Alan Fackler Nov 07, 2011

Rosewill Thor

At A Glance


Phenomenal stock cooling; tons of cable cutouts; innovative optical drive access; aesthetically different.


Wiring can be a little confusing at first; tiny 8-pin power cable cutout; rubber grommets fall out easily.

Literally the coolest case we've tested this year

Like the God of Thunder for which it is named, Rosewill's Thor is a mighty full-tower chassis, with phenomenal cooling capabilities and enough power to smite the competition.

The Thor is a steel chassis with plastic trim along the sides of the front and top of the chassis. The front fan filter and optical drive bezels are black mesh, and the top of the case includes plastic vent fins that can be opened and closed using a sliding mechanism. If that seems familiar, Alienware offered a similar, though powered, venting system on some of its Aurora PCs. The plastic trim on either side of the six 5.25-inch bays slides out to enable removal of the mesh bezels, so you don't need to remove the entire front panel to get to your drive bays.

The inside of the case is cavernous, and the motherboard tray has standoff mounts for FlexATX, ATX, microATC, and E-ATX form factors—even XL-ATX boards like the Gigabtye G1.Assassin. The Thor's 10 PCI expansion slots have mesh covers. No need to fret if you've got a jumbo GPU—we were able to seat a 12-inch card without moving a thing.

The design aesthetic might not resonate with everyone, but it looks like badass Nordic armor to us.

The six steel hard drive trays require a simple pinch to remove, and they can be attached to your drives via ribber vibration-damping mounts in the bottoms of the trays. It's kind of a bummer they're not toolless, but they're still easy to use.

Wiring the Thor is easy enough. The motherboard tray features 10 rubber-grommeted cutouts (that aren't glued in, FYI, so be careful, as they come out easily) for cable management, and a cutout for the 8-pin ATX power cable, which is nearly too small. The Thor's fan controllers (more on them below) make a clean wiring job trickier, but still possible.

The Thor ships with four fans: a 14cm rear exhaust fan, a 23cm top exhaust fan, and 23cm intake fans in the front and left side panels. The generous loadout pays off; under load, the Thor is exceptionally cool—our average core temperature was 55 degrees Celsius, which barely edged out the Thermaltake Level 10 GT's 55.75C average, officially making the Thor the coolest case we've tested all year.

The Thor's interior is roomy but a bit confusing at first due to the abundance of fan control leads.

The handsome brushed-metal top panel features two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 pass-through ports, an eSATA port, and two fan controller knobs designated A and B, which each control up to three case fans. The front fan includes red LEDs that dim or brighten in relation to fan speed—a nice touch. It's a shame there's no clear plastic window on the side panel to show off your innards—Rosewill opted to feature a mesh side panel with mounting holes for up to 12cm fans, for additional cooling.

We're quite impressed with the Thor: It supports many mobo form factors, has lots of expansion slots and drive bays, and offers exceptional cooling with its stock fans, as well as plenty of additional fan mounting options. At just $150, it rivals cases that are twice the price. If you dig the aesthetic, the Thor is an obvious buy.

$150, www.rosewill.com


Rosewill Thor

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