XPG Invader Mid-Tower Chassis Review

The XPG group, a division of ADATA, is best known for its excellent solid state drives and memory modules. The XPG Invader represents the first PC chassis to come to the market for Xtreme Performance Group. As such, they opted to manufacture “a sleek and versatile mid-tower chassis that sports a tool-less design, high-airflow layout, and a front RGB downlight that can be personalized with the XPG Prime™ ARGB Combo Controller.” Available in black or white, the Invader maintains a traditional look with a tempered glass left side panel so you can show off your hardware. Let’s dig in and see what XPG has spawned.

XPG Invader

Features and Specifications

The chassis is made of a high-grade SPCC steel that can be found in all quality cases. A 4 mm thick tempered glass side panel features a slight tint allows for a great view of the internal components, but also prevents any lighting from distracting the user.

High airflow is a key ingredient for any good chassis – the Invader can mount nine fans with removable filters at nearly every location. A pair of 120 mm fans come pre-installed. If water cooling is desired, there are multiple radiator configurations to suit whatever one’s cooling needs. The Invader is capable of mounting three radiators at once with five available locations.

XPG added adequate storage solutions for a mid-tower chassis: the Intruder can utilize up to two 3.5″ hard drives and two 2.5″ solid state drives. A pair of USB 3.0 ports are located at the top of the chassis as well as the other controls. Included user controls are a power button, reset button, HD audio jack, and an ARGB button. A single downward-facing ARGB light strip is located at the bottom of the front panel. This provides subtle lighting without too much distraction. 

Here’s a list of the specifications per the XPG website.

XPG Invader Specifications
Product Name XPG Invader
Model Number INVADER-BKCWW or INVADER-WHCWW
Available Color Black or White
Materials Chassis: SPCC Steel
Side panel: 4 mm Tempered Glass
Dimensions (LxWxH) 470 x 206 x 482 mm (18.74 x 8.11 x 18.97 in)
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Expansion Slots 7
Drive Bays
5.25″ 0
 3.5″ 2
2.5″ / 3.5″ 2 +2
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0
Audio In & Out (supports HD Audio)
RGB button
Power button
Pre-installed Fan(s)
Front 120 mm 1200RPM
Rear 120 mm 1200RPM
Fan Support
Top 2x 120 mm
Front 3x 120 mm , 2x 140 mm
Rear 1x 120 mm
Bottom 1x 120 mm
Right Side 2x 120 mm
Liquid Cooling Support
Top 120 mm or 240 mm
Front 120 mm, 240 mm, or 360 mm
Rear 120 mm
Right Side 120 mm or 240 mm
Clearances
CPU Cooler 170 mm
GPU 400 mm
PSU 225 mm
Warranty 2 years
UPC Code 842243019285
Price Newegg $119.99/ Amazon $89.99

XPG also lists the following features on their site.

XPG Invader Features

Simply Stunning

A sleek front panel and a side panel made of tempered glass will turn heads. The twelve preset lighting modes, including one that syncs to music, will no doubt impress too.

Hassle-Free Installation & Maintenance

With a tool-less side panel and magnetic front panel and dust-filter, installation and maintenance is easy and effortless.

Go with the Flow. Stay Cool.

A high-airflow layout with a side-intake design and two pre-installed 120 mm fans are guaranteed to keep things cool.

Versatile Modular Design

The modular design supports up to two radiators, a 360 mm radiator up front and 240 mm up top, as well as various types of motherboards.

Flexible Storage Options

Two 3.5″ HDD/HDD mounting trays and 2+2 2.5″ (Combo 3.5”/2.5”) HDD/SSD trays give you ultimate flexibility.

All Within Reach

Enjoy quick access to I/O ports, the power on/off button inspired by play-button, USB ports, and 2-in-1 hybrid audio.

Packaging

The shipping boxes XPG uses for its chassis’ are a traditional, heavy-duty brown cardboard box. The print on the box is in plain black and lists all the key feature and model-specific information. The outer packaging is not fancy and it doesn’t need to be. With the box opened and the contents removed, we find the case sandwiched between a pair of foam end caps. Generally, cases are shipped inside of a plastic bag as well to prevent moisture, rain, or other potential contaminants from reaching the product. Luckily for us, it was not raining on the day this package was delivered and the Invader made it through the shipping process unscathed.

XPG Packaging

XPG Packaging
XPG Internal Packaging

Contents

In addition to the chassis, XPG includes a small cardboard box of assorted accessories. Inside you will find a power supply mounting plate, owner’s manual, a plastic bag of assorted screws, four mini zip ties, and a small sheet of stickers. These are all pretty standard items and nothing stands out as exceptional or lacking. Perhaps a motherboard stand-off wrench would have been a nice inclusion, but certainly not a cause for concern.

Contents Box

Contents

Exterior At A Glance

As usual, we will start with the outside of the chassis and work our way to the internal features. XPG opted to make the paint scheme a simple, all-black look with the only exception being the fire engine red logo that is proudly displayed on the front panel. The paint’s finish is more of a satin sheen rather than a gloss. This can sometimes aid in preventing unsightly fingerprints. Finally, while handling and moving the case around, its steel structure feels light but sturdy.

Front

Looking at the Invader straight on we get a great view of the bright red ‘XPG’ logo. The front panel is constructed of heavy gauge steel that has a brushed metal appearance and aside from the painted on logo, lacks any additional distinguishing features.

Front View

Left

Rotating to the left provides us with our first look inside the Invader. The tempered glass side panel is protected by a plastic film and displays a warning sticker. From this angle, we see the spacing between the front panel and the rest of the chassis. This seems to be quite adequate for allowing air to enter the front of the case. Attached to the motherboard tray is where the accessories box resides during shipping.

Left View

Right

Spinning 180° takes us to the right side. Here we find a large cutout for either a pair of 12o mm fans or a 240 mm radiator. As expected the side panel is made of steel and uses a pair of thumbscrews for retention.

Right View

Rear

Moving to the rear of the case we see a typical mid-tower layout with seven PCI slots. Additionally, there is a removable cover plate and a pre-installed 120 mm fan.  You can also see the PSU location at the bottom.

Rear View

Top

Laying the case on its right side, we see the top mesh filter which is held in place via magnets. XPG located its command center on top of the chassis. Placing the controls here makes for easy access when keeping the chassis on the floor easily viewed from the top. We will go into further detail later on.

Top View

Bottom

Looking at the bottom of the chassis we notice a pair of mesh filters. On the left of this image is the intake for the power supply, to the right is for a bottom-mounted 120 mm fan. Bottom filters are a fantastic option, even if these are not the easy to remove slide filters. Towards the front of the case is a white plastic piece where the ARGB light strip is located. This downward facing light panel provides accent lighting, but it’s certainly not excessive. Finally, there are four large feet with rubber pads to keep the Invader from unintentionally sliding around.

Bottom View

A Closer Look

From the outside, the Invader appears well built and well equipped. We’ve perused the outside, now let’s open it up and get to the good stuff.

Front

The openings at the left and right of the front panel measure 18 mm which means there should be no issues with airflow in this chassis. The panel is secured by way of several magnets at the top and bottom, making removal as easy as grabbing is and pulling. The problem with this method is that it is too easy – this review sample was nearly dropped several times before getting used to not grabbing it by the front when manipulating it.

Removing the panel grants us access to the front intake filter. This is a quality fine filter mesh that we find on most quality cases and is the best means for reducing dust inside the chassis (see our article here about dust and airflow) intrusions. Like the front panel, this is secured with a series of magnets. There is a single 120 mm fan mounted centrally here with the ability to mount to more. If you are into water cooling, the Invader can house up to a 360 mm radiator here.

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Left

The left side panel is 4 mm thick tempered glass, thicker than most cases reviewed by Overclockers.com. It’s held in place with a pair of thumbscrews and a few metal support brackets. The motherboard stand-offs are pre-configured in an ATX layout and the CPU cut-out is large enough that it will pose no issues when installing coolers.

At the top are mounting locations for a pair of 120 mm fans or up to a 240 mm radiator. Towards the front is the I/O cables and PCB. Further down we see the back of the front intake fan and the right side fan/radiator mount. Similar to the top of the case, up to two 120 mm fans or a 240 mm radiator may be installed.

The bottom of the left side is the PSU shroud with its bright red XPG logo stenciled on the side. The front of the shroud has a gaping hole allowing for thick front radiators. A nice cable pass-through hole is smartly located where your GPU receives its power cables. I truly wish more manufacturers would add this feature as it tidies up cables quite well. On top of the shroud is a pair of SSD mount points if one chooses to show off their SSDs. The rear of the case features a 120 mm exhaust fan and we again see the seven vented PCI expansion slots.

Right

As mentioned earlier, to remove the right-side panel there are two thumbscrews. The steel used throughout this chassis is rather thin, but the way it is constructed enables it to maintain its rigidity.  On the inside of the right panel is a plastic mesh filter that is secured by stick-on magnetic strips. With the side panel set aside, we move our focus to the right side of the case.

Rather than using openings to route cables to the motherboard, XPG opted to keep open the entire end and use the fan/radiator mount to hide cables. here are a total of nine cable tie locations which were enough for the review builds. This looks nice in theory, however, if fans are mounted here the bundle of cables will need to move towards the front where there are no tie points. If one were to fully load this case with all available fan locations, cable management would likely suffer.

Below the CPU cut-out are two SSD trays. These can also be relocated to the top of the PSU shroud. To the left of the cut-out are a pair of fastening points. It is presumed these are for mounting a fan hub or perhaps an additional ARGB light controller. At the bottom of the right side is the PSU and HDD garage. A pair of HDD trays slide into an adjustable HDD caddy. A 25 mm provides additional clearance for a front-mounted radiator. Alternately, the caddy is removable making room for a bottom-mounted 120 mm fan or the thickest 360 mm radiator you can find.

The power supply gets parked at the back of the garage. It sits perched on four plastic inserted pylons. These lack the rubber dampers that are generally installed here. Even though the PSU used for this review did not generate noise, it would be nice to see XPG add these in the future.

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Top

Climbing our way back to the top we take a closer look at the filter. Similar to the one at the right-side panel, this is made of plastic mesh and is kept in place via magnetic strips. This is essentially the standard feature for the vast majority of cases as it is inexpensive and works fairly well.

At the front is the I/O center. From the left is a pair of USB 3.2 Gen1 ports capable of transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps. While this is still a current connector, it was originally released in 2008. As USB 3.2 Gen 2 & 2×2 becomes more mainstream, it would be nice to see this implemented on a modern chassis.

Next to the USB ports is a single hybrid HD audio jack. As you would expect this can be used for a microphone, headphone, or combo style plug. Next up is the RGB/ARGB controller button. This handles the multitude of lighting controls available with the Invader which we will cover in more detail later. A simple reset button is next followed by the power button. The triangular power button is larger and features a white illuminated power icon in the middle.

Top Close-Up

I/O Close-Up

Bottom

Moving to the bottom of the chassis we find a pair of removable plastic mesh filters. One for the power supply and one for an optional bottom-mounted fan. As mentioned earlier these filters are slighter less convenient than those magnetically attached, but it’s good that they are included. With the front filter removed we have an unobstructed view of the bottom fan mount.

Bottom Filter Off

Bottom Filter Close-Up

Rear

The rear of the Invader is fairly standard. Adjacent to the motherboard I/O cutout is the adjustable 120 mm fan location with a total adjustment of 5 mm available. In the middle are the seven PCI expansion slots. The slot covers are vented and feature a removable cover plate. Finally, at the bottom is the opening for the standard ATX PS/2 power supply.

Rear Top Close-Up

Rear Bottom Close-Up

Fans

Two XPG Vento 120 fans are included with the Intruder. They are the solid black models (non-ARGB) with a nine-blade impeller. Power is delivered via a 3-pin connector and they feature a plug for daisy-chaining additional fans. Specifications were found on the ADATA website.

Two 120mm Fans
XPG Vento 120mm Fan
Speed 1200 RPM
Air Flow 45.3 CFM
Bearing Type Rifle
Warranty 2 Years

Storage

Storage solutions in mid-tower chassis can be hit and miss. XPG did a fantastic job of providing its users with a variety of options. The removable HDD caddy allows for up to two 3.5″ mechanical hard drives or up to two 2.5″ solid state drives. Additionally, there are two SSD trays that can be hidden away behind the motherboard or located front and center on top of the PSU shroud.

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Lighting

While the Invader doesn’t include as much lighting as many gaming cases, what it does come with is the fantastic XPG ARGB Prime Combo Controller. Pressing the ARGB button cycles through 12 different lighting modes plus an additional “music mode”.

Image Courtesy of XPG
XPG ARGB Prime Combo Controller Functions
Press Lighting Mode Button RGB Effect ARGB Effect
Mode 1 Red
Mode 2 Green
Mode 3 Blue
Mode 4 Purple
Mode 5 Yellow
Mode 6 White
Mode 7 Orange
Mode 8 Green
Mode 9 Four different color breathing modes Four different color rainbow modes
Mode 10
Mode 11
Mode 12
Mode 13 Off
Long Press Enter/Exit Music Mode

 

The Builds

We’ve analyzed each section of this case, now to grab some parts from the benching station and look at its potential. I will highlight this case’s ability to house custom water cooling components, large air coolers, and thermal capabilities.

Water Cooled Build

The Invader has multiple locations for mounting radiators and in this section we will cover them all, highlighting any clearance concerns. Starting at the front, we first locate the HDD caddy to its rearward position and measure 68 mm for a front-mounted radiator. This will work nicely if you have a 40 mm or thinner radiator. If the Caddy is removed, there is an incredible 170 mm of clearance. That’s more than enough room for the 60 mm shown, even if a push/pull configuration were to be used.

There is about 30 mm of clearance for the right side radiator from both the right-side panel and the front panel. Based on these measurements, it is not possible to mount a radiator at both the front and right side locations.

Looking at the top of the chassis, we measure 50 mm to the memory modules. Generally speaking, there are no issues here, but on occasion, very tall ram heatsinks can interfere with top-mounted radiators. The Invader does not include a water pump mounting bracket so double-sided tape or an aftermarket mount will be your best option here. Most manufacturers don’t provide these so it’s not a concern, but surely worth noting.

Water Cooled

Front Radiator Clearance

Ride Side Radiator Clearance

Front and Ride Side Radiator Spacing

Top Radiator Clearance

Air Cooled Build

Moving on to the air-cooled build we remove all the water cooling parts and mount the trusty Cooler Master Hyper 212x. The Invader can house up to nine case fans – a staggering amount of potential airflow. An ideal airflow plan for this case would be to use the front, bottom, and side as intake and top and rear locations for exhaust. Measuring the CPU clearance to the left side panel confirms XPG’s specification of 170 mm of clearance providing room for even the largest tower coolers. Always measure twice, install once!

Air Cooled

CPU Cooler Clearance

Cable Routing

Cable management was relatively painless. There are a total of nine cable tie points that should be adequate for most builds. As mentioned earlier, the only concern presented in this chassis would be if fans or a radiator were mounted to the right side. A removable cover plate would have been a nice feature here as cables will certainly be visible through the large fan openings. The space behind the motherboard tray measures 18 mm and is enough for the CPU power cable and loaded SSD trays. It is certainly not a lot of space, but it really doesn’t need it. XPG did a fine job of adding clearance where it is needed most.

Cable Management

Cable Clearance

Thermal Testing Procedure

Now that we’ve seen what this case is capable of housing, it’s time to test whether it is getting adequate airflow. With the chassis in its stock orientation and all the fans at full speed, an overclock will be applied to the CPU and GPU. The overclock 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.

Thermal Testing
XPG Invader Thermal Testing System
Case XPG Invader
Motherboard ASUS M5A97 R1.02
CPU AMD FX8530 @4.5 Ghz (1.48 v)
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212x
Memory G.Skill Sniper 8Gb 1866 Mhz (1.50 v)
GPU Gigabyte RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8 GB
Storage OCZ Agility 3 60 GB SSD
Power Supply be quiet! Pure Power 11 500 W
Operating System Windows 10 64 bit
Stock fans 2x 120 mm (1100 RPM)
Added fans None
Temperature Probe Amprobe TMD-52
Ambient Temp 21°C
Thermal Testing Results

The results match our previous review of the be quiet! 500dx with the internal temperature rising only 3°C from ambient. With the side panel removed there was a 2°C temperature drop. These are impressive results for a chassis with only a single intake and single exhaust fan. The two-degree temperature drop is pretty standard and as expected. If considering purchasing the XPG Invader, you should feel confident that it can keep your components cool. Keep in mind if you are adding components that generate more heat than what is presented here, additional fans should be added to maintain good results.

Conclusion

The Intruder marks XPG’s first entry into the chassis market and with that, they have done a pretty good job. We would like to have seen USB 3.2 Gen2 ports of some kind, but outside of that, it includes all the accouterments expected at the sub $100 price point. The Intruder is a fully-featured option that competes with manufacturers who have been doing this for decades. The quality and feel are as good as the majority of cases we’ve reviewed here.

Overall, I think XPG did a great job creating a serious contender in a mostly saturated market. A key factor on whether it will be successful or not will be pricing. The chassis retails for $89.99 at Amazon and $119.99 at Newegg which lands it squarely at the right price point. Priced cheaper than some lower quality cases, the XPG Invader can be an attractive purchase. Based on the features presented above, the quality of the build, and reasonable pricing, the Intruder receives the OCF Stamp of Approval.

Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means

-John Nester (Blaylock)

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