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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: 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.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_interior_1.jpg

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.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_card_secure_1.jpg

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.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_interior_rear.jpg

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.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_525_bays.jpg

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.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_inside_panel.jpg

I'll continue checking out the interior 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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