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  • geniekid - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I like the aesthetic and the design. If it were under $200, I'd seriously consider it for my next build.

    That said, I eagerly await your review of the SilverStone FT02 and the Fractal Design R2, both of which I think are strong contenders in the quiet and cool arena, and both of which I think are good looking.
    Reply
  • HeroicTofu - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    As an owner of the SilverStone FT02, I will say that I'm very impressed with the case. It has a very professional and sleek look to it which I so very much prefer to cases such as the CoolerMaster HAF 922 (to each their own right?). It's cooling efficiency is nuts as well. Compared to my previous case, the temps are a good 15-20 degrees cooler at full loads. Motherboard would get up to 60 degrees celsius where as in the FT02, it's rare when I see it exceed 40. It idles just 8 degrees above room temperature. Reply
  • geniekid - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Yes, I've read good things about the FT02 and it's my favorite in terms of looks. Unfortunately, the +$200 price tag forces me to consider the cheaper Fractal Design R3 case for my next build. Reply
  • SunLord - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I love my FT02B the only thing remotely lacking on it is USB3.0 but since it predates the USB3 spec it's easy to forgive. I've got it running 5 2tb drive with the hot swap brackets and a new 128g ssd it's pure awesome and mostly silent. I wish it came with a 3.5" external bay adapter given it's price so I could of mounted my card reader right when I got it but that is a minor annoyance at best. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    Actually, SilverStone offers a USB 3.0 bracket to swap into the FT02. They sent me one along with the review unit. Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    Dustin,
    Did Silverstone provide a part number for that bracket?
    No mention of it on their website.
    Reply
  • Kisakuku - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    Email Joel at usasales@silverstonetek.com. The replacement cable is $12 + $6 shipping. Silverstone isn't advertising this part, but they will sell it to you. Reply
  • IAMTHEPROCESSOR - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    Ok I emailed him and I am awaiting a reply but might you tell me whats the link to your review please so I can see the usb 3.0 cable swap? Thank you! Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    The FT02 cable swap is SUPER simple. My review isn't written up yet (I literally JUST finished doing assembly and photography), but the housing is held on by two screws. You remove the housing, and then two more screws hold the USB/audio jack board in place. Remove those, slide the board out, slide the new board in, presto change-o. Reply
  • iamafish - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I own the FT02B, and in my long experience with cases it is by far and away the best I have opened up and played with. Sleek looks, lots of space, well designed, great fans, cooling is brilliant. The whole thing oozes quality, it's worth the asking price.

    This Thermaltake however is ugly as hell, I wouldn't pay bargain basement prices for something that looks like it had an accident at the car crusher.
    Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Yep thats one seriously ugly case! Just what this market segment needs... yet ANOTHER ugly case.

    Why is it so hard for these companies to design nice looking cases that dont look like cheap tacky shit??!

    If i see this at a friends house i would think a blind family member built it, or they found random old cheap case parts in a dump and glued them all together.
    Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Second that thought. Own a FT02. Case is amazing. There is nothing on the market I'd replace it with, even if the replacement was free (even including some of those $400+ lian lis) Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    agreed. I saw the Level 10 GT at microcenter and the entire exterior surface looks like it's covered in wads of incompletely melted plastic pellets. The market needs more clean cut refined box towers with all 90 degree angles (hint hint look at Lian Li)

    Built three Lian Li's: PC-A71F, PC-B10, PC-9F
    Reply
  • dfjgkheu - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link



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    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    No Sir, I don't like it.

    I actually really liked the original Level 10. It had a cool look. But this one just looks like a cheap knockoff.

    It actually reminds me of a cheap plastic RC car that has the same basic shape as the real thing, but with many of the details filled in. So you end up with a plasticky looking knock off.

    It seems to cool decently, but its *really* a stretch to say its worth the price.
    Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Could not a agree more, this is a huge step down in aesthetics from the previous generation which and a much slimmer, sleeker look and feel to it. This one looks like some kind of grotesque, mutant hybrid offspring of the original Level 10 and the stereotypical 'enthusiast' case with plastic and mesh everywhere. Reply
  • ViperV990 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    The original Level 10 wasn't something I'd have associated with ThermalTake.

    This Level 10 GT here however, definitely belongs.
    Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    "This one looks like some kind of grotesque, mutant hybrid offspring of the original Level 10 and the stereotypical 'enthusiast' case with plastic and mesh everywhere."

    Spot on. You read my mind.
    Reply
  • marvdmartian - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Personally, I'd love to know who thinks it's a good idea to build a case that looks like some half-mad person slapped together a modular home, over a 40-year period of time. Add a box here, add something there, etc.

    Looks like something a teenager would build, to tell the truth. And at that price point, I'm 100% certain that one of these will never cross my home's threshold!
    Reply
  • don_k - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    This over a Lian-Li? I would say no. Reply
  • Skott - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Performance wise it may be good but its not what I would call a sleek case. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though. It looks rugged however. More like something you would take out and carry around every day in a work environment. Not that I would want to carry it around every day. It may look rugged, be rugged, but it would also be very heavy and impractical for that. Reply
  • jsbiggs - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Nice review, but I have a problem with the graphs. Maybe it's just my eyes, but I absolutely cannot read the white text on the bright yellow bar representing the Level 10 GT. The darker yellow is fine, but when the brightness goes up, I just can't tell what the numbers are. You can easily infer the performance relative to the other offerings, but would be better if you could read the number. Reply
  • tzhu07 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I still prefer the simplicity of something like a R3 Define case or Lian Li. The Level 10 is incredibly tacky. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I can't say I've ever seen a steel and plastic enclosure that was worth over $200 before reading this article and afterward. Still no. Reply
  • StickyIcky - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Am I the only one that thinks this thing looks like a severely mutated Playstation 2? Reply
  • danjw - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    If you are going for air cooled, I personally would go for the Silverstone FT02. If liquid cooled, I think the HAF X would be my choice. Personally I don't really like the looks of either the HAF X or Level 10 GT, but from a utility standpoint the HAF X wins in my book. It would be great if you guys would do a review of it. Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Having purchased on of these a few months back, I can say that it isn't perfect but pretty good.

    First the negatives. Unlike this review, I took advantage of the fact that an EATX motherboard will fit into this case. Fitting such a large motherboard into the chassis isn't easy. I was further hampered by needing to remove some of the standoffs which wasn't that big of a problem. However, I discovered that the paint on the motherboard tray is a bit thin as I scratched a spot near one of the stand offs. Getting the IO panel properly mounted with an such a large motherboard is pain. Similarly, mounting a large PSU is also a pain. Another oddity is that the rear 120 mm fan doesn't match the rest of the fans which color changing LEDs. The feet rotate 90 degrees which is generally a good thing overall but they're very easy to move and feel like they're break if some one stubbed them while walking by. The USB 3.0 ports are nice but to use them on most motherboard you'll need to have them plug into the rear IO panel instead of a header on the motherboard. I wish ThermalTake included a USB2.0 header or USB3.0 header adapter so that keeping the USB 3.0 cable internal was an option (I have such an adapter from elsewhere and it works rather well).

    Now for the good news. It is very quiet and it manages to keep my build cool. The ability to adjust the air flow of the side fan is a very, very nice feature to help keep a high end GPU cool. The side panel uses a novel approach to cable management with regards to the side fan: opening up the door turns off the fan due to a series of pins that don't connect when open. Speaking of the side panel, it locks independent of the hard drive bays. There is no actual back plane for the hard drives which for a consumer case works rather well. You can use you own power and data cables to each individual drive if you so choose while retaining removability. The case is large but the face that it has a handle makes moving it relatively easy. Overall I do like the case as it is functional, quiet and good looking in my eyes.
    Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    With that many mesh panels, it looks like a nightmare to dust out. I didn't see anything in regard to filters either.

    Call me shallow, but if a case doesn't look good (exemplified by this one), it doesn't matter how user-friendly, upgradable, cool, and efficient it is...it sure as hell isn't going in my room.
    Reply
  • mlosee222 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I'd be interested to see how these new fangled cases hold up to the classic Antec 900. Often imitated but never duplicated. Reply
  • Money Loo - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Loved the article, per usual. However the choice of yellow for the bar graphs makes it difficult to read the numbers in them. Sure, I can sort of ascertain what it might be by looking at the other numbers above and below it, or by holding ctrl+mouse wheeling up to make them bigger. Just a small nitpick in an otherwise great write up. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    It is inferior in construction and design to Corsair and Silverstone cases, yet it costs more than most of them. Again, I don't see the point. Reply
  • kevith - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I don´t think it´s all that ugly. And actually, I´m surprised to see how many, that are willing to set looks over anything else when we´re talking an enthusiast case like this.

    To me it´s about cooling and noise, and in those fields this seems like an absolute winner.

    The issue of the securing the drives doesn´t matter to me anyways, I´m am a silence-freak, so I always find a way and a place to hang my drives freely mounted in rubberbands. Every "silencing, rubber mounting grommets" I ever tried were absolutely worthless. And HDD hum is a major noise factor. Eliminated trough SSD´s of course.
    (Frankly, I dont understand why manufacturers haven´t made up a "rubberband munting system long ago, and a caselike this isn´t supposed for lan-parties anyway.)

    And the price: Come on, if you go for this case it´s probably going to last you a very long time, so if you take the price pr. year, it´s not more than a cheaper case, that´s likely to be swapped substantially sooner.

    One thing about the price though: It´s not very nice to read about a poor paint job in this segment!!

    But thumbs up for Kevin G.´s post, the fine review and the interesting case
    Reply
  • CList - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    So I have a question for other "enthusiasts" out there...

    If you have the means and/or prioritize your PC so much that you're willing to spend $250+ on a case - why on earth do you need that many drive bays? Is it a macho thing to have a large case or do you actually have that many drives that you want to keep?

    I mean drives are so damn cheap these days... How many do you need? If you are willing to buy such an expensive case, then there's really no reason to own a drive that's smaller than maybe 750GB. Give the thing away and buy a larger one.

    If you need 10TB of RAIDed storage isn't it a lot easier to just put it on a little NAS box that you can stick in the closet with your router?

    Similarly for DVD drives - does anyone even have more than one now? What on earth do you use it for? I have one external USB-based BluRay drive that I plug in when I want to watch a movie or install some software, and then it goes back in the drawer for another two months.

    I have a really hard time understanding why anyone would want so many drive bays - unless you're operating on a budget, in which case why would you buy this case or one like it? Is it a "mine is bigger than yours" thing?

    Not trying to be critical, just curious...

    Cheers,
    CList
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    NAS boxes still cost money, and even if they're RAIDed you're still looking at a bottleneck over the network interface.

    Honestly, I'd use all the 3.5" drive bays here. I edit video; I keep project files and personal data on a RAID 1, then my scratch disk and gaming drive is on a RAID 0. And then my system drive is on an SSD.

    People out there will definitely use these drive bays.

    As for optical drives, I have a blu-ray reader and then a blu-ray writer, so that's two right there. ODDs are becoming less and less important over time, but they're still relevant.
    Reply
  • etamin - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Thinking as logically as I can, I think the bays only exist to fill up space, a decision by the manufacturer and not something a typical user looks for. With at least one bay and a hdd rack, the length of the case must become longer. If a full sized tower (sized based on mobo) were to maintain a semi box-like appearance, there would be a lot of empty space in the front end. Using that space for extra fans is less cost effective for manufacturers than simply adding racks to the chassis. Some makers go for hdd racks, and others go for bays.

    Just a thought..
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I build a fair number of systems and get to test out alot of cases because of that.. I keep thinking that perhaps it's time to go back to some older models since the designers of some of these cases need to be shot. I use 2 Lian-Li PC60 cases. (7 years now) and keep going back to them. Removable motherboard trays, Brushed aluminum, and just overall solid designs. I keep changing fans but that's it.

    I think.. make the case a little fatter to accomadate 120mm fans (front back) Move the Psu to the bottom, add a filter, add 1 140 or 200m fan to the top, add usb 3.0 and microphone/headphone jacks to the front.. you now have the perfect case. Call it a day. Even lian-li won't do it. Ticks me off. How hard can this be???
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    and yes .. I know about the Lian Li PC-60FNW but it doesn't have a removable motherboard tray like the PC60,A,+ etc. Not sure why Lian-Li moved away from them because they were major selling points. Reply
  • etamin - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    good news...what you want exists: Lian Li PC-V2120
    bad news...it's oversized and very expensive
    Reply
  • corriellan - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I'm adopting this one. Reply
  • Conscript - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    looks like we have another Stranger in a Strange Land fan...I smiled :) Reply
  • DethFiesta - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I have an FT02 and find it to be an excellent case. Huge and heavy, yes, but highly functional and understated (except for the size). I look forward to the comparison between the Level 10 and Ft02, but even if the FT02 comes out behind, I wouldn't swap over due to the absurd look of the Level 10.

    Also, "duckets" are spelled "ducats."
    Reply
  • hammer256 - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I Recently got the FT 02 to build a machine for work, and man I am impressed. Curiously to see what the review says.
    A few things I really like about the FT02:
    1. all the connections are on the top of the case, so much easier to access than the back.
    2. The video card hangs vertically, so less bending on the motherboard.
    3. Really quiet fans with lots of airflow. I only keep them at low.
    4. really clean, professional looking case.

    But, I wish it didn't have five 5.25 bays, and instead another 5 bay hdd cage. Also, the top cover and latch could be better. The space behind the motherboard tray could be a bit wider, for easier cable management. Finally, would be nice to actually access the dust filters without opening the case. Fairly minor gripes, all things considered.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    I'll be doing thermal testing this weekend, but early impressions are very favorable.

    Our rep was hesitant to send it to us because it's (in technology years) a fairly old chassis, and I'm sure they're probably working on refining it. But it's still fantastic, and truthfully the clearance behind the motherboard tray is about on par with most other enclosures these days. It could be wider, but it's not too bad.

    When I go to review it I'll have suggestions for the next revision, but my major takeaway is just...with this as a reference point, the Raven RV-03 feels like such a step back despite being newer.
    Reply
  • rickon66 - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    My build before last was in an Antec Nine Hundred, but my last build was in an Antec Two Hundred that I got for $30 at Micro Center last fall. It does everything that this Thermaltake does -Great cooling, very roomy and it holds all of the stuff that makes up a computer togeather. What really do you need more than that? I adjusted my expectations of a case down so that I had more cash for a processor and video card that makes a real difference in performance. . Kind of like a rat rod - no show, just go. Unless you have money to burn a super fancy case is just bling. Reply
  • james.jwb - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    Apple fanboys don't have much real ammunition to throw at PC users, but when a case like this comes out i can see them all laughing their asses off, and justifiably so.

    It

    is

    hideous.
    Reply
  • WT - Friday, August 12, 2011 - link

    I love this case. Started off looking at an NZXT Phantom or a Corsair 600 SE, but after watching some vids of the Level 10 GT, I really do want it to be #1 on my list.

    My fave features:

    SATA backplane - no more cable mess !!
    Side fan features a touch contact - no more umbilical power line !!
    Support for a dual radiator - was going to go H80, now I can go H100.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One thing about this case is it is definitely a conversation piece as opposed to the average black box.
    Reply

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