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Today we’re going to look at XPG’s next PC case in the XPG Battlecruiser. The new flagship chassis is listed as a “Super Mid-tower” featuring a lot of interior space, glass panels, an integrated RGB controller, and more. Priced from $139.99 at Newegg ($159.99 at Amazon), the mid-range priced Battlecruiser is available now. Read on to see more features, builds results, and thermal properties of this new mid-tower case.
Features and Specifications
The XPG Battlecruiser is a mid-tower flagship chassis designed for the extreme enthusiast. XPG (XTREME PERFORMANCE GEAR) was established by ADATA with the aim of providing high-performance products to gamers, esports pros, and tech enthusiasts. Since 2008, it has manufactured countless PC components. As always, we start this journey by looking over the many features and specifications the Battlecruiser has to offer.
The Chassis is constructed of 0.9 mm thick painted steel with rolled edges for safety, as well as stability. The four tempered glass panels are tinted and measure 4 mm thick, making them slightly more durable than many on the market today. It features a typical airflow design with three included front intake fans and a fourth at the rear, managing exhaust. There are additional locations at the top and bottom for adding fans if desired.
All four fans are XPG 120 mm Vento ARGB fans and are rated at 1200 RPM with 45.3 CFM. Each is equipped with anti-vibration pads at the corners to reduce noise. Also included is XPG’s Prime ARGB controller that can choose between 13 different lighting modes, including music mode.
The XPG Battlecruiser can house up to nine hard drives. Locations behind the motherboard tray, under the PSU shroud, or on display in the main compartment providing a wide array of storage options. The front panel interface includes a pair of USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports (5 Gbps), a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (10 Gbps), an ARGB controller button, as well as a 3.5 mm hybrid HD audio jack.
Here’s a list of the specifications per the XPG website.
|XPG Battlecruiser Specifications|
|Available Color||Black, White|
|Materials||SPCC Steel, Tempered Glass, & Plastic|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||485 x 225 x 506 mm (19 x 8.9 x 19.9 inch)|
|Expansion Slots||7 + 2 (Support vertical graphics card installation)|
|I/O Port||USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (5Mbps) x 2|
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10Mbps) x 1
Hybrid 3.5mm Audio In & Out (supports HD Audio)
|Liquid Cooling Support|
We have also included a list of features sourced from XPG’s website:
The shipping box from XPG isn’t flashy. It’s a standard brown cardboard box with black print. Displayed around the box is the usual information, including the model name and specifications, along with a nice exploded view of the Battlecruiser. This outer container is adequate for the abuse it may encounter from the warehouse to your door. Inside, the chassis is sandwiched between thick Styrofoam, again pretty typical. There is no large plastic bag which protects from moisture. We should also note that the tempered glass panels are not protected by film. These are areas XPG should work to correct. While this sample was undamaged, others very well could be.
Tucked away in the PSU mount opening is the accessories box. Like the shipping box, this is plain brown cardboard. Inside this small box are the PSU mounting plate, user’s manual, a bag of assorted screws, and a sheet of stickers.
Exterior At A Glance
A cursory glance around the chassis will provide a good idea of what XPG had in mind when designing the Battlecruiser. They market this case as a “super mid-tower” so we can expect a high quality build with many features of larger full-towers while maintaining a mid-tower size.
The XPG Battlecruiser is not just a typical six-sided box, like many cases on the market today. The front features unique angles that make it stand out from the rest. The tempered glass front panel displays three (of four) 120 mm Vento ARGB fans. There is a steel plate that runs the full height of the case and proudly shows off the “XPG” logo in its trademark red paint.
The left side is primarily comprised of the lightly tinted tempered glass side panel. Small triangle-shaped ventilation holes are positioned in front of and above the side panel. From this view, we see the ample space between the front panel and the intake fans, while the top has considerably less space.
Generally, the right-side panel is absent of features, which is not true of the Battlecruiser. XPG has opted to add a tempered glass panel here as well. With the right side on full display, executing proper cable management will be critical. Finally, the red and white caution sticker notifies users to handle these side panels with care.
Rotating to the back we are presented with a classic mid-tower design. Features to note here are the adjustable 120 mm fan mounting, vertical GPU mounting slots, and bottom-mounted PSU bay.
Removing the right side glass panel to prevent scratches, we lay the case down to view the top and bottom. Like the left and right sides, the top is tinted tempered glass. Clearly, XPG had full transparency in mind when designing this case. Located at the front of the top is the I/O panel. We’ll cover this panel in full detail later in this review.
Looking at the bottom, we are presented with the nearly full-length bottom filter. The four feet are trapezoidal in shape and each features rubber pads to eliminate vibration as well as prevent the chassis from unintentionally sliding around.
A Closer Look
From an exterior glance, we can surmise XPG planned on allowing users to display their components from all angles, while providing lighting controls and plenty of cooling capabilities. We will look much deeper into the specific details before testing this case by building a mocked-up water-cooled build, an air-cooled build, and finally testing the Battlecruiser’s thermal efficiency.
Starting at the front, we measure 20 mm of clearance between the front glass panel and the intake filter. This should prove more than adequate for intaking cool air. To access and clean this filter, you must first remove a pair of thumbscrews located at the bottom of the panel. With a little practice, it is possible to accomplish this without tipping the case backward. With the front panel removed we find the full front intake filter, which is held in place by four magnetic posts. The filter itself is a fine fabric mesh style, which is the most effective for reducing dust particles.
Behind the filter are three 120 mm Vento ARGB fans, on a mounting plate. This plate, which can be used for mounting radiators as well, is secured with two screws at the top and a pair of tabs and slots at the bottom. With it removed we get an unobstructed view of the gaping opening into the main compartment.
The left-side panel is secured using a pair of thumbscrews. With the left side removed, we get a fantastic view of the Battlecruiser’s main compartment. The motherboard tray features a large cut-out for installing a CPU cooler. For mounting the motherboard, XPG pre-installed the standoffs for an ATX sized board. The right side of the tray is completely loaded with grommeted openings for cable routing. These openings are large enough to even allow for E-ATX motherboards to utilize them. Most cases do not provide easy cable routing for E-ATX boards, so this is a welcome sight.
Looking at the top of the case, we find another fan or radiator mounting plate. This is identical to the one located at the front and as such, can house up to three 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator. The layout at the bottom of the main compartment is fairly unique. Rather than locating the HDD caddy under the PSU shroud, XPG opted to position them side by side. The PSU shroud has a large XPG logo painted in red. There is also an opening to display the PSU’s logo and/or specs. The top of the shroud is heavily ventilated and has a pair of cable pass-through holes. There is a HDD/SDD combination tray secured to the shroud by a single captive thumbscrew and a pair of tabs and slots.
The HDD caddy is removable by way of four screws mounted on the right side of the chassis. The top plate of the caddy is also removable and can be used for attaching an SSD, water pump, or reservoir. It is also secured with a captive thumbscrew. With the caddy removed, we can see XPG included a place to add a bottom-mounted 120 mm fan. Although the picture below doesn’t show it, the bottom filter does cover this opening and would serve as another great way to increase intake airflow.
Spinning the chassis around to the right side, the side glass panel is removed via two thumbscrews. Below the CPU cooler opening are a pair of SSD caddies. These are truly a tool-less design as any 2.5″ drive simply slides into the caddies and can be removed by pulling and lifting the top tabs. Towards the front of the case, where all the grommets are, there are a series of tapped holes for mounting three additional SSD’s. Rounding out the storage capabilities, underneath the PSU shroud and at the front is the HDD caddy, where two 3.5″ drives can be installed. If you look at the close-up image, you will see one of the four screws that retain the caddy.
Directly below the SSD trays, where you would normally see the PSU, there are a pair of mounting holes. It is unclear what these are for but is most likely for attaching a fan hub or similar accessory. Lastly, since there is a right side glass panel, XPG included a staggering 34 cable tie points. Not only are there an incredible amount of locations, but they are also placed in all the places you might expect to run your cables. Incredibly well thought out XPG.
The Battlecruiser uses a tempered glass panel for all but the I/O panel up top. While it does complete the aesthetics of the build, there are concerns for durability. If you’re the type of person who uses the top of their PC case as a shelf for tossing your keys on, you should reconsider. That notwithstanding, this is a 4 mm tempered glass panel, so the chance of breakage should be minimal. As far as airflow, there is a seven-millimeter gap for heat to escape. This is not a ton of room but should be adequate for the job at hand. To remove the top panel there are a pair of thumbscrews at the rear of the chassis. With those removed, you simply pull the panel to the back and lift it off as it is also retained by four tabs. Once removed, we have access to the top filter. This is the coarser plastic mesh type and is kept in place by two magnetic strips that run the full length of the filter.
The fan and radiator mounting plate is next in line. Again, this is the same mount used for the front panel and can house up to three 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator. Like the front, it is retained by two screws and a pair of tabs and as you would expect, it is offset towards the left of the chassis allowing for maximum clearance to the motherboard components.
Located at the front is the I/O panel. From left to right are the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (10 GB/s), two USB 3.2 gen 1 Type-A ports (5 GB/s), a 3.5 mm hybrid HD audio microphone/headphone jack, ARGB controller button, reset button, and power button.
The bottom of the Battlecruiser features a fine fabric mesh filter that covers all the openings. It can be removed without tipping the case, though it does pull from the rear. There are six hooks that keep the filter pressed tight to the chassis when in use. This is not the most refined method as you do need to tip the case to re-attach the filter, however, it is effective at keeping it where it belongs. Focusing on the bottom of the chassis itself, the bottom is almost completely ventilated with slots allowing for maximum intake through the quality mesh filter. The feet of the Battlecruiser are sized appropriately and the rubber is highly effective at keeping it planted securely where you place it.
The rear of the chassis is fairly standard for a mid-tower. At the top is the motherboard I/O plate cut-out. Adjacent to that is an adjustable location for a 120mm fan. It’s curious why XPG didn’t opt for a 140 mm option here with this being a “super mid-tower”. Moving down to the PCIe expansion slots, these are all heavily vented with an attractive triangular pattern. There are the standard seven slots and they did include two vertical slots for anyone wishing to show off their GPU through the side panel. All of the slot covers are retained with thumbscrews and there is a removable retaining plate for the two vertical slots as well.
At the bottom is the PSU bay. The Battlecruiser utilizes a loose PSU mounting plate. This is helpful in this chassis as there isn’t as much room for your hands to feed the cables when installing due to the unique motherboard tray design.
Included are four 120 mm Vento ARGB 3 pin fans. Featuring nine blades, the Vento produces 45.3 CFM at only 23 dBA. Built around a rifle bearing, they are designed to last about 60,000 hours. They are rated at 1200 RPM and using HWMonitor we have confirmed its rated speeds. This version is voltage controlled via your motherboard’s 3-pin fan header and pulls a maximum of 0.16 amps. Connected to the 3-pin connector is a 2-pin daisy chain for connecting additional fans. Nine LEDs surround the hub providing a perfect amount of color and light. Power to the LED’s is provided by a 3-pin ARGB 5v connector that can also be daisy-chained.
|XPG Vento ARGB 120mm Fan|
|Air Flow||45.3 CFM|
|LED Voltage||DC 5v (3-pin)|
The Battlecruiser provides an abundance of storage space for a mid-tower. In total, there are nine locations to mount drives. For 3.5″ mechanical drives, two can be mounted in the tool-less HDD caddy, while a third can be attached to the tray which mounts to the PSU shroud. When using 2.5″ SSDs, there are seven available locations. You can mount them in the two tool-less SSD trays behind the motherboard tray, there are three locations behind the cable grommets, one can be attached to the top of the HDD caddy, and another can go on the PSU shroud tray. A unique feature with the HDD and SSD tool-less trays are the plastic “fingers” that the drives push against when installed. These act as a spring when removing and helps to eject the drive. The plate on top of the HDD caddy can be used as a multi-purpose plate. The slot spacing makes it capable of being a water pump or reservoir mount.
XPG has done a fine job of designing and building a quality chassis. It is a highly capable case which provides a wide spectrum of potential builds. In this section, we will mock up a custom water-cooled build to see what size radiators we can fit. Next, an air-cooled build will be completed. Cable management will be addressed and we will briefly explore some of the Battlecruisers lighting capabilities.
Water Cooled Build
Grabbing some older water-cooling components we had laying around, we assembled a mock-up custom loop. This is just to give you an idea of what is possible in this chassis. Starting up front, a 35 mm thick radiator is installed behind the front mounting plate. From the measurement, you can see there is just enough clearance to keep the HDD caddy in place. This allows us the opportunity to utilize the multi-purpose plate on top of the caddy to mount the old Swiftech pump/res combo. By removing the HDD caddy there is enough room to install a radiator of any thickness. The one pictured is a 55mm thick radiator and there was still room for the pump/res to fit behind it.
Here we also show off the Battlecruiser’s ability to mount GPU’s vertically. There is 30mm of clearance above the top radiator mount and enough room below the top mount to attach the 35mm radiator without concern. However, the 55mm thick radiator would not fit due to clearances with the CPU block and tall ram heatsinks. If low profile ram and a lower profile mounting system for the CPU block was available it would also fit.
Finally, it is not possible to mount a 360mm radiator up top and a 360mm radiator in the front. The two radiators would interfere with each other. So keep that in mind if you are planning a big water build. One of these radiators will need to be a smaller, dual-fan radiator. The last picture was added simply to show the fan slot spacing. It is a little unconventional with three sets of slots per side, they will fit 92mm, 120 mm, and 140 mm fans.
Air Cooled Build
After removing the water-cooled components, we install the air-cooled build. As with all of these reviews, we use the trusty Cooler Master Hyper 212x. It is the most commonly sized aftermarket cooler and will serve as our standard for the thermal testing in the next section. The GPU is also positioned in the normal horizontal position to keep our test results consistent with other chassis that were reviewed in the past. As you can see there is just over 170 mm of CPU cooler clearance, confirming the case specifications.
The Battlecruiser has 28 mm of clearance between the motherboard tray and the right-side panel. Combine that with the 34 tiedown points and you end up with an absolute treat for cable management. There are tie points everywhere and there is no need to severely bend any cable with the ample space between panels. The added grommets at all the cable pass-through holes are really icing on the cake.
We’re familiar with XPG’s ARGB Prime controller from the review we did of the XPG Invader last month. For lighting, the Battlecruiser employs the four ARGB fans rather than light strips. The camera used for this review is incapable of taking quality photos or video of the lighting so we’ve embedded a video from the XPG website to showcase the lighting. Simply pressing the ARGB button cycles through the 12 different lighting modes plus an additional “music mode”.
|XPG ARGB Prime Combo Controller Functions|
|Press Lighting Mode Button||RGB Effect||ARGB Effect|
|Mode 9||Four different color breathing modes||Four different color rainbow modes|
|Long Press||Enter/Exit Music Mode|
Thermal Testing Procedure
Now that we’ve seen what this case is all about, it’s time to test airflow. With the case in its stock orientation and all the fans at full speed, an overclock will be applied to the CPU and GPU. The overclocks will be as high as possible, maintaining stability and staying within the thermal limits of the components. To apply a load to the CPU and GPU, Aida64 Extreme and 3D Mark Firestrike Extreme will be run together for about a half-hour. This will provide the maximum internal case temperature. Then, remove the side panel and continue for another full run of Firestrike Extreme, measuring the temperature drop. If the case is getting proper airflow, then the case temperatures will remain within a few degrees of the original result. If there is a significant temperature drop with the side panel removed then the case is starving for fresh, cool air.
|XPG Battlecruiser Testing System|
|Motherboard||ASUS M5A97 Rev 1.02|
|CPU||AMD FX8350 @4.45 Ghz (1.40v)|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212X|
|Memory||2×4 GB G.Skill Sniper 2133Mhz|
|GPU||Gigabyte RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8GB|
|Storage||OCZ Agility 3 250 GB SATA SSD|
|Power Supply||be quiet! Pure Power 11 500W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64 bit|
|Stock fans||4x 140 mm XPG Vento ARGB 1000 RPM|
|Temperature Probe||Amprobe TMD-52|
Looking at the results, the Battlecruiser remains within 2°C of ambient during the testing and within 1°C with the side panel off. These are impressive results. In fact, the test was re-run with fresh batteries in the Amprobe just to verify the results. This case is among the best we’ve tested with this method. As far as thermals are concerned, if you have a Battlecruiser, you need not be concerned. Additionally, you can double the number of fans to further increase airflow. It’s kind of ridiculous really.
In November, we reviewed XPG’s Invader and while it was a very good case, there were some areas that seemed a little rough. This is not the case with the Battlecruiser: it is an all-around great case. The build quality is as high as any we have reviewed. It was clearly engineered with plenty of forethought. The tempered glass side panels along with the impressive lighting make this case as beautiful as it is functional. The ability to install a large amount of storage, custom water cooling, and its highly impressive thermal efficiency makes this case an enthusiasts dream chassis.
The Battlecruiser retails for $139 at Newegg and a little more at Amazon for $159. While this price is certainly not the cheapest you can pay for a high-end case, it is far from the highest also. For this price range, it is very reasonable considering everything it has to offer. Overclockers.com would have no reservations recommending this case to its readers and members.
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