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Review: Rosewill Orbit Z1 Goes Tron

The new Orbit Z1 from Rosewill is the latest entry in towards RGB-everything in PCs. For the RGB fans among us, the Orbit is probably the best RGB LED case at the $75 price point -- RGB fans, strips and stripes? It's got 'em. Really, the Orbit is an attractive option for novice builders who lean more towards RGB looks than the flexibility and professional features that appeal to experienced builders.  

As for basics, the Rosewill Orbit Z1 is a compact mid tower ATX case -- so no big drive bays, HDD cages, or extra space for double liquid loops. Normal ATX power supply, 240mm air cooling on the front, 120mm fans on top and back. Pretty normal stuff.

Now let’s talk unicorns.

ALL ABOUT THE LEDS

The Rosewill Orbit Z1 definitely succeeds on its basic premise -- do most things right and look great in the process.

The LED looks and functionality is well done, negating the need for additional strips, especially at this price point. Sure, you can get fancy, but most basic builders will be very happy with how their components look inside.

In the photos here, only the included LEDs are used, meaning this is a really bright case out of the box and will light up your new mobo and graphics card all fancy like. (We did add a blue Rosewill fan with LEDs for the hero image at top, but other shots are with stock fans to show you what you’re getting).

The LEDs are split between the RGB 120mm fans, two light “strips” on the inside, and the light strips on the front.  

At the end of the day, the Rosewill Orbit Z1 is a solid case with great lighting and features for the vast majority of builds. I’d love to see a version just a few bucks higher with tempered glass and breakout cables for motherboard control of the RGBs and PWM fans.

The strips are really just a sprinkling of LEDS along the top edge and the bottom power supply cubby. They’re spaced out much farther than a typical strip, but they’re embedded in the case in their own recesses that help get the light to illuminate the components inside.

Additionally, all LEDs put out a good amount of lumens, something that couldn’t be said about cases in the past.

One quirk is the bottom LEDs fire into the side panel and illuminate the acrylic window. I didn’t like the idea of this at first -- just shoot those LEDs at the motherboard -- but the result is an acrylic panel that lights up with some reflected light back onto the components.

In addition to the top LED strip and the two LED fans, the insides are probably the brightest and best looking in any case under $100.

RGB FOR DAYS

The RGB solution in the Rosewill case is pretty basic, doing most things right without being annoying.
The LEDs are controlled by a simple controller operated by a button on the top. Press that button and you can cycle through all the colors as well as smooth rainbow wave, rainbow breathing or rapidly changing flashing colors.

I personally kept it on the rainbow wave transition, slowly moving through all the colors over a preset amount of time. The flashing and breathing was too much for me.

Rosewill Orbit Z1 Build

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But the transition is done better, in my opinion, than the Corsair options out of the box. Corsair’s controller system, while powerful, is sometimes tricky to get dialed in correctly.

For new builders, the Rosewill solution makes sense -- one button to get to the right color.

Also in Rosewill’s favor is the color choices, particularly the light blue and purple. It’s a little thing, but for RGB looks, the colors here are the right colors.

LED CONTROL

Of course, unlike Corsair, you’re not buying into a larger RGB family of products. The controller inside the Rosewill case is purely a proprietary connection just for making this case light up. The RGB fans are six pin versions, so they won’t work with 3 pin 12v LED motherboard headers or 4 pin PWM fan headers.

Also, because the RGBs are controlled by the case, you can’t integrate the LEDs to a motherboard control system like ASUS Aura. In my mind, it would be really easy to make the controller work with motherboards, giving the Rosewill a killer integrated solution.

FANS AND COOLING

For comparison, the entire fan layout and cooling is very close to the NZXT S340 case -- 240mm front, 120mm back, 140mm top. The NZXT lets you go up to 280mm on the front.

This style LED fan is a step above the single-color models in the $149 Rosewill Cullinan. Where the Cullinan blades are smooth, these are textured with bumps like a whale flipper. The LEDs look better on the blades and, purely subjectively, the acoustics are more on the silent end using the included profiles where the Cullinan fans get a bit loud when cranked.

The case comes with two fans, though the hub allows for more fans to be connected. Rosewill, at this time, isn’t selling the fans individually.

As for cooling, you’ll need a couple more fans to get the best out of this system. We used the included Rosewill RGB fans on the top and back, pushing air through the 120mm AIO cooler.

Two more fans are needed on the front. The front only takes double 120mm fans. For intake, we threw in two of Rosewill’s Hydraulic Bearing PWM fans with blue LEDs. The fans are great for cooling, the LED effects are clearly a little lacking compared to the rest of the case.

THE BUILD

We grabbed some components we had around the labs, like the Intel i5-7600k CPU, DEEPCOOL Captain 120EX CPU coolerASRock Z270 Taichi motherboard, EVGA GTX 1060 GPU, HP Pro SSD, Corsair RGB Vengeance RAM, and finally a Rosewill Quark power supply.

Building in the case is easy, nothing terrifically different here than any other case.

QUIRKS

The Rosewill has a couple funny features, like knock-outs for front optical bays. But the front panel doesn’t reveal any pay options, so they’re basically useless, just vestigial traits from the generic core case the Orbit is based on.

As for dust, there are dust filters on the top 120mm and bottom PSU vents. However, most people will use the top for exhaust, not intake.

That means, the majority of inbound air will come through the front, like most cases with this design. However, this case doesn’t come with a removable dust filter. One can probably buy a third party dust filter to cover the 360mm radiator area on the front, but it would have been nice to see one included in the box.

Finally, the PSU shroud looks good covering from front to back. But the case clearly has mounting for triple 120mm fans on the front, meaning a 360mm radiator would work, not just a 240mm.

Big deals? Not really, the vast bulk of CPU radiators are 120mm and 240mm. I would have liked to see a full 240mm vent on the top as well for even more mounting options. But most wouldn’t necessarily use that feature. And, really, this is the same setup as the NZXT S340 case that’s super popular, so this will meet the needs of the vast majority of builders.

OVERALL

At the end of the day, the Rosewill Orbit Z1 is a solid case with great lighting and features for the vast majority of builds. I’d love to see a version just a few bucks higher with tempered glass and breakout cables for motherboard control of the RGBs and PWM fans.

And I’d love to see this in white like the Rosewill Neon keyboards. But now I’m getting greedy.

While the Rosewill Orbit Z1 doesn’t have some of the build features found on competing cases at this price point, the Rosewill pretty much owns the competition in the RGB LED department.