Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
As if one chassis released in October was not enough, Thermaltake had under NDA with actually two cases. As strange as that is to release competing cases so close together, it is why the NDA for this chassis was pushed back until now. By now the Core P5 has been out for a month of so now, and while we are sure the hype that chassis deserves has not yet died down, we would like to show you something at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to cases. First of all we are back into the typical steel frame designs, but rather than to leave openings in this design, as the Suppressor name suggests, everything is closed off as much as possible to eliminate noises from the user's ears.
We have already had a look at its much larger brother in the F51 chassis. There we found it to be a steel constructed beast, and while it took flack as a clone of Fractal Design, you have to look inside to see the real differences in what makes the Suppressor series of cases a true one off design. To our knowledge, no one else has decided to spruce up other case designs to compete anymore, leaving the door wide open for Thermaltake and the Suppressor series. Whatever your stance on past case offerings, we do implore you to widen the blinders a bit and give this chassis a thorough look, because while compact in stature, this chassis does offer a few surprises.
With what you know, you would assume this mid-tower Suppressor F31 may just have been a die shrink of the F51, but this isn't exactly right. Of course, you will find quite a few similarities, but then again there are some new hidden secrets that prove not only that Thermaltake is on top of their game, but they are always listening to the customer for new ideas and ways to make these ideas happen. In this Suppressor F31, we feel a lot of FD case owners will end up envying this design, and for those looking to jam pack a mid-tower with goodies, what if we told you that you can also hide the coolant lines behind the motherboard tray in this design. Just think about that for a moment, and when you have that all sorted out, continue as we move into the specifications and find out just what this new chassis, releasing as you read this, will set you back.
The chart provided by Thermaltake on this F31 mid-tower chassis starts by informing us that the F31 comes in two flavors. There is the 23.1 pound version without a window and the 20.7 version including a left side window. Both versions stand 19.5 inches tall, they are 9.8 inches wide and are 20.3 inches deep. Both are black inside and out, and both use SPCC steel before the textured paint is applied. What is not covered that goes in this section is that there is a solid front panel with side ventilation only, that has a brushed effect applied, and made of ABS plastic. Also there are a few magnetic dust filters found around the chassis, and the side panels along with the top and side optional fan locations use a sound absorbing material to deaden noises to the user considerably.
We will pass on the cooling for a moment and address the interior of the F31. There we find two removable 5.25" bays, a considerable space below them, and on the floor is a removable cage sitting on a removable plate, that can house three 3.5 or 2.5-inch drives. The motherboard tray is made to fit Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards, offers plenty of routing options and tie points, has grommets, and the most room behind the tray we have ever seen in any design.
Back onto the cooling now, we see that shipped in the F31 there is a single 120mm Turbo fan with 1000RPM and only 16dB ratings. There is also a match to this fan provided for the exhaust of the case, at the back. Support, however, is much better. The front allows for either two 120mm or 140mm fans, or even a 200mm if you want to go big. The top offers room for a trio of 120 or 1140mm fans and keeps going with room for a pair of 200mm fans as another option. The rear can be a 120mm or 140mm fan, the floor can house a pair of either of them, and even the left side offers a 120 or 140mm fan location. Radiator support follows the fan support, except that it sticks to 120mm and 140mm radiator sizes with nothing for 200mm based radiators.
Restrictions are not even that restrictive, but we will cover them. The CPU cooler can be up to 180mm in height that covers a ton of air cooling options out there. They mention the VGA length at 278mm with the HDD cage in, but this only applies to the lower cards. With the HDD cage removed, all slots have 420mm of room there. Last is the mention of the PSU. If you plan to fill the floor with fans or water cooling, you need to keep the PSU to 180mm or less. If not, there is room for 220mm of PSU until you run into the raised section on the floor.
As we write this we are still ahead of the NDA a bit, so locating this chassis on the internet is not going to happen at this time, but we are sure that when available, the links at the bottom will be addressed as stock arrives. Along with other information we needed to finish this review, we did manage to get the pricing out of Thermaltake as well. Thermaltake told us that everything you are about to see in this lengthy coverage of the Suppressor F31 that follows can be had for just $99.99. We will reserve final judgment for the appropriate time, but from what we have already seen in this design, let's just say thus far we are very pleased and feel this pricing is justified.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: HIS HD7950 IceQ (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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