View Full Version : Review - Raidmax Smilodon mid-tower case

01-28-2009, 04:01 AM
Overall Rating:
4 1/2


General Overview:
The Raidmax Smilodon (http://www.xoxide.com/raidmax-smilodon-case.html) is an excellent example of innovation in a field that is largely made up of cosmetically different but functionally identical merchandise. All in all, the Raidmax Smilodon is one of the easiest cases to work in that I have seen.

Main Features:
The first thing that attracted me to the Raidmax Smilodon was its appearance. With its horizontal and vertical LED lighting, the front panel is eye-catching and looks good with or without the lights on. It opens to the right, is held closed by magnets glued to the inside of the front panel, and is not reversible. Unlike some cases I have purchased, this door was preinstalled when the case arrived and, more importantly, it was installed correctly, with all sides mating with the case perfectly. Also unlike some cases (hello, Enermax?), the front panel on the Smilodon is easily removed without the need to remove any screws.

Also on a pleasant note, I found only a single sharp edge inside the case, on the removable 3.5" drive bay.




The left side panel includes a large acrylic window with a nicely-polished beveled edge and chrome-capped fasteners. It includes one 80mm blue LED fan premounted. I found the shape of this window as well as the slide-in installation into the panel to be especially interesting.


This is where we get into the more impressive features. First off, there are no screws holding either side panel in place. Both panels are held shut by a latching mechanism with a handle that simply lifts to release the panel, which then swings straight down to lie flat on the working surface or even lift completely out of the case.





The right-hand panel will swing down with the motherboard in place, allowing for easy installation or replacement of components, though it should be noted that the clearance is tight enough that large tower-type CPU heat sinks will not allow the panel to open or close. This case was initially tested with the Tuniq Tower T120 cooler, and it was too large. After replacing it with an Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro I was able to open and close the panel easily.

Not only will the right-hand panel open easily and lift free completely, but the motherboard tray itself is removable from this panel also.


Another feature I liked was the inclusion of an additional 80mm fan mounted on a swing-away arm that is intended to blow on your video card(s).


This arm lifts up and out as easily as the side panels if it is not wanted, or simply to make room to work inside the case.

The Smilodon includes four internal 3.5" drive bays. This is standard in a mid-tower ATX case, but the Smilodon has improved on this design. With the removal of a single thumb screw, the entire four-drive cage swivels outward, and can be completely removed. It should be noted that standard 3.5" hard drives are difficult to mount in the upper external 3.5" tool-free drive bays.



Beneath this cage is even included a small tool/parts drawer, which includes all of the tool-free drive clips, screws and standoffs that come with the case. This is an excellent addition, as it gives the user a place to keep all these small parts that often end up disappearing.



One other interesting, if confusing, feature is a single 80-mm fan enclosure on the right side of the case, placed so as to blow across the external 3.5" drive bays. There is no fan included in this space, but one can easily be added. This enclosure even has small tabs that hold the fan in place without screws. How effective these are is not known, as no fan was installed during testing.


Other Features:The Raidmax Smilodon is a standard mid-tower case (http://www.xoxide.com/mid-tower-cases.html), with all of the features that are expected in such. It includes four external 5.25" drive bays, two external 3.5" drive bays, and four internal 3.5" drive bays, all of which feature tool-free drive installation. It has mounting for an impressive five fans, and comes with four of these preinstalled: one 120mm front intake fan, one 120mm rear exhaust fan, and two 80mm side fans. The front panel includes two USB ports and audio ports as well. The Smilodon will house ATX and micro ATX motherboards.

Considerations:As noted, the design of the folding right panel, while excellent, does not allow for larger CPU coolers.

Also note that with the fans that are supplied with the Smilodon, it is extremely loud. This is to be expected with stock fans moving that much air, and upgraded fans will no doubt lessen this to some extent.

While the design of the Smilodon is superb, its construction is not. It is fashioned of 1.0mm SECC steel, but feels flimsy at times when working with it. With all of the moving parts on this case, and the fact that it can be opened completely (thereby losing much of its structural strength), I would have liked it to be made of heavier material. The front panel feels especially weak. No problems were noted during the test installation, but the potential for damage to the case is definitely there.

Price:This Smilodon case was purchased from xoxide.com (http://www.xoxide.com) for $74.99 plus shipping, but it can be purchased from many other online retailers at prices ranging from $72.99 to well over $100.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Innovative features
Ease of use

Sub par construction

Overall, the Raidmax Smilodon is an excellent case that is easy to work in and has many innovative features. In this price range, you will be hard pressed to find better.

Test Rig Specifications
Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 2.8Ghz
Video: 2 x Gigabyte HD 4670
PSU: Kingwin Mach 1 800-watt modular
Cooling: Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro
Optical Drives: 2 x LG DVD recorders IDE
Hard Drives: 2 x Hitachi Deskstar 320GB 3.5" SATA

01-28-2009, 12:25 PM
Nice review! +rep looks like a sweet case :up:

01-28-2009, 02:06 PM
That was a great review! +rep

You almost made me want to buy one myself and I don't even have a computer to put in it! :rolleyes:

I like your "Woot-o-meter" by the way. The TBCS watermarks and picture borderlines are a nice touch also. :up:

01-28-2009, 04:46 PM
One of my friends go tthe Aztek, and it's very similar.

01-28-2009, 08:44 PM
I like your "Woot-o-meter" by the way. The TBCS watermarks and picture borderlines are a nice touch also. :up:

Glad you like them (they are cool), but we have jdbnsn to thank for those.

Thanks Jon!!

01-29-2009, 02:09 AM
I like your "Woot-o-meter" by the way.

LOL! You should see what it says when you get a perfect score!

01-30-2009, 12:56 PM
LOL! You should see what it says when you get a perfect score!

but for it to get a perfect score you it would need to overclock your CPU, GPU and ram, use a baltic accent, grow brests sit on your lap and do a ..........ok enough of my fantasies!

but the top score is cool, im just wondering what will live upto that level


.......grow brests sit on your lap and do a .......

if that isn't deserving of someone's sig i don't know what is 8)

01-31-2009, 08:19 AM
if that isn't deserving of someone's sig i don't know what is 8)
it was untill you said that ;-D

Nice review, +rep

01-31-2009, 06:07 PM
it was untill you said that ;-D

I hold my head down in disrespect (Until i've left the room that is)

02-03-2009, 09:37 PM
I still look at this case on Newegg to this day, always contemplated buying it before I bought my 900, but there was a deal I could not pass up. +rep. Great review.

02-03-2009, 10:14 PM
Great review man! If you want, I can send you pics of the Extreme Black (green LEDs) version of the case.

02-04-2009, 07:05 AM
Thanks very much. I actually wanted to get the Extreme Black version for this review, but it wasn't available. It does look much cooler, I think.

02-04-2009, 01:13 PM
I bought a couple of these myself a few years ago.
Only thing I really didn't like about them was the access door on the back.
It cut several of the wires coming from the front panel, and the hdled plug from
the front panel only worked when plugged in reverse on the pins.

Just don't try to open the back of the case while it is running as it could cause a short.
Otherwise a pretty nice case. Requires 550w Power Supply.

02-05-2009, 05:30 PM
Requires 550w Power Supply.

Actually mine worked just fine on a 4 year old 430w Antec PSU. I recently upgraded to a 750 though, and that works beautifully too. For a low end computer set up with this case you shouldn't need any more than 400 to start off with, if that.