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Razer Tomahawk ATX - Review 2021


When you’re looking at Razer gear, “Cheap!” is seldom the first word that comes to your lips. The company’s new Tomahawk ATX gaming chassis won’t change that tendency—but you might let slip a “Nice!” instead. This $199.99 PC case won’t be in the budget zone for most system builders, but it’s worth considering if you have a host of Razer gear to match, or if you like classy, understated transparency. The case provides you with a straightforward building experience, leading to (if you take your time) a clean, finished look with a little LED bling. It will appeal especially to Razer loyalists who own a passel of matching serpentine Razer hardware. We’re not in the snake cult, but we are smitten with the right-side cable-neatening features, which any aesthetically minded PC-building buff will exult over—if they can handle the case’s price and the size.


A Glassy-Eyed Look

Razer’s Tomahawk ATX has jet-black surfacing on all the faces that aren’t glass. The “ATX” in the name undersells it a little; the case can also hold a motherboard up to the oversize Extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor and all the interim sizes down to Mini-ITX. If you like the design but want something smaller, Razer also vends the Tomahawk Mini-ITX, which shares the overall aesthetic but with a modified internal layout for compact motherboards. I’d classify this chassis as a midtower, measuring 19.5 by 9.3 by 18.7 inches (HWD). It weighs just shy of 30 pounds empty.

Razer Tomahawk ATX

That’s heavy, without any hardware inside yet. The frame and metal panels are all SPCC steel, not aluminum, which lends to the heft. (Given the price, I might have expected some aluminum here, at least in the 0.8mm-thick panel portions.) The case also features two tinted, tempered-glass sheets on the left and right sides of the chassis. These panels are framed in black, and both are attached to steel hinges, held closed by spring-loaded magnets. All that glass isn’t light, either.

Razer Tomahawk ATX glass door

On the front of the case is the ubiquitous Razer logo that glows in green when the case is supplied with power. Razer also incorporates RGB LEDs on the bottom of the case; they run below the two glass panels and provide underglow illumination. The light bounces off your desk, in the same vein as automotive “ground effects” modding. These lights work in concert with Razer’s excellent Synapse software, which lets you toy with the LEDs’ 16.8 million RGB colors and sync up the case lighting with other Razer gear. Via the software, the lighting can also reflect in-game actions and events in popular game titles such as Fortnite. If you use other Razer hardware, you likely already have Synapse installed; no additional utility is needed to manage the case.

The top of the case is covered in ventilation holes and a magnetic dust filter. Razer opted to place the “front” panel I/O ports here, which consist of two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a dedicated microphone jack, a headset combo jack, and the usual power and reset buttons. You’ll need a motherboard with a modern Type-C header to use that solo Type-C USB port.

Razer Tomahawk ATX front IO

As for cooling, the chassis can house up to a 360mm-long liquid-cooling radiator behind the front panel if you want to go the water route. Alternately (or additionally), a radiator up to 240mm long can be mounted up top. A single exhaust fan comes pre-installed on the back panel, and if you go the pure air route, you probably want to add a couple of fans of your own to the front. (For $199.99, I’d have expected a couple in the box.)

Whatever you mount up front, expect some constriction of air intake, as the front panel is a solid expanse and the only air inlets are grates along the front panel’s sides. A top-mounted radiator will allow for freer flow, with exhaust out the top.


The Building Experience: Cables-B-Gone

Opening up the case to start building inside is as simple as pressing the glass near the front; under pressure, the glass door pops open and swings on the rear hinge. The springs in the opening mechanism are too weak to open the door when the case is on its side, so it’s best to open the side with the chassis upright and remove the door. The glass comes off simply by sliding it up and forward, away from the steel hinges, which themselves are screwed onto the case.

Razer Tomahawk ATX open

With the glass door removed, navigating the motherboard into place is easy to do. A raised ridge toward the front of the case has openings for cables, and this is far enough forward that an ATX board fits without trouble.

Razer Tomahawk ATX HDD compartment

The bottom compartment in the case houses both the power supply and 3.5-inch drive storage bays. A flip-down door on the left side of this compartment gives you quick and easy access to the three no-tools 3.5-inch drive mounts, which use slide-out trays. You will, of course, need to access the other side of the case to connect power and data cables to these drives, but as the right-side panel is also a pop-open glass door, this takes just a moment.

Razer Tomahawk ATX HDD compartment

The 3.5-inch drive trays can also take 2.5-inch hard drives or SSDs. You’ll see just two dedicated 2.5-inch drive bays in the Tomahawk ATX; these are positioned on the back of the motherboard mounting tray.

The rest of the right side of the case, behind the glass, is dominated by two large metal enclosures that give the case a cleaner look. Underneath these covers is hardware for managing cables, along with a fan and light controller. When in place, the big covers mask almost all the cabling, rendering it invisible behind the glass. Nice.

Razer Tomahawk ATX right side open

Razer also makes it easy to install PCI Express add-on cards in this chassis. With some cases, screwing in or unscrewing PCI Express I/O brackets and cards from the back of the case is tricky, with your tools blocked by the edge of the case. Thoughtfully designed chassis, like this one, add holes to the case’s backplane for a screwdriver shaft to pass through, which makes this process a whole lot easier.

Razer Tomahawk ATX rear

The one part of the building process that I found more difficult than it had to be was installing the power supply unit (PSU). The stumble didn’t have to do with fitting the PSU’s bulk itself; that part was easy enough. The problem lies with a large piece of stiff foam that Razer wedges into the cavity where the power supply goes, and which proved surprisingly difficult to remove. To get it out, I had to open the door on the bottom compartment and push from the left while pulling from the right, and it still required some force and finesse. This isn’t a big deal, as it is a one-time extraction, but I bring it up here in the hope that Razer will leave out this big chunk of environmentally unfriendly foam in future cases. It doesn’t serve much purpose.

After you get the offending foam out, it’s easy to work the PSU into place, and you get plenty of extra space around the PSU to ease cables into place. This area also gives you a place to stash unused cables out of the way.

Razer Tomahawk ATX right side open

With everything mounted into place, the last thing to do is run the cables. As I mentioned earlier, a ridge in the main compartment allows for running cables from behind the motherboard tray out to the chassis’ main interior cavity. The ridge has openings on both sides. This works better than the design on some other cases that have a similar system but with the ridge or “bar” open on just one side. Here, for example, it is easier to run power cables for the graphics card through the right-side opening and the motherboard cables through the left, and you have that option. 

You’ll find lots of other holes around the board for cables to pass through, as well as pre-placed cable tiedowns to help keep cables organized on the back of the motherboard tray, as mentioned earlier. These are under the big covers that let you hide your handiwork behind the motherboard tray. As a result, the through-the-glass view from that side of the case ends up looking neater than with almost any similar glass case by default. Even seasoned cable-routing pros would be pressed to do a better job than Razer’s covers do on the right side of this chassis.


Verdict: Green Light

After spending some time building up the Tomahawk ATX, we couldn’t find much fault with Razer’s premium chassis. The few minor issues, like the glass not being easy to open when the case is on its side, and the stiff chunk of waste foam, seem churlish to raise in light of the finished product.

Razer Tomahawk ATX build

At $199.99, the case is decidedly in the premium-chassis tier, but it doesn’t feel like a grossly overpriced package, especially if you are already a Razer buff and make use of the company’s Chroma-based lighting controls on other gear. Then, factor in the fan hub and Razer’s unique “neatening” covers on the right side, which make cleaning up your act a lot easier than in almost any other case with twin side glass.

Though we’d hesitate to say that, for every buyer, there’s enough added value here to justify paying $100 or so more than the likes of the DeepCool CL500 or the Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX, the Tomahawk ATX certainly does have its charms. Your build will clean up nicely with modest effort. It’s also a worthy buy if you plan to use the same case through multiple builds, due to the easy building experience—you’ll enjoy the convenience features each time you update your rig. In short, it may be keeper priced, but it’s also keeper quality.

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