Rosewill Armor Evolution Specs
|Form Factor||Mid-Tower; Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX|
|Bay Support||3/2x5.25" External
Reset / Power
|Included Cooling||Top: 1x120mm (Likely exhaust)
Front: 2x120mm red LED (intake)
Rear: 1x120mm (exhaust)
Side: 1x230mm (intake)
|Optional Cooling||3xLiquid passthroughs
Top: 120/140mm fan (2x120/140mm fan max)
Front: 2x120mm HDD rack fan
Bottom: 1x120/140mm fan
Side: 230mm can be replaced with 4x120mm
|Dimensions||8.74" x 19" x 22.84"
Support for 14.56" (369mm) VGA
|CPU Cooler Clearance||Up to 6.5" (165mm)|
|MSRP||$120; hinted at sub-$100 street price.|
Armor Evolution Impressions
We're awaiting a hands-on copy for review purposes, but until that time comes (probably soon -- though CES 2013 is rapidly approaching), let's just look at this from a hard specs perspective. The case ships with five reasonable fans: 2x120mm front (intake), 1x120mm top (likely exhaust), 1x120mm rear (exhaust), and 1x230mm side (intake). There's little else out there in the $100 range, if our contact's information holds true, that can compete with that amount of cooling. On the cooling front, the case also has three liquid cutouts for open loop routing (fairly standard these days), so entry-level liquid loops won't be a problem. There are no fan speed controllers that we've been made aware of, so that is one feature that's a bit lacking (especially matched against the R5, which has a decent controller).
Rosewill's Armor Evolution uses what is a fairly standard mesh/grill paneling for all the fan bays (NZXT's Vulcan uses a similar material) -- this material is beneficial for airflow, but does not contain noise very well. If you're after a silent case, it's best to look at enclosures without grills that use sound-dampening materials on the inside walls.
If it hasn't become obvious, cable management is the "thing" that everyone does these days. Rosewill's Armor Evolution comes with nine cable routing cut-outs (grommeted) in, from what we can see in the photos, what appear to be reasonable locations. Easy access for VGA power, main power, EPS12V, and SATA. The ninth hole is a bit harder to see, but it's in the left side of the motherboard wall (near the rear fan). I'm not sure how that positioning will work with regard to passing the EPS cable through (seems like I/O would get in the way, no?), but my immediate instinct is to route the fan cables through it before mounting the motherboard. If that's its purpose, then I'm a fan. Heh. Sorry. But seriously, using custom fan controller panels sort of sucks when you have to run cables across the top/back of the case, so it may be a good solution to that.
The Armor Evolution also has a few dust trays, though aren't much spectacular.
One of the more noteworthy specs is the Armor Evolution's compatibility with E-ATX motherboards, a form factor common among overclocking-spec boards (like ASUS' Maximus series, for instance). This speaks to the form factor's market penetration and offers upper-crust system builders a cheap case for the specs.
We'll keep you updated with our thoughts once we've had some hands-on time with the case.
- Patrick Stone and Steve Burke.