Rosewill Blackhawk Mid-Tower Chassis Review

by Ryan Perry on July 18, 2011 in Cases & PSUs

In our first-ever look at a Rosewill product, we’re taking the company’s Blackhawk mid-tower chassis for a spin. It offers similar design cues to another mega-popular chassis and adds in a couple of new features to help set itself apart, so let’s see if it manages to stand on its own and becomes worthy of your $100.

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that the Blackhawk takes a lot of its styling cues from another popular case and I’m sure those who are serious about hardware will know which one. There’s no denying that this style of case is quite popular, so if it isn’t broken…

The hot swap bay is a welcome feature as is USB 3.0 support. Thankfully, companies such as Rosewill seem to be watching the market more and more and launching refreshed versions as new, useful technology is moving to the forefront.

What impressed me the most was the cooling ability. Our tests showed the Blackhawk coming in a close second to a case that retails for over twice as much. I guess that’s to be expected with a case that includes five fans.

Where the case starts to go wrong is with the PCI retention locks. This is the second case that I have looked at that has used plastic tool-less locks and it is the second case that has failed to be able to hold our GTX 470 in place. So far, thumbscrews have proven to be the easiest and most secure way to keep expansion cards locked down and I cannot see them being any more expensive then the method found here.

Rosewill Blackhawk Mid-Tower Chassis

Adding and removing sections of the hard drive cage is another feature that left me wondering what the design team was thinking. It’s needlessly complicated but I believe it boils down to the fact that the cage comes apart in L-shaped sections and not as a full cage with a top, bottom and two sides.

To see if I could simplify things, each section was installed with only the thumbscrews keeping them secured, but there was too much movement for my liking, especially given the fact that the hard drive trays rely on the rigidity of the cage to stay locked in place. For those who rarely change their hard drive setup this may be a very small issue.

The final feature that fell flat for me were the grommets that line the majority of the cable management areas. A small bit of adhesive would go a long way in keeping these in place. I can admit that I stressed the area with a large number of cables, however many users want the cleanest build possible and I’m sure they would do the same.

$100 will score a Blackhawk, but that’s an awful lot of money for a case with what I would consider a deal-breaking flaw in the form of the PCI locks. For those who are more forgiving, this might just be the case they are looking for since it looks nice, provides a wide range of features and should be able to handle even the hottest components.

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Page List

1. Introduction
2. Interior
3. Installation & Testing
4. Final Thoughts

  • Jozekial Jones

    Its a great case so far but I’ve been struggling to remove the cover where the cd/dvd drive goes. The top one isn’t covered so that’ll be easy, but the other three are blocked by these metal covers, I tried to yank them loose but did not have any luck. Are these even suppose to come off? If so, how?

    • Rob Williams

      Do you mean the piece of metal attached to the chassis itself that sits behind the bay cover that prevents a drive from even being installed? If so, those just need to be twisted up and down until metal fatigue kicks in and they come out.

      • Jozekial Jones

        Yeah that pieces of metal is what I was talking about. I see, thanks for the pro tip. I was worried I might damage it, but if thats all I need to do then there should be no issues. Great case.

        • Rob Williams

          Those metal pieces are there to help keep the chassis a little more durable during shipping, I’d imagine, It is kind of a chore to remove them, though.

          • Jozekial Jones

            Its quite a task actually, I was starting to get frustrated because it wouldn’t come off easy, I didn’t wanna be too rough with a case that just arrived!

          • Rob Williams

            Haha, some make it harder than others. As long as it’s obvious it’s meant to twist out, you’re good. I’ve had some chassis that were very easy to do this with, and others that almost required me to grab a pair of pliers.

    • Balkhan

      No, don’t pull on the metal mesh. The front panel comes off by grasping the plastic sides at the bottom and pulling out.

  • Gina

    Is there any way to buy a replacement part for the I/O ports on the top of the case? I smashed a few of those USB ports and would really like it thing to be replaced.

    • Rob Williams

      You might want to email their customer service and ask. A lot of vendors like this will sell replacement parts, but I couldn’t find that on Rosewill’s site.

      I’m dealing with the same sort of issue on a CM chassis here!