NZXT ROGUE Crafted Series SFF Gaming Chassis Review


From functional, but uninspiring, eggshell white cases that held your 486 or early Pentium CPU in the ’90s, to the modern enthusiast gaming case of today.  Granted, you can still get a super-cheap case, that is barely functional, and yes, even eggshell white, but there is really no reason to do so, as there are far better choices out there.  Enter the NZXT Rogue, constructed from aluminum and steel, which features a removable motherboard tray, 3 included 120mm fans with room for 2 more, and a carrying strap(!).  This enthusiast gaming case has a full range of features and a whole different look!

Provided by: NZXT

Closer Look:

The packaging is straightforward, and what you would expect, displaying a picture of the color scheme for the model you have purchased (this one is black with blue LED’s, other color schemes are available).  Actually, because a courier must have been having a bad day, this box arrived a bit beat up, but this allows us to confirm that the styrofoam protection was ample enough to protect the unit from any damage.

Out of the packaging, the first thing to notice is the low profile, rectangular design, which differentiates the case from the traditional tower design.  The NZXT Rogue has a fine semi-glossy finish, and although constructed partly of aluminum, has enough steel in it as well to give it a nice weight (9.2Kg), which for me personally at least, allows for easier day-to-day usage.  I don’t like it when my cases are too light, for one they feel flimsy, and for another, they don’t stay put when I am installing the third CPU cooler of the evening!  The top of the case sports a plexiglass window, so you have visual access to all the components of the motherboard.

The sides are sleek looking and are fully finned to provide ample airflow through each included 120mm fan, one on each side.  There is room for another additional fan on each side as well.

The back is compact and functional, with another included 120mm fan and the obviously needed space for power supply and expansion cards.  These are all accessible with thumbscrews to allow for quick and easy removal.  Also thumbscrew accessible is the motherboard tray.  More on this later.

The case comes with all the screws you will need, both for additional fans and for optical and hard drives.  It even comes with a screwdriver!  It also includes a carrying strap setup, so you can take your rig to a LAN party, sort of like a really expensive lunch kit!  An expansion bracket for larger power supply units is also included, really allowing for a lot of configurability.

Let’s take a closer look at some the features this case has to offer…

Closer Look:

In terms of cooling, this NZXT Rogue case comes prepared.  I really like that it comes with 3 full-size 120mm fans stock.  One in the back, and one on each side.  The fact it has room for 2 more is icing on the cake.

In the front, a nicely weighted magnetic door opens to allow access to an optical drive or floppy, as well as the power and reset buttons.  A nice feature is that the audio, USB and eSATA, ports in the front are placed just to the side of the door in the front of the case, and not behind it, allowing for easy access.  You can even lock the front door with the included key lock!

With 2 external 5.25”, 1 external 3.5”, and 4 internal 3.5” drive bays, the NZXT Rogue should have ample room for all of your hard drives and peripheral units.

Ample length is given for all the necessary wiring one needs to do for the system to function perfectly.  An included SATA cable is a nice touch.

As mentioned before, the removable motherboard tray is a REALLY useful feature.  By removing the 4 thumbscrews holding it firmly in position, one can quickly remove the entire tray with your motherboard mounted on it.  This will be a very useful feature for those of us who are often re-configuring or otherwise finding reasons to dig into and modify our computer hardware on a frequent basis.

Let’s next take a look at the specs of the case…

Specifications and Features:

-3mm outer aluminum frame protects and guards your internals from damage during LAN parties and transportation

-Support for high end 11.5” video expansion cards

-Open window allows view inside your computer

-Carrying strap for moving the PC the LANs and events

-Supports ATX PSU and expand for larger PSU over 700W

-Locking door mechanism for security

-Weight reduction through aluminum chassis

-Great ventilation and cooling with 5 120 mm fans (3 included)

-Removable motherboard tray

-Supports eSATA, Mic, Audio-In, 2 x USB 2.0 Inputs

Cooling Features:

1 x Rear 120 mm fan (1 included)

4 x Side 120 mm fan (2 included)

Motherboard Compatibility:  MICRO ATX

Drive Bays:

2 External 5.25” Drive Bays

1 External 3.5” Drive Bays

4 Internal 3.5” Drive Bays

Expansion Slots:  4

Chassis:

Dimensions (WXDXH):  368 X 421.2 X 278.2 MM

Chassis Material:  Aluminum/Steel

Net Weight:  9.2Kg

On to the conclusion…

Conclusion:

Any computer case you buy will always be a balance between form and function, the goal being to get one that has ample qualities of both.  In the case of the NZXT Rogue, an honest effort has been made to satisfy both good functionalities as seen with the top-down design, removable motherboard tray, ample cooling fan options, extendable power supply bracket, and the included carrying strap; as well as good form in a sleek finish, magnetic front opening doors, and nice external LED lighting.

Unfortunately for this reviewer, although we at overclockers HQ we’re excited to review this product, due to the fact it supports the microATX board design exclusively, between all of us at ochq, we were unable to find a board to install!  Despite that though, one can immediately see the benefits such a case could have, and with moderate experience piecing together rigs, I can honestly say I would recommend this case to the enthusiast gamer, especially if they find the need to frequently take their rig with them to LAN parties or other destinations.

Pros:

  • Top-down design and removable motherboard tray make for easy access
  • Extensive room for cooling, a total of 5 120 mm fans
  • Convenient magnetic lockable front panel
  • Carrying straps, for all your LAN party needs!

Cons:

  • Unconventional dimensions;  may not fit everywhere your tower did!
  • microATX motherboard support ONLY!

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