An open-door policy
The Level 10 GT is unique in many respects, but one of its most striking attributes is no doubt the door that conceals access to the motherboard and power-supply areas.
Getting that door to swing on its hinge is a two-step process. First, one must unlock the side panel with one of the two keys Thermaltake drops in the box. Next, pull up the release latch on the bottom-right edge of the door, which is conveniently marked with an eject icon. (In case you're wondering, the other lock you see in the picture above—the one located on the front of the case—secures the hard-drive bays.)
Open sesame. Among other things, cracking open the door gives us a glimpse at three of the Level 10 GT's cooling fans. The top and rear ones are located where you'd expect, while the side intake fan is in a rather odd position, with slats like Venetian window blinds covering it. The orientation of those blinds is controlled by a lever on the outside of the case.
Take a closer look at the picture above, and you'll notice that the side fan is plugged directly into the panel. A special connector links the fan to the rest of the system via a few pins that make contact when the door is closed. Three of the Level 10 GT's built-in fans (all except for the rear exhaust) are discreetly connected to the main fan controller and receive power via a single, four-pin Molex plug that also delivers power to the many LEDs that adorn the case. The exhaust fan has a 3-pin connector designed to plug directly into your motherboard.
If you're so inclined, you can even remove the door by lifting it off its hinges—and there's nothing to unplug before you do. Putting it back together is surprisingly quick, as well.
Peeking deeper inside, we see a motherboard tray with a generous cut-out under the CPU area. That cut-out lets you fasten and unfasten aftermarket heatsinks that bolt through the motherboard without having to take the whole system apart. You'll also have access to numerous cable-routing holes, several of which are cozily padded with rubber grommets.
Lifting the Level 10 GT's right panel reveals the rather tidy out-of-the-box cable arrangement, not to mention the somewhat unusual way the hot-swap bays are connected. Thermaltake takes care of distributing power, asking you to plug in only a single Serial ATA power connector for the entire array of drive bays. Data cables must be connected to the bays individually, and you'll need to route the associated cabling to the motherboard. Once everything is hooked up, you can slide drives in and out of the hot-swap bays while the system is still running... assuming you've set your storage controller to AHCI or RAID mode and aren't trying to unplug your system drive, that is.
We'll talk more about storage installation in a minute. For now, let's take a closer look at some more of the Level 10 GT's peculiarities.
|Logitech gaming mouse combines optical and motion sensors||0|
|Silent Power PC is cooled by copper foam||24|
|ARM-based Opteron now available in $2,999 developer kit||15|
|Best Buy CEO: Tablets 'crashing,' PC seeing 'revival'||99|
|Core i5 powers bizarro Android convertible||20|
|EA to charge $4.99/month for access to its biggest games||56|
|Gigabyte's Brix Gaming BXi5G-760 mini-PC reviewed||49|
|Orange you glad Asus made a mechanical gaming keyboard||42|