Introduction

Lately, with all the commotion in the CPU and GPU markets, the case industry seems rather unexciting. Somehow AMD buying ATI just seems a little more important than choosing the tower of your dreams for your next rig. But with huge shifts in anything - be it a new processor or a better integrated platform - the number of people interested in building a new PC at all grows, and with that growth comes the necessary interest in new cases.

While it's certainly nice to see Conroe generating much, much less heat than the Pentium D series, we certainly won't be able to get rid of worrying about the thermal outputs of our computers altogether any time soon. Also, with even decently-configured towers becoming so inexpensive to build the emphasis on looks and low noise levels is at an all-time high in the case realm.

Taking all these factors into mind, Thermaltake has been busy revamping some of their older products, as well as refining the aspects that have made previous cases of theirs so popular. After polishing up their work they sent us three different cases that showcase some of the fruits of these labors.

While we've already examined the ThermalRock Eclipse in a large roundup from last year, we're going to take a brief look at its latest incarnation, the Eclipse DV - now officially a Thermaltake product. This newer case is very much like the original, but will serve as a good comparison to the newer designs Thermaltake has to offer as well. The Eureka is targeted as a true server case, and although some of its design features will definitely make this obvious it could still fit into a lot of users' "perfect combination of features" list. Lastly we'll examine the very new Aguila desktop case, a product quite similar to the very popular Armor Jr. case but with a couple useful tweaks. Here's a quick breakdown of what the different models offer:


(TL: Tool-less, TS: Thumbscrews, SS: Standard Screws,
TR: Tool-less rails, SR: Screwed rails)


Time to look at the first case!

Thermaltake Eclipse DV - External
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  • oopyseohs - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    I am curious as to what meter you used to measure sound below 40dB, or 30dB for that matter. I am looking for such a device myself. Reply
  • crydee - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    Any idea if when we can see some reviews for the huge Kandalf LCS and the one with the 24 cm fan on the side? That is what I'm looking forward to. The TT website is useless with dates or anything of the like though. Reply
  • akugami - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    I'm not a big fan of case doors and with the case door off the Aquila still looks good. However, no integrated optical drive bezels kills it for me. I like a clean uniform look and the aesthetics of a case is killed when you install a black/silver/beige optical drive in it that doesn't match the rest of the case.

    The other two cases are not my cup of tea.
    Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    Just a suggestion.. have you thought about a black aguila with black optical drives? I think that would look really sharp.. door or not Reply
  • ShapeGSX - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    I have a Thermaltake Tsunami, which is indentical inside to the Eclipse.

    http://www.turbocarz.com/shapegsx/tsunami/">Pictures here

    I have been very impressed with the case. Since I was building a home theater PC with large hard drive space requirements, I wanted a case that would cool 5 drives adequately. Because of the large 120mm fan in front of the drives, this case has performed the task admirably.

    http://www.turbocarz.com/shapegsx/tsunami/target6....">Here is a picture of 4 hard drives installed in the case. I now have 5 drives installed in the case (1.1TB) and the drives still never get hot.

    I really wanted a case without a door on front, but it is really hard to find everything you want in a case. And for me, the hard drive cooling was paramount.

    My next case will also be a Thermaltake.
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    I managed 5 hard drives in a Coolermaster Praetorian with 2x80mm front fans right in front of 4 of the HDD's, and no door.

    There are many things which do not really appeal, such as the lack of a sliding motherboard tray, the doors, the side/front ports etc.
    Nothing which makes it have any appeal over other cases really, I think I would be more likely to get Coolermaster again.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    i like aquila, unfortunately i'm tired of the closing/swinging door designs (on the front), as well as buttons being on the front of the case, rather then on top.

    i'm getting a centurion 532, simple design, great price, build it and forget it. i want to stare at the screens (games) not the tower, how much enjoyment does one get from staring at spinning fans? and even after a while i would think that too much lighting in the peripheral vision would get annoying to what you're trying to focus at, perhaps even unhealthy for the eyes?

    but to each their own.
    Reply
  • Araemo - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    Just a question about the motherboard in use...

    Why does it have a PCI-express slot near the right edge? What model is that?
    Reply
  • Murst - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    I never really got into the TT cases. They just seem too colorful for me. The last 2 cases I've had were a lian-li and the wavemaster, and they're both simple-enough looking while still remaining sharp.

    But I guess that's just personal preference.

    Looks aside, the only things that really matter are noise level, how easy it is to install components, and the available space (like, some cases don't even have enough space for some heatsinks) - imo anyways. From what I've seen, TT cases never really met all of the above conditions in a single design, but maybe I've missed something.
    Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - link

    That's what I'm really try to emphasize here.. the Aguila is really startin to get everything right. The Armor definitely had some issues.. namely the green clips.. but the Aguila really doesn't have much wrong with it... (at all) Reply

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