There are only two tiny factors that we could even find "odd" about the Urban T81 chassis. The first is doing away with tie points for the most part, and only offering some small holes here and there for straps, and the tab system. While we could tend wiring easily enough, we in no way attempted to maximize its potential. With all of those components needed to power a loop or two, we would like a way to keep all of that clean as well. The second thing is less of an oddity, but is something to keep in mind. While the back panel covered our wiring without issue, the panel is so large that it flexes quite a bit, and ours required us to lay the chassis down, and use our hands and forearms to level the panel to get it installed. Outside of that, we honestly have not one complaint about what the Urban T81 offers in its basic feature set, or the way the modular systems work, nor did we see any issues getting anything within reason installed into this chassis.
We only scratched the surface of what this chassis is capable of doing, and with our images and system, it looks like a much smaller system is installed. However, once you take into consideration that you can hang very thick radiators at the top, with fans above the chassis, and still not run into the motherboard, you will realize the true magnitude of the Urban T81. There is also plenty of room for 30mm radiators, and push/pull fan setups. As for the potential up front, that all depends on your specific needs. You could leave the ODD bays in, and a rack for the HDDs, or you can completely gut the front of the chassis as we did, and allow for maximum room and air flow.
Speaking of which, while the chassis is empty up front, we have no complaints about the air flow; in fact, things were nice and chilly in our testing. However, when we began adding the bays back in, we saw the temperatures increase as we added more of them. The low speed fans supplied are fair, but once impeded upon, they lose effectiveness pretty fast.
Thermaltake has shown us that they really have their ear on the market with a chassis such as this. The Thermaltake Urban T81 is a flagship design, and it definitely shows that Thermaltake is out there to offer a chassis that will thrive, since it does almost anything you ask of it so well. While we have seen others that can do similar things with water cooling, we have not yet seen it in a chassis quite like this. While it is large and in charge, the Urban T81 provides a great opportunity for beginners to invest into something elegant and quiet. It will also allow users to take PC cooling to levels as far as their experience and nerve will allow over time, drastically expanding the initial investment.
For enthusiasts, you know what you need in a chassis design to install an existing loop. But, for those who have a plan for a loop or two, and need plenty of options and modularity in a structurally sound design to make it happen, then the Urban T81 might just be the perfect fit for you. The fact that it looks so good, doesn't disturb you with ear splitting noise levels, and that it can and will house a ton of gear, all spices up the deal when it comes to that near $175 price point.
PRICING: You can find the THERMALTAKE URBAN T81 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The THERMALTAKE URBAN T81 retails for $172.24 at Amazon.
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