Rosewill has had a renaissance of sorts in the case market. Trying to provide the right mix of features at the right price is always going to be a challenge “ its a moving target. Lately though, Rosewill has been getting it right and some of their recent offerings have been very well received by enthusiasts.
The Ranger-M Chassis seeks to earn its place among its peers and, at least on paper, it seems to have a shot.
Our review today will examine the Rosewill Ranger-M MicroATX Dual Fan Mini Tower Computer which can be found at an extremely affordable price of $49.99
Despite sharing a name with another Rosewill enclosure, the larger ATX-sized Ranger, the two cases dont have much in common. The Ranger-M is its own product, and doesn’t share much in the way of design or features with the big Ranger.
Straight-forward in design and execution, its a micro ATX tower in which the power supply still mounts up top and external bays still hang out in the front. Its not shaped like a conch shell, and there are no case windows. To many, this is a plus. There has been a definite trend toward more understated designs, and in some circles, less really is more. The Ranger-M has a glossy black front bezel framing black metal grilles. Officially measuring just 6.89″ x 13.86″ x 13.78″ (W x H x D), it is about the absolute limit for a case designed to handle real desktop components. The rest of the case is made thin steel, coated in a matte black finish. It is certainly not heavy, but it does manage to feel more substantial than its weight would suggest.
There isn’t anything too fancy going on here: You get 2x external 5.25 bays, 1x 3.5 external, and 2x internal 3.5. The left side panel is generously vented over the CPU area, and both panels are removable. Cooling is handled via 1x 120mm front intake fan and 1x 80mm exhaust fan. Power, reset, audio and 2x USB2 can be found adjacent to the 3.5 external bay up front. The box includes an assembly guide and the case. The various component mounting hardware is tucked inside for safe keeping.
It looks alright on paper, so how does it work in practice?
The Ranger-M is equipped with two fans: one 80mm rear exhaust and a 120mm clear, LED lit affair up front. Questionably, both fans are powered via Molex. The budget motherboards of today almost universally support at least two chassis fans, so giving up speed monitoring and control is less than ideal. In that way, the Ranger-M seems like a throwback to an earlier time, one in which micro ATX mainboards were deprived of the most mainstream of ATX board conveniences.
In practice, the two fans are pretty effective. The 120mm intake fan possesses a mellow character, with no untoward bearing noise or other unwanted artifacts. The rear fan on this particular sample has a subtle click, but otherwise is mostly benign. Fans are difficult to assess, since two identical fans from the same production line can have different noise characteristics.
The front fan is lit by blue LEDs. It’s not as ostentatious as might be expected — it’s actually pretty understated (for an LED fan).