Today we’ve looked at a case from a company that many simply don’t think of when it comes to enthusiast chassis and have come away very impressed. Rosewill has made the Viper Z a viable option for gamers and enthusiasts looking for a fully featured case that offers well thought out cable management features, versatile hardware installation capability and great looks, to boot. I really liked the integrated card reader and fan controller provisions, both of which were done well and integrate nicely into the chassis. The fans included with the Viper Z are quiet while offering decent airflow, which was a surprise to us. Initially looking at the case features and pricing, I assumed the blue LED fans in the Viper Z would be loud, not move much air and have me wanting to swap them immediately, but that was far from the case, no pun intended.
Quality components are in use throughout the Viper Z. The case itself is well-made, with the frame being solid, albeit somewhat flexible and the side panels are rigid. The soft black paint on the panels looks great and is matched well across the plastic and steel. The internals of the case follow suit, with quality rubber grommets, drive mounting cages and all-black header cables being used. For the price it is being sold at, the Rosewill Viper Z offers build quality that is on par with some of the more expensive cases we have worked with, which is an impressive feat.
Things aren’t perfect with the Viper Z, of course. The ODD bay isn’t tool-free, or modular. I can forgive the non-modular aspect at this price point, but a tool-free mechanism to attach the optical drives would be a welcome addition and for a case that offers so many other enthusiast friendly features. I was disappointed in the lack of tool-free functionality for the optical drives, though we didn’t end up using one in our build, making the point somewhat moot. The drive caddies, while being made of quality materials, leave your drives mounted too close to the rear of the case and thus can cause interference with the side panel hitting the SATA cables attached to your storage drives, as we noted during our build. I think Rosewill can fix this with new hard drive caddie design and would recommend they do so for future case revisions, as this issue certainly caused worry that I’d snap the IO area of one of my hard drives or SSD. These small details aren’t deal breakers, but are definitely annoyances that we noticed during the build.
For users who want a solid, well-built case that they can install a nice mid-range enthusiast system in, the Viper Z will fit the bill and do so admirably. The watercooling potential of the Viper Z is very impressive, given its price range, as well. I really liked the blue LED color scheme with the black frame and windowed side panel, as it looks really good without being too overpowering. The stock fans, while not overly impressive in the airflow department, work well and run fairly quietly. We came away very impressed with the build quality, functionality and style of the Viper Z and feel that it is a good value at it’s current price of $51.99 shipped after 20% off (promo code EMCKAAT83 that ends 10/9) and a $20 mail-in rebate at Newegg. Rosewill, with their Viper Z, has shown us that they are more than capable of producing a solid, well-built case targeted at enthusiasts and delivering it at a competitive price point.
Legit Bottom Line: Color us impressed. The Rosewill Viper Z is a well-built case that offers enthusiast features and premium options at a competitive price point.