Rosewill Cullinan Case Review (& the Anidees AI Crystal)

By Published September 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm
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Average Thermals at Peak Load – Rosewill Cullinan

The Cullinan has a fan controller that communicates with a rear-side hub. We tested with high and medium air flow through the controller, but note that lowering the RPM also lowers the light intensity as a result of the reduced power provided to the fan.

The Cullinan ends up at about 36.5C delta T for its CPU load temperature, placing it right around the Corsair 400C and NZXT S340. Idle temps for the CPU are at around 14.5C. With the fans configured to 'medium,' reducing noise, the Cullinan CPU temp jumps up to 39.15C load and 16.7C idle. That makes the medium speed configuration the hottest in this list, though the temperature difference isn't hugely detrimental for this particular cooler.

With GPU load, we're seeing performance at 60C for the full-speed fan configuration, with an idle of 1.31C delta T. That places the Cullinan between the In Win 303 and Corsair 400C. Medium pretty heavily impacts GPU temperatures, increasing load by 5C to 65.73C. This is actually a big deal, as we've discussed in our GPU content, because that extra 5C is eating into the headroom of GPU Boost's maximum clock-rate under the restrictions in place by the reference card. You'd want to run at the maximum fan speed when gaming, if using a low-spec cooler on an RX 480 or GTX 1070 and higher (reference coolers are mostly the issue). The temperature difference won't make as much a difference if using a dual-fan cooler from a decent AIB partner design.

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Build Quality & Conclusion: Rosewill Cullinan vs. Anidees AI Crystal

The enclosure is fairly easy to work with. The glass panels are cleanly terminated with the steel at the edges, so the body and side panels line-up aesthetically – that's not always the case. The front also does reasonably well to accommodate the necessary function of air intake while still supporting a 4mm thick glass plate.

The biggest pitfall of the case is its failure to accommodate 88mm tall power supplies. Our Enermax Platimax PSU, something like a $200 unit, has fit in about a dozen cases that we've worked on testing this year. The PSU didn't fit in the Cullinan, and also won't fit in the AI Crystal. To get the PSU to fit, we had to remove the PSU's finger guard on the fan for that extra ~0.5-1mm clearance needed; this is definitely an engineering oversight, and one which could have been fixed by just an extra one millimeter of height in the PSU shroud. You could file down the metal and get this thing in there – that's how close it is.

The next pitfall is small, and has to do with right side cabling. The right side panel definitely could do with some additional thickness. The plate leaves little room for stacked cables in the rear-side, though there is an internal cable management bar in the main compartment that assists in hiding cables.

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In terms of the frame itself, it's not quite as sturdy as some competitors from In Win and Corsair at just 0.7mm thick, but finds a mix between cost and rigidity. The glass paneling helps strengthen the case when all assembled, and makes for a heavy, sturdy enclosure. Glass quality is exceptionally high, too; during filming, we tragically dropped the panel on top of a piece of metal tripod mounting hardware, and the panel received no damage or scratches.

As an enclosure, the Rosewill Cullinan is one of the better units we've worked with this year. It's a good looking case that had an advantage on the market briefly, though now Corsair's 460X will enter direct competition with the unit. Still, the Cullinan offers a unique deployment of its paneling and compensates for airflow by using four fans. Ease-of-installation is reasonably well designed, there's tons of space in the ceiling for working or for a radiator, and the finished build looks good in the case.

The next challenge for Rosewill's take on this case is its competition. Anidees, likely also buying from Jonsbo, is selling its AI Crystal for $130 after a temporary instant discount, but has a $21 shipping charge. That brings Anidees up to the $150MSRP that the case lists for on Newegg, prior to the instant discount. Rosewill's case will have a $180 MSRP, and will be sold for $150 after instant discounts – possibly with free shipping through Rosewill owner Newegg, though we aren't yet positive. The real price of each of these cases, as of today, seems to be $150 for each.

Anidees uses 140mm fans instead, and we don't know which perform better without having both here. That's almost certainly negligible, though. The difference boils down to support and warranties, brand recognition, and price at the time of purchase. There's no real usability difference between the two.

If you're interested in this case, check the price of the AI Crystal and of the Rosewill Cullinan when buying, then buy whichever is cheapest. Factor in support or warranty as necessary on an individual basis.

Editorial: Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke
Video: Andrew "ColossalCake" Coleman


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Last modified on September 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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