On our bench today, we have a case from a familiar name, but not one traditionally known for its cases: XPG DEFENDER MID-TOWER CHASIS in black. The XPG Defender supports full-size E-ATX and has a mesh front panel and is also available in white that comes in a standard layout with the PSU on the bottom and a tempered glass panel.
In ADATA’s XPG current lineup, the Defender sits below the Defender Pro, which sports ARGB fans with an ARGB controller and unique front panel, along with the higher-end Cruiser and Battlecruiser cases, and above the more compact Starker and Starker Air cases. All of ADATA’s cases appear to be available in black and white, including the XPG Defender.
The ADATA XPG Defender has a current price of US$79.99 and includes three non-RGB fans.
The ADATA XPG Defender Case
ADATA has equipped the XPG Defender with a magnetic front mesh panel, removable front filter, slide-out PSU filter, and magnetic top filter. Also notable is the vertical GPU mounting position which provides two slots, but a PCIe riser cable is not included nor is any type of support. A CoolerMaster 200mm PCIe 4.0 riser cable has been used to test the vertical mount, along with their ARGB GPU Support Bracket seen in our previous ATX case reviews.
The front fan mounts in the XPG Defender have provisions for three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans along with radiators the same size, with their XPG Vento 120mm fans in the top two fan positions. The third XPG Vento 120mm fan is located in the rear 120mm position, while the lower fan position in the front and the two fan positions in the top are left open.
The front fan positions are accessible behind the front mesh panel, which is secured magnetically, and the front filter, which is removed by lifting a few millimeters.
ADATA has provided two vertical slots for mounting expansion cards or additional ports to take advantage of motherboard USB headers, and the mounting holes on top of the PSU compartment appear to be designed to secure a PCIe extension cable, though these did not align with the Cooler Master cable used in the review.
For air cooling, CPU coolers of up to 170mm are supported, easily fitting the beefy be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4, while the 380mm of GPU clearance comfortably fits the 305mm ASUS ROG STRIX RX 5700 XT O8G GAMING in the traditional horizontal mounting configuration. ADATA claims 18mm of space behind the motherboard tray for cable routing and in our experience, this is just enough room to get various cables where they need to go.
Vertically mounting the GPU is another story – GPU thickness is limited to 27.3mm according to ADATA, and with the tempered glass panel in place, thinner GPUs are definitely recommended when using air cooling. Another limitation that arose during the review was GPU height.
The 5700 XT is tall enough that it could not be installed into the vertical expansion card mount as the Dark Rock Pro 4 is simply too wide, so the ASUS RTX 2070 Twin was used instead to demonstrate this configuration. We recommend paying careful attention to the dimensions of the GPU and CPU cooling used if the vertical GPU configuration is being considered – while an AIO for the CPU would likely prevent conflicts with taller GPUs unless the GPU is relatively thin or liquid-cooled itself, the tempered glass panel is likely to limit cooling capacity.
Otherwise, the ADATA XPG Defender is a ‘mid-sized’ mid-tower with reasonably flexible fan mounting positions. Care will need to be taken when routing thicker power leads to ensure that the right-side panel can still be closed, and the drive cage may be moved forward if more room is needed to fit longer PSUs, though this will likely intrude with 280mm or 360mm radiator installation.