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Rosewill Legacy W1 Mini-ITX Computer Case Review

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Rosewill Legacy W1 Detailed Features

So far the Legacy W1 seems to be a straightforward chassis – let’s take a look at some more detailed features to see what Rosewill has done with the W1.

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First, I thought it would be helpful to do a quick lineup. These are all mini-ITX chassis (the Prodigy is the “M”/mATX version, but externally identical to the ITX Prodigy). Joining the Legacy W1 on the left is the BitFenix Prodigy M and SilverStone’s FT03 Mini on the right.

Rosewill_LegacyW1_Compare2

Perhaps the most appropriate comparison would be to the FT03. While they’re all similar in price (give or take ~$10), the FT03 also uses aluminum for its exterior panels. It sacrifices the capacity for an ATX PSU (requiring a SFX power supply) to keep its dimensions down, but can still mount a slim slot-load optical drive with a 3.5″ and 2.5″ drive(s) to boot. Obviously you’ll have much more room to work in the Legacy W1 and Prodigy enclosures, so if large graphics cards, oversize CPU coolers and ATX PSUs are a requirement these two are the only real options.

Rosewill_LegacyW1_Panels

The Legacy W1 uses an interior layout that is very similar to the Prodigy ITX (and many other cases this size). The panels need a proper application of force to remove – they aren’t too stiff or too loose, but if you don’t pull with a quick jerking motion you may find a few pegs still coupled. This can be a bit disconcerting at first, but the pegs themselves seem to be sturdy enough to survive repeated removals (they’re round too, so they swivel pretty easily instead of snapping off you pull in the wrong direction). Any of the surfaces where the aluminum panels would touch the frame are covered in a 1.5mm foam strip which helps reduce noise and any chance of rattle. It’s very effective – at no time in working with the side panels did I get the sense a rattle would develop anywhere, and it subdued the noise from snapping in the panels nicely.

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While the general layout is similar to BitFenix’s Prodigy, the Legacy W1 takes it a step further by completely isolating the power supply compartment from the hard drive rack and motherboard area. The two 2.5″ drive mounts can be seen in front of the power supply area (the tray in that location is an extra attachment that can be used in place of an optical drive – it is designed to replace the stock optical drive tray to allow clearance for radiators in the top panel). The I/O panel stays with the chassis when removing the side panels, which makes wiring drastically easier.

Rosewill_LegacyW1_InsideTop

There’s only a few millimeters of space in front of the motherboard, but it wasn’t as tight of a fit as some ITX chassis I’ve worked in. Once we start installing components in the Legacy W1 you’ll be able to see this better. The picture above shows a great view of the “default” ODD top rack for installing a slim, slot-load optical drive. When installing a radiator/fan combo in the top panel, you’ll want to switch this out with the included “water cooling radiators converter” tray.

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That extra tray is located here, and you’ll need to remove it before installing your power supply (it’s just twisty-tied to the PSU intake vent for shipping). There aren’t that many differences between the two – this one just lacks the vibration dampening and mounting tabs of the ODD tray. The included fan controller connectors (three 3-pin) are bundled up here too, along with the SATA power connector (nice to see one of these instead of the typical 4-pin Molex – those with modular PSUs will appreciate not needing to plug in an entire string of cables for a single Molex).

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The intake fan at the front doesn’t arrive connected to the controller, but it’s a simple matter to plug it in. The fan filter/mesh is attached by fan screws, so while not tool-less it can still be removed for additional airflow or cleaning. The front is pretty featureless otherwise. While I didn’t have any complaints about the chassis performance, it would have been nice to see an option for a 200mm/230mm fan here, if only to provide a direct, aluminum competitor to BitFenix’s Prodigy cases. Still, it’s not like any components in the bottom chamber need an abundance of airflow, and the twin 140mm fans seem to do a decent job as-is.

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The included power/HDD activity LEDs aren’t distracting in the least, as they indirectly illuminate rings around the power and reset buttons (there is a bit of bleed-through from one ring to the other, but you’ll have to decide if that bothers you or not). They have a nice, tactile feel to them as well, and the cutouts around the audio jacks and USB 3.0 ports are cut with precision.


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2 comments

  1. BRUCE NORMANN

    That’s a very nice layout inside. I especially like two things: the horizontal motherboard with lots of room for cooling, and the HDD cage design. The looks aren’t bad, either….!

  2. realneil

    Rosewill is a good brand.
    I have two Rosewill cases, a Blackhawk, and a Blackhawk Ultra. They’re both of quality construction and well designed with the consumer in mind.
    Lots of room in both of them.

    I bought a pair of Rosewill Hive 750W power supplies about six months ago too. They are quality too.

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