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Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Today Thermaltake unveils yet another new chassis, this time it's the Suppressor F31 mid-tower. Read on for our full take on this impressive case.

@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Thu, Nov 19 2015 11:00 AM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 46 IMAGES

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.

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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

Packaging

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Plain brown cardboard with black printing keeps costs down and still can get the point across as it does here. The top offers the company and Suppressor F31 naming above a rendering of the closed chassis. Next to it we see that this is another Tt LCS certified design, and the address is at the bottom to access more information.

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This panel gives us all the naming at the top and a smaller rendering of the F31 in the middle. Down below we see the front I/O connectivity, the fans, modular drive trays, and that it is LCS certified are pointed out.

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As Thermaltake typically does, they use the back of the box for an exploded diagram. This side shows all of the major components and what does and does not come out of this chassis, and honestly, there isn't much that won't come apart on this design.

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Getting around to the last side of the box, we have run into two images of the F31, where we have the No Window option ticked with a white sticker. Below that is a full list of specifications much like what we just covered on the last page.

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Delivering the Suppressor F31 to us in great shape is the work of the box along with the thick Styrofoam end caps, and the plastic inner liner. All of which played its part, took some hits, and stood the test.

Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Mid-Tower Chassis

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On the front, you just find a flat expanse of brushed metal-like texture on the plastic front door, with a simple trim line around all sides. No naming, no venting, no nothing to break up the sleek look.

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The door opens to the right exposing the sound absorbing material inside of the door, as well as the two removable bay covers, and offering access to the removable dust filter at the bottom for cleaning.

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The bezel does come off, but for most applications, access through the bay covers, and with the dust filter removed, you can access the fan screws too.

Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 10 | TweakTown.com

We also found this rubber strap clipped onto a tab inside the bottom edge of the door panel, which is made to help hold the door shut should you travel with this case.

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The strap works by releasing it from the tab inside the door, closing the door, and then wrapping the rubber strap around a tab under the chassis. When moving the chassis, the strap then keeps the door shut.

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At the top of the bezel, inside of a groove separating the bezel from the I/O panel is where we find our connectivity. We have HD Audio jacks on the left, followed by the reset button and HDD activity light. A large power button is in the middle, and there are pairs of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports off to the right.

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The top of the chassis has a thin frame around the edges as it allows for the multitude of cooling options under it. As of now, there is a magnetic dust filter in place blocking access, but we will show this later.

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On the left side of this version, we have a large steel panel installed with a location near the bottom for an optional fan, and we moved the magnetic dust filter to see the mesh under it. The front also offers ventilation for the intake and is directed away from the user.

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Out back the rear I/O and exhaust fan location top the design. There are then eight expansion slots with ventilation and one large grommet for whatever needs arise, leaving the bottom to take the PSU.

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The right side of the chassis also offers ventilation on the side of the bezel, and as to the panel, it is a match to the left side sans any optional fan location.

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Under the chassis, we find large plastic feet with rubber pads very near the corners for solid footing. We also see one large dust filter under the entire bottom that is removable from the back of the PC.

Inside the Suppressor F31

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As we removed the side panels, we got a good idea where most of the weight in this chassis is. Both panels are covered edge to edge with 3mm of sound absorbent materials, and even offers covers for optional fan locations.

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Our first look into the F31, we don't see paperwork, we found that outside of the chassis and the hardware is found tied inside of the first HDD bay. We also see the wiring is tended to as to be sure nothing will move in transit.

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In the front of the F31, we first find the pair of 5.25" bays. These come with tool-free clips, are removable if not needed, and frees up room at the top of the chassis for water cooling options.

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With only three bays on the floor for 3.5" and 2.5" drives, there is quite a bit of open area left for longer video cards or possibly a pump to sit on top of the removable HDD cage.

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The cage, as well as the support plate, come out of the chassis to free up from at the bottom and front of the chassis, and with it removed, we can see the intake fan they have installed at the bottom.

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Currently, sound absorbent covers are installed in the 140mm fan holes, but with the filter removed, we see the entire top offers assorted holes and grooves for 120, 140, and 200mm cooling options.

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The motherboard tray offers a large access hole, six management holes, three with and three without grommets, and plenty of tie points. The standoff locations marked A and M for ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards, but not a third indicator for Mini-ITX boards.

Inside the Suppressor F31 Continued

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Realize we do still have the hard drive rack out of the chassis, and doing so opens up the floor. There are the four pads at the back along with a PSU gasket at the back to isolate the PSU, but the rest of the floor is open to cooling options in front of it.

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The back of the chassis sports the second 3-pin powered fan, and both offer sleeved cabling. As to the expansion slots below it, they use Hex head 6/32 screws to secure them.

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From the factory, they pretty much ball up the wiring and strap it to the motherboard tray. They don't need to worry too much about it fitting, as there is a ton of room back here.

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For starters, there is enough room for the wiring, and if you cannot use the HDD cage in the front, you can also clip those same trays to the back of the tray in three locations, two of which we have shown here.

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In case you wanted to get technical about just how much you could fit back here, we laid out the tape. There is just over 1.5" of space, making this near 40mm of space, and yes that means 1/2" tubing could go here and still have room to bend, with or without fittings involved.

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The wiring is sleeved black to blend into the build, even down to the connections. Here we have long leads that terminate in the native USB 3.0, light and switch wiring, HD Audio and USB 2.0 in the middle. Even the front fan lead is sleeved black to hideaway in this design.

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Pulling the front bezel is fairly easy, and behind it, we find three magnets that keep the door closed most of the time. The front of the F31 is now wide open to remove the ODD bays or make adjustments to the intake cooling.

Hardware & Documentation

Hardware & Documentation

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In the bag of hardware, we are offered this set of screws and goodies. There is an extra pair of standoffs and a socket for them, a set of hex head screws for the PSU, and a set of four fan screws to use in one of the optional locations. At the bottom are motherboard screws, the ones to the right are pretty much for SSD mounting.

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Rather than zip-ties Thermaltake offers five resizable straps that will adjust in many sizes. They send two sheets of isolation washers for HDD installation and even pack a motherboard post speaker.

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The user manual offers everything you will need to know. Starting with a parts list, moving through the build, even covering all of the options and modularity along the way, enough to get anyone through a build with this chassis. The other insert is all about the one year term Thermaltake covers this against defects of errors in workmanship.

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As we like to do, when the cooling options are so plainly laid out with no explanation needed, we snap an image of that page or pages to rid anyone of doubting what is possible inside of the F31.

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Along with the chassis, we were asked to hold on until an optional piece arrived. It is a steel PSU cover that is rounded near the top as it offers two 2.5" drive locations as well as a large grommet for GPU power leads. It is also cut out for the front panel wiring as well as being notched along the back to fit the expansion slots. This option comes along with a $19.99 MSRP, and is fair for the look and features it offers this chassis. It also ships with the screws needed to keep it in place.

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The optional storage drive trays are steel, and until we removed them, are locked into place with a thumbscrew. The top of the cover is slotted to accept the tabs on the trays, and both sides offer two screw locations for very secure drive mounting.

Case Build & Finished Product

Case Build & Finished Product

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With the build completed and we take another spin around the chassis, we see not one thing has changed in the front. If we used LED fans or filled the ODD bays, we would never know as this slick panel covers everything and looks good doing it.

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We had no issues at all fitting in the ATX test system. Average length cards will pose no issues at all with or without the HDD cage, plenty of room for the PSU at the bottom, and even left us plenty of room for an AIO.

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We also wanted to offer a view of the Suppressor F31 with the optional PSU cover installed. At this time, we also removed the optical bay drives to help show off now much room along the front of this chassis as well as at the top can be used for water cooling.

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We had no trouble snapping in the dust shield, nor did we have alignment issues with the video card. The PSU fits nicely too but does take two passes on the screws to seat it to the gasket correctly.

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Just because it is in our nature to manage things well, we went ahead and tied everything down and routed it cleanly. With the room offered back here, though, you could almost just throw writing at this chassis, and it will stick, with plenty of room for more wires around it.

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From this angle, unpowered and the powered up images looked identical, so we stuck with just one of the system powered. At this time we disconnected the fans on the AIO, and could hear nothing from the Suppressor F31 outside of a foot away. Even with the AIO at full blast, the sound was cut in half.

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We did miss the flicker of the red LED for the HDD activity light, but when the system is powered on, there is a ring around the square power button that offers a soft, true blue glow of LED light.

Final Thoughts

What we have found out about this Suppressor F31 is that externally you are given a brick outhouse of a chassis. Short of an earthquake leveling the house, or a toss out of a moving vehicle, this chassis is designed to be much stronger than it needs to be, and we would have no issues standing on this chassis, even at double our current weight. The design is simple yet elegant, and in every aspect possible, every attempt is made to kill any noise that starts life inside of this case. The front, the sides, optional fan locations, this is all covered. On top of that, the art of redirection works just about as well for cases as it does for magicians, simply changing the way you perceive it makes all the difference in the world.

Internally we find a well thought out design that leaves its final form purely to the imaginations of the builders. There is the option to use the ODD bay drives, or you could install a reservoir there if you wish, and a dual bay one at that. Otherwise, you could remove it completely, and this goes for the HDD cage and its support plate at the bottom as well. Gutting it allows for the most in cooling and water cooling options and flow, and even with them in, roominess is not jeopardized in this design. The management holes are all in the right locations, the tie points are everywhere you want them to be, and the room behind this motherboard tray is immense. Then Thermaltake adding in things like isolation washers for the spinning drives, and the pads and gasket for the PSU, the Suppressor naming is not lost in this design one bit. As we said, as the Suppressor F31 came shipped, the chassis is inaudible, and even with the H80i GT at full blast, the most we saw on the meter was 38 dB anywhere other than directly behind it.

We also like the idea of an optional PSU cover to go right in for just an extra $20. Not only do you get a matching black cover to smooth over the squared PSU edges and cover all the nasty looking connections, but you get two more drive locations. The plate lines up well in the chassis, and we were easily able to secure it with holes already present in the motherboard tray and bottom rail of the PSU frame. The grommet is nice too, not only does it keep us from seeing below, but they do tend to keep dust from falling below where it is harder to clean. For those opting for the standard version with a solid panel, this may not be desired, but for those looking at the windowed model, the PSU cover is a nice addition to give it a more polished look.

As it sits, this is one rock-solid contender for you to look at, plenty of room for even the most advanced bits of kit. Enough room to water-cool your heart out inside of it, and at a cost that we are sure you all appreciate. For just $99.99 and possibly a bit for shipping, you can have this tank of a chassis in the Suppressor F31. Even opting for the additional PSU cover, you are only looking at near $120, and still a great deal. While we would have liked a Window in our chassis, keep in mind that version will not be as quiet as our testing with this solid panel version. Nevertheless, we feel that the thought and designing that went into this chassis, you get every pennies worth of your investment, and if you cannot fill it right now, there is plenty for this chassis to offer down the road as well. It accommodates as your needs change.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance94%
Quality including Design and Build99%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging92%
Value for Money98%
Overall96%

The Bottom Line: Thermaltake's Suppressor F31 offers plenty of feature to keep you happy, is silent as can be, and even though the stock air flow could use some help, the price point for what you get is really tough to beat.

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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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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