Razer Built an ITX Case!
Table of contents
Finally, Razer has released their own branded enclosure… or two of them to be more precise. This new enclosure series is called the Razer Tomahawk and it comes in both a mini-ITX and a full-size ATX mid-tower.
Models & Price
I want to mainly focus on the Razer mini-ITX Tomahawk simply because the ATX model is just a slightly redesigned and rebranded Lian Li LANCOOL II MESH, which is a fantastic enclosure on its own for the $89 USD asking price, but Razer has definitely stepped up that Razer tax because the ATX model will sell for $199 USD and the mini-ITX model $179 USD. Those prices were not very competitive, especially the ATX model, just get the LANCOOL II MESH instead if you can find one for $89 because of the $199 the Tomahawk ATX doesn’t make sense unless you’re a huge Razer fan.
Razer Tomahawk ITX
The ITX model is what I was most interested in because it looked like an Razer original design, and not a rebrand of an existing Lian Li tower. However, actually, after having looked over my Lian Li TU150 review, this is the exact same frame with modifications at the top so the cables are no longer routed through the top channels now they are on the side so you can have space radiators there. Also the power supply mount has been moved down, but otherwise it looks like it’s the exact same frame. So this model kind of falls in the same trap as its bigger brother, it is a bit different, still very elegant, but price point is not competitive at $179 USD. However, when we compare it to some unique ITX options that came out this year, like the Cooler Master NR200 – which is extremely optimized and incredible for the $79 USD price – plus the Phanteks Shift Air 2, which is awesome with that the towering form factor that is really optimized for both the GPU and CPU airflow.
Design & Build Quality
Luckily the Tomahawk ITX has a few tricks up its sleeve, so it’s not completely left in the dust, but from a price perspective I wish they were a bit more aggressive. For example, the frame is made entirely of steel, and for the price point I was hoping to find some aluminium pieces. However, on the good side build quality feels really good and everything feels well put together. The swivel side panels are on both sides so make sure to do a good cable management for a job, but the glass is very tinted so you are not going to see much of the cables anyway. The side panel are also removable for easy installation and attach with magnets and tiny clips into the frame, so they stay securely in place.
Some unique design elements here include the square ventilation pattern, both in the top and on the sides for the front panel. A staple for all Razer cases as far as I know have been the LED strips for the underglow effect, and here we have this massive diffusion layer so the lighting is incredibly soft and vibrant. You can customize it through Synapse software, but unfortunately the Razer logo at the front always stays green. It is not adjustable, and I don’t get why they would limit the customization of the RGB elements on the enclosure. I have this beautiful blue underglow, but a bright green snake at the front, they don’t match. The Razer logo also cannot be turned off, but you can unplug the USB connector for the underglow, so you can either turn it off through the software or just unplug it from your motherboard.
I/O & Filters
The I/O is at the top with two USB 3.0 ports, power and reset buttons, separate audio connectors, and the USB Type-C port with a nice long cable for the motherboard. I appreciate that the top and the front panels sit on clips and are easily removable. For the front panel we have removable dust filters on each side of the ventilation, although let’s be real this front panel is a complete choking hazard, especially after that filter is installed. That issue is because we have a front intake fan that is only 120mm with its own fine dust filter, so that is an additional restriction over there. But let’s be honest, no air will enter through that front intake because of so many barriers. We have the dust filter on the fan, we have the best filters on the panel, and the panel itself is completely choking off the airflow.
As for the top, we have a removable fan bracket that supports up to 240mm radiator and its associated 120mm fans, and you can also come out with a 120mm fan for the rear. Unfortunately there no 140mm fan mounts anywhere on this enclosure. I appreciate that you can install the fan bracket upside down, meaning the fan and the radiator will both be inside the frame versus having the fan bracket in its default configuration where it is sandwiched between the fan and the radiator, which I find really difficult to install.
As for the interior, one major red flag that popped into my head was the bottom intake. It is good that you can install two 120mm fans there, and two SSDs as well if you don’t want air flow, but notice that there is no dust filter so if you do install fans in there it’s great for GPU cooling, and it’s great for intake because the front intake is completely blocked, but there is no dust filtration on an intake area, which is a massive problem because it’s going to get dusty in like a month. What were they thinking?
As for the the rest of the hardware, it can support either SFX or SFX-L power supplies, the bracket is placed right beside them on the motherboard. There is plenty of height so you can install a radiator above it. If you are air cooling you can install a CPU tower up to 165mm all, so massive high performance heatsinks are not a problem in here. As for GPU support, cards up to 320mm long are compatible if you don’t install the front fan because if you remove 25mm from supported GPU length.
The Back & Issues
Looking at the back I appreciate this angular frame at the front where you can stash all your cables, and this is also where 2.5″ SSD or hard drive can be installed. I would advise against it just to avoid additional cable management stress. In my experience, cable management in this case is pretty straightforward, especially with an SFX unit because there is a little bit of space right next to the power supply to bunch up your cables.
However, it is because of the power supply location that you encounter some iffy compatibility and bad optimizations of the space. First of all, that PSU power extension cable is kind of weird because in my configuration with a power supply fan facing down towards the GPU I could not route the cable because it is way too bulky and it is exiting the words the right side in this configuration. I actually had to rotate the power supply so it is facing up for cable to fit in place. Furthermore, because of this location the tubes on your all-in-one cooler or radiator have to exit near the back, not the front as they simply don’t fit at the front. And this is also a pretty bad optimization of space because that power supply section cannot converted to support ATX units. For example if you are not water cooling then you could utilize that space for an ATX power supply, but the case is not built for that. Now on the one hand this is exactly the type of ITX case I love working with, there is plenty of space for a large CPU tower heatsink, lots of room for cable management, and overall it’s an easy case to work in unlike something really compact where you spend like 5 hours trying to figure out the exact assembly procedure. Here is identical to any mid-tower, but everything is just shrunk.
On the other hand, for $179 I feel like the ITX community would expect more in terms of optimization of space, giving you more options for power supply, maybe more options for storage as well, because the case isn’t very small at almost 30 liters. Furthermore there are no fans included and no dust filters at the bottom, which I find ridiculous given how much dust filtration there is at the front. In terms of cooling, it’s not a chart topper, but it doesn’t perform bad either given the airflow choking nature of the front. I disabled the fan and it literally did nothing.
To wrap things up, at the $179 USD this thing is overpriced. There is the Razer tax in there somewhere, especially because the Lian Li TU150 – which is the same size, can support massive CPU tower heatsinks, and the same length GPU’s – is significantly cheaper at $99 USD.
If you want the water cooling support and can find the Cooler Master NR200 definitely go for that. The Phanteks Shift Air 2 seems to be a really good option for the $99 price point as well for that towering form factor and really good GPU cooling. It’ is not all lost for Razer though, because I hope that with this next iteration of updates we can get some refinements here, like an RGB logo at the front, a dust filter for the bottom, and they need price reduction as well.
Buy the Tomahawk Mini from Razer:
Razer Tomahawk ITX – https://razer.a9yw.net/NAzzq
Razer Tomahawk ATX – https://razer.a9yw.net/YW11e
Buy items in this video from Amazon at the links below:
Lian Li TU150 – https://geni.us/TU150B
Cooler Master NR200 – https://geni.us/NR200PW
Steelseries Aerox – https://geni.us/AEROX3Wireless