Raidmax Alpha RGB Mid-Tower Case Review By Steven Lynch


Today we are reviewing the Raidmax Alpha RGB mid-tower computer case. Since this is a pre-release case (which should be available by the time you read this) there isn't a whole lot of info about the Alpha other than it is a budget gaming chassis with RGB LED lighting.

Raidmax, is not quite as well known as Corsair, Thermaltake, or NZXT, but the company is well established in the budget computer chassis market and has been for more than a decade. The company has since expanded with its line of power supplies and continues to push the boundaries of case design. Raidmax  has even branched out into the CPU air cooling arena soon as well.
From the company's "About Us" section:

Raidmax was founded in 1988 with the mission of providing the best solutions: specifically, meeting your requirements for innovative designs, excellent performance and quality products. In early 2003, Raidmax was the first to debut the design "Scorpio": an alien eye shape on its general front panel. At the time, it was the best ever hit in the gaming case business and almost every factory had owned at least one similar design back in China. Two years later, Raidmax released another cutting-edge design, Samurai, and people who had seen the case itself instantly fell in love.

It has been more than 10 years since Raidmax began its work on its unique product lines and market position. The name of Raidmax is synonymous to gaming design and budget cases. In the United States, Raidmax is considered to be the best second tier brand; in Asia, it is said that only Raidmax can offer the budget cases with great designs; in Europe, with almost no brand management, Raidmax' followers are still showing their loyal support in many ways.

The subject of today's evaluation is the Raidmax Alpha RGB mid-tower computer case.


The Raidmax Alpha was shipped to us in its bare product packaging wrapped in cellophane and, except for a minor ding in the upper corner received during the shipping process, the case arrived in good condition. The box itself is constructed of double-walled corrugated cardboard with a dual row of staples along the seam. The overall measurements are 20.5"H x 20"L x 10"W.

The front of the box prominently features a hero shot of the Raidmax Alpha and product information with a list of features on the back and sides. The case itself is wrapped in a plastic bag and held in place by standard styrofoam inserts.


As many of you know by now, we take a two-pronged approach to our case reviews. The reason for this is simple; a case that would be more than adequate for the average user may not work as well for the enthusiast and vice versa. When it comes to cases, it's obvious that a "one size fits all" approach just isn't going to cut it.  Our case testing consists of two complete hardware configurations, one for the average user and one for the enthusiast. While the average user may use only a single graphics card, hard drive, and large cooler, enthusiasts more often than not push the limits of case design with multiple GPUs, a stack of hard drives, and cooling solutions that vary from mild to wild.

We have test fit industry standard hardware, multiple GPUs, hard drives, self contained water cooling solutions, as well as large DIY dual slot radiators commonly used by water cooling aficionados. We do this because, although manufacturers may say that a case is specifically designed for gamers and enthusiasts, the term is broad enough that it warrants additional testing to validate those claims. Let's talk about the hardware we use for case testing. For case reviews, you aren't looking for the latest, greatest, fastest hardware on the market. With that in mind, we selected some of the biggest, hottest, and loudest hardware found to test with for fitment issues, thermal properties, vibrations, and noise levels.

The thermal characteristics of a case not only depend on the initial layout and design, but also on what kind of hardware you are using and how much of it is being put in the case. A case that has great airflow with a single GPU might not cool so well when loaded up with two or more graphics cards and a handful of hard drives. We monitor temperatures two ways; manually with a custom built unit capable of reading up to eight temperatures simultaneously as well as with CPUID's Hardware Monitor. This ensures that our readings are accurate and reliable. Leads from our temperature probe are physically attached to various points in the system allowing us to double check all of our temp readings. To get the system up to temperature, we run Prime95 and Furmark simultaneously for 60 minutes before we start taking any readings. This allows the system to level off after reaching max temperature.


The Raidmax Alpha features a steel construction with a plastic front panel and measures 18.3"H x 8.3"W x 17.7"L. The case is painted black inside and out and weighs just over 12lbs. The entire top of the case is covered by a magnetic metal mesh filter. Directly under the magnetic filter is a mesh area that has mounting locations for three 120mm or two 140mm fans.

With the exception of the single 5.25" drive bay opening, the entire front of the chassis is a metal mesh material that covers mounting locations for up to three 120mm or two 140mm intake fans and an LED light bar. We will talk more about the LED lighting a little later in the review. The surrounding edge of the front panel has a line of unfiltered vent holes that allow for additional air flow into the chassis. Down the sides of the front panel you will find two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, power and HDD LEDs and the power and reset buttons.

This case features a large side panel window on the business side of things and a solid panel on the opposite side. Both side panels are held in place by standard plastic covered thumbscrews. The bottom of the case has four round plastic feet and a filtered hole for the power supply.

The Raidmax Alpha features a standard motherboard I/O area, an opening for a bottom mounted PSU, and seven expansion card slots. The exhaust fan mounting location only supports 120mm fans and has one installed from the factory.

We are fans of reusable magnetic filters. They stay in place remarkably well, are easy to maintain and these keep dust out of your system better than traditional filters that allow dust in around the edges. Removing the magnetic filters for cleaning is a matter of grabbing an edge and simply "peeling" it off. The other filters in this chassis clip on or slide in and do a decent job filtering out larger dust and debris from your system.

Something we found rather odd is that, while the entire front of the chassis is made up of free-flowing metal mesh material, Raidmax has installed a sheet of plastic in this area that blocks any air from being drawn through the front of the chassis. The reason for this is the plastic is to diffuse the RGB LED light bar in the front of the chassis. Personally, I would have mounted the plastic shield further back in the chassis allowing air to at least be drawn in around it.
Although the "look" of a case is subjective and will vary from person to person, we think most anyone on a budget looking for a inexpensive chassis with a little RGB bling will really like the styling of the Raidmax Alpha.


The interior of the Raidmax Alpha appears smaller than it actually is because of the non-removable PSU compartment in the base of the case. In reality, there is plenty of room in this chassis even for system builds with multiple GPUs. For a mid-tower case, this chassis has an impressive amount of room. With that said, even though the seven expansion slots allows you to install 3-Way SLI and Tri-Fire systems, there might not be much room left over for anything else, especially if you are considering using the two SSD mounting locations on the top of the non-removable PSU compartment in the base of the case.

As previously mentioned, this case is deceptively spacious with plenty of room in and around the CPU socket area and easily accommodates long graphics cards as well. The Raidmax Alpha can accommodate up to three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans in the front of the case. The top of the case has mounting locations for two 120mm fans or two 140mm fans. There is also a mounting location in the bottom of the case that accepts 120mm fans. Finally, the back of the case has the only fan that comes included with the Alpha, a Raidmax branded 120mm unit. If you are going to do any type of gaming in with this case we definitely recommend adding at least two 120mm intake fans.

There is a large rectangular shaped cable pass-through hole on the right hand side of the motherboard tray for cable management. There is also a square hole in the PSU cover that allows you to route cables to the two SSDs mounting locations. There is also a large hole behind the CPU socket area to facilitate in heatsink changes without removing the motherboard and a cut out for 12v motherboard power cables in the motherboard tray as well. There is a single 5.25" internal drive bay for those of us that still use optical drives.

There are a total of two mounting locations in the base of the chassis with plastic drive caddies that can mount both 3.5" and 2.5" hard drives. There is also four mounting locations for 2.5" SSDs even though the case only comes with mounting brackets for two drives. As mentioned, there are two dedicated SSD drive tray mounting locations on the top of the non-removable PSU compartment in the base of the case. Depending on your system configuration, motherboard type and amount of GPUs installed, you could run into clearance issues with drives mounted in this location. Even if the drives do fit, those of you running 3-Way SLI or Tri-Fire set-ups will have to remove the bottom graphics cards to gain access to your drives.

As far as power supplies are concerned, without removing the hard drive racks in the bottom of the case, you can only fit shorter power supplies like the Thermaltake ToughPower DPS 1050. Removing the hard drive racks allowed us to install larger units like the Corsair AX1200i and the Tt Toughpower 1500W.


As part of the review process, we break down the cooling section of this evaluation into several parts so that we may adequately cover each section separately. First we look at stock fan cooling, then all-in-one water cooling solutions, and finally DIY enthusiast water cooling, as well as the ins and outs of each along with any issues we encountered along the way.

Our "smoke test" is used to demonstrate the amount of air a case is capable of drawing in and from how far away. If the design of a case restricts its ability to draw in the cooler outside air, thermal performance can suffer as a result. Consider this a flow test of sorts.

The fact that the Raidmax Alpha ships with a single 120mm fan exhaust fan, and the decision to include that sheet of plastic behind the metal mesh front fascia, the airflow is severely inhibited. Obviously the airflow would greatly improve with the addition of a pair of intake fans but, as the chassis ships, airflow into the case is less than optimal.

When it comes to fitting large heatsinks in the Raidmax Alpha, we installed some of the tallest coolers on the market today in this chassis without a single issue. In fact, even the gigantic Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E and the NZXT Havik 140 fit in this chassis without issue.

All-In-One Water Cooling

120mm / 140mm A-I-O Coolers

For those of you planning on using an all-in-one, self contained water cooling unit such as the Antec KـHLER H2O 620, Corsair Hydro H80 or the Antec KـHLER H2O 920, the stock mounting location in the back of the case works fine with all these coolers.

Depending on the type of motherboard you choose to use in the Raidmax Alpha, you may or may not be able to install a 120mm or 140mm all-in-one cooling system in the mounting location in the top of the case. The good news is that you can mount a 120mm or 140mm all-in-one, self contained water cooling unit to the empty intake fan mounting locations in the front of the case.

240mm A-I-O Coolers

If you are planning on internally mounting a dual fan all-in-one cooler like the Corsair Hydro H100, H110 or the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme in the Raidmax Alpha, you can do so in the front and top of the chassis. Again, this depends on the clearances with the motherboard you choose. The front of the chassis can accomodate radiators up to 360mm.

Enthusiast Water Cooling

Those of you that prefer to build your own water cooling system, the Raidmax Alpha can accommodate standard size 240mm / 360mm radiators in the same mounting locations as the all-in-one coolers listed above.

Temperature Testing

Standard Hardware Configuration

With an ambient room temperature of 24°C / 75°F, our standard hardware configuration test system generated the following temperatures:
The performance of the Raidmax Alpha in standard hardware configuration was decent considering there is only a single 120mm exhaust fan installed from the factory. Moving on to the enthusiast testing, I'm a little nervous to see just how this chassis performs when fully loaded with hardware.

Enthusiast Hardware Configuration

Running our tests in enthusiast trim, with the ambient room temperature once again at 24°C / 75°F, our test system generated the following temperatures:
We weren't  really surprised by the higher temperatures simply because the system ships with a single 120mm exhaust fan. The good news is that you can expect much better temperatures just by adding a few intake fans to the front of the chassis.

Sound Levels:

We took sound level readings from three feet from the case with two off-the-shelf dB meters from two different angles. The Raidmax Alpha, with its single 120mm exhaust fan, was whisper quiet at just 29dB. The video clip above should give you a better idea of the sound levels and sound profile produced by this chassis.


The question of whether or not a case is a good candidate for modding is highly subjective and varies on a case by case basis. As modders ourselves, more often than not, a plain case that offers a "blank slate" to express our creativity is preferable to a case with large pre-cut side windows, pre-installed 200mm LED fans and so on. It has been our experience that, aside from some very specific projects, most modders prefer not to spend extra money on features they are simply going to cut off and remove anyway.  The Raidmax Alpha, would make a great foundation for a mod project. The included lighting system makes it easy to fine tune the lighting of your chassis to your system build. Here are just a few of the color options and modes.

I gave a good deal of thought to that plastic sheet blocking the metal mesh area in the front fascia and I came up with a quick and easy mod that does not diminish the cool RGB LED effect and provides much better air flow through the front of the case.

First of all, gently remove the plastic by folding back the metal tabs holding it in place. Now, see the short posts that look like they have screw holes already in them (circled) you can attach the plastic to these posts with either self tapping screws or hot glue. Now, without permanently modifying the chassis, you get roughly an 1/8th inch of clearance around the edge of the plastic for direct airflow and you still get the cool RGB LED effects.


Surviving Hypothermia's testing process isn't a chore to be taken lightly. Every case that comes through our labs is thoroughly examined, pushed to the limit, and tested in ways that we feel gives you an accurate assessment of the product's ability to perform in the manner you would use it at home.

The Raidmax Alpha had a few drawbacks such as the positioning of the plastic material behind the front fascia and the fact that the chassis ships with only a single exhaust fan (resulting in above average system temperatures). That said, all those things can be easily remedied with the addition of a few fans and re-positioning / or removing the plastic material. If we were building a system in this chassis we would go with an All-In-One CPU cooler and add two intake fans to keep GPU temps in check.

The fact is, this is an inexpensive chassis aimed at the gaming crowd and, for the most part, we think it will be a hit. For less than the price you pay for a new video game you get a very handsome, customizable case that, once it is upgraded with an intake fan or two, will serve you very, very well. You can rest easy knowing that Raidmax has a long history of making great products that are extremely affordable and backed by a year 2 year warranty.

The Raidmax Alpha has a retail price of $64.99. Look for it at your favorite retailer soon.