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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

Building a Level 10 System

The ultimate test of any case is building a system in it. Although the lack of a removable motherboard tray is a little disappointing in a case as expensive as the Thermaltake Level 10 GT, the swing-open, removable side door and ample internal space still makes component installation pretty easy. The ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard I used is a little wider, front-to-back, than the ATX standard, and as you can see it slightly encroaches upon the rubber-grommetted cable routing holes. However, this image also shows two large additional holes in front of the motherboard area that you can use for cable routing, which would be especially handy for Extended ATX-sized motherboards. Thermaltake also leaves lot of room between the motherboard and the top of the case, and this space, combined with the supplied EPS-12V extension cable, means you don't have to run that cable inside the motherboard area along the back of the motherboard. If you prefer water cooling, the 200mm fan at the top of the case can be removed to reveal mounting points for a 240mm radiator.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_mb_installed.jpg

Installing your drives is simple: just screw them to their caddies and slide the caddies into place. The drive connects to the backplane automatically. These plastic caddies are much easier to insert than the metal caddies on the original Level 10, which tended to bind and stick unless you lined them up precisely straight before inserting them.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_drive_caddy.jpg

With everything installed, there's still ample room inside the case. This build has two optical drives, three hard drives, and an SSD. Remaining open are one hard drive bay, two 5.25" device bays, and a 3.5" drive bay.

thermaltake_level_10_GT_installed.jpg

There's plenty of room here for almost any system you'd want to build short of an EVGA SR-2 based computer. When running stress testing, the video card temperatures were 3-4 degrees Celsius higher than they were in the Silverstone Fortress FT02 case. That case remains the gold standard for sheer air cooling prowess, but the Level 10 GT case is not only much easier to build in, but can hold larger motherboards and more drives as well.



 

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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