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.
|Quality including Design and Build||93%|
|Bundle and Packaging||89%|
|Value for Money||97%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||89%|
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.