Rotanium Magic 201 – Cheap PC Case Review

For most gaming enthusiasts, the cost of computer hardware is far from a non-issue. Most PC hardware discussions will be based around what “budget” the potential buyer is working with. Another often-heard phrase is “price to performance” or “bang for the buck”. The idea is to get as much value in terms of gaming performance and features on a computer as possible, all while spending the minimum amount (or at least staying under a specified budget or cost). This is where cheap PC cases come into play.

The Rotanium Magic 201 is currently available in Australia for $42 AUD at time of writing at any MSY store – if you can find it in stock. Previously it was selling for as low as $39. To give some level of perspective, $42 is currently worth less than $28 USD at the time of writing. (The recent price rise of this case is likely due to falling AUD value compared to other currencies). It is unlikely that you could even find a second-hand PC case at this sort of price in an acceptable condition.

A good case – while near essential to any PC build (unless you are running your setup inside or on top of a cardboard box as some ultra budget-minded gamers have been known to do), does not actually add performance to a computer. It does, however, have the ability to take away performance if it does not allow the components inside to run in a cool and efficient manner. The main aspects of this case we will be looking at are:

(1) Performance, (2) Aesthetics, (3) Features, (4) Build Quality, and finally some concluding statements.


When referring to cases, the main performance attribute in mind is the airflow capability. In this area the Magic 201 lags behind some of its competition. The case is enclosed almost entirely by the use of sheet metal and clear “smoked” acrylic panels. While this results in a clean looking case which is great at showing off any cool internal PC hardware, the aforementioned hardware in question may be far from cool when running any sort of intensive workload, including gaming. Despite this, one big advantage to keep in mind is that it is the case does come with FOUR 120mm fans. This is a ridiculously good value proposition as most cases at this price range rarely come with more than one or two fans, if any at all. Does this mean that the Magic 201 is able to “brute force” its way into adequate cooling performance?

Unfortunately the answer to that question is “No”. The reason is that the 120mm Blue LED fans included with the case (which are also Rotanium branded) seem to barely be able to push any air at all. For example, when putting my hand around 2-3cm behind the rear exhaust fan, I could barely feel any air being pushed out through the rear grille. This is despite the fan running at full speed and being helped by the fact that the side panel was not installed at this time. The three front intake fans also barely suck any air through the small (approx 5mm) gap behind the front acrylic panel that I can feel.

Overall, this case is not designed to house high-end components. More specifically, it’s not designed to be used with anything that has a high heat output (indicated as TDP or Thermal Design Power and measured in watts). This may sound like a very obvious statement considering the price of this case, however the major thing to keep in mind is that a lot of people who buy these cases like to use them in “refurb” builds – i.e. mixing new PC parts with second hand parts which have been renewed to some degree, in order to optimise the amount of performance per dollar spent. This can often include using an high-end older CPU or GPU. For example, a GTX780Ti can often be bought for half the price of a brand new part like a GTX1650, yet offer more performance in most applications. The concern is that while the GTX1650 has a TDP of only 75W, the GTX780Ti has a power draw of 250W, with aftermarket custom cards reaching near 300W when running at full bore.

One potential problem with the cooling functionality of this case is that all four fans are a 3-pin style instead of being Molex. While 3-pin in general is a better connection than Molex, the problem with it is that at the kind of budget most buyers of this case will be building at, the basic motherboards likely to be used may lack the 5 fan headers to be able to plug all fans in. This is evident in our heading picture for this article which has omitted all but the rear fan as a result of this. While it is possible to get around this with a 4-way fan adapter or multiple fan to Molex adapters, many builders may not have these on hand, and the cost of these cables can add up very quickly especially if the builder is not willing to wait several weeks in order to purchase them from overseas sellers on places like eBay or AliExpress.

The performance of this case is adequate for most budget builds, as long as some thought is put into the parts selection to make sure that the total TDP of the system will be under, say, 250W or so. This means that it could easily house a very common budget setup like a second hand i7 or i5 CPU combined with a RX570 or GTX1050Ti. Of course, if overheating is a problem, a common solution is to temporarily remove the front and/or side acrylic panels to improve airflow. This is especially a good course of action when ambient room temperatures are higher than usual.


What looks good? What doesn’t? It’s a very subjective arena of thought, however there is also a lot of consensus. Black doesn’t go with brown, red doesn’t go with pink, etc. Similarly, we can take a relatively objective look at the aesthetics of the Magic 201 and see how well Rotanium are doing in the looks department.

Overall the case has a clean aesthetic with straight, simple lines and mostly flat panels (aside from the bulge on the right hand side panel). The simple design language also extends to the round chrome-like feet and the symmetric look of the top of the case.

The most striking feature of the case is the way it looks when all fans are lit up. They shine through the pattern inlaid in the front acrylic panel and light up the whole inside of the PC when seen through the clear side panel. While they light is not RGB and is can only be set to Blue (the lights also cannot be disabled without turning off the fans as well), this is more than acceptable at this sort of price range and is a welcome feature considering the cost of buying these fans individually would be a lot more expensive. (Accounting for $5 per fan, this would be a $25 cost just in fans for four fans).

Overall I think Rotanium has a winner when it comes to appearance, with clean matte black metal with smoked clear acrylic panels. It also does not look dated or out of place in any way when compared with other more expensive cases. Other features like good cable management holes and a power supply shroud help to keep PC builds in the Magic 201 looking as clean as the case itself.

On a side-note, the case despite being a mid-tower style is actually quite small and this is definitely a good thing. While building computers in this case I have never had a graphics card or mATX motherboard struggle to fit with ample space.


The Rotanium Magic 201 has an interesting feature set. While it lacks common high-end case features like RGB or tempered glass panels, it still manages to fit in with more expensive cases when it comes to looks by using acrylic smoked clear panels and blue LED fans instead.

The good thing is that the case has all the features you need for a cheap gaming PC case. It has a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, as well as headphone/microphone jacks on the front panel. It has built in fans, a power supply shroud, as well as two mounting spots for 2.5″ drives. One of these spots can even take a 3.5″ drive. It also has good cable management holes, enough space behind the motherboard tray for easy cable management, and a removable magnetic dust filter on the top… wait.

Why is that dust filter there? I can only assume that it’s there to prevent dust from settling on the top of the PC case and entering the case. Dust filters are almost always used only in Intake areas where fans are installed to draw in air from outside the case. There is no point in filtering air which is being exhausted from the case. Neither is there much point filtering a grille where no fan is installed, especially in a case like this one which has lots of gaps and a positive pressure (more air being drawn in than being exhausted out) when used with the stock fan setup. The top vent is rarely if ever used for intake and in fact, in most cases a fan is not even installed. My advice would be to remove the air filter since it doesn’t do any actual “dust filtering” but rather just restricts air flow. On the other hand, there is a dust filter on the bottom PSU fan intake which is quite helpful in keeping dust out of your power supply, especially considering it it not recommended to open most PC power supplies due to electrocution risks, which means you cannot easily clean inside them.

Overall, the Rotanium Magic 201 case serves the needs of any budget-minded gamer and will easily fit all the parts necessary for a basic gaming build. If you are, however, looking to fit a full-size ATX motherboard, or add multiple additional hard drives now or even in the future, I would be looking at other options.

Build Quality

One area where the Rotanium Magic 201 PC case lacks in is build quality. The thickness of the steel panels used in the case, while not the thinnest I’ve seen, are definitely far thinner than most high quality cases. Although not a problem when the case is fully assembled, care will need to be taken when working with the case to not bend out of shape any metal parts, especially the rear panel near the IO area and PCI-e expansion slots which are prone to being damaged quite easily. Of course one advantage of this thin steel is that if you do accidentally bend part of the case, it’s trivial to bent it back by hand.

The aforementioned PCI-e expansion slots are all a “snap-off” style other than the top slot which has a cover panel held on by a standard screw. The acrylic panels are prone to scratches, far more than tempered glass panels are, and the ports and buttons on the top feel flimsy at times. This is definitely not the type of case you use for 10 years over many PC upgrades and rebuilds, however for the price the quality is acceptable, and better than some other cases I have used in this price range.


The Rotanium Magic 201 is an excellent case for those on a budget who do not want to compromise on looks. It is, however, a liability if you intend to use high power, hot running PC hardware. Any shortcomings can mostly be fixed by running the case with the side panel removed. It definitely isn’t built to last a generation like some cases are (although those cases can be over 5 times as expensive). However, your internal components will likely be out of date before this case becomes unusable from age.

Performance 3/10

Aesthetics 7/10

Features 5/10

Build Quality 3/10

Overall 4.5/10

Despite the low overall score, I would easily give this case a 7/10 when taking into account the low price.

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