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Thermaltake Xaser III Super Tower Case Review (Page 5)

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

While there are a lot of similarities to the Antec line with regards to the optical and floppy drive bays, things start to get a bit more interesting once we drop to the lower section of this case. Not only does this new design utilize a side mounted hard drive bay system, it also gives you more room! How much?

Sitting within this enclosure is room for six hard drives. Not only that, but all six drives sit right behind an 80mm case fan. This will give you heaps of room for drives and will also allow for active cooling on every single one of them. This is what a little planning will do for you.

Also of note is that the hard drives use a rail system just like the optical drives. No tools required and they are firmly secured into their little niche. If you'll look in the bottom HDD bay you'll see the rails stored as they are shipped. It is a very simple matter to get them attached to your devices and have them installed in nothing flat.

Moving across the bottom part of the case brings us to an innovative setup for the side-mounted fans. Instead of mounting them directly to the side window of the case, they are attached to a pivoting door that is hooked up onto the side of the interior. When it comes to installing the mainboard, just "open the door" and get to work. When you're finished, just close it again and it sets the fans in the correct position to match up with the vents that are in the side panel. Let me show you this door with the fans in place.

I found that it was a simple matter to daisy chain these fans and then run them into a single fan speed controller. That way you can control the airflow to that portion of the case to experiment with the ultimate cooling for your system.

In keeping with the concept of a tool-free case design, Thermaltake has decided to use a PCI retention technique that requires the use of no tools at all. You simply slide one of the clips over and then remove it. Insert the PCI card and then return the PCI clip to its slot and clip it back into the locked position. Again it is a nice, simple manner to take care of business.

Unfortunately, these clips are about useless with tall peripheral cards. In the system that I installed into this case, I was forced to use screws to secure in two of my three peripheral cards. These were the Radeon 9700 Pro video board and the SoundBlaster sound card. The top edge of these two cards is higher than the metal bracket that is inserted into the back of the case. This means that the little plastic clip cannot move over the card and secure.

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