There’s a growing trend in clean-looking chassis and the trend of including a PSU shroud to cover the bottom of the chassis has evolved to a point where it should be more commonplace in these clean-build-oriented chassis. Albeit though, many builders and gamers do not have access to such luxuries wherein the brands that deliver these features put a premium on their products with the only other options either doing without it or making one yourself. Tecware aims to make that clean-looking build a bit more accessible with its latest case now available for purchase which we’ll be reviewing in this B2G exclusive review of the Tecware Alpha mid-tower gaming chassis. Read on!
Tecware is a PH-based company and with a decade of experience, has now picked-up steam in the local enthusiast PC building community for their port folio of gaming chassis that not only offer a good balance of quality and features but also offer them at attractive prices which has won them the adoration of many builders in the local community.
[section label=”About the Tecware Alpha”]
About the Tecware Alpha
The Tecware ALPHA is a mid tower gaming case that has a streamlined interior for optimum air flow. Combined with a chambered PSU and HDD bays, this case provides maximum versatility to DIY builders.
The exterior has a minimalistic approach to styling and boasts a 0.7mm thick steel top panel for rigidity and premium feel. The Large and clear side panel window will surely highlight the attributes of the ALPHA. The interior is simplified and allows you to show off your components. The chambered psu and HDD bays will give your rig a clean streamlined look, at the same time preventing heat from the psu to go into the upper chamber.
The ALPHA supports motherboards upto a standard ATX. Super long GPU cards will surely fit with clearance of upto 415mm. The Alpha’s generous space can also accommodate AIO liquid coolers on the front and top panels, giving you maximum flexibility. The top panel also features a removable magnetic dust filter and the whole front panel can also be removed and washed.
The 5.25″ bays are also removable to give you a cleaner look along with 2 SSD drives displayed right next to your motherboard. Cable routing holes are smartly placed on top of the lower chamber to ensure maximum flexibility during installations.
With all the options and flexibility, the ALPHA is perfect starting point for DIY builders and enthusiasts.
- Super speed USB 3.0 x2
- HD Audio + USB 2.0 x2
- I/O covers
- Removable 2x 5.25″ bay
- 2x Tool free 3.5” / 2.5″ bays
- 3x SSD support
- 2x 140mm or 120mm White bladed fan (Front Included)
- 2x 120mm (Top)
- 120mm White bladed fan (Rear Included)
SUPPORT AND CLEARANCE
- up to Standard ATX Motherboard support
- Top 240mm Radiator support
- Front 280mm Radiator support
- 415mm Maximum GPU card length
- 160mm Maximum CPU cooler height
- 21mm Cable Management support
- Bottom mount PSU with Washable anti-dust air filter
- Top Magnetic dust filter
- Large & Clear side panel window
- Black Interior Chassis
Bottom chamber cover for PSU and HDD
Cable management with Black case wires
Structure size : L 486 W 200 H 502mm
[section label=”Gallery: Packaging & Content”]
Packaging & Content
Tecware packages the Alpha in a brown cardboard box with a simple artwork of the chassis in wide sides highlighting the specs of the chassis in bold print. The Alpha symbol is printed on top with the Tecware logo in the corner. The tall sides show a larger print of the chassis specs with the color of case inside with a checkbox.
To protect the case during transport, the Alpha is wrapped in a plastic bag and is packed with styrofoam to secure during transit.
Included in the package are some zip ties, a speaker, and a pack of screws and standoffs for the chassis. Note that there are different sized threads in the package so use them accordingly. Also worth noting is the inclusion of silicone port covers which we’ll focus more on later.
[section label=”Gallery: Exterior”]
Tecware Alpha: Exterior
The Tecware Alpha’s sides are clean and devoid of any styling with the primary panel flaunting a large window panel installed. This gives you a nice view of the entire content of the chassis. The other side is flat and has no distinct features whatsoever.
In the front, the Tecware Alpha logo is discretely installed in the mesh. Two 5.25″ drive bays are indented with the top front recessed inwards with the top of the chassis pointing outwards. The bottom end of the front rolls in inwards the chassis towards the front set of feet.
At the back, we can see the I/O cutout and the bottom-mount PSU slot. Noticeable here are the white expansion slot covers which alternative against the black interior of the chassis. Note that there are two color options for the Tecware Alpha, black and white. The black version of course includes black slot covers. Looking closely we can also see the adjustable rear-exhaust. We can see here that only a 120mm rear fan is supported.
The top features the front I/O panel and the top exhaust. We’ll look closer at the top grill in a later section.
At the bottom are the raised feet which gives the Tecware Alpha a really mecha feel which complements the black and white theme we got going on in our sample right here. The bottom is clean and features a removable dust filter for the PSU fan intake.
As we’ve noted earlier, included in the Tecware Alpha are slot covers where you can plug the front I/O ports with. Included are four USB port covers and two audio port covers. Nice attention to detail right here from Tecware.
[section label=”Gallery: Interior”]
Tecware Alpha: Interior
Removing the side panel we can see the interior of the chassis and the first thing that pops out at you are two things: the lack of any drive cage and that PSU shroud.
Before we proceed, here’s the front I/O cables for reference. They’re quite long and have no problem reaching out the lower left corner for the HD audio I/O.
The internals of the Tecware Alpha is clean and nicely laid out: a large motherboard cut-out gives easy access to swapping out cooler backplates and plenty of cable routing holes for cable management. Six of the 9 included stand-offs are pre-installed and the Tecware Alpha chassis can fit an ITX, ATX and mATX chassis. More on that later. Tecware includes three 120mm fans with the Alpha; 2 in the front and 1 in the back. You can fit two more 120mm at the top of the chassis or swap out the front for two 140mm fans. The Tecware Alpha can accommodate two 5.25″ drives and the Alpha has a small 5.25″ bracket to reduce footprint, keeping it stylish.
Removing the other side panel grants us access to the rear motherboard tray where we can now see where the HDD cage is. From this side we can see the mounting holes for the side-mounted 2.5″ HDD/SSD racks in one side of the tray.
There are two 3.5″ drive bays here and this can house either a 3.5″ or a 2.5″ drive, the latter being fastened with screws. The drive trays are solid and feel really tough, although a bit too tough when removing the drive from the trays.
Another 2.5″ HDD/SSD mounting tray can be found just behind the motherboard tray and is secured via a single screw to dismount the tray where you can place your drive for a more concealed approach.
One thing to note about these mounting positions, since you’re running the cables flat against the board tray you’ll be needing straight cables and not angled ones unless you’re using the end-most ones.
Here’s the PSU mounting slot where you can fit up to a 160mm long PSU. You can probably go longer but that depends on how stiff and how large the modular cables are. For non-modular PSUs, you can duck them just behind the drive cage or if you won’t be using it, remove the drive trays freeing up the 3.5″ drive cage for cable routing.
Speaking of cable routing, the front I/O cables dangle in front of the chassis just behind the fans. You can route this via the obscure routing hole just above the top-most 5.25″ drive slot.
To help in cable management, the Tecware Alpha has around 1/2″ of space between the board tray and side panel. There are ziptie points in the board tray to fasten the cables in place.
[section label=”System Assembly”]
And here is our fully-assembled case. Not a good example of cable management but you can see how much we’ve crammed in the Tecware Alpha: an E-ATX GIGABYTE Z170X-GAMING G1 motherboard armed with a lengthy GIGABYTE GTX 980 Ti G1 GAMING, all SSD mounts filled, and a 120mm top-mounted AIO cooler.
There’s pretty good clearance for radiators in the top exhaust of the Tecware Alpha but we urge to keep it to slim radiators as thicker rads might have clearance issues with taller VRM heatsinks from other motherboards.
Here is the chassis with the window panel installed.
The Tecware Alpha is a very interesting chassis given its features but what really sets it apart is its price. The Tecware Alpha has a retail price of Php2250 for the Black version and Php2350 for the White version.
Let’s breakdown the score before our final verdict:
Build Quality. The reason we mentioned pricing immediately is that we want you to understand that this chassis is targeted at budget-oriented builders that want a clean chassis at a more accessible price. Given that, there’s some trade-offs for that; first off is that the Tecware Alpha is a light-chassis. As such its material is light and easily pliable with ample force. While the majority of the chassis is metal, there are still some plastic parts. What’s really good about all this is that the Tecware Alpha is really well-crafted with no sharp edges and dings standing out. Its well-polished and holes align perfectly.
Functionality. As a chassis with an intention for clean looks, the Tecware Alpha does drop some function namely a larger drive cage but I think with the target audience in mind, two drive cages are plenty enough. The removal of the traditional drive cage also allows accommodation for ridiculously long cards like the ZOTAC GTX 980 Ti ArcticStorm and its support stand. Other than the lack of a drive cage, we believe there’s a bit more room for 140mm fan mounts up the top exhaust which should help increase cooling potential. All in all, the Tecware Alpha can house many kinds of builds and the watercooling potential is there with the possibility of a full-custom loop in there with allocation for a thick front rad, top rad and rear 120 rad all in there.
Bundle. As this is a budget-case we really don’t expect much in terms of extra but we’d consider that integrated PSU shroud an extra so extra points for it in this criteria.
Value. Again, for Php2250(Black)/Php2350(White), there’s really a lot going in for the Tecware Alpha that is hard to dismiss it as a simple, budget chassis offering. You’re getting an integrated PSU shroud, a wide window panel, 3x120mm fans, and plenty of watercooling support all for barely the price of the a good, name-brand’s entry level chassis which won’t even include any of those I’ve mentioned.
Overall, the Tecware Alpha is unrivaled in its price range. There is simply no chassis in this price range that can compete with its value offering. While we refrain from commenting about looks, we’re pretty sure a lot would agree with us that the Tecware Alpha is pretty discrete and simple, and doesn’t scream out much making it an easy addition to a professional work desk or get pimped out as a gaming PC.
If you’re looking for a clean case for your build and need to stick to a tight budget or even if you’re not strapped for cash and just want a fine chassis with plenty of bells and whistles for a decent gaming build, the Tecware Alpha has you covered.
We give the Tecware Alpha our B2G Best Value Award and B2G Editor’s Choice Award.
[section label=”Product Gallery”]