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This review is from: Thermaltake Level 10 Series Level 10 GTS Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Pros: I've built tons of computers and this is the first case that has the grommets/openings around the motherboard and cable management space behind the motherboard. It seems like a lot more cases are incorporating this, but I love it. It hides so many cables and keeps the case so neat. It also helps with airflow.
The hot-swap bays are a godsend as well. Being a computer tech, I plug in hard drives all the time. I have a USB hard drive dock, but sometimes the drives need to be hooked up internally for a while. I love how they have mounting holes for an SSD and 2.5" drives as well. The power connectors are linked with a cable so you just need 1 sata plug from your power supply to power all 4 drives. I watched the drives plug in from the right side of the case and they make a great connection for me. The connectors give me no problems whatsoever and I've plugged in several drives. Everything lines right up perfectly. I'll touch on the cons regarding the hot-swap bays below.
2 USB 3.0 ports on the front with a proper motherboard header plug, no a silly pass-through cable that you have to plug in back of your motherboard outside your case.
Dust filters all over the place.
I like how each card slot in the back has its own thumb screw, then another bracket lays on top for more support with its own thumb screw.
Fans with 3 pin motherboard connectors (not molex), and fan cables have nice tubing around the wires.
The case came with motherboard standoffs that my ATX motherboard mounted right on to which helped with the install (be sure to check where the mounting points on your board are before you install it).
Lots of ventilation and several mounting points for different sized fans.
Cons: The single biggest gripe I have with this case has to do with the rise in my hard drive temperatures. One of my main drives are a Western Digital Black and it was sitting in front of a 120mm fan in my old case. I consistently had temps of around 32-34 deg. With this case, this drive now has consistent temps in the 39-42 deg range. I think the main reason is because of the hot-swap tray the drive sits in. There's too much plastic around the drive restricting airflow. While these are still safe temps, I might mod the trays a bit to let more air flow through them. While I do agree that the quick release system is a little cheap, it's not terrible. As long as you're somewhat gentle and know how to operate it, it's not that bad. It has a locking system with a key, but I wouldn't trust it for theft protection... I'd say it's more of a system to lock your drives in so they don't accidentally get pulled out when you're computer is on. It's just not as sturdy of a system for theft protection. Also when you're pulling a drive tray out, sometimes it does get stuck a little and doesn't pull out. If that happens, just keep the release button held down on the front of the case, push the drive tray in a little, then it should pull right out. It's only happened a couple times and really hasn't caused me any frustration.
If you take off the front bezel of the case, you'll see another 3.5" drive bay that's right about the top hot-swap bay. This drive tray slides out towards the front, but the big fan is right in front of it. You literally have to take the fan off to get access to this bay. Very, very stupid and poor design. I was going to put my SSD in this slot to free up a hot-swap bay, but it wasn't worth the trouble of taking the fan off. If I ever needed to swap the SSD for any reason, I didn't want to have to go through the same trouble getting it out. Not a huge deal for a drive that will stay put for a while, but I'm constantly swapping drives, upgrading, etc.
With how many things I like about this case and the price I got it for, these cons are not enough to lower the overall rating.
Other Thoughts: Blocking access to the front drive bay is just silly, but at the same time, sitting behind the fan does give it some airflow. If that was the thought, then it would be really nice to have some kind of quick-release system for the fan. It's just a pain as is, but something that just adds a few more minutes to the drive install/removal.
Thermaltake should definitely address the airflow of the plastic hot-swap trays. Maybe add some ventilation holes, etc. Their name even has the word thermal in it! It's just funny that my old cheap case cooled my drives better than this does. I do have the front fan spinning at a decent RPM as well.
-It would have been nice to get at least one extra fan as I'm starting to see other manufactures include 3 or more fans at the same price point.
-Although I like how easy it is to take off the 5.25" drive covers, I wish the tabs didn't stick out so much.
-The left side panel can be a pain to put on as there's a bit of flex to it. You almost have to lay your arm across it to make sure all the tabs go in when you're sliding it on (at least on mine).
-The headphone holder on the left side is nice, but I won't be using it.
-As far as hot-swap connectors go, I think you'll have to use 90 degree sata cables (doesn't come with any sata cables). I had a bunch of extras laying around. I plugged in a straight sata cable and it didn't look like it was going to fit when the side cover was put back on. If they did fit, there would be a lot of stress on the cables/connectors. Maybe that why some are breaking.
-The case is wider than most due to the hard drive orientation and cable management on the right side.
-The paint scratches easily. My screwdriver barely slipped when I was installing a card reader in the front open 3.5" bay. Now I have a nice long silver scratch near the mounting holes inside (nothing a little sharpie can't touch up lol).
Yes it's not as nice as Thermaltake's ~$300 cases, but if you can get this for $50 after rebate and free shipping, there's not a whole lot to complain about. Despite my nit-picking, I am very happy with this case! I just wanted to point out all the small details.
Pros: Overall this is a great cooler. It cools very well and is very quiet. I installed it on an AMD Radeon HD 6870 that had a very poor cooler on it to begin with. The stock heatsink/fan pushed temps close to 95 degrees under full load! Now the card goes up to around 65 degrees under full load with this cooler on it. Idle is around 35 degrees. I now also have heatsinks on each memory chip (which the stock card didn't have), so I really think this cooler will prolong the life of my 6870.
I had to get in touch with Arctic regarding a few things. They were very prompt with getting back to me and gave me great service. I'm very pleased with them as a company.
6 year warranty!
Cons: Big! (which is to be expected with its cooling power) The card and this cooler take up 3 slots now opposed to 2 before. The total card/cooler length on my 6870 is about 25cm / ~10in.
Quite a bit of card flex when installed in my case. Since the cooler is pretty heavy, the back of the card (where the pci-e power connectors are) sags down. It's not terrible and I'm sure the card would have been fine, but I just didn't like that. A nice little fix I came up with was to take one of the metal card slot brackets from my case, screw it into a perfectly located hole on my bottom-mounted power supply, and use the card slot bracket as a kind of support beam that sits almost dead center on the outer edge of the 2 fans on the Arctic cooler (close to where it says "250 watts"). The card is now perfectly level with no sag whatsoever. (The hole in my power supply had nothing on the other side and I made sure not to screw into any components inside. If anyone tries this, just use some quality double-stick tape to attach a card slot bracket or whatever else to your bottom-mounted power supply (if you have one) if you're worried about your card sagging. Double-sided tape is much safer than having screws go into your power supply. It just happened to work out perfectly for my system, and I just had to use a small case screw to get the job done. If you don't have a bottom-mounted power supply and you're worried about the card flex, you'll just have to get creative.)
Other Thoughts: The version on Arctic's website comes with extra/revised mounting hardware. It also comes with a new kind of thermal glue/adhesive that doesn't require mixing (used to attach the ram and VR heatsinks). Most people are getting the older version that Newegg has pictured as of this review (the cooler and heatsinks are the same, just has revised hardware and thermal adhesive). From what Arctic told me, the 2-part G-1 thermal glue mix is removable and the 1-part TG003 thermal adhesive is more permanent.
The package that I got is exactly what's pictured here on Newegg as of this review. I got the 2-part mix that people complain about, but I had no problems with it. Here are my steps...
1. Remove the old cooler and clean your card. There are lots of cleaning methods out there. The manual says to use an eraser. Others use a Q-tip and isopropyl alcohol. There are also cleaning products you can buy specifically for this task.
2. Mix the thermal glue if yours is 2-part. Be sure to mix it for 5 min so both white and grey compounds are completely mixed. Use a small plastic container of sorts to mix in as a large flat surface makes the compounds spread out making it harder to mix causing more work for you do to. As long as your surfaces are clean, I would apply right when you're done mixing (the instructions say within 15 min). Hold each heatsink down for about 10 seconds and let the card sit there when you're done. Don't install the cooler or do anything else with the card. I used the plastic package the Arctic cooler came in to cover the top of my card and let it sit on my kitchen table for almost a full 24 hours. The manual says 5 hours, but I really think this is the major pitfall people run into. I still had lots of glue left over and kept it sitting in the container I mixed it in. After 5 hours, I used the "mixing wand" it came with to test it. It was still very liquidy to my surprise. I can easily see why people are having heatsinks fall off. I can't tell you exactly how long it took to harden as I didn't check it every hour. I just let the card sit there for the 20 hours or so and tested the glue at that point. It was much better and completely solid as that point (not a hard and brittle solid, but just not runny like before). I knew the heatsinks were not going anywhere if they got bumped when I was installing the cooler itself now. I know a full day is a long time to wait, but why not sacrifice one day to make sure you have a perfect worry-free install? Go read a book or something and stop playing games all the time! lol j/k I'm on the computer all the time and used a backup video card to get me through the day. Anyway, the point is... the 5 hour cure time is not long enough! The updated manual says 1 hour cure time for the 1 part thermal adhesive, but I would wait a day with that as well.
3. Proceed with installing the cooler itself.
I hope this long review helps somebody out there. It took me forever to write! :)
This review is from: Coboc 3 ft. High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet - HDMI Male to Male (Black)
Pros: They feel like they're great quality with good sturdy connectors. I used them to hooked up a cable box and Xbox 360 to a Yamaha receiver. Had no problems whatsoever. Great product at a great price.
Cons: NoneREAD FULL REVIEW
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