Thermaltake Level 10 GT Full Tower PC Case Review
Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Last March Thermaltake, along with BMW DesignworksUSA, released a case that was to be a “Gaming tower showpiece” resulting in the Thermaltake Level 10. Coming in at $700 the Level 10 was, and still is, the single most expensive case we had ever reviewed at LR. The Level 10 was different, that is for sure; it took case styling up a notch, but was limited on space for cooling options. For the most part, people could not get past the cost to even seriously consider the case as an option.
Now, here we are a year later and Thermaltake has released the Level 10 GT, with an MSRP of $279.99; it is the more affordable and hardware friendly Level 10. The Level 10 GT has similar styling to its predecessor, but leans more to traditional case design by not being completely compartmentalized like the Level 10 was.
Having the extra room the Level 10 GT can accommodate larger CPU coolers with 190mm of head room. It even has mounting holes for internally mounting a 240mm radiator for water cooling in the top of the case. The Level 10 GT still has the hot swap drive trays, 5 in all; it also has room for four 5.25” devices. The Level 10 GT also has two USB3.0 ports and one eSATA port on the top panel, along with four USB2.0 ports and HD Audio ports along the front.
The Level 10 GT comes with what Thermaltake is calling QuadFan Ventilation. A system consisting of three 200mm Color Shift fans, side/front intake and top exhaust and a single 140mm rear exhaust fan. The Colorshift fans add a little flare to the case, but the lighting can also be turned off if you want. The fan speed can also be controlled with a fan controller on the top panel.
Features of the Thermaltake Level 10 GT
- Performance cooling made quiet: one top 200mm exhaust fan, one front 200mm intake fan, one side 200mm intake fan and one rear 140mm exhaust fan.
- Hinged side panel to enable easier opening of the side door and access to computer for maintenance or upgrade.
- Dramatically improved cable management. User no longer "hides" the excessive cable on the back, the Level 10 GT features numerous holders designed into the chassis for cable management.
- Five hot-swappable hard drive bays, each with its dedicated backplane to support hot-swap. Hard drive mounting supports both 2.5" and 3.5" drives.
- Connectivity array. Four USB 2.0 ports are conveniently located on the front bezel including a pair of audio ports. Two USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA port located on the top.
- Water cooling ready - 120mm or 240mm radiators can be easily attached to the top side of the chassis (top 200m fan needs to be removed)
- Fan speed management control embedded. ColorShift fans can be easily controlled through controls on the top.
- Fully black-powdered interior.
Specifications of the Thermaltake Level 10 GT
- Part Number: VN10001W2N
- Warranty: 3 years
- Case Type: Full Tower
- Material: SECC
- Front Bezel Material: Plastic
- Exterior: BLACK
- Interior: BLACK
- Side Panel: Window
- Motherboard Support: Micro ATX, ATX, Extended ATX
- 5.25" Drive Bay: 4 Ext.
- 3.5" Drive Bay: 1 Int.
- 3.5" Drive Bay: 5
- Expansion Slots: 8
- Front I/O Ports: USB 3.0 x 3, USB 2.0 x 4, eSATA x 1, HD Audio x 1
- Cooling System
- Front (intake): 200 x 200 x 20 mm ColorShift Fan x 1 (600~800RPM, 13~15dBA)
- Rear (exhaust): 140 x 140 x 25 mm Turbo Fan (1000PRM, 16 dBA)
- Top (exhaust): 200 x 200 x 30 mm ColorShift Fan (600~800RPM, 13~15dBA)
- Side (intake): 200 x 200 x 30 ColorShift Fan (600~800RPM), 13~15dBA)
- Bottom (intake): 120 x 120 x 25mm (optional)
- Liquid Cooling Capable: Yes
- Power Supply Supported: Standard PS2
- Dimension (H*W*D): 584 x 282 x 590 mm
- Net Weight: 28.0 lbs
- Security Lock: Front HDD Access, Side Panel, Rear peripherals
- Application: High Performance GamingUnboxing the Level 10 GT
External Impressions of the Level 10 GT
The overall style of the Level 10 GT is similar to the original Level 10, but with some differences. First, and most noticeable, is the side panel window. The next is that the motherboard area and the power supply area are no longer separate and there is more side venting in both the motherboard area and in the 5.25” bays.
There are four external 5.25” bays and a single 3.5” bay. To the left of the 3.5” bay is the lock for the hard drive trays for the Pitstop Hot Swap system. To the right side are some of the front I/O ports. Top to bottom: power, reset, hard drive activity LED, two USB2.0 ports, audio ports, and two more USB2.0 ports.
At the bottom are the 5 hard drive bays. Each bay is able to hold either a 2.5” or 3.5” hard drive. Each of the bays is numbered which could make it easier to keep track of the disks for raid setups. Next to each number is a button. Once the cages have been unlocked pushing the button will release it from the cage. Also between the hard drives and the front of the case is a 200mm Color Change intake fan.
Looking at the top there is a vent in the rear and more venting for the 5.25” bays. Next to the 5.25” bay vent are more I/O ports.
Front to back: Fan LED switch, fan speed control buttons, two USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA port.
Moving around to the left of the case we can see the 200mm side intake fan, side panel window, and the side panel lock.
Near the lock is a lever; this lever is for adjusting a set of louvers that can direct air flow from the fan whether up or down.
The side of the 5.25” bay is vented, but also has mounting spot for a headset holder. When the holder is not in use the mounting hole is covered with a rubber plug.
The side intake fan has a removable dust filter.
Inside the Level 10 GT
The side panel swings open to the rear and can be removed to give full access to the motherboard and power supply area without the door in your way or flopping around on your workbench.
To help with wire routing and keep the case tidy, power to the side panel fan is provided by a pair of PCBs that touch when the case is closed up. The case side of the connection is already pre-run for you to the case fan controller.
On the inside of the door is a set of louvers. These will allow you to direct the air flow coming from the fan into the case.
While working on the review I almost knocked over the case; in the process of catching it I managed to push the side panel window out. After I stopped swearing, I looked closer at the window area. The side panel window is held in with some clips. What is nice about this is if you wanted to replace the window with a different color plastic, or even etch the stock window piece, it can be removed and put back in.
With the side panel out of the way we have a good look inside. The motherboard tray has plenty of cable management holes, as well as a rather large CPU cut out. All the case wiring for the fans has been sleeved for a nice clean look.
The power supply area has small tabs on the sides and rear that raises the PSU about 1/4" off the bottom of the case. There is also an upper tab on the motherboard side. That tab could make things interesting for those with long body power supplies, as the PSU will need to be set in front of that tab and slid into place. With the hard drive cages not being removable things could get a little tight. Standard body PSUs shouldn't have any issues.
Here we have the expansion slots. There are 8 slots in all, and all the slot covers are vented. What is a little different than most full tower cases is the hold-down screws are located outside of the case. I have seen this on small form factor cases, but not on a case of this size.
In the top back corner we can see the thumbscrew for the cable locking tab on the back of the case. This could be interesting to reach if you have a radiator or a large CPU cooler like the Noctua NH-D14. I understand why it is on the inside, but buried to the back of the case could make using it difficult for folks with large hands.
To get the hard drive trays out you first unlock the drive bays, then on each bay press the button next to the number; this releases the bay from the drive cage.
To hide the pull handle, and keep the rounded end look, the drive tray has a spring loaded door that is pushed in to reveal the tray's pull handle.
Each drive tray is set up for mounting either a 2.5” or 3.5” hard drive. In the front edge is a small spring clip. This is what latches the tray into the drive cage.
With the headset cradle and vent on the left side of the drive bays, the 5.25” tool-less locking mechanisms are on the right.
Looking closer at the lower corner we can see the locking bar for the drive cages.
Last edited by Frank3nst3in; April 1st, 2011 at 18:37.
Re: Thermaltake Level 10 GT Full Tower PC Case Review
saw it ages ago...its a nice case at its price point but no where near the Original Level 10....
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