Raijintek Asterion Plus Case Review
It’s been some time since we’ve seen a product from manufacturer Raijintek and even longer since we’ve seen one of their Cases. Well that’s about to change as today we’ll be looking at one of their latest Cases the Raijintek Asterion Plus. The Asterion Plus is available in both Matte Black and Silver, today will will be looking at the black version.
The Raijintek Asterion Plus is an E-ATX midi tower aluminium Case complete with two hinged acrylic side panels. The Case itself measures in at 230mm x 525mm x 470mm (W x H x D). The Case supports Motherboards up to E-ATX and is equipped with eight expansion slots. The Raijintek Asterion Plus features three pre-installed 120mm fans, support for up to three 3.5″ drives and three dedicated 2.5″ drives. The Case supports Graphics Cards up to 340mm in length, CPU Coolers up to 180mm in height and Power Supplies up to approximately 300mm in length. In addition to this there’s support for two 360mm radiators one in the front and one in the top, with both 240mm and 280mm radiators also supported.
The Raijintek Asterion Plus arrived at pcG in a large eco-friendly brown cardboard box with an line drawing image of the case on both the front and the back. The box actually also gives some clue as to the two versions of the Case; the Plus (as we have here) and the Classic that’s equipped with fixed tempered glass side panels instead of the hinged acrylic panels of the Plus.
On opening the box we can see that the Raijintek Asterion Plus is well packaged and adequately presented. The Case itself is protected by two large soft foam blocks and further protected by a plastic bag.
Within the box, well actually within the Case we find a basic User’s Manual and a small plastic bag containing a couple of cable ties (what, just two!?), a PC speaker and a handful of screws, stand-offs etc.
At the time of review, the Raijintek Asterion Plus is retailing for approximately £140 at Overclockers UK and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of Raijintek
To be honest I wasn’t sure what I was un-boxing when first getting the Asterion Plus out of the box and I have to admit to being somewhat pleasantly surprised when I did. The Raijintek Asterion Plus is a good looking Case and definitely a step up for Raijintek. I was immediately struck by the Asterion’s premium look and feel thanks in part to the two acrylic side panels and the brushed aluminum finish. Long story short: a damn good looking Case, we’re off to a good start… 🙂
Both the left and right sides of the Raijintek Asterion Plus are the same with both sides featuring aluminium panels that hinge out from the back of the Case, that can in turn be removed. The panels themselves are made from aluminum (with acrylic window) with a plastic lever type handle at the front. At the very front of each side you can also see a vertical grill section that allows cool air to be drawn in from the sides of the Case by the two internal 120mm fans.
The front of the Asterion Plus is somewhat featureless but that doesn’t stop it from looking good. We have a large brushed aluminum panel with a power button at the top and a simple silver Raijintek logo at the bottom. Note the power button features a combined (power/disk activity) LED, with the main surround illuminating white when on and flickering red when there’s disk activity.
Looking at the back of the Case we can see a pretty standard setup and we can also now clearly see the hinges for the side panels. Up top there’s a large grill area allowing heat to naturally escape from the top of the Case. Below this we have the main I/O cutout and the single 120mm exhaust fan, that is in fact a Raijintek 2025 O-Type White LED fan. Below this we find eight expansion slots with an aluminium cover and four water cooling holes to the right (not sure if anyone uses these anymore!?). Below this we find the main PSU cutout complete with PSU bracket.
Looking at the top of the Case we can see that it comprises of the same brushed aluminum panel as the front of the Case, but here it’s dominated by the large grill. The grill itself simply un-clips from within the Case and can be removed.
Front Panel I/O comprises of two USB 3.O headers, audio (microphone & headphone) and the combined power/disk activity LED on the front of the Case. Sandwiched between the top I/O and the power button we find a slim DVD drive slot, that also helps to keep the aesthetics neat and tidy. Both USB 3.0 cables also feature USB 2.0 plugs in addition to the USB 3.0 plugs, a good idea you’d think. But not here as the additional 2.0 cables are actually only about 75mm long!? This I can see becoming an issues during the build… 🙁
The bottom of the Asterion Plus is also made from the same brushed aluminium and the Case itself sits up off of the desk by approximately 12mm courtesy of 4 plastic feet. There’s a removable PSU filter at the back and an additional one at the front to aide HDD cooling. Both filters are unfortunately screwed to the bottom of the Case.
As I mentioned earlier both side panels are on hinges and can be removed by pulling the plastic handle and swinging the door out wide. The panel itself can then be easily lifted off. With the panel removed we can begin to appreciate the cavernous interior of the Asterion Plus. At the bottom we find a full size PSU shroud complete with drive mounts for up to two drives (3.5″ & 2.5″). And, well that’s it really there’s not much else in here and that’s a good thing. Of course there is a good sized CPU cutout, eight expansions slots, some rubber grommets, well placed cable management holes and those three 120mm fans.
Looking at the back of the Case with the side panel removed we can see a the main all black cabling loom and plenty of cable tie points. In addition to this on the top left (almost hidden) and right we can see the two additional 2.5″ drive mount points.
The Raijintek Asterion Plus is equipped with three 120mm fans all of which are the same. The fans themselves are Raijintek units (12025 O-Type White LED PWM fan) and come complete with white LED ring illumination. The fans themselves have a maximum rotational speed of 1400RRPM. It’s somewhat disappointing though to see two 120mm fans at the front of the Case when it supports 140mm fans…
As I mentioned earlier the top grill can be removed for easier access to the interior and for the fitting of a radiator etc. The filter itself simply un-clips from within the Case. Hiding away behind that PSU shroud in the bottom of the case we also find the single drive cage supporting both x2 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives. Note the inclusion of the rubber mounts for 3.5″ HDDs.
- Test Rig Setup
|Case||Raijintek Asterion Plus||Power Supply||SilverStone Strider Platinum 750W|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6||CPU||Intel Core i5 6600K|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12S||RAM||G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB|
|Graphics Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified||SSD (M.2)||Samsung SM951 512GB|
|SSD||Kingston SSDNow 200 v+ 60GB||HDD||Seagate 2TB SSHD|
The first task was to put together the Motherboard assembly (MB, CPU, CPU Cooler & RAM) for this review. This consists of our test Motherboard an ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, an Intel Core i5-6600K CPU, a Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler and x4 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws 4 RAM modules. This Motherboard assembly can be seen above.
Next up I attached the Silverstone Power Supply to the bracket (by way of four screws) after it was removed from the Case by way of the four thumb screws. The next task was to install the two drives (HDD & SSD) that I would be using for this review. The HDD drive sleds are somewhat surprisingly not tool-free due to the rubber mounts used, each drive requires fours screws (shown) to attach it to the sled. I also noticed that the screws appeared a little too long, bottoming out within the body of the drive!?
The SSD is mounted by way of four rubber clips, simply attach the clips by way of the four screws to the SSD and position at your leisure within the Case. 😉
As you can see from the images above the HDD was installed in the drive cage and a tight fit it was too and the SSD was mounted on the back of the Case in the top left corner.
The Silverstone PSU was then slid into position with the cables already attached as this is easier to do outside of the Case due to the PSU shroud. The PSU and its associated bracket was then secured to the Case by the four thumb screws. With this done I then added the additional stand-off required (and supplied) for the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 Motherboard. The above MB Assembly was then installed and secured by the required (for this MB) ten screws.
The next task was basic cabling (24-pin power, 8-pin power, USB, Audio, Front Panel and fans) and it was at this point the love affair with the Raijintek Asterion Plus began to wane; why? Well it’s down to the fact that the USB 3.0 cables and the fan cables have more than one plug on them. And, rather stupidly the plugs are attached to the ends of each cable by way of a 75mm short cable. What this now means is that despite you plugging one plug into your Motherboard the other plug is just going to dangle next to it as the cable is so short! WTF!? This can be seen (above left) on both of the USB cables and the lower fan cable.
Finally our test Graphics Card (GTX 980Ti) was installed and as you can see the Asterion Plus swallows this with ease in fact why the quoted Maximum Graphics Card length is 340mm I just don’t know…
Thanks to a large amount of space at the rear of the Asterion Plus cable management is easy and as you can see I’ve made no real attempt to really tidy this up (soz). But at least this gives you some idea as to just how much space is back her, well done Raijintek.
At pcGameware we use Prime95 and ASRock’s F-Stream utility to evaluate CPU temperatures and voltage, and we use MSI Afterburner to evaluate the GPU temperatures. Of course Prime95 being a CPU stress test also helps to generate heat for us to check the case thermals. We also use UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for GPU temperature testing.
CPU performance testing is carried out using Prime95 (Small FFT) to stress the CPU. Each run is timed for 15 mins and the maximum temperature is recorded for all cores and then the average core heat is taken. Testing was carried out with an overclocked Intel Core i5-6600K at 4.4GHz courtesy of the ASRock UEFI.
GPU performance testing is carried out by running UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for 15 minutes and then by recording the maximum GPU temperature.
* All case fans (x3 in the case of the Raijintek Asterion Plus) and the CPU Cooler (Noctua NH-U12S) are run at 100% throughout testing. To ascertain case noise levels, the GPU fans are set to their lowest setting and the CPU Cooler fan is unplugged, whilst the dBA is recorded from 1m away.
|Case||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature|
|Lian Li PC-X510||22.00||58.00||36.00|
|Cooler Master HAF XB||21.00||58.00||37.00|
|Corsair Carbide 600C||23.00||60.00||37.00|
|Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5||22.00||60.00||38.00|
|NZXT S340 (Special Edition)||22.00||61.00||39.00|
|Raijintek Asterion Plus||22.00||61.00||39.00|
|be quiet! Silent Base 600||23.00||62.00||39.00|
|NZXT S340 Elite||24.00||64.00||40.00|
|Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Glass||22.00||62.00||40.00|
As you can see from the results above the Raijintek Asterion Plus puts in a good showing placing it pretty much in the middle of our results grid. With a maximum CPU temperature of 61 degrees Celsius and a Delta of 39 the Asterion Plus can certainly be classed as cool enough. Of course it would likely be a little higher if those fans were 140mm instead of the lower airflow 120mm versions, Raijintek!?
|Case||Ambient Temperature||Max GPU Temperature||Delta Temperature|
|Lian Li PC-X510||23.00||77.00||54.00|
|Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5||22.00||77.00||55.00|
|NZXT S340 (Special Edition)||22.00||79.00||57.00|
|Corsair Carbide 600C||23.00||80.00||57.00|
|Cooler Master HAF XB||22.00||79.00||57.00|
|NZXT S340 Elite||24.00||82.00||58.00|
|Raijintek Asterion Plus||21.00||79.00||58.00|
|be quiet! Silent Base 600||22.00||81.00||59.00|
|Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Glass||22.00||81.00||59.00|
If there’s one thing the Raijintek Asterion Plus is, it’s consistent. Again the Asterion Plus places itself in the same position in the results grid in 7th place. Graphics Card cooling is best classed as good but it could be better. Of course there’s enough space to fit another four fans should you wish. But while we look at the Asterion’s CPU and GPU cooling it’s worth noting the associated downside of great cooling and that’s the noise. Luckily there’s very little noise that emanates from this Case…
With all three 120mm fans running at their maximum speed of 1,400RPM the Raijintek Asterion Plus emits just 39dB of noise. Pretty impressive for a Case containing three fans. It is hear (haha) that you can see the trade off: Raijintek have chosen quietness over cooling performance and have made a good choice as the Case itself offers a happy medium between the two. Of course due to Motherboard UEFI control this noise/performance ratio can be balanced to suit your individual needs.
There’s no doubt that the Raijintek Asterion Plus is the best case Rajintek have made to date. It is in fact so close to perfection, it seems all the more annoying as the small flaws here and there simply let down an excellent overall package.
The Raijintek Asterion Plus arrived at pcG in a very large Eco friendly cardboard box that gave some clue as to the size of the case within. Measuring in at 230mm x 525mm x 470mm (W x H x D) and weighting in at almost 10kg there’s no doubt that this E-ATX capable Case is big, especially for a midi tower chassis.
Once out of the box it was soon apparent that the Asterion Plus is quite the looker and looks every inch a premium Case, despite the acrylic side panels. Both panels are on hinges and are also easily removed, no screws here which is nice. The brushed aluminium material gives the case its premium look and feel as does the high level of build quality offered. It’s not until you get to the installation that some of the kinks begin to show although some may call them niggles…
Installation of our test system was in fact a breeze as the Asterion Plus is an easy case to install into, although it’s a little more difficult to get looking tidy (please read on). This ease of install is due to the very large spacious interior and a good deal of cable a agent space at the back of the case. There’s room in here for an E-ATX motherboard, two 360mm radiators, seven fans (x3 illuminated included) and three 3.5″ drives or six 2.5″ drives.
So what’s the problem then James? Well it’s the simple fact that Raijintek have added additional plugs to both of the USB cables and one of the fans. USB 2.0 plugs have been added to the USB 3.0 cables and a molex plugs to the both of the front fans (and not the rear fan!?). But the issue is the fact that all of the plugs are attached by way of cables that are approximately 75mm in length!? This means that regardless of what you plug into your Motherboard the other plug (as the cable is so short) will also be flapping around on the wrong side of the motherboard. i.e. The side you can see, spoiling the clutter free interior and the aesthetics…
Performance wise the Raijintek Asterion Plus strikes a good balance between cooling performance and acoustics. The Case positioned itself in both of our tests in the middle of the pack all with a maximum recorded noise level of just 39dB. Pretty impressive considering the three 120mm fans and the 1400RPM rotational speed. Of course this can be controlled via the motherboards UEFI for the perfect balance.
Sometimes a product comes along that’s so close to perfection that when you find a niggle here and there it seems so much more of an issue. The Raijintek Asterion Plus is a damn good Case and many of you will enjoy its cavernous interior space, great cable management space and its capable and quiet operation. But for me those additional plugs at the end of the USB cables and fan cable are a bit of an oversight. If Raijintek can sort this out they’ll have a Gold award winner on their hands for sure…
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Many thanks to Raijintek for providing this sample for review