In and Around the Rosewill Line-M

Working with the Rosewill Line-M made me feel downright nostalgic. It doesn't suffer from the same kind of poor build quality (and comically optimistic price tag) of the Moneual Sonamu G100 I reviewed some time ago, but I couldn't help but want the Line-M in beige, if you catch my drift.

The front of the Line-M is all business. It's a black plastic fascia and features two external 5.25" bays and a single 3.5" bay for the inevitable card reader. Beneath the drive bays are the I/O cluster and power and reset buttons, and then below them is a large vent for the 120mm blue LED intake fan. A blue LED fan is kind of an oddball choice for a case like this that seems destined to be hanging out under desks in home offices, and it does stick out some.

When you check out the top, sides, and back, there are the subtle hints of a more modern case design (if the USB 3.0 ports didn't give it away). The left side panel features two vents with 92mm/120mm fan mounts, and the back of the case sports a fifth expansion slot for users who somehow deign to install a multi-GPU configuration in the Line-M. The irony there is that I'm reasonably certain the case is actually perfectly adequate for it.

The side panels are held in place by thumbscrews, and while I hate notched panels, they're at least expected in a case this inexpensive. That there's a loop in the back for a padlock is an indicator of where this case is supposed to go, but that loop also helps line up the side panel and makes it easier to slide on without bending the notches. Get those panels off, though, and you'll see there's no space at all behind the motherboard tray.

As for the interior itself, Rosewill's design is very minimal but also uses space very efficiently. I think it's important to remember (and you'll see what I mean later) that there are good reasons to mount the power supply to the top of the case instead of the bottom. Currently the biggest albatross hanging around the neck of case design is the 5.25" bay, but lining up the power supply behind the 5.25" bays at least winds up using space efficiently and lowers the motherboard so the case's intake has a more direct line to the CPU cooler.

Undoubtedly the whole of the Rosewill Line-M is going to look downright archaic. I've been watching the technology of case design continue to advance since I began reviewing cases here, and seeing a build that doesn't include a lot of modern designs is kind of curious. With that in mind, though, I still feel like Rosewill's overall design is a very efficient one in terms of space and apropos to what the case is intended for. But why the blue LED fan?

Introducing the Rosewill Line-M Assembling the Rosewill Line-M
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  • Zap - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I believe the Line-M case was birthed in the same factory in China that pooped out the Cooler Master Elite 341. The design language is the same and it even uses the same drive bay subchassis with the same toolless clips.
  • xrror - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    If the blue illumination out of the front fan is such a problem, why not just swap the front and back fans?

    If these are going to be crammed in an office cubical, you likely won't see the back anyway.
  • konroh77 - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    This case is $39.99 with a coupon code at newegg right now...
  • Grok42 - Sunday, March 3, 2013 - link

    ** "...and a single 3.5" bay for the inevitable card reader. "

    Really, inevitable? I've never seen a single person with a card reader in their machine that wasn't there because it came with the pre-built machine. I've taken to asking people if they have ever used it and I haven't had anyone answer yes in at least 50 inquiries. According to NewEggs stats, USB card readers are way more popular and what we use at work in what I would call "industrial usage". The USB ones are also cheaper.

    Finally, what I hear you saying in all the quotes below is that this case, as well as a lot of other cases, would be much better without the 5.25" bays. Yet only two cases in the world give us this option.

    ** "Currently the biggest albatross hanging around the neck of case design is the 5.25" bay..."

    ** "...but you'll have to tilt the board into the case if you're using a full-sized Micro-ATX board, as the drive cage overhangs the tray..."

    ** "...optical drive and the storage drives, as they're most liable to get buried under cables."

    ** "..but I must stress that you really are limited to 160mm of PSU depth unless you eschew using the 5.25" bays entirely."

    ** "Bottom-front intake to top-rear exhaust is inefficient design..."
  • MosBen - Sunday, March 3, 2013 - link

    Just fyi, but wherefore means "why". The usage in the title seems to be using it as "where", as in "where are the micro-ATX cases at?" "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" is Juliet lamenting that the guy she likes is a member of a rival family. Why is he a Montegue, the hated rival of her father's family, rather than someone that she could hook up with easily.
  • nickfouskas1992 - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    whats the max size of the cpu cooler when installed i7 core extreme onto an mirco atx motherboard
  • rayden54 - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    It's not even "black is cool" or "blue is best" or whatever. Black and blue are both relatively neutral colors. If they make a case lime green or fire engine red, there's a lot of people who won't buy it JUST because they don't like the color.

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