Introduction

XPG stands for Xtreme Performance Gear. XPG is an enthusiast gaming brand from ADATA focusing on eSports, PC Enthusiasts and gamers. XPG family of products include PC Systems including desktop and laptops, Memory Modules, Solid State Drives, PSUs, PC Chassis, Cooling solutions, RGB Accessories. Gaming peripherals include gaming mouse, keyboards, and headsets. XPG is committed to bring excellence in their products with reliability, durability, and performance in focus. Their designs have won several IF Design and GOOD Design awards.

XPG has released their full range of gaming products in Pakistan through their sole distributor PACIFIC Computers. They have also worked out to launch their products on Daraz.PK. XPG has sent us a couple of products to review before the launch of their gaming products in Pakistan as a part of marketing campaign.

In this article, we are taking a look at their Invader case. This is a mid-tower PC chassis with support of up to full ATX size motherboards with adequate cooling and storage provision. XPG has taken a different design approach on the front with a magnetic cover and a magnetic dust filter. Another feature is the down light design on the front which illuminates to give an under glow effect. The salient features include:

  • Comes in Black or White
  • A Sleek Front Panel with a Side Glass Panel
  • Front ARGB downlight
  • XPG Prime™ ARGB Combo Controller
  • Versatile I/O Ports
  • High Airflow Design with Pre-Installed Fans
  • Dust Filters with Detachable Magnetic Design
  • Tool-Less Design
  • Supports Radiators of up to 360mm in Front
  • Supports Radiators of up to 240mm on Top

 

    • Item: INVADER
    • Manufacturer: XPG
    • Price: PKR 14,700/- [at the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a standard brown color cardboard box.

Three features have been highlighted here:

  • Excellent Cooling
  • Modular Design
  • Capable Interior Space

We will be testing the chassis to check on these.

The specifications are printed in a tabular format.

There is a symbolic picture showing the removable parts of the chassis.

The dimension of the chassis are presented in a picture format for easy understanding. The UAN and EPC info labels are printed as well. This is a black color edition.

The chassis is inside a transparent cover and tucked between two white color Styrofoam pads.

Contents

Following are included in the box:

  • 1x PSU Bracket
  • 1x User Guide
  • 1x Sticker Sheet
  • 4x Zip Ties
  • 1x container of the screws.

Closer Look

Let’s start with a word from XPG about the INVADER. “The XPG INVADER is 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. 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.”

The XPG INVADER is a mid tower chassis which comes in two colors; white and black. It has a dimension of 470x206x482mm. It is made of SPCC steel and tempered glass. The chassis has a net weight of 8.0Kg.

Let’s start taking a closer look on the exterior of the chassis.

Exterior

The front side a solid steel made magnetic cover. This is sort of not a panel design. You might be wondering we have a total close design on the front so what about the airflow? We will address this shortly. There is an XPG branding on the bottom in the red color. Other than that there is nothing on the cover. The cover itself is quite sleek and it catches on the main frame using powerful magnets which makes the taking off task convenient and on the go.

There is enough gap between the front cover and the magnetic dust filter on the front to reduce the airflow restriction on the front intake.

The backside of the front cover has a solid design as well. There are two columns of raised steel bars which go inside the catchers on the main frame.

The above picture shows the front of the INVADER with the cover removed. There is a magnetic dust filter covering the entire intake which is good as we have a full length filtration here. Note the cutouts on the top and the bottom. This is where the steel bars on the front cover make contact and move in the grooves to secure the cover with the frame. Three magnets on the top and three on the bottom (Silver Color) can be seen which catch the front cover.

The backside of the magnetic dust filter shows the 6x magnets in silver color. The magnetic dust cover makes the use convenient.

The above picture shows the front of the chassis with cover and filter removed. XPG has provided 1x 120mm fan on the front. This is their Vento 120 fan. The INVADER comes with two VENTO 120 fans. The fan is pre-installed on the backside of the mount. Please note that this is the only possibility of installing fans/radiators on the front. We can’t install the fans on the front side because doing that will take out the dust filter from the equation and we would be left with no filtration on the front. This is very why we are not seeing any cable routing hole or cutout on the frame as the cable of the fan is to be routed from the inside. This also makes another important observation. In order to access the fans, we would need to take off the side panels. The glass panel needs to be removed to give a direct access to the fan and the steel side panel needs to remove the cable of the fan.

The XPG INVADER comes with a 4mm thick tempered glass panel. The panel is covering the entire side of the frame and it seems to be not tinted though you would still need some RGB lighting inside the chassis to show case the build. The panel is secured using two thumb sort of the screws on the rear.

XPG has done a smart move with the tabs on the feet acting as catchers that prevent the glass panel from falling down once the screws are removed. The above picture highlights this aspect. Still, I would caution the users to take care when handling the glass panels.

The above picture is a close up of the raised tab on the feet to hold the glass panel. Kudos to their design team for this simple yet effective solution.

We have a standard layout on the rear. There is a cutout for the IO shield of the motherboard. On its right, there is a vented area for the 120mm fan mount. One XPG VENTO 120 fan is preinstalled. We can adjust the height of the rear fan between two fixed locations. If you are deciding to install an AIO/CLC cooler on the top, I would suggest lowering the fan’s height from the factory’s default.

There are 7x PCIe slots in the center with reusable slot covers. These slots are implemented with raised ends outside of the chassis. There is a PCIe bracket/cover secured using two screws. You would need to remove the bracket to install/remove the PCIe devices.

There is a PSU mount on the bottom. It has no standard mounting provision there.

XPG has provided a PSU bracket. The concept is simple. This PSU bracket has standard ATX PSU mounting holes on it. Install this bracket on the PSU and slide the PSU inside the chassis from the rear and secure the bracket on the frame.

The bottom side of the chassis has two vented portions. One on the left is under the PSU mount. It has a non-magnetic dust filter on it. The vented portion on the right is under the HDD cage. One can spot a diffuser on the underside of the front of the chassis. It houses RGB LEDs in it to give an aura of under glow. The feet give this chassis an approximate 26mm lift from the surface.

There are 4x screws which need to be removed to remove the HDD cage.

The feet have raised surface or tab which acts as catcher to hold the glass panel.

Looking at the top side, there is a vented portion on the right side with a magnetic dust filter. We have 120/240mm fan mounts here.

Looking closely at the top, we can note that the glass panel does not fully flushes with the frame of the chassis.

I/O panel is located on the top of the chassis. Following connectivity options are on the I/O panel.

  • Power Button
  • Reset Button
  • RGB Button
  • Hybrid Audio port
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports

The Reset and RGB buttons are not convenient to operate.

The side panel is made of steel. It has a vented portion on the left side located towards the front. This vented portion faces the side bracket where up to tow 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator can be installed.

The vented portion on the side panel has magnetic dust filter.

Interior

Let’s take a look at the interior of the chassis.

Removing the glass panel will show the accessory box tucked to the motherboard tray. Same is the case with the I/O panel’s cables.

Removing the accessory box and hiding the I/O panel’s cables show the spacious layout of the chassis. The complete chassis is in black color. There is an XPG logo on the PSU cover in the center.

The motherboard tray has standoffs preinstalled. The center standoff point has a catcher design to hold the motherboard which makes the installation a bit convenience. We have a large size cutout to install the CPU cooler conveniently. There is a single cutout on the top left side to pass the EPS cable. Surprisingly, there are no more cutouts on the top which should have been there. We don’t have regular cutout design on the right side of the motherboard tray. Instead there is a single large size cutout or opening on the right side which is coming from the design aspect. The motherboard tray is a bit recessed as compared to the side bracket.

There is a 30mm gap between the top of the chassis frame and the motherboard’s top. Similarly, there is a displacement of 50mm from the radiator mount to the side of the chassis. This displacement shows the compatibility with respect to the RAM height.

The side bracket on the XPG INVADER supports up to 2x 120mm fans or 240mm radiator. It is raised as compared to the motherboard tray.

There is a 120mm fan on the rear. These VENTO 120 fans are not RGB ones. These fans come with 3-pin connector as well as 3-pin socket.

The PCIe slots are in the same plane of the chassis frame. The covers are reusable.

The above picture shows the close up of the front fan mount provision. Though the front fan would not obstruct the radiator mounted on the side but we may have air flow passage obstruction particularly if the fans on the radiator are installed in push configuration. Those fans would suck the air coming from the front fans and pushed them through the radiator depriving the system from the fresh air though not fully as some fresh air would still make it out towards the motherboard area. We can spot the HDD cage on the front side.

There is a single VENTO 120 fan on the front side. The fan has 3-pin fan connector and 3-pin socket. The cable can be routed on the side of the fan from the bottom section.

Up to 240mm radiator can be installed on the front with the HDD cage. You can mount the 360mm radiator on the front for which the HDD cage needs to be removed. Removing the cage would give plenty of space for the front mount.

We have an almost full length cover on the PSU area. It does not cover the HDD cage on the front side which is a wise move as it would leave plenty of space on the front for cooling gear. There are two cutouts on the PSU cover located towards the motherboard tray. Another cutout is towards the glass panel side. This is where you can optionally pass the PEG cable(s) through for your graphics card. There are two mounting provisions for 2.5” drive on the PSU cover. XPG did not provide brackets for these mounts. However, 2x brackets are pre-installed on the backside of the motherboard tray. One can relocated those to the PSU cover if so required.

The PCB for the I/O panel is installed on the upper right side of the chassis. The PCB is in black color and houses a RGB controller as well.

Let’s take a look at the other side of the chassis.

The XPG INVADER is a compact mid-tower chassis. The backside of the chassis gives an idea of the recessed implementation of the motherboard tray as compared to the side bracket. 2x 2.5” drive brackets are installed on the back of the motherboard tray. These are secured using thumb screws which are not captive. We have 7 cable tie points on the motherboard tray. There is roughly 18mm or so cable management space on the right side, whereas this is 35mm on the bracket side.

The HDD Cage is secured to the chassis using total of 5x screws. One screw can be seen on the side bracket whereas the other 4x are on the bottom. We have two tool-less drive caddy in the cage which can house either 2x 3.5” or 2x 2.5” drives or a combination. This would make the total drives mounting possibility of up to 4x 2.5” drives or 2x 2.5” drives and 2x 3.5” drives.

The caddy is made of the plastic material and is soft. It kinda makes a flimsy feeling when holding but once the drive is secured to the caddy, it remains firm.

The 2.5” bracket is solid design and made of steel.

The PSU mounting area has 4 feet on to which the PSU is rested when slided from the rear. We have a total length of 275mm available for the PSU and the cables with HDD cage installed. If we remove the HDD cage then this length goes to 430mm approximately.

The above picture shows the backside with the 2.5” drive brackets removed.

We have following cables coming out of the front IO panel:

  • USB 3.0
  • HD Audio
  • System Panel connectors

As I have mentioned above that the XPG INVADER has a RGB controller as well. There is a diffuser on the underside on the front with RGB LEDs. In order to power those LEDs a SATA cable is also provided which needs to be connected to the PSU. In addition, there are 2x standard A-RGB connector cables and 2x standard RGB (12V) connector cables provided. The user can connect A-RGB/RGB devices to these cables and control them using the RGB button on the top mounted IO panel.

Cooling Provision

Following are the fan mounting possibilities:

  • Up to 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm fans on the front [1x Pre-Installed]
  • Up to 2x 120mm fans on the side bracket
  • Up to 2x 120mm fans on the top
  • 1x 120mm on the Rear [Pre-Installed]
  • 1x 120mm on the bottom

Following is the radiator mounting support:

  • 120mm / 240mm / 360mm on the front
  • 120mm / 240mm on the side bracket
  • 120mm / 240mm on the top
  • 120mm on the rear

Storage Provision

Storage provision is:

  • 2x 3.5” Drives
  • 2+2 2.5” Drives [With a combo of 3.5” drives]

Clearance

  • CPU Cooler of up to 170mm height is possible
  • Graphics Card of up to 40mm length is possible (depending upon the front and side cooling)
  • PSU length of 225mm with the HDD cage

Test Build and Experience

I started the test build with installing the motherboard in it. This was an easy task and the rear fan did not obstruct the motherboard’s rear I/O panel’s shroud.

Then the PSU bracket was installed on the PSU and it was slided from the rear in the chassis. In total we would need 8x screws for the PSU mounting but this removes the hassle of sliding the PSU from the side to which the HDD cage can obstruct.

I would suggest connecting the EPS connector to the motherboard before installing the CPU air cooler. Next, the CPU air cooler was installed. Before installing the fan on the heatsink, the 4-pin PWM cable was connected to the CPU_Fan header. The graphics card was installed. I would suggest connecting the SATA cables to the motherboard before the graphics card’s installation.

The above picture shows the EPS connector. The cable takes some space on the top which would restrict the placement of 240mm radiator on the top. You would need to lower the height of the rear fan and tucked the EPS cable further to the rear side to make some room for the radiator. I was able to install the XPG Levante 240 cooler on the top though I was able to secure the radiator using 6x screws not 8x. Also, the Levante was a fit with the XPG Spectrix D41 RAM. With RAM above 45mm or so you would not be able to install AIO on the top.

Since there is no more cutout on the top portion of the motherboard tray, you would need to be creative in routing the cables like fans power cables, RGB cable of the CPU cooler’s block towards the right side cutout. I routed these flat cables under the motherboard for neat job. If these were not flat in design, then the cables had to be routed over the motherboard.

The PEG cable was routed through the near cutout on the PSU cover and connected to the graphics card for neat cable routing.

The PSU obstructed the left side cutout on the PSU cover hence the HD Audio connector needed to be routed from the right most cutout. You can route this cable before installing the PSU but it would be a tight fit.

The above is a picture of the test build with a quick power on test for the POST.

Cable management should not be an issue in this chassis. I don’t do detailed cable management as I want to check if the side panel close with basic management or not. The XPG INVADER passes this test.

Considerations

There are considerations when installing AIO/CLC cooler in this chassis. I am referring to 240mm AIO. I have mentioned above the considerations for the top mount as it has consideration not only with regard to tight space on the top which is hindered by the EPS cable but also the RAM height as well. I was trying to install the XPG PRIME ARGB Cable for the motherboard but I could not get it done through the recessed cutout on the side of the motherboard. The only way was to route it through the large opening of the side bracket. Going that route, I would have to install the AIO on the top or on the front for which the front mounted fan would need to be removed.

Similarly, I was not able to connect the USB 3.0 connector to the port on the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWAK motherboard as this motherboard has the USB 3.0 header in a right angle. The connector was putting extra stress on the header due to narrow margin of the side cutout.

I would suggest XPG to further increase the gap between the motherboard tray and the side bracket to make for such motherboard connectivity options. Also, a bit increasing the overall height of the chassis from the top would give a better clearance for the top mount radiator.

Here are some pics of the build.

Testing

Following test build has been used for thermal testing:

  • MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK
  • Intel i7 10700k [Stock, Auto]
  • Noctua NH-U14S
  • XPG Spectrix D41 32GB @ 2666MHz
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • Addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
  • bequiet! Straight Power 11 850W PSU

Noctua NT-H1 is used on the CPU IHS. AIDA64 Extreme 6.30 is used for the thermal testing using FPU and GPU at a time. Following configurations have been tested and reported in the graph:

  • Stock Configuration [Front Cover and Dust Filter installed]
  • Front Cover removed, front dust filter installed.
  • Front cover and dust filter removed.

The chassis has been tested using stock two fans set to run at full speed. The cooler’s fan was set on Auto PWM. Rest of the settings were on Auto, Stock in the UEFI/BIOS. A stress test of 30 minutes was done using AIDA64 Extreme 6.30 (FPU AND GPU) with idle time of 10 minutes. System was powered off between all three runs for a minimum of 30 minutes as well.

Let’s take a look at the results.

The ambient temperature was 13°C. I am reporting absolute temperature not delta in the graph. The CPU was doing 67°C for the stock configuration as well as with the front cover removed which shows that airflow is not restricted. When the test was done without the front over and front dust filter, the CPU temperature was lowered to 65°C. This delta of 2°C is still within the acceptable range.

So, in terms of the CPU cooling with air cooler there should not be an issue with regard to the airflow.

For graphics card, the results is different. We are seeing a 3°C delta between every configuration. But this delta reaches to 6°C when there was no filter and no front cover as compared to the stock configuration. This figure crosses the acceptable range. It would be interesting to know what sort of thermal performance would be there with 2-3 fans cooling solution on the graphics card. The Founder’s Edition cards run hot on stock cooling.

Acoustic

The overall noise level was at 52 dBA on ambient 34 dBA which is actually good.

Conclusion

XPG INVADER is a mid-tower chassis available in black and white colors. The chassis has a dimension of 470x206x482mm and made of SPCC steel and tempered glass. The chassis has a net weight of 8.0Kg. The chassis supports motherboard up to full ATX size with some decent provision for the cooling gear and the storage. One of the key highlights is 4mm thick tempered glass side panel to show case your build. Another striking feature is the sleek front cover which is attached to the front of the frame using magnets. This makes the handling of the front cover convenient as we don’t need to unscrew or pull out something. There is a gap between the front cover and the front dust filter to have sufficient air intake without much restriction.

The third feature is the PSU bracket which makes the installation of the PSU relatively easier though we have to use 8x screws for that. 4x screws to install bracket on the PSU and then 4x screws to secure the bracket on the chassis frame. Another feature is the side bracket on the inner side which allows the user to install up to 240mm radiator or 2x 120mm fans on the side. The chassis features RGB lighting on the underside of the front for some under glow effect which looks cool on glossy surface. XPG has also provided 4x RGB/A-RGB cables to which the users can connect their devices and control them using on-board RGB controller. There is a RGB button on the top panel for that matter.

Cooling Provision

Following are the fan mounting possibilities:

  • Up to 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm fans on the front [1x Pre-Installed]
  • Up to 2x 120mm fans on the side bracket
  • Up to 2x 120mm fans on the top
  • 1x 120mm on the Rear [Pre-Installed]
  • 1x 120mm on the bottom

Following is the radiator mounting support:

  • 120mm / 240mm / 360mm on the front
  • 120mm / 240mm on the side bracket
  • 120mm / 240mm on the top
  • 120mm on the rear

Storage Provision

Storage provision is:

  • 2x 3.5” Drives
  • 2+2 2.5” Drives [With a combo of 3.5” drives]

Clearance

  • CPU Cooler of up to 170mm height is possible
  • Graphics Card of up to 40mm length is possible (depending upon the front and side cooling)
  • PSU length of 225mm with the HDD cage

In terms of filtration, we have a magnetic dust filter on the front, a magnetic dust filter on the top and two non-magnetic dust filters on the bottom. The chassis has good amount of filtration to say the least. Build experience inside the XPG INVADER was smooth and easy though your mileage would vary depending upon the configuration. We have tested the chassis using air cooler and reference design graphics card. We could not observe severe airflow restriction for the CPU cooling but it was warmer for the graphics card. I would suggest using minimum of two fans on the front as XPG has provided 1x 120mm fan on the front and another on the rear. We have tested the chassis using the stock fans without adding any further fan as it would have pricing related considerations. The PCIe slots have reusable covers which is a wise move.

There are certain limitations as well like restricted space on the top for the top mount AIO. We were able to install the XPG Levante 240 on the top but using 6x screws only. The EPS cable further restricts this installation. Tall RAMs would hinder the top mount AIO as well. There is only one cutout on the top which should have been at-least two. So, one would need to be creative when it comes to handling the fans cables and RGB cables on the top. The side bracket is aligned with the motherboard tray in such a manner that block of the AIO and the tube ends on the radiator would almost be on the same height. We would want the block to be lower than the highest point of the loop. You would have to remove the HDD cage if installing 360mm radiator on the front.

The XPG INVADER is retailing at around Rs.14,700/- at the time of the review. This is a good price point for the features set offered by the XPG INVADER particularly given the high inflation making this price bracket a budget friendly now. XPG is offering 2 years of warranty on this chassis. At the end of the day, this chassis would serve its purpose in quite a style.

We are thankful to XPG for giving us the opportunity to review their INVADER.

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
8.0
Build Quality
9.0
Features
8.5
Cooling Provision
8.5
Dust Protection
9.0
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