|Thermaltake Level 10 GT VN10001W2N|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 09 March 2011|
Page 4 of 7
Closer Look: Interior
The inside of the Thermaltake Level 10 GT is powder-coated black. This is becoming more common even in less expensive cases, and I think it's about time. Lifting the swing-open side panel off its hinges grants easy access to the interior of the case, where there are no fewer than eight cable routing holes, each bounded by a rubber grommet to keep things neat. Motherboard standoffs for ATX-sized motherboards are pre-installed. Extended ATX motherboards will fit, but will cover most of the cable routing holes.
The card slot retention mechanism is actually outside the case. A removable panel (secured by the top two screws in this image) provides extra security to local the cards down. I've seen this design in small form factor cases before, as well as a few Dell cases, but this is the first time I've seen it in a high-end third party case.
Now this...this is nice. There are two features here that are almost unique in the case market: first, if you cast your eyes to the lower left of this image, you'll see that the five hard drive bays have a full SATA backplane, with pre-wired power so that a single SATA connector can power all your hard drives. Next (and less obvious) are the pre-wired internal fans. The front, side, and top fans all feed into a common wiring harness that's pre-routed; a single 4-pin Molex pass-through connector powers all of them (the rear fan is separately powered with a standard 3-pin connector). The motherboard tray lacks standard tie-down points but does provide four large wire-retention clips, which you can see running vertically down the middle of this image. While they work well, most of their capacity is used already.
The 5.25" bays comprise a single large compartment. A tool-less retention mechanism operated by slides visible in the previous image makes installing drives trivially easy: pop off the front panel to the bay you want to fill, slide the drive in, and pull the corresponding slide forward. One minor nit here is that you can't readily secure the opposite side of the drive with a screw, which I personally like to do, since the mesh panel at the right of this image isn't easily removable.
The inside of the swing-open side panel shows the integrated 200mm cooling fan, and the adjustable louvers you can use to direct its airflow. The small electrical pad visible at the right side of the door connects to tiny, spring-loaded contacts on the side of the case body when you close the door, eliminating the problem of dangling fan cables. However, although there was no sign of damage to the box or case, the spring-loaded contact assembly fell off the inside of the case when I opened the door for the first time; apparently, it was secured only by its solder connections, and since the entire contact assembly is only a few millimeters long, there wasn't much solder. Repairing this requires some soldering skills and luck; I've gotten mine working again, although occasionally, closing the door all the way somehow kills power to the fan. This is a surprising weak point.
I'll continue checking out the interior in the next section.