Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra Super Tower Introduction
Go BIG or go home the saying goes and Rosewill followed that statement when they released their Blackhawk-Ultra super tower case to the market. Rosewill is Newegg's house brand that product a wide range of peripheral products from PSU's to Cases and just about everything in between.
The Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra is the second case from them under the Blackhawk name. The first one is a mid-tower ATX case with good air flow and a nice design. The Ultra version is the super big brother to that first version which is why it is classified as a Super-Tower by Rosewill. For example it can handle the mighty Classified SR-2 motherboard from EVGA which is a HPTX form factor (enormous).
We found the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra at Newegg of course for $199.99 with free shipping and a one year warranty.
Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra PC Case Specifications:
|Case Material||Steel & Plastic|
|With Power Supply||No|
|Power Supply Mounted||Bottom|
|Motherboard Compatibility||ATX, SSI CEB, E-ATX, XL-ATX, HPTX|
|With Side Panel Window||No|
|External 5.25" Drive Bays||3/4|
|External 3.5" Drive Bays||1/0|
|Internal 3.5" Drive Bays||10|
|Front Ports||2 x USB 3.0 (internal 20-pin connector to MB)
4 x USB 2.0
Audio In/Out(AC97, HD)
|140mm Fans||2 x Front 140mm Red LED Fan (first layer)(pre-installed)
2 x Front 140mm Red LED Fan (second layer)(pre-installed)
|230mm Fans||2 x Top 230mm Red LED Fan(pre-installed)
or 3 x 120/140mm Fan(option)
1 x Side 230mm Fan
or 9 x 120mm Fan(option)
|Side Air duct||No|
|Dimensions(W x H x D)||Front & top panels included
240 x 635 x 660 mm
9.45” x 25” x 25.99” inch
Front & top panels NOT included
230 x 600 x 620 mm
9.06” x 23.63” x 24.41” inch
|Warranty||1 year limited|
Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra Super Tower PackagingThe Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra arrived in a very large box as you would expect for a PC case this large.
The front and back of the box are identical being all black with just a nice graphic letting you know this is the Ultra version of the Blackhawk and a Rosewill badge.
The left side of the box has minimal information such as the UPC code and a bit of product information.
The right side has the same very minimal information and lucky for this reviewer both sides do have a handle hole for easier manuverability since this box is so large.
Pulling the contents out of the large box reveals the typical thick foam at the top and bottom and a plastic back covering the entire case.
Outside the Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra
The name Blackhawk makes you think of sleek stealth type product and this gigantic case in shiny and flat black fits that minds eye image.
The front of the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra is a semi-gloss black painted metal mesh with high gloss black plastic on the sides. There are four 5.25" bays at the top and behind the mesh front you can just make out the edges of the dual front 230mm intake fans. It is very hard to tell on this picture but the bottom bay has a 3.5" knockout as well if you want to run a floppy or other 3.5" device. The whole front is filtered, even the bay covers making the intake air nice an clean.
The left side of the case has a large fine mesh panel with a 230mm fan pre-installed and holes for an additional 5 120mm fans or 9 if you remove the 230mm fan. That is serious potential cooling power if you like positive pressure cooling.
The right side is fairly simply with a solid panel and a single 120mm fan port if you wanted to cool the backside of your CPU socket. Certainly overkill but why not since this is the Blackhawk Ultra model.
Swinging around to the back the sheer size of this case becomes more apparent with no less than 7 grommets for water tubing, 10 slots for PCI cards, and the optional top or bottom (or both if you need dual PSU's) mounted PSU port.
Going up top on the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra there is the continuation of the black mesh from the front, I/O ports, a HDD dock, and dual 230mm fans.
Flipping over to the bottom of the Blackhawk Ultra reveals four rubber feet and a large mesh area to accommodate the PSU and an optional 120/140mm fan. The entire bottom area is covered with a plastic filter mesh to minimize the dust bunnies in the case.
A close up of the top mounted I/O ports shows two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, headphone, mic, reset, power, and status lights.
If you frequently move massive amounts of files and/or like to have a backup off site, the top mounted Hard Drive ports can be a convenient way to hot plug a drive, move some files, and disconnect. This is an interesting feature but personally I am not clear how much use it would get outside of say a photo professional.
Finally we pulled the front panel off to see the dual 140mm intake fans and the brackets covering all but the top 5.25" bay.
Inside the Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra
The first thing you notice when you crack open this case is fans, and tons of them. Rosewill obviously was shooting for extreme airflow and with 5x 140mm fans and 3x 230mm fans the Blackhawk Ultra is sure to provide hurricane winds.
Pulling the left side off to reveal the main compartment the first thing that jumped out at us was the ten HDD mounts and the push pull 140mm fans mounted to the cage. Another item that stuck out was the large rubber grommet next to the standard CPU hole. This is to access the back of the second processor if you happen to be running the SR-2 motherboard. There are also 11 other grommet holes for great cable management all around the motherboard tray. At the bottom of the case, Rosewill provided a nice velcro strap to hold down a bottom mounted PSU below the 10 PCI slots. Note that while it is not really called out in the specifications, you can mount a PSU at the top of the case if you remove the fan(s).
Rotating the case 180 degrees lets us see behind the motherboard where the cables from the fans and top I/O ports hang down.
The four 5.25" bays are all tool free designs with a very easy to operate slider.
Inside the bottom of the four 5.25" bays is a removable 3.5" adapter with a bottom SSD screw hole pattern in case you want to mount a 3.5" accessory, HDD, or SSD. With 10 3.5" bays it would be surprising you would need an 11th one so the good news that it is removable.
If you have a massive media collection on a large RAID array, this case can handle it with the 10 universal 3.5" HDD bays.
The first thing to note about these drive trays is that they are painted steel an not the flimsy plastic we have become familar with most cases today. The other interesting part is that they are all bottom mount with either the rubber grommets or SSD pattern so the drives actually rest on the tray.
The top of the case has two 230mm fans for exhaust in addition to the standard rear 140mm fan.
With all the fans Rosewill realized most people would not want a tangle of power lines running everywhere so they installed fan power hubs at the top and bottom of the case just behind the HDD cage. If you note the little square with two screw ports above and below to the right of the fan power hubs, Rosewill included those as a second option to mount the fan power hubs depending on motherboard size and cable managment. There is also a 3-Pin fan cable that runs between the hubs so you only have to run a molex power to one of them and they are both connected. We would probably see about moving these power hubs to the back of the motherboard tray to clean up wiring, but they are a great addition.
Rosewill includes several nice items with the Blackhawk Ultra in addition to the standard screws and users manual they add two ATX 8-pin power extenders and a set of casters. For a case this large the casters sure make it nice to move around for cleaning or tweaking.
Building our System inside the Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra
If the sheer dimensions of the massive Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra were not clear, the below images should give you a good idea of just how big this case is.
The inside of the Blackhawk Ultra is so massive that it felt like we were installing a system on an open test bench. Look how small it makes our standard ATX motherboard look with several inches before we get near the HDD cage. The only complaint is that they used a USB 3.0 cable for the top I/O ports and there is no converter if your motherboard does not come with the 20 pin USB 3.0 header so the cable just has to lay there. It is too bad when we have seen other cases with USB 2.0 plugs or converters included. Further, if you are not interested in the top HDD dock, you have a lose SATA and Molex power run flopping around. Finally our single SSD and HDD look almost comical with the 8 empty bays.
Flipping around behind the motherboard tray it is no surprise that we have tons of space for cable runs and we want to make sure we mention that these grommets are not the flimsy fall out kind, they are the robust stay in place kind. Of course with a case as enormous as the Blackhawk Ultra we were grateful for the included 8-pin ATX extender and the port specifically positioned for this power run.
With 25mm (.98 inches) of space behind the motherboard tray there should be more than enough to tuck all your cables back here.
For those of you interested in water cooling this beast there is 75mm between the top mounted fans and the edge of the motherboard or 100mm to the metal top panel. There are mounting holes for 3x 120mm or 3x 140mm fans if you remove the two included 230mm fans. If you install a 360mm or 420mm radiator be aware that running cables to the back of your optical drive might be difficult if you use the top one or two bays. Unless the radiators have large chambers at the end they should not intrude into the 5.25" bay area but your mileage may vary.
Final Thoughts on the Rosewill Blackhawk-Ultra Super TowerAnd I thought my Corsair 700D was big but the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra is really a Super Tower with massive dimensions in all directions.
Rosewill put a lot of thought into the Blackhawk Ultra Super Tower especially for those that want to run on air. With no less than seven fans included and space to mount another seven this has to be one of the highest air flow potential cases we have seen in full tower form factor. Rosewill also made the case silent by using these large fans we could barely hear any audible noise. It is hard to beat 10 + 1 hard drive / SSD mounting spots which should be more than enough for even the largest media collector. Our own uber rig only has 5 HDD and 3 SSD's which would leave three open slots in this beast. Including castors for a case this large is brilliant and something all full towers should come with these days. All intakes being filtered is a great touch with think any higher end case should have standard to minimize the dust. We loved the fan power hubs and the way they were daisy chained to assist with powering all these fans. We really liked the metal universal hard drive trays that give a very solid feel instead of the more common plastic versions. Finally we liked that the vast majority of this case was metal and not plastic. This might mean less crazy angles and unique shapes but we gladly give that up for years of service.
While there was a ton to like about the Blackhawk Ultra has a ton to love about it there are a few items that we think could be improved. First, the fan hubs should be mounted on the back of the motherboard tray to hide some of that spaghetti of fan wires. Second, where is the integrated fan controller? On a case with this many fans, even slow RPM fans, it should come with at least a simple hi, medium, low control especially since it already has the fan power distribution hubs. While this case can handle a 420mm radiator up top, the option to remove some of the HDD cage for either a pump or 240mm/280mm radiator in the bottom would make this case more water cooler friendly. Finally, when you are charging $200.00 for a case all the top I/O ports should be USB 3.0 and come with a solution to be backward compatible to USB 2.0. We see this on $80.00 Bitfenix cases, it should be on $200.00 Super Towers.
Even given some of the minor short comings we really liked the build quality of this case and that the features were less gimmicky and more useful. We are not sure there are a lot of people that need 10 HDD's, looking to install an EVGA SR-2 motherboard, wanting 18 possible fans, or dual power supplies but if you are this case has all that you need.
Currently selling for $199.99 and free shipping from Newegg and a one year warranty we feel that for those in the market of massive case we would recommend this one.
Legit Bottom Line: Well built case with minimal plastic, thoughtful features, and tons of room make this one of the best full tower cases we have seen in our lab.