I recently built a whole new system, and wanted to review the pieces, one by one. So, I’ll start with the chassis(AKA Case), which is the Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 VN300M1W2N No PS Full Tower Case (Black).
Thermaltake makes a lot of great products, from Cases to Coolers, and this one is no different. Let’s take a look:
- – Breath Lighting effect
- – USB3.0 superspeed
- – Top-mounted HDD hot swap Docking Station
- – VGA TripleMax 33cm
- – CableClear cable management
- – Liquid cooling ready
- – Innovative 5.25” & 3.5” tool-free design
- – Combat Headset Holder
- – Heightened footstand enhances intake airflow
The cooling on this case is absolutely phenomenal. When you put large 200 mm fan in the front for intake, and a 140mm and 200mm fan in the back and top for exhaust, the chassis stays nice and cool. There are even empty spots in four places (top, back, side and bottom) for up to 7 fans total in the case. And if that isn’t enough for you, the case comes already set up to put liquid cooling in place. The built in dust filters are also a big plus to the case, as it helps with keeping dust out and removing the dust from the filters quick and painless. I stuck with the stock fans and my temperatures are keeping very low, even when playing games that really push your system to its limits. (See below for a diagram from Thermaltake’s website)
I’ve built quite a few computers over the years, and we can all agree that cabling in the hardest part. Figuring out the best way to cable your PC so that the fewest wires are openly exposed and your air flow is not effected is incredibly important. The Chaser MK-I has a phenomenal system in place for these cabling concerns (see below). With plenty of space between the case and the back panel, combined with rubber flaps that allow cabling to be run through, you can have a clean and easy cabling solution that will reduce the amount of cabling that is exposed. Combine this with a modular power supply and the only cabling that is exposed is the bit that runs from the power supply to the openings in the side of the case. Overall, cabling is a breeze, and if you fully utilize the tools on the case, the inside of your machine will look incredibly clean.
The case is a full tower case, which makes it massive. If you are looking for a small case to hide off in the corner, this is not the one for you. At 22.4 x 9.3 x 22.9 inches, this case takes up a lot of room. But if you are using a full size ATX motherboard, this case is what you will want. With enough space to fit any size graphics card, and plenty of room for airflow and/or a liquid cooling system, this case is perfect for any number or types of computer components. The case fans are incredibly quiet, the only noise I hear when I boot up is the beep of the BIOS. The case has a ridiculous amount of great features, but my favorites are by far the buttons and features on the front panel. With a Hot Swap drive (which allows for on the fly reading of a hard drive directly socketed into the case!), two USB2.0, two USB3.0, and a eSata port, plugging in and transferring data is incredibly simplified, no matter what device you are using. Add on to that a fan speed and fan color button (blue, red, green, or all three in rotation), and you can do it all with this case. There is a downside, however. The case has multiple plastic pieces that make up the full frame. If you carry the case holding any of these pieces (two on the top, one on the front), you will likely drop the case when the component pops off, as they are not screwed in. Other than that minor blemish, the case is fantastic.
Overall, this case is solid, and a great fit for anyone without size restrictions looking for a case with lots of features. For me, the hot swap drive was the big selling point. Doing IT work on the side for friends and family, this allows me to do quick backups of important files, and transferring data to/from old hard drives is quick and easy. The lighting is pretty cool, and isn’t overwhelming like some cases are, it’s just a great addition to the case. The case is very roomy, and the built in dust filters will make cleaning it incredibly easy, as well as keeping it from getting very dusty at all. The feet on the case itself also help if you have an uneven floor or carpet, making sure the case is anchored to the floor and can’t be toppled easily. Overall, the case is phenomenal, and one I will always recommend to gamers or PC enthusiasts who want a great case under $200.
PROS: Great cooling potential, roomy, plethora of features
CONS: Plastic outer shell will pop off if carried incorrectly, no side fan
Bottom Line: This is a great case with features that will appeal to any system builder.
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Great Case for anyone with a need for a hotswap drive.