Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Seemingly, Thermaltake is not short of ideas when it comes to chassis design, and delivered one of the largest cases we have ever had the opportunity to review with this latest submission. This chassis design is very much along the lines of models you would find from Mountain Mods, in the aspect of it is a chassis that comes completely torn down and requires assembly; and yes it even reminds us of cases from Caselabs. This is not to say this is a direct copy in any way, as the chassis you are about to see is like no other we have seen before in its entirety.
The chassis we are bringing forth today is a huge super-tower solution for those in the system building game that are true enthusiasts and have a ton of money to spend on the amount of gear it takes to attempt to fill this massive chassis. Not only will this chassis house just about every standard form factor up to and including XL-ATX motherboards, but it also dwarfs any system installed in it. There are tons of options for cooling this chassis with air or water cooling, and not just the typical offerings either. Modularity is also a key factor in this design, where it allows users to make up their minds and add in bits or arrange and install them as needed since the entire chassis needs to be built after it shows up at your door.
There is so much to cover with this chassis, and if you are one of the lucky few who are attending CES this year, be sure to stop by the Thermaltake suite and get a view of this chassis for yourselves, you will not be disappointed. For those of you who cannot attend, we are going to try our best to help wrap your minds around what this new Core W100 Super-Tower Chassis from Thermaltake is all about. With so much to cover, we may as well dig right in and be ready to stay for a bit as we take a spin around this chassis. Get comfortable and grab a beverage, this chassis review is quite a long read, but very much worth the time to have a look at the new direction Thermaltake is taking in massive chassis design.
As mentioned, the Core W100 is a super-tower chassis, and its dimensions of 26.7 inches from front to back and top to bottom and its 12.2-inch depth defines that this is so much more than a full-tower design. The Core W100 comes in one color option at this time, which is black on black, and all versions currently come with a clear window in the left side panel of the chassis. All of the chassis is comprised of SPCC steel components aside from bay trays and optional feet, and once assembled is strong as an ox.
Inside of the chassis, there are options for the drives and storage. There are three HDD cages that can house a total of six 3.5" drives or 2.5" drives, but these cages can either be mounted behind the bezel or via a pair of support rails. They can also be installed back further into the chassis with access from the side panel. As for ODD bays, there are none in the traditional sense, but they have included six brackets that do allow the chassis to support three bays of optical drives or bay reservoirs. In the back of the chassis, there are ten expansions slots to go along with the fact that you can install motherboards from Mini-ITX right on through XL-ATX.
Cooling in this design is left to the user to define, as there is nothing in the form of any fans included in this kit. The way the Core W100 is designed, you can install up to nineteen 120mm fans, nineteen 140mm fans, and even has the potential to be cooled by nine; that's right we said nine 200mm fans. This also makes a ton of room for water cooling options as well. You have the front, top, bottom, and the rear of the chassis for placement, but there are also optional racks that can be installed to house water cooling behind the motherboard tray if needed as well. If this is not enough room for your needs, Thermaltake is also offering a P100 counterpart that is a pedestal that matches aesthetically to the Core W100 design.
We appreciate that in this design, special limits are called clearances, as there are not any limitations on this design. As to the CPU cooler, you can install air coolers up to 200mm in height, which covers every cooler we have ever had our hands-on. Video cards can be somewhat limited if the drive cages are not mounted to the front of the chassis, where their length can only be 470mm, but without cages blocking them, there is 635mm of room. Also, there are PSU limitations, but only if you install fans or cooling into the bottom of the chassis. If three fan locations are filled you have 180mm of room in there, and if you populate only two, that room is increased to 220mm, which covers most PSUs on the market.
Pricing is a bit steep, and outside of the Level 10 chassis, one of the most expensive Thermaltake cases to date. While we are told that the Core W100 and its pedestal should be available at the time of reading this review, be prepared to dig into the deepest reaches of your pockets to obtain this. The chassis itself has an MSRP set of $329.99 for what you are about to see in this review. If you want to opt into grabbing the pedestal later, the MSRP on the P100 is set to $129.99. There is also plans to sell both components in the same box, saving you near $20 to get it all together at the MSRP of $429.99. While this is way out of most budgets when it comes to cases, when you figure the thousands of dollars it takes to fill this chassis with gear, the price of the Core W100 is just a drop in the bucket.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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