The Raijintek Paean case/bench table is an open frame, dual chamber chassis, aimed directly at the enthusiast custom PC builder. With a striking look, thumbing its nose to traditional case designs, can the Paean also deliver on performance & practicality, to provide an unrivaled building experience?
Not since the Thermaltake P5 hit the market has a manufacturer moved away from the standard form factor of an everyday useable PC case. When Overclockers UK contacted us to see if we would like to give the Raijintek Paean a test drive, there was only one answer…YES!
- Dimensions: [W×D×H] 286×587×417 mm
- Weight: 10.8 kg [N.W.] 12.8 kg [G.W.]
- Material: Aluminium 4.0mm; SPCC 1.0mm
- Colour: Black; Hair-silk Anodized
- M/B Support: ATX/MICRO ATX/MINI ITX
- Drive Bay: Internal 3.5″×3 [Tool-Free]; Internal 2.5″×3 [Tool-Free]
- Expansion Slot: PCI Slots ×8
- I/O Panel: USB3.0×4, HD Audio×1
- Power Supply: PS/2 [Internal Bottom-mount]
- Cooling System: 120/140/240/280/360mm Radiator [Option]
- CPU Cooler Height: 140mm [Max.]
- Graphic Card Length: 310mm [Max.]
- Side Panel Style: 5mm Tempered Glass
Closer Look – Unboxing & Assembly
The Raijintek Paean comes packaged in a fairly plain, unassuming brown box. From the boxes dimensions, it was clear to see straight away, that some assembling was going to be required, prior to the system build. Opening up the package you are greeted with the first glimpse of Paean goodness, with a tightly packed, nicely laid out layer of components. An unusual start to a case unboxing, but I have to be honest, quite exciting.
A quick look through the instructions and assembly looks extremely straight forward. To begin with, the legs screw together through the aluminium, to give you the basic structure of the bench.
Attaching the remaining elements utilises thumb screws, into the pre-machined holes in the aluminium panel. The PCIe support & PSU brackets attach first…but a quick tip here…the instructions are incorrect, and you are to use the outer holes for the PCIe bracket, and the inner holes for the PSU bracket. Attempting to follow the instructions will lead you to thread the screws, as the holes are machined to accept the thumb screws precisely.
The same method is used to attach the PSU support, the drive mount and the I/O panel to the rear of the aluminium motherboard tray. The front I/O panel sports a generous four USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone ports, and a power button. There are 2 different positions on the aluminium tray that this can be mounted, dependent upon the orientation you choose for the cases final resting place.
The final build element is to attach the huge, tempered glass side panels. As before, this is an extremely straightforward affair, with just a bolt for each corner, tightened into each leg with the included Allen key.
That’s it…the whole case/bench is fully assembled in a matter of minutes. One thing I noticed already, was that even without a system installed, the unit was already starting to weigh quite a lot!
Closer Look – The Build
- CPU – Intel Core i7 6700k
- Motherboard – Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero Alpha
- Cooler – Cooler Master TX3 EVO
- GPU – Asus ROG Radeon RX460 Strix
- RAM – Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB DDR4 3000MHz
- SSD – Crucial MX300 525GB
- PSU – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 1000w
Ok….I know what you are thinking after reading the build components…” , why such a small CPU air cooler in the Paean of all cases?” Given its huge dimensions, I was eager to install an all in one CPU water cooled unit, to give us an idea of what a full custom water loop could look like…but here we hit our first major issue!
The mounting holes for the radiator on the Paean are so far away from the motherboard, that you cannot use an AIO cooler! Now I know that this is primarily aimed for use with a custom loop, but not being able to accommodate an AIO is either a huge oversight or a massive incorrect design decision in my opinion.
In fact, using the Cooler Master TX3 EVO (standing at just 136mm tall) threw up another issue…it was touching the tempered glass when fully assembled!
Given this, you won’t be surprised to hear that my original GPU planned for the build (an MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X) also wouldn’t fit with the glass installed, hence why we end up with the much smaller Asus ROG Strix RX460.
Whilst we are on the subject of the graphics card, I’m afraid here we hit another issue. The PCIe support is a tad too high, and therefore the GPU doesn’t sit fully engaged into the PCIe socket. The same issue was encountered with the GTX1080 and the RX460. Quite how or why is a bit of a mystery to me.
This case does look amazing. With its open chassis design, building into it (taking the above into account) is very easy. Packaged with the Paean are self-adhesive cable ties so that you can secure all the excess cables on the underside of the aluminium tray.
The glass itself has a dark, smoked tint to it, and therefore whilst the system is powered off, you can see very little of the system inside. When powered on though, and LED’s illuminate the components, it’s an extremely good looking build. A custom loop with LED fans would just look absolutely amazing, it has to be said.
One final note, with the system fully built and the glass side panels installed, this is one very, very heavy system…and not something you would want to be moving around a great deal.
Never have I been so eager to build into a new case, when the Raijintek Paean bench table arrived in the office. Having browsed the internet to sneak a peek at its form factor prior to its arrival, I was giddy with excitement with what the final build would look like.
Unfortunately, given my issues, my time with this case/bench table left me extremely frustrated. The lack of support for AIO’s is baffling to say the least. Surely Raijintek could have fashioned a bracket to allow the radiator to be affixed next to the motherboard. Had this been included, it would have then widened its appeal to more buyers.
The PCIe support bracket being slightly too tall is a strange one, and whilst it can be solved by bending the bracket on the GPU, this is not something that you should have to do. I also wished they could have made the clearance between the motherboard tray and the top pane of glass a little higher. Not being able to install a popular GPU like the MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X is a real shame. This GPU isn’t even the biggest on the market, so there will be others that won’t fit.
Having said all that, if you have the components to fit into the Raijintek Paean, you will have one amazing eye catching build, and the amount of tempered glass on show is just stunning. The fact that Raijintek has made the market unnecessarily narrow to enjoy the Paean, is a real shame.
Purchase from Overclockers UK: £154.99
Massive thanks to OcUK for sending in the Raijintek Paean for review.
UPDATE: Raijintek to their credit have been in touch regarding the issues I have reported. The issue with the PCIe bracket being too big, was down to incorrect sized motherboard stand-offs being included. New slightly taller replacement stand-offs have now been supplied.
With regards to the lack of AIO cooler support, and clearance between the motherboard tray and the top pane of glass, Raijintek plan to make after market parts available to address both issues. Once they are available we will come back and revisit this review with updates regarding those.
- Stunning looks
- Very easy to assemble
- High quality materials
- No support for AIO coolers
- Not enough clearance between motherboard & top glass panel
- PCIe support bracket too big