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Mid-Tower Review Roundup

Corsair Vengeance C70

Get it in green

Call us suckers for military theming, but Corsair’s Vengeance C70 is a beautiful steel case that’s every bit as functional as it is fun to look at. The system sports a hefty arsenal: no fewer than six screwless hard drive trays and three screwless 5.25-inch bays in addition to one 12cm fan in the case’s rear and two directly to the left of the system’s hard drive bays. You can add two additional 12cm fans to the system’s front and two on top— arranged perfectly for a 240mm water-cooling radiator, if that’s your calling.

The first thing you’ll notice about the C70 is its handles. Specifically, the two carrying handles at the top of the case that make the chassis a breeze to move around. Two military-style latches secure each of the side panels in place—a feature that’s as creative as it is useful, as you no longer have to bother with screwdrivers or thumbscrews just to get to your system’s guts. The C70’s front panel sports two USB 3.0 ports on an internal header and a fun flip-up switch for the reset button that makes you feel as if you’re about to “fire zee missiles.”

This system is military-grade: Minus a few small bumps and bruises here and there.

The C70 only supports ATX or microATX motherboards, as the standoffs for either come built directly into the chassis. A hole in the motherboard tray simplifies the process of adjusting (or installing) aftermarket CPU coolers, and four cable-management cutouts (three rubberized, one normal) along with a few snap-locking mechanisms on the rear of the motherboard tray, help keep your system’s insides from looking like Medusa.

Tight PCI thumbscrews and fan filters that kept falling out of the case’s bottom were two of our bigger frustrations with this otherwise svelte chassis. Like the military machine, this no-nonsense chassis gets the job done and then some.

$140, www.corsair.com

MSI Ravager

Cheap, but not inexpensive

The MSI Ravager looks like it was extruded from Monster Energy cans. Its exterior is black-painted SECC steel with bright blue claw-mark decals, and the inside is black with the mobo tray, drive trays, slot covers, and optical bay mechanisms picked out in bright blue.

The Ravager has six HDD trays (all with SSD mounting holes), three toolless optical drive slots, and seven PCIe expansion slots. The top hard drive cage is removable, though there’s plenty of room for extra-long graphics cards even with the cage in place. The mobo tray has four cable-routing cutouts, a CPU backplane cutout, and plenty of tiedowns.

The Ravager ships with one 12cm intake fan and one 12cm exhaust fan, and can take two more 12cm or 14cm fans on the side panel, two on the top, and one more 12cm fan on the front, although only the stock front fan is filtered. Strangely, the front fan uses a Molex connector rather than a standard fan connector—and the power LED uses Molex as well, instead of the normal front-panel connector pins. The case’s top panel contains two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 (internal) and audio jacks.

Radioactive blue: the color that goes with everything.

The build quality of the Ravager leaves much to be desired. The front panel is built of plastic so cheap that half of the mounting posts had snapped off before we opened the box. The hard drive trays are flimsy, and the PCI thumbscrews are just regular screws wrapped in blue plastic, which left shavings everywhere each time we used them.

The Ravager would be an OK, if ugly, case at $50. At $100, it’s insulting. For the same price you can get a much better-looking and better-constructed case from Fractal, Silverstone, Corsair, or NZXT. MSI should stick to the stuff that goes inside cases.

Viking

Decent build experience; interesting colors.

Fracking

Mediocre build quality; overpriced.

$100, us.msi.com