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Admiring the monolith
What's striking about the Level 10 is how tasteful it manages to look despite the unique and downright strange design. That translucent red strip along the top and front edges lights up, for instance, but not in a way that screams "Check out my totally bitchin' LAN party rig, bros!" And the dark, brushed aluminum looks stealthy in a cool way, like Samuel L. Jackson wearing a black trench coat.

Seriously, though. When was the last time you saw a case with glowing red lights that didn't look like it belonged in a teenager's bedroom?

The Level 10 looks just as sleek and imposing from the side, where you can see the individual compartments laid out a little bit like the inside of a sports car engine. We would expect no less from the BMW industrial designers who co-created the thing.

Peek around the other side, and you'll find more brushed aluminum, this time laid out as a flat surface with two thumb screws and two locks. Thermaltake gives you a pair of keys in the box. You'll need one of those keys to unlock the various compartments and access the components inside. The lock on the right controls the PSU and motherboard compartments, as well as the side panel on which it lies. The lock at the bottom left takes care of the optical drive compartment and the removable hard-drive bays.

Sliding in a key and rotating it a quarter turn produces a loud, metallic clunk, betraying the thickness and heft of the Level 10's all-aluminum innards. With both locks open, the Level 10's compartments swing open, beckoning expensive hardware—as much of it as they can hold:

We didn't have a Core i7-980X Extreme and a pair of GeForce GTX 480s on hand just to fill the Level 10. We did, however, throw in some formerly high-end components to get a feel for working inside the case—and to test thermals and noise levels.