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Thermaltake Xaser III Super Tower Case Review (Page 2)

By: Mike Wright from Apr 11, 2003 @ 23:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

The Outside

When we looked at the Xaser II Enclosure, it appeared to be nothing more than a reworked Antec/Chieftec enclosure with some eye candy added to the outside. Sure, it was a very good case, but it really wasn't that original. And at first glance, it would appear that the newest Xaser will follow these same footsteps. But let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

To give you a quick briefing, this enclosure measures in at a stately 21" (H) x 8" (W) x 20.5" (D). For those who are not Americanized, this works out to roughly 53cm (H) x 20.5cm (W) x 52cm (D). As you can see, this is going to take up an awful lot of real estate under your desk. But then, it will also give you a lot of space to work with on the inside.

It is made out of steel, so be forewarned that this monster is HEAVY! Thermaltake has used 1mm thick SECC Japanese Steel for the exterior, so you can be assured of a rugged construction that will almost assuredly outlive the system. It also has the pivoting feet that we are used to seeing on their line of enclosures. If you like the idea of having a little extra stability, just point the feet outward and it works in a similar fashion as outriggers on a tractor. It makes the base of the case considerably larger so reduces the chances of it tipping over. Of course with this much weight, that won't be much of a problem anyway, but better safe than sorry.

So what are we waiting for? Lets get on with the tour.

Yes, I know, the front end looks nearly the same as the older model. And while this may look to be the case, there are several differences once you dig a little deeper. But before we grab that shovel, lets take a quick look at the little monitor looking thing at the top of the front panel.

All of the Xaser line of enclosures include one of the HardCano units. The unit used in this year's model is one of their newest versions called the HardCano 9. It features four fan control knobs, a temperature probe and a built in alarm that sounds off if the temperature goes higher than your preset limit. We'll fudge a little and take you inside the case real fast because I want to show you how the fans are hooked up.

All of those hanging red and black wired Molex connectors are for the fan speed controls. There are four connectors that are conveniently numbered. The remaining two connectors are to be hooked up to standard Molex connectors coming from the power supply. This way the fan speed controller will not only have full control of the fan speed, but also be responsible for giving then their power as well.

The only trick here is to know what kind of power draw your fans have. This is important because controllers one and four cannot handle a draw of more than .35 ampere. If you are chaining your fans together, then the total amperage is taken. So if you're running a lot of fans from a single controller, just make sure to use either controller number two or three.

Continuing on with the front of the case, we see that the entire front bezel can be easily opened for access to everything underneath. This makes installing optical drives and floppy drives a breeze! It also gives you easy access to the fan filters so that you can keep your system cooling at its best.

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