Computer cases are built to meet the specific needs of all sorts of niche system requirements - business desktops, home servers, gaming machines, media centers and so on. Each niche market has its own set of requirements, essentials and nice-to-haves, and case manufacturers vie to create cases which not only meet those requirements but offer innovations which will hopefully give their products the competitive edge.
And if you're looking for true innovation, it's hard to look past Thermaltake's Mozart TX range of cases which were introduced back at Computex last year. Marketed as "The Ideal Home Entertainment Center", so far everyone I've spoken to who has seen one has had some sort of comment to make - some favourable, some not. Regardless, the case has made an impression on every single person who has seen it.
And what do we think? Read on to find out!
The particular case we reviewed was the Mozart TX VE 1000SNA. First impressions are that it is, well, rather big. At 72cm high (3/4 of a meter) it towers (no pun intended) over most conventional full towers, and at 33 cm wide it's substantially wider than most also. However, it's only 36cm deep which is actually a fair bit shallower than many full tower systems which tend to be over 50cm deep.
This setup, which Thermaltake refers to as a cube tower rather than a full tower, is designed to promote better airflow and faster heat dissipation as a result. Cooling potential is quite impressive - the case can house up to ten 12cm fans and one 8cm fan, but comes with five 12cm fans by default. It can also house two full water cooling radiators and the chassis has four pre-drilled holes for external tubing.
Despite its size, the aluminium chassis is rather light, weighing in at just 9kg. With no system installed, the weight tends to pitch slightly forwards, a result of the drive housings at the top and front of the case. There are 13 drive bays in total - a unique 7" bay, five 5.25" bays and seven 3.5" bays, six of which are hidden.
The Mozart TX is actually designed as a dual-system case - it can house two systems, a primary and secondary. The primary system can be an ATX, Micro ATX, BTX, Micro BTX, Nano BTX or Pico BTX form factor, while the secondary system can only be Mini ITX-based.
There are a few optional upgrades which can be purchased for the Mozart TX. There's a 7" retractable LCD monitor which fits into the 7" drive bay, and can be connected to the primary or secondary system. There's also a standard Thermaltake VFD Media Lab, which either fits into one of the 5.25" bays or is installed behind the existing transparent front panel, and a mini ITX 5.25" PSU and BTX kit which features an SRM and rear plate for a BTX-based primary system.