Thermaltake’s Spedo Advance Package enclosure

Manufacturer Thermaltake
Model Spedo Advance Package
Price (Street)
Availability Now

I’ve had a long love-hate relationship with Thermaltake products. Often, it’s the only (or at least the first) manufacturer to implement nifty gadgets that really make sense and set its cases apart from generic models. Sometimes Thermaltake comes up with outlandish designs that seem fit only for the most EXTREM3 computer geeks, and while that’s usually not my thing, I can appreciate the fact that there will probably always be a market for garish designs.

However, I rarely find a Thermaltake case that doesn’t have some nagging problem, whether it’s the inability of a tool-less expansion lock mechanism to work with all my PCI cards or an unwanted door or aesthetic piece that I can’t get rid of easily. It feels like the majority of Thermaltake cases I’ve used are only a step or two away from being excellent products, and therein lies the frustration.

Today we turn our attention to Thermaltake’s new Spedo Advance Package, which sports surprisingly subdued styling and an array of innovative features that should position the case well against other full tower enclosures. Read on to see what makes the Spedo unique and whether any fatal flaws ultimately sink its appeal.

Funny name, serious case

Images of sports cars adorn the ridiculously large box containing the nicely-packaged Spedo, so I think the name has something to do with speed. Thermaltake cases have consistently impressed me with their packaging. They’re always prepared for whatever delivery services may throw at them, surrounded by large foam blocks and a dust cover (in this instance even uniquely marked with a Spedo logo). All loose extras are neatly and individually wrapped, boxed up, and strapped down tightly inside the case with twist-ties. That’s all well and good, but I think you’ll agree the Spedo is more interesting once it’s unwrapped.

The Thermaltake Spedo is a massive case

Considering Speedos generally have everything to do with being compact and streamlined, the sheer size of this case deepens my doubt that the name is connected in any way with the popular swimwear. The Spedo measures 24 inches tall, 9.1 inches wide, and 21.1 inches deep, which puts it firmly in full tower territory. It’s no lightweight, either, with a steel body that tips the scales at just under 30lbs.

Here I’m showing you the right side of the case first, since I want to save the more impressive left side for later. Note the two large grills, one of which is positioned directly under the CPU area on the back side of the motherboard. More on those later.

You get extra points if this picture fits in your browser without scrolling

In a rather uncharacteristic fashion for Thermaltake, the Spedo’s face is devoid of any doors, flaps, or even markings, instead opting for simple dark gray and silver accents on either side of a stack of black grill covers for the hard drive and 5.25″ bays. While it’s hard to tell from this picture, the top four and bottom three 5.25″ bays are open for optical drives; a 120mm fan and dual hard drive cages sit behind the five grills in between.

More vents and the port cluster sit on top

The tops of cases often get neglected by the design department, but the Spedo appears to have reversed this trend, with more elaborate vents made of both plastic and steel. This all makes the automotive resemblance a little more obvious. The design decision to carry the mesh look from the front right over to the top adds to the sleek overall feel, as well.

Port and switch closeup

As far as ports go, you get two USB, headphone and microphone jacks, and eSATA (but no Firewire). Each jack has ample room around it for larger plugs, and the chrome finish on the power and reset buttons adds just enough bling.

The 230mm fan is designed to keep even the hottest rig (or perhaps a small star) from overheating

Caution and minimalism are thrown to the wind (ha!) on the left side of the case, which houses another steel grill up front, in addition to a clear plastic window with a 230mm, 13-blade fan. Air-movers like this 0.75-foot monstrosity are something I’ve always wanted to see in a case, as theory has it that larger fans should be able to move more air while generating less noise.

The extra height of the Spedo is put to good use

Once we get around to the back, we see even more evidence of a focus on extra airflow. Like the Gigabyte 3D Mars we just looked at, the Spedo has dual 120mm fans for extra exhaust and soft, rubber-lined cutouts for easy routing of water-cooling plumbing. Yet another similarity the cases share is rotating feet, which I’ve positioned for extra stability in the picture above.

Designed for cooling

Two black thumbscrews (it’s always nice when the screws are painted to match the rest of the case) secure the left side panel, but you also have to lift a latch behind the window to detach the panel from the rest of the case.

For as large as they are, the side panels are easy to work with

The large, window-mounted fan is easier to see from the inside, as is its novel wiring job.

No tricky plug-it-in-while-its-half-open side fans here!

Instead of the usual practice of letting the fan’s wiring just dangle loosely inside the case, the Spedo’s side fan wiring leads to a spring-loaded contact in the bottom trim piece of the panel. The case side of this contact point has wiring that runs to a normal Molex cable, so upon latching the panel in place, the fan is automatically connected to wiring that’s easy to access. Nifty.

Thermaltake taking the compartmentalized heat zone concept seriously

You would probably expect the Spedo to have a huge, open interior, but you’d be wrong. Instead, Thermaltake uses several large plastic partitions to cut up separate areas inside the case. These so-called Advanced Thermal Chambers wall off the power supply at the bottom of the case, the graphics card in the middle, and the CPU area up top.

A special mount lets you aim an internal 120mm fan how ever you please

The front of the case looks pretty cramped with the partitions installed, but there’s still space for four 5.25″ drives up top (or three 5.25″ and one 3.5″ with an included adapter) and three more 5.25″ drives at the bottom. Thermaltake also includes an adjustable 120mm fan mount right behind the hard drive cages. A quick-release lock can hold the fan at many different angles and at any height along a rail that stretches across the case’s middle seven drive bays.

Four different dividers, each with a unique design

Once I removed the dividers, I realized just how much thought Thermaltake put into their design. The uppermost one is lined with extremely flexible plastic fringes that will press up against motherboard components but not damage them. The next one is just a semi-translucent plate with a healthy amount of venting right over the graphics card. Next down is another partitioning piece, which this time is fitted to make a tight seal between the power supply area at the bottom and the rest of the case. This one also has some height to it, and as if to make use of every square inch of the case, this piece even has a swing-out drawer. A final plate simply hides the PSU and its cabling, finishing the ensemble with a pretty tight seal.

So… much… cooling! Note the second monster fan in the ceiling!

With the partitions completely removed, the Spedo’s interior looks cavernous. Of note on the bottom is the venting under the PSU, separated into two areas with a movable filter that should keep the air entering your power supply clean. As with most nicer cases we’ve looked at lately, holes have been punched to allow a PSU to be mounted whichever way makes the most sense. Up top, a second 230mm fan is mounted towards the rear of the case along the ceiling. It’s just like the one on the side panel.

Two three-pack cages give the Spedo a good capacity for quick-access hard drives

The hard drive cages are easy to remove from the case thanks to wide plastic levers and well-machined steel tracks. It’s always nice to be able to put a computer together with minimal reaching for the screwdriver, but you never want to risk your hard drive’s safety, either. Thermaltake tackled the problem by designing drive sleds with four plastic rockers that each fit where normal HDD mounting screws go.

As far as tool-less hard drive cages go, these are some of the slickest units I’ve seen yet

When the sled is inserted into one of the cages, the rockers are pressed in tight and the drive is secured by the prominent gray latch. I took the cages out to showcase their design, but you can remove individual sleds just as easily without pulling out the entire cage.

Even more goodies

This closeup of the drive area without the cages in place provides for a good basis to explain some of the subtler elements of the Spedo.

The drive area—sans HDD cages

Tidy cable routing is encouraged by the cutouts in the motherboard tray and the neatly-bundled wires from the port cluster. More plastic latches are utilized for the seven optical drives, and while they work OK, I didn’t get quite the same sense of security that the hard drive cages provided. A single, red-LED-equipped 140mm fan provides active intake for the hard drives. Additional passive venting on the right side and on the floor panel is now plainly visible, too.

Much more thought was put into the right side of the case than usual

Normally we don’t have to take too much time to explore a case’s right flank with the side panel off, but the Spedo has some pretty ingenious cable management, which Thermaltake dubs CRM, or Cable Routing Management.

Prepping the wiring – now you see it…

In preparation for installing the test system, I decided to put the one spare 120mm fan that’s included with the case behind the CPU area instead of on the movable mount in the middle of the chassis. I felt this location would be more beneficial than simply adding more airflow in the core of the chassis. With the last fan in place, it was time to connect all the Molex plugs and loosely tie the wiring together.

…now you don’t

Each of the three plastic covers clips in on three-quarter-inch high legs that sit at each corner. This leaves plenty of room for a multitude of cables to fit under the sides of each cover, and the posts then act as guides to better route cabling. You can use the system as I did to simply hide a relatively quick and dirty routing job, or you can use it in conjunction with Velcro, zip-ties, or whatever else you prefer to create something a little more immaculate.

While we’re talking wiring, I should note that Thermaltake includes an extension for auxiliary 12V power cables. This is a great addition because the upside-down chassis puts the motherboard’s power plugs further away from the PSU than traditional designs.

Tons of room above the motherboard.. for.. whatever you want!

After preparing cabling, I put the assembled motherboard into the case on the provided standoffs. With it in place, its easy to see just how large the empty area between the top of the case and the motherboard is. If one wanted a very large, internally-mounted radiator, there would certainly be space for it here, although you’d have to get creative to incorporate or replace the 230mm fan.

Even the largest power supplies could fit comfortably in the Spedo

Although there isn’t nearly as much space under the motherboard as above it, there was plenty of room for our Enermax power supply, or indeed any unit up to twice its size. This picture also gives you a pretty good idea of how the tool-less expansion clips work—they unlatch from the rear and pivot out, with their shape acting like a spring to hold cards tightly in place. In the past, I’ve had problems getting Thermaltake’s previous plastic expansion card clips working with SoundBlaster cards and some graphics cards. Without an alternative, I was forced to just let the cards dangle loosely. However, you don’t have to rely on just the clips in the Spedo, since the case also comes with normal back plate mounting screws. For me, the ability to fall back on screws is the best part of the tool-free clips.

Before we move on, note in the picture above that there’s plenty of room to the right side of the motherboard. The Spedo’s motherboard area isn’t quite wide enough to accommodate Extended ATX boards, but there’s enough room for graphics cards up to 13 inches in length.

The naked front

After installing the motherboard and power supply, my attention turned to the optical drive. Like other cases we’ve looked at lately, the Spedo’s whole front panel simply snaps off. From here it’s easy to put an optical drive in any of the available seven drive bays; once aligned, the respective plastic clip holds the drive tight with a surprisingly simple lock.

Plastic adapter plates just loosely clip on the hard drive cages

If you’re not happy with hard drives being installed sideways, a quick transformation lets you slide a drive cage in from the front.

Each hard drive cage fits equally well in three of the optical bays

This rearrangement is as easy to perform as it is useless, in my opinion. It basically robs you of three 5.25″ bays without providing any more useful space; it’s not like you can easily put anything else in the area where the hard drive cage usually sits. I supposed a crafty water-cooling case modder might appreciate the space for a single 120mm radiator or pump assembly, but as mentioned earlier, there’s a lot more space for that above the motherboard.

You still have to take the side off to get at the cabling, but front HDD access is still pretty cool

Nonetheless, the dual-position hard drive cage is a cool exercise in case modularity, and I’m sure some will appreciate the option to have easy access to the hard drive sleds from the front of the case. Note that you’ll need to remove the 5.25″ bay pop-outs to gain access to the drive sleds from the front. This looks a little funny, since the larger bays aren’t designed to match the dimensions of the smaller drive sleds.

Our test system is all assembled, save for the graphics card power cable being plugged in

Overall, it was easy to assemble our test system in the Spedo thanks to its spacious interior. With a little more effort, you could even clean up the cabling quite a bit given the numerous routing options available. We chose to leave our hard drive cages in the default location for what we felt would be the best configuration for testing.

Testing the beast

A case this accommodating wouldn’t be done any justice by using a micro ATX system, so this is the perfect opportunity to introduce our new quad-core test system. We used an AMD 790FX-powered Asus M3A32 MVP Deluxe motherboard paired with a 2.0GHz Phenom X4 9350e. To cool this Socket AM2 processor, we used a popular tower heatsink from Kingwin—the Revolution RVT 9225 HDT with a 92mm fan rated at 28dBa at 2800RPM. An XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512 filled in on the graphics front, and we threw in threw in two 1GB sticks of Corsair CM2X1024 DDR2 memory for good measure.

The Tech Report case heater v2.0

In working with the new motherboard’s BIOS, I found that the “Q1” smart fan speed control matched up nicely with this heatsink if I used the “Optimal” fan speed setting. With this configuration, the processor cooler generated less noise than any of the case fans at idle. Under load, it spun up just enough to be as loud as the quietest case fan. This time around, we’re testing system fans running at a full 12 volts, since the majority of users don’t want to have to mess with extra fan speed controllers or voltage hacks. Having fans running at their default speed should make it easier to compare case noise levels, as well.

Our “no dividers” configuration

We chose to leave the power supply area blocked off in all the tests. The bottom of the case has plenty of airflow to cool the power supply, and the heat produced should be exhausted from the case by the PSU’s own fan.

The “with dividers” configuration

In one set of tests, we’re leaving the two top divider plates out, so the large side fan will benefit both the CPU and GPU. To really put the Advance Package Spedo through its paces, I also tested the case with all its dividers installed. My expectation was that the CPU might stay cooler with the partitions in, but the graphics card should run hotter since it won’t benefit from the generous airflow that should bathe the rest of the system.

The Spedo already has more airflow from the back, front, and top fans than a lot of cases, so I also disconnected the side 230mm fan completely for one test. This should help with noise levels, as I could tell the side fan was producing the bulk of the noise made by the system.

Finally, I’ve also put the Phenom system into Gigabyte’s 3D Mars enclosure to illustrate how the Spedo performs against some competition. We were impressed by the Mars when we reviewed it a few months ago, so it’s a good reference point for the Spedo.

At idle and with the Spedo’s dividers in place, disconnecting the side fan raises component temperatures slightly. That’s not the case with the dividers removed, where we see most component temperatures unaffected by the presence of the side fan. Instead, the temperature of the air around the CPU rises slightly, as hotter air around the graphics card is mixed with the rest of the system.

If you go back and take a look at the 3D Mars’ performance compared to a couple of other cases, you can see that it did very well even with its twin rear 120mm fans turned way down to five volts. With those fans now running at full speed, alongside another 120mm fan in the front and two 80mm fans on the side, the Mars still can’t keep our test system’s CPU as cool as the Spedo. The graphics card, on the other hand, is about the same temperature on both cases.

Nothing really surprising happens when we fire up the rthdribl HDR lighting demo for GPU torture test. The partitions allow the side fan to lower motherboard and GPU core temperatures by a degree, but leaving them out benefits temperatures across the board, especially with the side fan off. The Gigabyte case runs the processor much warmer than the Spedo, but other system temperatures are relatively close, depending on the Spedo’s configuration.

After adding a heavy CPU load across all four cores courtesy of Prime95, the value of the Spedo’s cooling partitions becomes rather questionable. Turning on the side fan actually increases CPU temperatures without actually making the graphics card run any cooler. In fact, the lowest temperatures come with all the dividers removed and the side fan turned off. Compared to the 3D Mars, this configuration is quite a bit better, especially for the processor.

The quietest way to run the Spedo at stock voltage is to leave the dividers installed and the side fan turned off. Again, though, the sweet spot seems to be leaving the side fan disconnected but taking the top two partitions out, as this is the second quietest configuration and the coolest under load.

The 3D Mars’ noise levels put things into perspective. As you can see, the Spedo isn’t really a quiet case. That isn’t to say it couldn’t be made quiet with a few simple modifications. All the fans connect via standard 4-pin Molex plugs, so it wouldn’t be hard to feed them 7V or 5V instead of a full 12V. With the sheer number of fans in the Spedo, I’m confident you could achieve any point on the scale from quiet and hot to loud and cold.

Conclusions

I was expecting a number of novel features considering this is Thermaltake’s latest flagship case, but there’s more to the Spedo than the usual tool-less gadgetry. Under its decidedly simple exterior, I found real innovation, especially in the basic construction of pieces that have been mostly the same for ages. The fan mount behind the CPU area is the best example of this, but cable routing and concealing is pulled off in such a manner that it doesn’t take any extra work to appreciate. If anything, the simple cable management system just makes the whole process of building a system more enjoyable and the end result tidier.

With enough fans to fill a stadium, the Spedo is a great enclosure to show off an enthusiast build. The adjustable internal fan mount is certainly a nod to tweakers who commonly find that just a single part of their build needs the extra attention of dedicated 120mm fan. However, at their default speeds, the fans create more noise than I prefer. It’s probably better to have the extra airflow available for those who want it, since fan speeds can easily be toned down through simple modifications or auxiliary fan speed controllers.

The Spedo Advance Package sells for around $200, and compared to other cases in that range, like the Coolermaster Cosmos, I think Spedo is better suited to handle overclockers who want to squeeze every last drop of performance out their gear. The Cosmos will probably give you a quieter system without as much work, but if noise levels are important to you, the Spedo can easily be quieter with a little fan controller love. There’s no fix for the case’s lack of a front door, though, but that tends to be a matter of personal preference.

Although the Spedo’s use of massive fans, partitioned cooling zones, and clever cable management will probably affect future case designs, the formula clearly hasn’t been perfected yet. As it stands, the Spedo performs better overall with most of its partitions removed and its gargantuan side fan disabled. That said, the Spedo still has excellent build quality, a good internal layout, smart drive caddies, and more fans than most folks will ever need. This is one of the best full tower cases around, and it deservedly walks away with a TR Recommended award.

Comments closed
    • davidm71
    • 9 years ago

    Take it from a Spedo (not talking swimwear) owner that its tight in there! No room for my boys!

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 11 years ago

    Looks like something out of Doom 3 !

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    Verdict: a lot of interesting ideas that mostly don’t work, giving us an overpriced case with great cooling but at the cost of high noise.

    Not a particularly good tradeoff in my book.

    The noisy, unfiltered side panel fan is a prime example, moreso since it doesn’t do much for temps.

    Overall, a good review, but I think Joshua’s enthusiasm for some of the “innovations” didn’t convey their real world (in)effectiveness.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      I hope the higher noise values don’t make people think this is somehow a LOUD case.. it isn’t. It’s simply a shade louder than the remarkably quiet 3D Mars.

      my enthusiasm for the case comes from the fact that it got great build quality and excellent potential for low temperatures, not because of the little innovations… they’re just icing on the cake, really.

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    /[

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      …if i hit F11

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        Fits on each of my attached displaysg{<. :)<}g

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Great case review! Some things I want to mention.

    Firstly, on the temp graphs maybe it would work better if they were arranged from coolest-hottest. I mistakenly read it that way and assumed the Gigabyte Mars took the cake in every single test. But that is just me.

    Also, I think I’m still going to settle on the Mars for my new build… whenever that is. I really like this case in some cases (pun intended), but I feel as though it is “too intimidating”. I love the massive amount of fans on this puppy, and the steel-mesh, and that awesome auto-connecting cable on the side panel for the fan. But looking at the interior of it… cavernous is right. Some of the stylistic choices also bug me.

    But it boils down to price for me. That and I really love the Gigabyte Mars (I can’t wait to own it). $200 is pricey for a case IMO, although I would reach that far if I found my purchase was warranted. However this case doesn’t, although it is a beauty.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      Thanks! Yeah, the Spedo isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. You certainly won’t be disappointed with the Mars though, it’s a great aluminum case.

      • Voldenuit
      • 11 years ago

      Get the Antec P182 instead. Proven case with good cooling, layout and excellent noise characteristics.

      $150 w/free shipping from the ‘egg.

      #49 until the flimsy side panel (with its huge fan cutout) warps and the contact no longer mates cleanly with the case…

      I’m not making claims about the inevitability of this scenario, but I can just picture it.

      Side fans are generally not much use with tower coolers, anyway (the weapon of choice for air coolers these days). They benefit top-down coolers much more, as xbitlabs found in testing. The numbers from the review give testament to that.

        • Tamale
        • 11 years ago

        the p182’s a great case, but it’s hard to compare it to the mars.. the mars is all aluminum and the p182 is mostly plastic with some steel. i also think whether a case has a door or not to be a kind big deal.

          • Voldenuit
          • 11 years ago

          The P182 is steel with composite sandwich panels to deaden noise. It’s definitely *not* “mostly plastic”, as its 30-lb odd weight ought to convey.

            • Tamale
            • 11 years ago

            Er.. the entire top is plastic, the entire front behind the door is plastic (along with the back of the door itself), and worst of all in my opinion every edge is plastic.. even where screws are used to hold the case together.

            I’ve worked with both the P180 and the P182 for a few years and they’re both showing it. The finish and edges don’t hold up anything like an all aluminum or even all steel case.

        • SecretMaster
        • 11 years ago

        I’m sticking with the Mars. The Mars is very much so a “proven case” as well, especially since it was reviewed here on TR. I know our editors here usually recommend the P182 (which baffles me, seeing as we now have an editor reviewing cases… I’d imagine some of the cases reviewed would start showing up in the higher-end system guides) and I don’t doubt it is a good case. However the Mars appears to be exactly what I am looking for.

          • Tamale
          • 11 years ago

          I hope it’s not too baffling.. I agree with the other editors that the P182 is still a great case and it’s definitely proven difficult to ‘dethrone’. I just wanted to underscore that the Mars is one of the best all aluminum cases for the price if that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s certainly a very different kind of case from the P182.

          The Cosmos is much more like the P182 with its hybrid construction and focus on noise levels, and the Mars is much more like a silverstone or lian-li. I’d say the Spedo is most like the coolermaster stacker or antec 900 / 1200.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve worked with the stacker 830 and it’s indeed a close competitor to this case. the spedo holds two more hard drives by default and is a little taller and shallower though.

    • Flatland_Spider
    • 11 years ago

    I like the idea of a modular hard drive bay. Two more bays could be sourced to bring the hard drive total to twelve.

    That would cut down on the 5.25 bays, but I’m hard pressed to use more then two now. I really only need one DVD burner, but I can always go for more hard drives.

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 11 years ago

    It looks nice but so many fans, no HD fan and bottom mount PS? I always like to have just one fan in front of the hard drive cage. Give me a $50 Antec or Cooler Master case any day over this.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      there’s a huge 140mm fan right in front of the HD bays.. I mentioned it several times and there’s a picture of it at the top of page 3

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Not a hideous case, but why do people insist on dumb-ass plexiglas windows?

    For the money, I think a P182 still seems better.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    It looks really…different. I kinda like it. I wouldn’t buy it for me now, but 5 years ago I might have.

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    Sped-o? How are you supposed to say that?

    A very interesting evolution of the Armor+ I’m using, though. More fans, some goofy dividers, and a general reshuffling of the whole case.

    I guess I’ll keep watching for the Sped-o Plus, cause if TT reworks this the way they reworked the Armor into the Armor+, it’ll be very interesting.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      It’s got nice thought put in to it but I wonder if their engineers actually tested stuff or just threw things in to make it more marketable with appealing bullet points. It seems like most of the thermal modifications do little, the drive mouting and cable management are nice although I don’t find myself hot-swapping drives too often so busting out the screwdriver once for a build isn’t bad. Aside from maybe isolating the HD/ PSU if I was considering a big case like this with a big open front of 5.25″ bays I just want it to be simple and uncluttered on the inside with all the 5.25″ bays continuous and universal. I guess something like that Armor 😉 heh

    • Decelerate
    • 11 years ago

    Boy, they should have licenced it as the Bat-Case (especially the top).

    That thing would eat my Shuttle…

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Say…they /[

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    When I saw the name of this case, the first image that came to mind was of a man’s package bulging out in a Speedo swimsuit.

    Ah well, time to read.

      • flip-mode
      • 11 years ago

      Uber thought the same too, I see.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        They should have called this the Spedo Big package and made a mATX version called the Spedo Small Package. Blatent and literal (e)peen marketing!

          • flip-mode
          • 11 years ago

          Big Package, I like that. How ’bout “Spedo Compensator”?

    • kmieciu
    • 11 years ago

    I LOVE the sound of fans and airflow. I always buy a case with a lot of fan mounts, fill all of them and my PC always sit on top of my desk, never below. For me this case is simply GREAT.

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 11 years ago

    Shades of Cooler Master Cosmos S anyone? Even the original Cosmos looks better than this.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Cool review, but I have a questions that the pictures didn’t answer:

    The front plate, in the first page of the article, doesn’t look like there’s a “hole” for the optical tray to pop out of, and when you installed the optical drive the front plate was totally off. In the conclusions, you said that there’s a lack of a front door. Did I read all of that wrong? How does the optical drive tray come out after you put the front plate back on if there’s no door?

      • Forge
      • 11 years ago

      Easy, the CD/DVD is then flush with the metal grilles. Nothing covers it.

      -[

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      forge got it right.. sorry if that was confusing, the whole front with all the mesh covers pops off, then you gotta remove some steel popouts from the case’s frame to allow for optical drive spaces.

      neither are a door in the traditional sense, but there’s only one depth that works with the tool-less clips and if you get it in there right the front of the drive is flush with the rest of the mesh.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        Ah I see. For some reason I thought the front grill was all one piece.

          • Tamale
          • 11 years ago

          it comes off as one piece, but each mesh “drive cover” also comes out.

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 11 years ago

            Oh mmk. Yeah the other thing I forgot to mention is: Holy crap, that fan power-via-hinge things if flippin’ sweet. As someone who has repeatedly CURSED dangly wall-mounted fan cables that make re-insertion a total b**ch!

    • d0g_p00p
    • 11 years ago

    Bah, my comment did not post. Anyhow my (long post) was stating how I love these cases with open ports on the front for full air to hit the internals.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      It all depends upon the fan layout. If done right you can make a case like this or other similar ‘all-mesh front’ ones in to big wind tunnels. If done poorly though the airflow can end up a mess with air short circuits and airflow going in ways you don’t want it to. I think that for these types of cases they are best if you put in lots of fans otherwise ones that have more controlled airflow would be just as good.

      I also think it’s a shame that for this price they couldn’t figure out a way to filter all the intakes.

      Finally, the third picture on page 3 gets a reward for the most daisy-chained molex plugs evar!

        • Tamale
        • 11 years ago

        lol, I’m glad someone noticed that! To be honest I was shocked it all fit under the covers.. haha

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Styled like a Cadillac. You either love it or hate it, but middle ground is hard to come by.

    IMO, too much fannage and not the greatest placement for same. It’s a lot of case and features for the money, but I don’t have the kind of hole in my head that would convince me to drop $200 for such a thing.

      • mako
      • 11 years ago

      $200? Seriously.

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        I could see spending 200 on a really nice case. But then again it makes sense for me because i recycle my cases when i do a new build. Somehow i manage to never have a hard time finding random Compaq or eMachine cases that do a decent enough job cooling (once i add my own fans of course), so i take my old parts out and put them in the crappy whatever brand case i somehow came across (seriously… it baffles me how i collect these damn things… i have an empy compaq case able to fit a full sized ATX mobo in my closet right now even!), then all my new parts go into my old case that used to be my primary.

        My current full tower aspire case i fully intend to use whenever i finally get around to being able to do a new build again. So if you are someone who recycles these types of parts i suppose it makes more sense to justify spending more money on a part that will be with you longer. Same reason i spent a pretty penny on a 24″ monitor… it’s one of the few parts that will be with me through multiple builds… even though school hasn’t financially allowed me to do another build for quite a while now.

    • Nictron
    • 11 years ago

    That case is not too bad, I would also give it an A+.

    If you use a ICY DOCK Multibay with that case you can fit an awful lot of HDD’s in that case and they would be hot swappable with the correct motherboard or RAID card.

    • crazybus
    • 11 years ago

    I can just imagine how gross the top of that case would look after living in a nerd’s basement for a couple months.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    It’s massive, ugly, and so much cooling who cares if it’s actually efficient. Why do people support such inefficient means of cooling, the difference between this case and one that has properly placed fans is going to be nothing. So it covers your typical Thermaltake product; it’s horrible. I can never understand the thinking of someone who actually likes these type of cases. I’d gladly take any Lian Li or Silverstone over this. Hell I’d take one of the cheap Cooler Master cases over this.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Looks are in the eye of the beholder, of course, but there’s nothing attractive about this to me. I like the full mesh front but you can get that in the 1200 without all the garish extras (and if you don’t need a full tower you can get it in several models from Antec, Coolermaster, and others for a lot less money).

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      what kind of garish extras are you talking about, just curious..

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        The fins on the top and the plexi window, mostly, though the other angled bits (the lower front, the top rear) don’t do anything for me either. I’m not much into cases that look like they’re supposed to double as a Klingon melee weapon, I guess.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Any name that even /[

      • VILLAIN_xx
      • 11 years ago

      or advancing them.

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      I was reading it more like the kind that likes little children too much.

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      maybe they’re trying to imply 8 gold medals with the name…

        • Tamale
        • 11 years ago

        ding ding ding 😉

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    Damn son, that’s a fine case right there.

    • jwb
    • 11 years ago

    That thing is crazy ugly.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    Very nice. The layout is fantastic.
    Too bad I have no need for a case at the moment.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    Nice case. I have a question however in regards to the way the hard drives cages function.

    Is there a case out there that allows the hard drives to just slide in and lock like in a DROBO NAS enclosure ?

    Adi

    • toxent
    • 11 years ago

    Another good case review.

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