Joined on 06/07/13
An inprovement but not without faults.
Pros: - The extra space on each side panel improves cable management and allows enough space to have a decent sized aftermarket CPU cooler. Specifically the Coolermaster 212 Evo has just enough room you might be able to mount a fan on the side panel but I have not attempted to yet; might have to use a slightly thiner fan. There is plenty of room to route cables to improve airflow and keep the inside less cluttered, which was a big problem in the previous Challenger. - Speaking of extra space, there is an impressive amount of room for a single video card. I don't have one to test with but I'm thinking there is just enough clearance to fit a triple slot 13+ inch card with no problems. That is a tremendous improvement over the 10.5/11 inch maximum in the previous Challenger. If you use Crossfire or SLI however, you are still limited to around 11 inches for the second card. As a user of a Crossfire solution, the improvements in air flow and fan placement have lead to a noticeable reduction in heat and noise. - There are actually up to 8 fan mounts (2 front with dust filter, 2 top w/filter, 2 side panel, 1 rear, and 1 on the bottom/middle in front of the power supply which shares a large dust filter. I'm not sure why it is advertised as only supporting 5 fans though. - I panels on the case I received are very rigid and seem to be much higher quality than the previous model, which felt a bit thin and wobbly. Aesthetically, I find more pleasing to the eye personally and a good balance of plain and enthusiast designs.
Cons: - Very poor quality, often frustrating screws and stand offs. They are still mostly functional though 2 of the standoffs had nearly no thread and refused to take a screw. The thumb screws on the side are nearly as bad and I will probably replace them as well. An easy fix but still a step backward as I had no issues at all with the original Challenger's screws. - The cutout behind the motherboard tray is very large but not quite open enough vertically to access the screws on the back plate of my AM3+ motherboard with a screwdriver. Not sure if this affects any Intel or other AMD sockets. - The mounting for hard drives and a 5.25 inch bays are plain awful. The hard drives are held in with a single pin on one side that latches with a really flimsy piece of plastic. It seems to work alright but definitely does not feel as secure as the previous Challengers attachable rails. The front 5.25" bays are even worse as my optical drive still can slide back and forth a bit even after locking it down. It does fall out or anything but it certainly feels like a step backward in quality.
Overall Review: About 2 years ago I built my first computer using the original Rosewill Challenger case. When this was on sale in a combo and seemed to address some of the issues I had with that case (mainly GPU space, cable management and fan mounts) I decided to take a chance on upgrading. Overall, I'm glad I did but wish they had kept more of the little details from the previous model that made the original so easy to work with.