When you’re building a new computer you first think of the components that go inside, the processor, the video card, the ram, and when you’ve finally got that all figured out you throw whatever budget that’s left over into a case. This has been my experience for almost my entire PC building career but it is one thing that will never be a second thought again. The case of a computer is the identity, the personality almost and changes the aesthetics of your setup. Plus it’s something you’re going to be looking at for the life of the thing so you might as well get something that looks cool as well as functions right?
The Rosewill VIPER Z is an ATX mid tower case which is able to support both ATX and Micro ATX form factor motherboards. The VIPER Z is just at that perfect size where it’s not so huge that it takes up too much space, but large enough to where you aren’t struggling to fit your hands inside when performing some cable management. If you’re looking for specific measurements, the dimensions are as follows: 20.91” x 8.14” x 20.67” (H x W x D) which includes the bezel.
The VIPER Z features an all-black SECC steel build with black plastic accent pieces that run across the tops and sides to give it structural rigidity. But this steel comes at a cost, weight; this is a decently heavy case and I wouldn’t recommend if you frequent LAN parties. When I first looked at the VIPER Z the first thing I thought of was that this looked similar to an all black Mac Pro tower. This was one of the things that drew me to the case because it looks really nice. It has that standard case look and feel, with just a few extras that make it stand out. The Viper Z also features a metal mesh that spans the top and front of the case which gives it a very modern look. This mesh is integral to the styling of the case as it comes with a few 120mm fans as well as a 140mm fan with blue LED’s these LED fans shine through the mesh of the case and through the massive window so cable management is key. Now this case is not short on places to put fans, the front and top support two fans of 120mm or 140mm each, and the rear supports a single 120mm fan. Speaking of fans the case comes with two pre-installed 120mm fans in the front, one 120mm fan in the rear as well as a single 140mm fan on the top. But that’s not all, the VIPER Z offers support for radiators, because of the huge amount of fan space, this case has commanded the attention of those who use water-cooling. This case will support two giant radiators, one in the top as well as one in the front (assuming you remove the drive cages. The top of the case above the fans is an easily accessible area, just push down and the top panel will pop out of place and from there you can add fans or gain access to the mounting holes for your water-cooling radiator.
At the top of the case sits the front panel inputs. This consists of two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, as well as your standard power and reset buttons. One nice addition to this front panel is the appearance of a fan speed controller as well as a card reader. This is great for those looking to control the fan speeds without the use of external software. I did however have some issues with this, I could not for the life of me figure out how exactly to control these fans with the controller. The solution I found that worked was to plug the molex connector from the front panel into a molex connector from my motherboard and hook up the three 3 pin fan connectors from the fans to the three 3 pin fan connectors on the front panel. Normally this would be fine, but there is a small fan header panel within the case that holds six more fan headers and is essentially left useless. I wish there was some way to plug all of my fans into the small fan board and have the front panel control those. This is only an issue because with such a large window I expect the option make the case look as neat as possible and with the current solution, It’s not as neat as I would prefer.
Moving on to the inside of the case you’ll see a large drive bay which can be disassembled in three sections to allow for no hard drive bays, or left in to support three 5.25” drive bays, and seven 3.5” drive bays. This is a huge amount of space for those running RAID setups or for someone who likes to have a lot of storage. In my current setup I’ve removed the center and top drive bays which leaves three 3.5” drive bays at the bottom of the case and the 5.25” drive bays at the top for the disc drives. Now Rosewill has decided to go with a very thin plastic trays which gives it an extremely cheap feeling, this isn’t a huge issue as you’re unlikely to be touching your internal hard drives very often, but with the time that you’re handling them to install your drives you’ll definitely notice how flimsy they are. A nice feature is that if you’re using 3.5” drives you won’t have to screw anything in as the tray comes with four pins that fit into the mounting screw holes of your drives. But if you’re putting in 2.5” drives you’ll have to use the bottom mounted screw holes which come on every one of these trays.
But that ends my concerns for the inside of the case because beyond that everything inside is great. There is tons of room for cable management, with the back panel removed, routing cables through the rubber grommets and into all the right places you’ll be able to fit everything you’ll need back there with room to spare. Also to the right of where your motherboard sits is another mini board that holds the six fan hub that I mentioned. This is where one would assume they would plug their fans in and be able to control them via the front panel, but no. This is only to power them and offers no form of control. One great touch that I wish more manufacturers would do is that all of the pieces within the case that you would want to remove use big thumbscrews so you aren’t required to have a screwdriver to remove your drive bays. However, to insert your video card or other PCI devices you will require a Phillips head screwdriver to remove those covers.
Overall the VIPER Z is a solid case with tons of room to move around in. It offers a ton of space for fans or water cooling radiators, as well as a bunch of room behind the motherboard to stash all of your cables. This is extremely important for cases with large windows because you want a view that isn’t obscured by a forest of cables. This case will teach you cable management and once it’s all said and done, you’re left with a great looking computer case that is able to show off all the components wonderfully. Priced at $89.99 (on Newegg) the VIPER Z sits at a price point with some high quality cases and is missing some features and quality that come standard on similar cases. My gripes about the VIPER Z are the fan controller and hub, and the flimsy drive bays. If Rosewill could have included some detailed instructions as well as change the material for the drive bays to make them more rigid I would be more inclined to accept them, but at this price range it’s not something you should have to stand for.
Rosewill VIPER Z Gaming Case Review
Unacceptable |Not Recommended | Acceptable| Recommended | Highly Recommended
The Rosewill VIPER Z Gaming Case was reviewed using a review unit provided by Rosewill.