Rosewill Mini-ITX Legacy W1 Case Fits Titan Z, Huge PSU | Hands-On

By Published April 16, 2014 at 12:19 am
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Despite all of our gaming coverage emerging from PAX East, we still made the rounds with our regularly-visited hardware manufacturers. Rosewill was among them, as always.

At CES 2014, I explained in a few camera discussions that mini-ITX cases were going to become a major trend for the year; the advent of Steam OS and Valve's impending Steam boxes only emboldens the expansion of home theater PCs (HTPCs), of which mini-ITX enclosures are a major component choice to consider. Cases are normally pretty low on the list of prioritized components, but when you're building small, there are suddenly a lot of concerns: Clearance for VGAs and coolers, CPU coolers, drives, and thermal challenges are all factors worthy of attention.

Rosewill had their Legacy line-up at CES, but most of the cases there were primarily uninteresting to our gaming-focused staff. PAX East brought the unveil of the Legacy W1, a mini-ITX case that floats toward a middle-size and makes room for larger components. Here's my video walkthrough:

Rosewill Legacy W1 Mini-ITX Case Hands-On Preview

In terms of specs, here's what we've got:

Rosewill Legacy W1 HTPC Case Specs

Model Rosewill Legacy W1
Black & Silver Aluminum
Window optional
Form Factor Mini-ITX
Expansion Slots 2xVGA
Bays 4x3.5"
1xSlim Optical
2x2.5"
Clearance CPU Cooler: full height
VGA length: full length (up to Titan Z)
PSU length: Up to Hercules PSU; max length.
Cooling 1x140mm front, pre-installed
1x140mm rear, pre-installed
Support for 1x240mm/280mm radiator in the top.
MSRP $120; extra for window.
Release Date Pending.

Between the video and the specs table, we've really covered just about everything there is to know about the enclosure. Its MSRP is listed as $120 right now, but with such a competitive mini-ITX market, I'm really not sure how long that price will last. Corsair's got some excellent mini-ITX options for a good deal cheaper, SilverStone's SG09 is a case (micro-ATX, though) I liked so much that I'm personally using it, and countless alternatives exist in the same $80-$150 price range. It's a tight market. We just talked about Lian Li's high-quality LAN box, the PC-TU100 -- it's smaller than what Rosewill's got here, but is extremely portable. Your case selection will ultimately hinge on what you're planning to do with the build.

rosewill-legacy-w1-2 rosewill-legacy-w1-3 rosewill-legacy-w1-4

Not discussed in the video is the optional windowed side panel, which I'm told will cost $10-$20 more than the one we see here. The enclosure's shell is entirely aluminum and is built upon a steel frame; foam padding and plastic mount points are positioned in the right locations to prevent stripping the aluminum mounting joints. The frame is built in a way that compartmentalizes the PSU separately from the core components, making cable management a bit easier and controlling thermals to some degree. A total of 4x3.5" drives can be installed in front of the forward 140mm fan, 2x2.5" drives can be installed near the PSU, the board mounts horizontally to allow for max-length VGAs and CPU coolers, and a separate tray for liquid cooling is present if you'd like to sacrifice the slim optical drive.

The case is definitely interesting -- again, there's just a lot of competition. We'll keep you posted on this one.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

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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