU shown on the other side.
Taking a look at the back of the motherboard tray, we can see that Rosewill has installed plastic wire guard around the CPU cooler bracket hole and the main power supply cable hole. However for the other two cable management holes, they have put rubber grommets which should help keep cables tidy and keep things clean. There are twenty-one cable tie locations on the back panel, this should allow a user to keep the cables secured in virtually any location.
Rosewill has one internal 2.5" drive mount that is placed on the back of the motherboard tray. The hard drive or Solid-State Drive is kept secured with four screws and as it is installed "upside down" there shouldn't be any issues with connecting the cables.
Legacy MX2-B Hardware Installation
With the install completed, many of the components fit exactly as expected. With the size of the case, there are some differences and little considerations that make the installation a little tricky. With a little planning the install can be pretty painless.
Installing the power supply on the bracket is not difficult, if you have installed a power supply before, this part is easy to do. Place the power supply on the bracket and secure it with four screws. The only tricky part will be deciding which direction the intake fan will face, towards the front of the case (where there are no vents), or towards the motherboard where it can get some airflow from the bottom intake fans.
Next, we'll go ahead and install the SSD on the back of the motherboard tray. The user manual states that needs to be installed before the motherboard, however it seems the manual is incorrect. Unfortunately, this is the first issue I ran into. The screws used to connect the SSD so not properly secure the drive to the brackets. There is some movement, and if you take a close look at the screws, you can see a bit of space between the screw and the bracket. While a SSD does not have any moving parts, it is still a concern that the drive can move, even just a little.
Next, we prepare the 3.5" hard drives for installation by attaching the thumbscrews on the left, with rubber washers, and on the right the flat head screws with the rubber washers. The rubber washers reduce the vibration noise from the hard drive so they are necessary, and is also part of the install process to keep the drive secure. When the drive is slid into the drive chamber, the washers are notched for the guide rails.
The motherboard is generally installed like every other motherboard. With the size of the case, pay special attention when placing the motherboard inside the case. Once the motherboard was installed, it was time to connect it. Sadly, here I began to run into many issues. The entire row of connectors on the bottom edge of the motherboard cannot be accessed! All the connections need to be made before the motherboard is in place, otherwise, the bottom fans will need to be removed. Also, as tight as the space is, if the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection was on this edge, it would be totally unusable as there is not enough space for the connector. In addition, the ASUS motherboard uses the Q-Connector for the front power connections, it cannot be used at all with this case. With the Q-Connector and the power connections to the case it is just too tall. Even the motherboard debug LED is totally covered.
Taking a closer look at the bottom of the motherboard, should a three-way video configuration be planned, it would be impossible. The bottom PCI expansion slot is partially covered by the fans, and there is no room for a dual slot video card in the bottom PCI-E slot.
When sliding the power supply bracket into place, a few little things came up. In my test build, I was using a modular power supply, power cables have to be installed first and fed through the hole in the back in order for them to fit. They do fit, but it's a tight fit; some modular connections might have problems. Also, when sliding the bracket all the way in, it was held up by the power supply cables, they need to be pressed out of the way in order for it to be secured properly. If the cables on the power supply are rather large, it might be a little difficult to get the bracket to slide all the way in. However, I could have turned the power supply around so the intake port would be towards the front of the case, that was a little easier to get it in place.
With everything installed, I wanted to check out the options on the back of the MB tray for cable routing options. There are over 21 cable tie locations to secure the cables, and just under an inch of space for cables to fit. Without doing anything special to route the cables the back panel snapped into place without any issues.
The final step was to install the video card, the Gigabyte HD7870 is 280mm long, which is the maximum size for the Legacy MX2-B. It could not be installed straight in, I had to move it into place at an angle then put it into the slot once it was past the power supply bracket. Of course, once again, the easier way would be to install the video card before the power supply; especially if it is longer than the motherboard at all.
With the amount of available space at the top of the case, I would assume the 140mm exhaust fan could be swapped for a small radiator, allowing for some liquid cooling options. There are no options for installing a larger dual fan radiator without doing some mods.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The build quality and design of the Rosewill Legacy MX2 PC case is top notch, the brushed aluminum is flawless and smooth all around the case. The entire case doesn't scream for attention, it sits quietly back knowing people will check it out the moment they see it. However, looks aren't everything, a case needs to be functional and have the necessary features today's users demand.
Externally, the Legacy MX2-B features a slim line slot loading optical bay, USB 2.0 and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on the front (I wish it was four USB 3.0 ports, an adapter could be included for those that still need USB 2.0), while internally it has support for ATX, Micro-ATX, ITX and UATX motherboards, SSD and three hard drives can be installed in the case. The lack of 5.25" device bays might turn some away, however 5.25" devices are starting to disappear. Without any 5.25" bays, and just a few 3.5" bays, the power supply is hidden at the front of the case which makes the case a bit smaller than most mid-towers, measuring 7.87 x 16.57 x 17.52 (WxDxH) inches.
Once everything is installed properly, the side panels pop back onto the case without any resistance. On the back side of the motherboard tray, there is plenty of room for power cables to be routed with almost 1 inch of space, which is the size of a US Quarter. Unfortunately, as nice as the Legacy MX2-B is to look at, there were several issues during the install. Most can be overlooked as it is just a matter of install process. However, a few of the issues are fairly critical. The biggest issue we found arises if you are using a standard ATX motherboard. With a standard board in this case you basically lose the ability to access to all the bottom ports due to the bottom two case fans blocking access to them. This can easily be resolved by removing the case fans, but you'll have to be willing to give up your lower fans. Rosewill wanted a case that was compact and this is the one concession that you'll have to make to use a standard board in this chassis. If you are using a mini-ITX or micro-ATX motherboard this wouldn't be an issue as the board wouldn't come down this far.
The Rosewill Legacy MX2 mid-tower case line is available in two models, the MX2-B which is black, and MX2-S which is silver. Both cases are available online for $199.99 shipped and come with a 1 year warranty. That price places it at the higher end of mid-tower cases. Right now Newegg has 347 Mid Tower computer cases ranging between $23.99 all the way up to $361.55. There are hundreds of choices when it comes to searching for a mid tower, but half the fun of building a PC is finding the case design that is right for you. Rosewill knows that enthusiasts are looking for high quality computer cases and that they are willing to pay a price premium for a slick design.
Legit Bottom Line: The Rosewill Legacy MX2-B is a beautiful case that is fairly compact and as a result things are tight, maybe too tight for some.