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Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2N E-mail
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Written by David Ramsey   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2N
Closer Look: L10GT Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Building a Level 10 System
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: L10GT Exterior

Henry Ford is reputed to have said that buyers of the Model T could have it in any color they wanted, so long as it was black. That's your choice with the Thermaltake Level 10 GT as well: solid black. The black powder-coated interior gives the case a more finished appearance. The box hints at the design collaboration with BMW that resulted in the original Level 10 case, and Thermaltake's advertising copy claims that "The design language of the Level 10 GT expresses a passion for visual aesthetics deriving from demanding and immersive game play and multimedia entertainment enthusiasm.", but apparently the Level 10 GT was designed entirely by Thermaltake. The picture of the case on the box shows red plastic trim strips on the top and front of the case that appear to be lit, but unlike the original Level 10, these strips are not illuminated.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_box.jpg

The accessories include re-usable cable wraps, a collection of screws, an EPS-12V extension cable (suitable for 4-pin or 8-pin motherboard connectors), a "Certificate of Authenticity", a manual, and two keys for the locking compartments of the case. Oh, that odd thing above the certificate of authenticity? It's a headphone hanger, which you can attach to the side of the 5.25" device bays if you wish.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_accessories.jpg

The Level 10 GT certainly makes a strong visual statement. It's not as large as the original Level 10: it's both not as tall and shorter front-to-back. However, it's significantly wider. In this comparison photo you can see that the Level 10 GT gives up one hard drive bay to the Level 10, but adds another 5.25" bay, a new 3.5" bay, and the ability to accomodate Extended ATX motherboards, a worthy tradeoff in my opinion. Seeing the cases side-by-side, the first thing you'll notice is that while the original Level 10 is all metal, the Level 10 GT seems to be almost all plastic. However, it's good-quality plastic, and contributes to the 20-pound weight difference between the two cases.

thermaltake_level_10_gt_vs_level_10.jpg

While the Level 10 GT appears outwardly similar to the original Level 10, its internal design is very different. While the original Level 10 had physically separate compartments for the motherboard area, power supply, 5.25" drives, and hard drives, these differences are only visual in the Level 10 GT. Internally, it's all one large compartment as with most other cases, despite Thermaltake's calling it a "modular" case. A clear window offers a view into the top area of the motherboard, and an LED-lit 200MM fan provides extra ventilation for your video cards. You can remove any of the five hard drive caddies by pressing the circular button at the left edge of the caddy (right by the number) and sliding the caddy out to the left. The key lock seen to the left of the 3.5" device bay can be set to lock the hard drive caddies in place. The left side panel is hinged and swings open for motherboard access; you can easily lift the panel completely off its hinges if you wish.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_front_34.jpg

The right side of the case is a slide-off steel panel, embossed outwards to provide room for cables, and with a silk-screened logo at the bottom right. This view of the case also highlights the handle, which is easily strong enough to move even a fully loaded case.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_right_side.jpg

The rear of the case contains three rubber-lined pass-through holes for wires or water cooling hoses, the keys for the case, the 140mm rear exhaust fan, 8 card slots, and the power supply mounting area. The small metal loop to the right of the power supply opening is secured by a screw inside the case and is intended to lock your keyboard and mouse cables at LAN parties.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_right_rear_34.jpg
Let's check out this case in more detail in the next section.



 

Comments 

 
# Consultant engineerJean Olbrechts 2011-03-10 01:40
I just intended to start building a new computer devoted to image analyzes.
I'm ready tro give it a chance, but, at the same time, would like to try a water cooling ... Never did !

Thanks for reviuw,
Jean
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# Cool features, but ugly as hellBunzing 2011-03-10 03:35
Damn this thing is ugly. I prefer a nice sleak design. This thing has way to many shapes and looks like a ps2. It does have some nice features though that I would like to see in better looking cases.
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# RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NWhyNot 2011-03-10 03:40
Really nice case and had I not "future proofed" my case already several years ago I'd really consider this case. As a matter of fact, I just passed my 4 year anniversary with my LIAN LI PC-65B case and have built 4 systems in it during that time (I get bored :) ). Simple, clean and the only real issue I've had with it is cable management, but even then it's not terrible. I like the cutouts and rubberized areas that the Level 10GT has, really good idea there. Maybe in another 4 or 5 years I'll be willing to give up my LIAN LI, but for right now I'll ust window shop :)
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# RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NAnders 2011-03-10 08:44
The GT version looks nasty. It's the Full Tower version that's the looker!
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# LOLJN 2011-03-10 09:46
What an monstrocity - I have a non-GT which is a OK, but this... LOL

Its super ugly and probably just as little functional as the original Level 10. Just to add extra SATA cables you have to pay $50+ and rip the whole case appart (even where it's glued) and spend the whole day on such a simple job.

Make no mistake - the original one looked OK because it was designed by BMW but it was still made by LOWLIFE Thermaltake - so go figure, the quality and common sense is not there.

Thanks God those Asians did not put flashy leds everywhere or other of the crap they love
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# RE: LOLDavid Ramsey 2011-03-10 10:51
You read the review, right? The Level 10 GT is more functional than the original Level 10: better ventilation, larger motherboard capacity, more 5.25" bays, a 3.5" bay, full SATA backplane, etc. so on and such forth.
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# RE: RE: LOLJN 2011-03-10 21:53
Yeah, but not by much and only 5 drives vs 6 so how is it "more" functional - in some areas yes, in some not.

Nutw, the only reason to buy it would be for its looks - that's why I bought my original Level 10 - any $100 full tower case will have more functionality anyways - and I agree it has no LOOKS...

The thing is they put a draft pic of a BMW automobile on the box and hope this ugliness will sell...

I bet it won't...
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# RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NRobert17 2011-03-10 15:20
Nice review, David. I've read several others and they reflect somewhat the same pluses and minuses.

And yeah, the SATA backplane on the hard drive bays, very nice. How long till all manufacturers line up behind this idea?

I have a Phantom and have a similar issue with the MB cutout for mounting an add-on CPU heatsink retention bracket, cut-out being just off kilter for my ASUS board. Looks like the engineers need to measure more MBs?

Either way, working in a larger case is much more the pleasure than mid-towers, or smaller. Like you said, if an entusiast tinkers much, might as well get a case with plenty of room under the hood.
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# It wasnt the priceDaveMC 2011-03-13 13:16
It wasn't the price that kept sales low, it was the fact it is one of the ugliest cases on offer ever.

I showed it to many people and never mentioned price, and some were offered it free, and none were interested.

BMW needs to stick to cars, ThermalTake needs new designers.
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# RE: It wasnt the priceDavid Ramsey 2011-03-13 13:41
A lot of people disagree with you on that; most reviewers liked the looks of the case. But each to his own.
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# what about actuall figurestomer 2011-03-13 23:46
when it comes to cooling, i think is one of the big aspects when choosing a performance expensive case.

also some facts are wrong when compared to FT02:
"..but the Level 10 GT case is not only much easier to build in, but can hold larger motherboards and more drives as well."
The FT02 can hold 5 x 3.5' , 1 x 2.5' and 5 x 5.25' drives...also it can hold 12? x 11? mb.
FT02 comes with 1 SATA backplane by the way.
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# RE: what about actuall figuresDavid Ramsey 2011-03-14 08:12
The top 5.25" bay in the FT02 is of limited utility since even short 5.25" drives will bump up against the inside of the card slot bracket (I covered this in my review of the case). The FT02's 2.5" drive mounting point is difficult to utilize effectively since it's so far from the other drive bays that you'll have to dedicate a SATA power cable to it, potentially wasting several SATA power connectors. And the FT02 cannot accommodate an E-ATX motherboard, whereas the Level 10 GT can. Don't get me wrong, the FT02 is still a great case, with better cooling than the L10GT, but overall I like the L10GT better.
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# RE: RE: what about actuall figuresTomer 2011-03-14 08:59
I've installed my FT02 rev 1.4 , 2 weeks ago. on the top 5.25' bay I had Asus standard DVD drive in with no issues. below it, a DVD writer.
by the way, all my fans are on low and I my cpu temp dropped about 10c degrees from my old Xaser III but i'm sure new thermal paste and some dust cleaning helped as well.
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# RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NAdam 2011-03-14 13:26
I'd just like to say before reading the review, that is the single ugliest case I've ever seen.

Sweet jesus is that thing harsh on the eyes. Looks like it was designed in the 80's.
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# RE: RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NDavid Ramsey 2011-03-14 13:59
You weren't around in the 80s, were you? Computer cases then were rectangular beige boxes.
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# RE: RE: RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NAdam 2011-03-14 14:26
I meant from a general 80's design perspective, not specifically those delightful beige boxes.

It reminds me of concrete tower blocks.
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# RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NJm 2011-10-08 01:24
I like this case alot and thanks for your review I finally made up my mind. I will buy this case today and hopefully I won't have to change my case in the next 4 years or so.
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# RE: RE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2NDavid Ramsey 2011-10-08 09:38
I think you'll like it. Just be careful about the little spring loaded power connector for the side panel fan, it's quite delicate.
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# You skipped a conDaniel Kufer 2012-03-29 14:58
You forgot to add "no lights" to the list of cons
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# RE: You skipped a conDavid Ramsey 2012-03-29 15:04
I didn't add it because it has lots of lights: specifically, three multicolor LED fans which I do mention the review?
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