Building in the Raidmax Cobra Black Steel Case
Having the ability to install a custom water cooling system, it was tempting for me to install a custom loop in the Raidmax Cobra Black Steel case. But because most people, especially if they’re on a budget, will not be spending money on an expensive custom water cooling system, I will instead be using high performance air cooling. Using the Cooler Master V8, this is a very tall CPU cooler. This is a perfect demonstration to demonstrate the wide body design for the Raidmax Cobra Black Steel case.
Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3
- CPU: AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core Processor @ 4.3GHz
- RAM: 2 x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaw X Series 1600MHz DDR3
- GPU: GIGABYTE Radeon R9-270X 2GB
- Audio: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
- Disk Drive 1: ADATA SP900 64GB SSD
- Disk Drive 2: Seagate Momentus Thin 320GB HDD
- Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler
- PSU: Raidmax Hybrid 530W Modular
The Raidmax Cobra Black Steel case is very flexible in terms of installation. The tool less drive bays were easy to use and required nearly no effort to clip onto my storage drives and install them into the drive bays. Lots of room behind the motherboard and the side panel also allowed easy access to cable management. The case does come with instructions on how to install your components into your case, but every thing was very straight forward to me. Even with such a tall CPU cooler, like the 158mm Cooler Master V8, it was still able to fit perfectly in this case thanks to its wide body design. The wide body design allows large CPU coolers as large as 176mm to be installed. This gives my Cooler Master V8 over 15mm of clearance space from the side panel.
As some of you may know, the GIGABYTE Radeon R9-270X is a very long graphics card. Measuring at 11.5″, it makes it difficult to fit the entire card into most smaller cases. Have a look at the spacing here between the graphics card and the rail slide HDD rack.
- Here we have the rail slide HDD rack at its default 2.5″ drive position. There is still a lot of room between the graphics card and the HDD rack.
- Here we have the rail slide HDD rack in its 3.5″ drive position. We can see that even with such a long graphics card, like this GIGABYTE Radeon R9-270X at 11.5″, it still has about 5mm of spacing in between. This is a very close call but luckily the two does not touch each other.
For the best air cooling possible, I installed two 120mm top fans and one 120mm bottom fan. I have this system running positive air pressure because the two top fans, the bottom fan, and the front intake fan all intakes air. The only exhaust is the rear 120mm fan. I did this so there will be less dust buildup inside of the case. Ambient room temperature was around 24C (75F). I was running my AMD FX-8120 overclocked to 4.3GHz with the Cooler Master V8 CPU cooler under 1.37v. Even though the AMD FX processors are known to become a little toasty, my overclocked FX-8120 stayed relatively cool. It barely touched 40C while running Crysis 3 for a good hour. My R9 270X also came close to hitting 50C but never did. Thanks to the bottom 120mm fan that blows cool air directly onto my graphics card and the two top 120mm fans that blows air onto my CPU cooler, I was able to get great air cooling results. These temperatures are impressive for such a cheap case like the Raidmax Cobra Black Steel case.
Cable management was also very easy to manage as the Raidmax Cobra Black Steel case provides many motherboard cutouts specifically for cable management. Also note that because of the wide body design, the Raidmax Cobra has 25mm of space from the motherboard tray to the side panel for easy cable management. This is big enough to manage even some of the largest cables, like that thick 24-pin motherboard cable that every one loves. The only problem I encountered was that the cutout for the CPU power cable was a little out of place. If only the cutout was just a little bit bigger, it would have been easier to route the power cable to the CPU. This is only a small flaw, but I was able to route my CPU power cable to the CPU power plug on the motherboard just fine.
Because I’m running one SSD and one laptop HDD, it can be possible to mount them both onto this side of the case. Since the Raidmax Cobra Black Steel case has a lot of clearance room from the motherboard tray to the side panel, it may be possible to mount both my SSD and laptop HDD onto this side for a cleaner look. Overall, cable management is definitely convenient with this chassis.