|Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package VI90001W2Z|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Tim White - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 01 June 2009|
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Spedo Chassis Final Thoughts
Although not perfect this case has nearly everything I've ever asked for in a case. Thermaltake has put a lot of thought into this case and it shows. The Advanced Thermal Chambers are a good idea and may help some more than others. If you are going to go SLI you may want to remove the GPU chamber cover entirely to allow the side fan unrestricted access to the GPUs. Speaking of fans; all the fans in this case are non adjustable. They run full speed the entire time, given that they are a bit noisy, surprisingly the bigger fans are the loudest. As this is a gamers case a little bit of noise should be expected. It's not as quiet as my Lian Li but I have quiet scythe fans in that chassis.
I really like this case. I've had other similar cases in the past but they were always missing something. Small and so simple to implement things like the backside fan mount/access hole under the motherboard, the bottom vent for bottom fan PSUs and the quick release for the HDD caddies. All items that are not too hard to put into production and yet are missing from so many, cases like the Antec 900, 900 II, and 1200... The above mentioned features put the Spedo Advance chassis above the others. Once you have a case with these features and you tinker with hardware at all you will never want to be without them.
The case arrived to me in a very nice magazine print quality color box. The box art shows a very clear picture of the case and the rear section of a car on one side with the features pictured on the back side. It was ok, but I think they missed the "Think Excitement...Think Spedo" mark with the box art. This of course is subjective and up to the viewer. Overall ok, but it didn't knock my socks off like some others such as the Antec 1200 box.
Outside the box is another story. This chassis seems to walk a fine line between reserved and wild. It has many non standard features such as huge fans and a very large window and yet it's not too over the top. Again this is very subjective but I've seen many cases and I think this would blend in well to anyone's house or place of business and yet when really looked at would actually excite as Thermaltake claims.
This case was built very well. The steel used was not as thick as some others I've tested but construction was very sturdy and high quality while saving some weight. Things like door removal and attachment was much smoother and easier than its competition. The fit and finish was second to none. It was mainly riveted together which is normal and about 90% steel construction with the rest being molded plastic.
While using this case I ran a few informal tests to compare the temperatures of my previous chassis compared with this chassis. This setup did do a better job of cooling. I ran a day of F@H with the GPU client and then some Super Pi to work the CPU. Idle temps for the CPU were only 2 degrees C lower, but under load was 5 degrees C lower (which equaled only a 2 degree increase over idle). The GPU however saw the largest benefit when I removed the GPU ATC side cover. Temps went from 47 idle and 68 load to 44 idle and 61 load. These results of course would be different with different hardware. For example my GPU does not have rear exhaust. I think a rear exhaust GPU would see a larger benefit from ATC 3. Functionally it's proven itself to me.
I always have trouble talking about the value of products. This is one of the most expensive cases I've every reviewed or used. How do I justify that cost? Well you could start with an average case, say about $70? Add four middle of the road 120mm fans at say $10-$12 each and two large fans at least $20 each for about $160. Add your time for modding the case, which in my life is worth A LOT and still not have all the benefits of this case. I'd say if you want a complete package out of the box with nothing more to buy this would be your chassis. As of June 2009 the VI90001W2Z SKU is available from NewEgg.com for $199.99 after rebate. I honestly think you are getting a good value for your money especially when compared to some of Thermaltakes competition selling gaming mid towers for nearly the same price with a lot less features.
The Spedo Advance chassis is a large well made and very well laid out chassis. One of the biggest things going for it is the cable management. When I build systems I'm totally insane about clean wiring. This case was so far the best organized case I've ever worked with. If you are in the market for a full tower gaming case I highly recommend this case. It's worth mentioning that Thermaltake does make this case in a lower trimmed out version called simply "Spedo" sans the Advance... No black interior, not as many accessories and no thermal chambers, but it is essentially the same case and right now it's $60 less! Bargain time.
+ Cable management
- Arrived to me with slight damage
Final Score: 9.05 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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