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Thermaltake Commander G41 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Are you on the market for an affordable, yet capable mid-tower computer case these holidays? Today Chad tells us all about the Thermaltake Commander G41.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, Dec 4 2014 9:13 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:59 PM CST
Rating: 89%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

Once again, we are back with Thermaltake as we finish out their latest run of chassis samples. Of course, we are still riding the buzz from the Core V41 we looked at the other day, but this time we are switching gears a bit, while still sticking with mid-tower chassis. The main design idea here was to use an aesthetic that harks back to the older Commander cases, while still being unique. That means aggressive lines, angles, and the use of multiple textures. However, since our last look at the Commander lineup, the inside of the chassis has been reworked to a layout more in line with today's standards, and expectations.

As we look at this mid-tower chassis, keep in mind that we are switching gears from the very posh and almost overly feature rich Core series cases, and moving into something much more budget friendly. That does not mean that you are left with a plain Jane exterior and interior though. Along with the aggressive styling, both sides are expanded to afford as much room width as possible, and for a mid-tower chassis, it seems very roomy in general. We also get all of the wire management and tie points, it is painted throughout, and it even still affords a bit of modularity and water cooling potential.

Today we are looking at one of the latest cases to take on the Commander name, the Commander G41 mid-tower chassis. While we have listed most of what comes along with this deal, as you will see, even being budget friendly does not mean they had to cut corners. Of course, things like grommets are omitted, but we still get tool-free features, all black or sleeved black wiring, and the list really does go on and on. Considering what we are about to see, and the cost it can be obtained at, you are going to want to keep reading, because the Thermaltake Commander G41 is well worth your time to consider.

This mid-tower chassis stands only 19.2" tall, 19" deep, 9.6" wide, and weighs in at 15.6 pounds while empty. While both the exterior and the interior get the same black paint treatment, most of the chassis is made of SPCC steel, and uses ABS plastics for the feet and front bezel. Both sides of the chassis are bumped out beyond the frame, not only for wiring, but also for GPU wiring clearance, and room for larger tower-style air coolers. The left side of the G41 offers a very large, clear window, which blocks about half of the front bays, and affords a view of everything else inside of the chassis. The front I/O panel holds the HD audio, dual USB 3.0 connectivity, and buttons and LEDs. On the complete opposite end of the chassis, the back offers an 8+1 expansion slot configuration.

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Inside of the chassis there are three tool-free 5.25" bays, but there is a fourth at the top without clips that may be blocked by the I/O wiring, and does not pass through the front of the bezel. Below those are six plastic trays, sectioned off in groups of three in two sections of HDD rack; the top three will remove from the stack, but the bottom three are permanent. Each tray is ready to accept 3.5" drives, but they are drilled for 2.5" drives as well. There is also an adapter to convert one of the 5.25" bays to a 3.5" bay for one additional place for storage. This chassis is ready for Micro-ATX and ATX motherboards, and can even fit a 185mm CPU cooler, 270mm of video card with the cage left in and 410mm without it, and there is no listed limit to the PSU.

There are some options as far as cooling goes, but as the chassis arrives, there is a 120mm fan in the front of the G41, and supposedly there is an LED variant in the back of the chassis as well. As for options, the front of the chassis can house a pair of 120mm fans, there are holes in the floor for a 120mm fan, and of course, the back has room for just one 120mm fan. The top of the chassis is interesting though; there is room for a pair of 120mm fans, a single 140mm fan, and if you want to go big, there is even room for a 200mm fan up top.

As always, we shopped around for the best deal of the day to pass the savings on to you. While we usually go by the Amazon.com pricing (which you will find below), Amazon has the Commander G41 listed at $73.28 with free shipping. Of course, that isn't such a bad price, but we did mention that this is a more budget friendly solution, and near $80 is not exactly what we would consider "budget friendly," no matter how you try to twist it. That is why we are so pleased to be able to say that if you do some smart shopping, and look around a bit, you will find this same exact Commander G41 with window for just $54.99 at Newegg.com, and that includes the shipping cost. Now, when it comes to budget friendly, $55 is very much in the ballpark, and as we alluded to before, we feel that at that sort of pricing, Thermaltake is offering huge bang for your buck in this chassis.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Commander G41 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 Commander G41 retails for $73.27 at Amazon.

Canada: The Thermaltake Commander G41 retails for CDN$82.97 at Amazon Canada.

Packaging

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The exterior of the packaging is simply plain brown cardboard with black printing applied to it. On the front, it delivers the company name at the top, above a large rendering of the included chassis. Then, to the right side is the chassis naming, and at the bottom is the web address where customers can find more information about this Commander G41 chassis.

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If UPS had not boned us and put their sticker right smack in the center of this side panel, we would be looking at the specifications chart. This is not unlike the one we just saw, and affords customers a lot of information on sizing and restrictions.

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The back side of the packaging is identical to the front. On this side, we do see that something tried to get into the box during transit, and we will keep a close eye on that when opening it up.

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This last side panel offers a list of features that includes the front I/O connectivity, the pre-installed fans, and the bay expansion. This information is repeated in various languages to cover the majority of the markets Thermaltake is found in.

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Once the chassis is out of the box, we found no damages from the gouge in the cardboard. In fact, the plastic on the window, the liner, and the thick Styrofoam end caps all ensured the Commander G41 arrived in perfect condition, despite damages to the packaging.

Thermaltake Commander G41 Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the chassis is not only angled down both sides of where the flatter section of mesh runs down the center, but it also has angles cut into it. We also find a mix of textures where the top is rougher, and the grooves near the bottom are smooth, and almost shiny.

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The front I/O is at the top of the bezel, under the off center notch cut from the top. In the I/O panel, you will find a pair of USB 3.0 ports, the HD audio, a wide HDD LED, a similarly shaped reset button below it, and the much larger power button to the right.

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At the top front of the G41, the steel is flat and matches the height of the bezel. As we move back, there is a one inch increase in height as the mesh section pops up. There we have all of the holes for two 120mm fans, a single 140mm, or the 200mm fan we covered earlier.

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As we get a look at the left side of the G41, we see the majority of it is a large, clear window. You do see a bit of the bays to the right, but it goes far enough left to see the screws in the expansion slots. Also, notice that the entire window section has also been pushed out to allow that 185mm of clearance.

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At the back, we find the rear I/O and exhaust fan at the top this time, with a trio of knock-outs for water cooling. Then, there is the 8+1 expansion slot configuration, and the PSU goes in the bottom. We also find that the thumbscrews for the panels do not come out of the door fully, so they will never get lost.

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The right side of the chassis is nearly identical to the left side of the chassis. It may not have the window, but more importantly, it keeps the large bumped out section near 10mm deep. This will easily allow for stacks of wires to fit behind this door panel.

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Under the Commander G41, we find round plastic feet with rubber pads to support the chassis. At the back, the ventilation and the plastic dust filter are cut around the feet, and at the front, we see rivets holding in the lower HDD cage.

Inside the Commander G41

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With our first look into the G41, we find that the wiring has been tended to, and not left to damage the window by moving freely. We find the hardware bag tied to the motherboard tray near the floor, and we see splashes of light blue at the front.

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Wiring does block access to the first bays, and that is why only the lower three have the black and blue tool-free clips to lock in devices. The other side requires screws, and screws can still be used on this side as well if you plan to travel around with this chassis.

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Moving further down, we find the six drive trays, and the pair of cages that splits them into two racks of three. To remove the top section, just squeeze the wide plastic tabs, and the top three trays and the cage will come out.

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With the top section of the HDD rack out of the chassis, there is a lot more airflow. However, we find the supplied fan is in front of the permanent section, and for good flow, you really need that second fan.

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To put some perspective on the potential for AIOs in the roof, we find the top has a 1" bump out, and it is nearly two full inches to the first motherboard standoff; this will allow thinner radiators and fans on one side without issue.

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The motherboard tray has eight of the nine standoffs already installed, offers a large cutout for cooler access, and also offers four holes around the motherboard and eight tie points to help keep it all tidy.

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The floor of the chassis offers four rubber pads to support the power supply at the back, and there is a large wiring hole in front of it to easily pass wiring through. We also see holes in the front for an optional fan, but without a PSU limitation set, it is probably not intended for use.

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In the back of the chassis we find this amber colored 120mm fan, and while it uses a three-pin connector on a sleeved cable; there is not a single LED on this fan. Below the knockouts, we see that this chassis uses screws to secure cards, rather than thumbscrews.

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At minimum, behind the motherboard tray, there is another 10mm of room. The chassis wiring has been run pretty simply for you, and leaves a ton of area to allow the PSU, and any additional wiring you want to add back here.

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With the cabling running all the way to the floor of the chassis, all we have to do is go through the large opening at the bottom, and make the connections. The front I/O wiring and USB 3.0 cable are plenty long, but if your HD audio port is not at the bottom of the motherboard, then things get ugly fast.

Accessories and Documentation

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The hardware kit we find with the Commander G41 is pretty basic. There are four long fan screws to use on the front of the chassis, all M3 screws for the motherboards and SSDs, three standoffs, four screws to mount the bay adapter, and four screws for the PSU.

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There is also the 5.25" to 3.5" bay adapter that allows for some options, and we see they have included a mesh bay adapter if you want to use a card reader or smaller controllers.

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The last bits in that bag include the five tie straps to help with wiring, and a motherboard speaker to help with error codes since you can easily hear issues with this.

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The manual shows all of the included bits, takes you step-by-step through the build, and will get even the most novice builder all the way through the process. We also see an insert for the warranty covering the terms and conditions. This is in another bag that is placed outside of the chassis in the box, so you can read this before getting into trouble.

Case Build and Finished Product

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We almost forgot to pull the bezel, but remembered after the build. Thankfully, the wiring is not connected to the bezel, which makes this image possible at this stage of the build. As for dust and dirt removal on the front, you just take the bezel to the tub or sink and hose it off.

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With our choice of components, we didn't hold back. We went with the ATX motherboard, a taller than average CPU cooler, and a longer than average video card, and everything still fits with plenty of room to manage wiring, add in some water cooling later, or add in some lighting and controls.

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There were no issues getting the dust shield snapped in, and as for the expansion slots, they don't move even a fraction of a millimeter, and the screws line up perfectly. The same is true for the PSU; once the PSU is on the rubber support pads, the screws go right in as one would expect.

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While we don't have a whole lot when it comes to wiring, we are very pleased with the way it is all set up. The tie points are strategic in placement, the holes are too, and even without grommets in place, everything is left clean and tidy to view through that huge side panel window.

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Getting both panels back on the chassis was a cinch since both expand to allow just that. We are glad to see they function as planned, and the chassis has potential to take on much more than what we threw at it.

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While powering the chassis, we did see the flicker of the red LED for the HDD activity, but missed it in all of the images. The power button also offers a blue LED that will stay on as long as the system is powered on. Looking through the window, we do not see blue LEDs in that exhaust fan.

Final Thoughts

With the good, comes some bad, and we found this in our testing. Of course, when it comes to budget friendly designs, the idea is usually to get a little air through the chassis, but the main intent is to provide a standby solution. Companies fully expect you to fill the optional holes with your own choice of fans. Herein lies one of the issues we ran into. While the fans are almost dead silent at a foot away from the chassis, the front fan being in front of the HDD cage es no bueno. We only added in a thin SSD, and when we felt around near the bay, there was nothing to feel, not even enough to flicker the flame on a BiC. The rear fan does move a fair bit of air, but as shipped, that is the only fan worth having in its location. While temperatures did not get out of control, both the CPU and the GPU were warmer than usual, leading us to the conclusion that adding fans or at least relocating the front fan is a must.

On a more basic level, the chassis does pretty darn well. It isn't strong enough to use as a foot stool, but the chassis is rigid, and will not flex too much without the panels, and with them on, it is very solid, as you would expect. The large window is a nice addition; even though we usually don't like looking at bays, with this design, we did not mind as much. The motherboard tray and layout of holes and tie points allowed us to manage everything easily, and still afforded a very clean and tidy end result, without much time involved at all.

The only thing on the inside of the chassis that may cause an issue would be the HD audio cable. We know not all boards offer the port at the bottom, and even with ours doing so, the cable just reaches the connection. If it is up near the rear I/O, then you will need to find a nice way of running the cable across the motherboard, or just make the call and leave it disconnected.

What it all comes down to is aesthetics, functionality, and pricing. The looks of this design definitely reminds us of our first look at the Commander series; the G41 is able to look unique, and keep its heritage intact at the same time. Functionality isn't exactly perfect, but it is much better than the average choices on the market. The pricing of the Commander G41 may just be its saving grace. While it was released near the $80 mark, someone must have thought that needed to be addressed to make this chassis more appealing to the masses. In doing so, the MSRP took a huge kick to the grapes, and if you are willing to look around a bit, you can obtain the Commander G41 mid-tower for just less than $55.

While the chassis could use some help in a few minor things, at this price point, they aren't so much forgivable, but are much easier to take, especially knowing about them up front from our trial and error. For those of you that build a lot of computers for friends, or if you are new to building, or your budget is limiting your case buying process, if you like aggressive styling, and a chassis that is easy to work in, then the Commander G41 is well worth the time to consider before buying your next mid-tower chassis.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Commander G41 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 Commander G41 retails for $73.27 at Amazon.

Canada: The Thermaltake Commander G41 retails for CDN$82.97 at Amazon Canada.

TweakTown award
Performance80%
Quality including Design and Build93%
General Features85%
Bundle and Packaging89%
Value for Money97%
Overall89%

The Bottom Line: Thermaltake's Commander G41 is a nice case at a great price. It is roomy for a mid-tower, offers some modularity, and even without grommets or all the bells and whistles, the build was fast and simple, and the end product was clean and rewarding.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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