The Rosewill R5 Case
With the plethora of chassis out there, makes choosing a chassis for our computer a rather long and tiresome endeavor. Rosewill happens to be one of many computer peripheral manufacturers that happens to also provide us computer users with affordable chassis'.
Over here at Legit Reviews, we just so happen to have one of the many chassis' that Rosewill has to offer us computer users, the R5. Now Rosewill does classify the R5 as a mid-tower chassis, and after me getting to know this particular chassis; I will have to say that the Rosewill R5 is by far not your typical mid-tower chassis.
Rosewill R5 Case Specifications:
- Model: R5
- Type: ATX Mid Tower
- Case Material: SGCC Steel
- With Power Supply: No
- Power Supply Mounted: Bottom
- Motherboard Compatibility: Micro ATX, ATX
- With Side Panel Window: No
- External 5.25" Drive Bays: 4/3
- External 3.5" Drive Bays: 0/1
- Internal 3.5" Drive Bays: 6(also support 2.5" HDD/SSD)
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Front Ports:
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x e-SATA
- Audio In/Out
- 2 x Front 120mm Fan (pre-installed)
- 1 x Rear 120mm Fan (pre-installed)
- 1 x Bottom 120/140mm Fan (option)
- 2 x Side 120/140mm Fan (option)
- 2 x Top 120mm Fan (option)
- 2 x HDD 120mm Fan (option)
Giving the specifications of the Rosewill R5 chassis a quick look through, we start to get an idea of what the R5 chassis has to offer us. One of the main things that I personally like about the Rosewill R5 chassis is that this particular chassis can handle up to 6 HDDs, and they can be either the 3.5” HDD or the smaller 2.5” HDD/SSD, or a combination of a little bit of both. For cooling, the Rosewill R5 chassis can handle up to 10 120/140mm fans; this should give us users plenty of cooling options with the R5 chassis. And finally, looking at the dimensions of the Rosewill R5 chassis, we start to get an idea on how large this particular chassis truly is having a length/depth of 21.5”: which, is not exactly what I call typical mid-tower dimension(s).
Giving that this is a rather large chassis, Rosewill still classifies the R5 as an mid-tower chassis. So by its very own nature may, or may not have some limitations on what we can install into this chassis. The only true way for us to find out, is to jump right on in and see exactly what the Rosewill R5 chassis has to offer us computer users.
Before jumping into the review of the R5 chassis, lets check out PriceGrabber and see how much this chassis goes for. This chassis can be purchased over at Newegg for $79.99 shipped. I will keep this price point in mind as I perform this review, then I will go into more depth about its pricing on the final page of this Rosewill R5 case review.
Unboxing the R5 Chassis
Since we cannot just jump right into the review of the R5 chassis by Rosewill without showing you how they packaged up the chassis, we will start there. Rosewill gives us some general features of this chassis on the front and back side of the packaging they used; both front and backsides of the chassis have the same exact information printed onto them. We also get an idea what the R5 chassis looks like.
Turning the box over 90° if we had a company build us a computer using this chassis, the components would be listed here. Again, both sides are identical.
Other than have the contents of the packaging spun 90° to previous packaged chassis we have seen in the past, Rosewill packages up the R5 pretty much identical.
I took out the accessory box that will be in the upper HDD bay and laid out its contents. What we will get inside of the white accessory box are:
- Inside of the little bag
- Motherboard standoffs
- Motherboard screws
- HDD screws for the 2.5” SSD/HDD
- Chassis screws
- PC Speaker
- Wire ties
A quick look at the Rosewill R5 chassis before I tear it completely apart. I will have to say the R5 is a fairly clean modern-day looking chassis.
R5 Exterior Thoughts
I am going to start the this review of the exterior at the front of the R5 chassis, and then make my way around the entire external chassis. First glance at the front of this chassis, we can see that the R5 can handle up to 4 5.25” bay devices/drives, this chassis can also accommodate a 3.5” floppy drive (for those who may still use this drive).
Each of the 5.25” bay covers utilize a metal mesh covering to allow for more ventilation inside of the R5 chassis.
Instead of having to remove the entire front bezel to gain access to the front fan filter, Rosewill puts in a smaller filter holder that can be removed. To remove the front fan filter, gently grab the small clip that secures the filter and lift it up.
I would like to add that the size of this fan filter carrier is rather large, and has enough surface area to keep our fans free flowing.
As soon as we remove the front bezel fan filter holder, we can see that Rosewill places 2 120mm fans up in the front of this chassis. This should give us plenty of fresh air from the front of this chassis.
Looking at what Rosewill uses as a filter for the front fans. This has gotten me rather baffled; we cannot remove just the filter to be able to clean it. So the only way to clean this filter is we have to clean the carrier as well.
I would have liked to have the filter being able to be removed by itself, so it can make cleaning a little easier for us to perform.
If we ever need to remove the front fans, Rosewill makes the entire front bezel removable. Like many other chassis, just need to put our hands just underneath the front bezel and gently pull it towards us.
Removing the front bezel was extremely easy and did not require a lot force to remove it. Literally it is a two finger removal job; where it just requires two fingers to remove the front bezel.
Looking at the front of the R5 chassis with the front bezel removed.
Like many other chassis on the market today, Rosewill includes small foam filters behind the 5.25” bay covers to keep large particles entering the R5 chassis.
I had to show you why the front bezel was so easy to remove. Rosewill uses metal clips on the front bezel, instead of using a plastic clip that is molded into the front bezel like other chassis manufacturers do.
Time for me to turn my attention over to the left side of the R5 chassis. To the front of the left side panel (Right side in picture), Rosewill includes HDD ventilation ports; no we cannot mount fans here. To the rear of the left side panel (Left side in picture) are more ventilation holes, we can mount either 2 120/140mm fans here or a combination of both. These fan vents do not have any fan filters mounted/installed here.
We will have to guess how to mount the side panel fans to this side panel. As I do not see any fan mounting holes for our 120/140mm fans. I would have preferred to have seen some fan mounting holes here to make installation a bit easier.
Time for me to give a good look at the rear/back side of the Rosewill R5 chassis.
Starting up from the top and working my way down, we can see that Rosewill uses a pretty standard layout we have seen on countless of other chassis. The R5 chassis can mount either a 120mm (installed) or a 140mm fan as an exhaust fan.
Looking at the PCI expansion ports, the R5 chassis can use motherboards that only have 7 PCI expansion ports. Now this is what I thought was a nice addition to this chassis, was the addition of 4 rear facing water cooling access ports into this chassis instead of the traditional 2.
I like to run a dual loop water cooling set up on my computer, which gives me 4 hoses to deal with, the R5 chassis can easily accommodate this unique water cooled computer configuration.
The R5 chassis uses multiple mounting holes for the PSU to accommodate a multitude of different PSU’s, or mounting configurations.
The right side of the R5 chassis, again Rosewill uses ventilation holes near the HDD’s. But this time we can mount 2 120mm fans here to help improve our HDD cooling. Once again there are no fan filters are mounted/installed here, and no visible fan mounting holes.
Again I would have preferred to have seen some fan mounting holes to make our fan installation a bit easier.
Turning our attention over to the top of the Rosewill R5 chassis.
Looking at how Rosewill has the front IO ports on the R5 chassis. Right in the middle of the IO ports, are the (starting from the bottom and working upwards) is the E-SATA port, a single USB 3 port, the front headphone/mic jacks, and finally we have 2 USB 2 ports. Right behind the USB ports, is a single fan controller knob, this fan controller controls up to 4 fans. To the very edges of the R5 front IO ports are the on/off power buttons, and the reset buttons. On/off button is located at the bottom, reset is located towards the top in the picture.
What confuses me is why Rosewill only gives us 1 USB 3 front IO port, instead of 2.
Looking at the rear mesh covered fan cover. Why would Rosewill use such small mesh for exhaust fans is beyond me.
In order to install fans up on the top of the R5 chassis, we first have to remove this rear fan cover, because the upper bezel is non-removable. Similar to the front fan filter holder there is a small clip that needs to be pushed back so we can lift the cover off the upper bezel.
With the rear fan cover removed, we can see that we can install 2 120mm fans up towards the top of the R5 chassis.
This is another area that has me baffled with the R5 chassis. We are looking at the inner portion of the upper rear fan cover, and Rosewill places a foam fan filter here. Which makes this upper portion of the chassis an air intake and not a exhaust. Just like the front fan filter, Rosewill does not make this foam filter removable either. I would have liked to have seen these fan filters removable as it would make servicing them a lot easier on us computer users.
I have heard computer users using the upper chassis fans as intakes, and have the air circulate from top to bottom. Which brings me to why there were no fan filters on the side panels, because these fans are the exhaust fans for the R5 chassis. But my confusion is that hot air rises, and cold air descends. It would only make logical sense to have the chassis follow this simple physics rule, have the top fans exhaust air out, bottom side fans blow air inwards. I am not going to gig the R5 chassis for this arrangement, but it is still rather perplexing to me.
Finishing up this exterior portion of the R5 review, I am going to give the bottom of the chassis a look through.
Now this is what I like to see, removable sliding bottom fan filters. Makes gaining access and cleaning these fan filters so much easier for us computer users. This filter is for the PSU.
Rosewill also places a removable sliding fan filter for the optional bottom 120mm fan.
To round off the external portion of the R5 chassis, I am going to look at the feet. Now this is an area I think Rosewill could have done a bit better with. That being the feet of the R5 chassis, these are not made from a soft material, like rubber, these are instead made from a harder plastic. So we will need to be careful on what surface type’s we place this chassis up on.
R5 Interior Thoughts
Since I removed all of the panels and bezels from the exterior, it is time for me to give the interior a good look through. Here is the R5 chassis completely stripped down to the bare chassis, what could be removed (externally) was removed.
The R5 chassis is a tool-less chassis design, meaning that we should not need the use of any tools to install our computer hardware into this chassis. With a couple of exceptions of course, I will give these out a bit later. The 5.25” drive/device bays are no exception to the tool-less design feature of the R5 chassis, to install a 5.25” bay drive/device all we need to do is twist the little knobs a ½ turn install the drive/device and turn the knob the opposite direction a ½ turn to secure the drive/device. The R5 chassis utilizes 2 of these tool-less locks on the 5.25” bay drive/device bays (one on each side).
The R5 chassis uses physical HDD carriers. To remove these just grab the center of the carrier and pull out and the HDD carrier slides out. These HDD carriers can mount a 3.5" HDD or the smaller 2.5" HDD/SSD.
The R5 chassis can use up to 6 HDDs in this chassis.
The front IO motherboard headers, a word of note, the R5 chassis uses a physical USB 3 front motherboard header instead of a pass through cable/extension cable we have seen on previous chassis.
The R5 uses a foam rubber material on the PSU mounting face on this chassis; that will help suppress any noise or vibrations that comes from the PSU.
A quick look at the rear exhaust 120mm fan that is included with the R5 chassis.
The 2 optional upper 120mm fan mounts.
Rosewill gives the R5 chassis a really large CPU cut out so this chassis should be able to accommodate just about any type of motherboard that is in use today.
In case you did not know, this CPU cutout is put here so we can remove the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the chassis.
A quick measurement of the interior of the R5 chassis, from the rear of the chassis, to the rear of the HDD cage, we have right at 13” of room inside of this chassis.
Which to me is a fairly large area considering that this chassis is classified as a mid sized tower.
Looking at the entire back side of the R5 chassis, instead of having a large area behind the motherboard to hide our PSU wires, Rosewill uses a channel to the bottom and front part of the motherboard tray, this is definitely different. Also Rosewill uses large openings into the motherboard tray to accommodate our PSU wires, and they utilize a rubber covering to enhance the look of the interior and to keep our PSU wires from getting chaffed/cut as we route them through these holes.
Looking at how much room we have directly behind the motherboard tray. There is only 5/16 of an inch directly behind the motherboard tray, which is not much room behind here at all.
But the channel that Rosewill uses on the R5 chassis has almost 7/8 of an inch of room; which is plenty large enough to handle our oversized PSU wires.
Just some quick thoughts about the R5 chassis in general, before I jump right into the installation of my computer hardware. The R5 chassis has a solid feel and look to it, also all of the edges of the R5 chassis were rounded off enough to keep me from shredding my hands, arms, and fingers as I was making my way around the internal portion of this chassis.
Installing Hardware into the R5 chassis
Time for me to start installing my computer hardware into the Rosewill R5 chassis, and see if this oversized mid-tower is capable of handling my oversized computer components.
Installing the HDDs seems like a good place to start the installation. The R5 chassis uses HDD carriers, but these HDD carriers are of a tool-less design, so we do not need to use screws to secure the 3.5” HDD to the carrier. I should mention the HDD carriers can handle both 3.5” and the smaller 2.5” HDD/SSD counterparts. To install a 3.5” HDD we need to line up one side of HDD to the HDD carrier, then on the opposite side, gently pull on the side of the HDD carrier away from the HDD and slide it up to mounting holes of the HDD.
Now I did notice that these HDD carriers felt a bit flimsy, so you do not want to use a lot of force when installing the 3.5” HDDs into these carriers, or you may break the HDD carriers.
In order for us to install the smaller 2.5” HDD/SSDs on to the HDD carriers, we need to remove a side off of the HDD carriers. More specifically the part that has pins that secures the 3.5” HDD to the carrier. On the inside of the HDD carrier are four small tabs, 2 on front and 2 on rear of the carrier, gently squeeze the tabs together and remove the side off.
Rosewill should have just placed the 2.5” HDD/SSD mounting holes in the dead center of the HDD carriers instead of off to the side. This would save a lot of time and trouble to install the smaller 2.5” HDD/SSD drives into this chassis.
If you are using a 2.5” HDD/SSD all we need to do is line up the mounting holes of both the drive and carrier, locate the appropriate screws and secure it to the HDD carrier. A 2.5" HDD (laptop drive) has the same exact mounting holes as an SSD.
The 2.5” HDD installed into the R5 chassis’ HDD carriers.
The upper 3 motherboard standoffs do not to be installed into the R5 chassis. Rosewill made the upper three motherboard mounts raised standoffs. You will need to install the remaining motherboard standoffs prior to installing your motherboard getting installed.
Getting the ASUS Rampage 2 Extreme motherboard into the R5 chassis and secured.
During the installation of the SATA cables to the HDDs, I noticed that because of the rear motherboard channel the R5 chassis uses, makes it impossible for me to gain access to my lower SATA ports on the ASUS Rampage 2 Extreme. So this chassis is unable to fully handle the larger full ATX motherboards that are similar to the size of the ASUS Rampage 2 Extreme.
A quick look at rear side of the motherboard tray once all of the PSU wires have been routed to their respected spots. The channels that Rosewill uses on the R5 chassis do clean up the back side of the motherboard area quite nicely. We can also see that the CPU cutout is very large to accommodate a wide variety of different motherboard types, and layouts in regards to the CPU mounting holes.
Rosewill places small little loops on to the channel so that we can use wire ties to hold back our PSU wires, and secure them to the motherboard tray.
Since the ASUS Rampage 2 Extreme motherboard does not have USB 3 capabilities, I decided to turn the front USB 3 IO port, into a useable USB 2 front IO port. This is accomplished with the USB 3 to USB 2 header adapter that is included with the Rosewill R5 chassis.
Which I thought was a rather nice touch to the R5 chassis, sometimes it is the little things that makes or breaks a chassis.
Looking at the optional bottom 120/140mm fan mount in the R5 chassis, from the looks of it, I have plenty of room to install a 120/140mm fan here and have it not get in the way of the PSU wires.
Your mileage may very, this is dependent on the size of your PSU, if it is a larger PSU then you may not be able to mount a fan here.
Final complete install of the Rosewill R5 chassis, we can see that the R5 chassis is capable of handling some rather large computer components. Just we have to be mindful on the size of the motherboard gets used with this chassis.
Final thoughts of the Rosewill R5 Chassis
The Rosewill R5 chassis is by far your typical standard, every day, mid-tower chassis. What makes the R5 not a typical mid-tower chassis? It is because of the shear amount of room that we get inside of this particular chassis. There are other areas that I liked about the Rosewill R5 chassis and they include: The addition of 4 water cooling access ports into this chassis, as this will give some of us computer users the capability of running dual loop water cooling set ups. To finally, the R5 chassis is able to handle up to six 3.5” and 2.5” HDD/SSDs without the need of having to purchase 2.5” HDD/SSD adapters in order for us to use these smaller type of drive in with the R5 chassis.
Like all chassis I have used over the years, there are areas that I think where Rosewill can improve upon with the R5 chassis. The first area is the HDD carriers, they did feel a bit flimsy when I was installing my HDDs into them. While we are on the subject of the HDD carriers, Rosewill could have placed the 2.5” HDD/SSD mounts right in the middle of the carriers, instead of having them mount off to the side,as this will make installation go a lot smoother. The front and upper foam fan filters, I would have liked to have them to be removable, so that we may be able to clean these filters easier if and when it is needed/required. Finally getting to the motherboard tray itself, this is the biggest thing I did not care for with the R5 chassis. Having the motherboard channel incorporated with this chassis is a good theory, but in everyday practicality actually hinders the flexibility of the R5 chassis on the types of motherboards that can be used.
Looking over at PriceGrabber for a pricing of this chassis, I can see that this chassis carries a price tag of $79.99 Shipped and is backed by a 1-year limited warranty. The Rosewill R5 chassis falls right in the middle when it comes to price. Newegg has 323 ATX Mid Tower cases for sale and prices range from $30 shipped to $260 shipped. The $50 to $100 price range is the sweet spot for the mid tower market and this case falls right in there. Not too many mid towers can offer what this chassis does. Like, plenty of room inside, the capability of handling up to 6 3.5/2.5" HDD/SSDs, and it is the only chassis in this class that I have ever used that can accommodate a dual loop external water cooling set up.
Legit Bottom Line: If you are needing a chassis and you are using the standard sized ATX/mATX motherboards, the Rosewill R5 chassis is right up your alley. Now, if you are like me and you happen to be using some of the larger ATX style motherboards then the Rosewill R5 chassis may not fit your computing needs.