I bought this case a few weeks ago and have just got round to fitting my kit inside so I will share my experience with you in the hope that you are well informed for your purchase.
Upon delivery I found the case to be well packed into its box, wrapped in a sort of material back so not to scratch the gorgeous aluminum and its mirror finish paint job. Held in place by two large pieces of polystyrene.
Once out the box and unwrapped, you will find nothing is rattling or being tossed about, this is because all moving parts have been taped shut with a sort of masking tape, so its peels off just fine not leaving any marks.
The very bottom of the case beneath the hard disk bay is where I found a box containing all the screws and rails I was going to need for the task ahead.
Ok now with all the tape off and the screw box out what am I left with?
1 Cleaning Cloth (a nice touch)
2 Thermal Take Stickers
Along with the stickers you find an instruction book and some warranty information.
The case itself has a large removable side panel with a window, you will find feet located on the bottom should you wish to extend these out for improved stability. The case also has a 2 phase front door controlled by a key, Key position 1 locks the whole door, key position 2 allows access to the power / rest buttons and drives, key position 3 allows for the front door and the fascia covering the drives to be opened, this option is used when installing drives.
While experimenting with the door I located a dust filter used to prevent foreign bodies getting into your system, this filter is removable for cleaning a very nice thought.
On the top of the case you are provided with a hatch to access 2x USB ports 1x fire wire ports and connectivity for any front panel audio your motherboard may support. The hatch is of metal construction and very sturdy, locked in place with an internal lack, you push down to lock push down again to open.
Opening the case for installation you set the key to position 3 and then remove the key, at the back you locate 2 thumb screws to remove the window panel, the window panel also has a lock of its own check this and if necessary unlock with the key. The panel was very easy to remove and seat back.
OK onto working with this case, as mentioned before there is a fan located in the removable door, it is 90mm in size and the direction on this fan is to extract hot air. In the case there is a 120mm intake fan at the front, protected by a dust filter, at the back of the case is another 120mm fan again used to extract hot air. The reason I mention the fan direction is that a common misconception is that all fans require a dust filter, but this is not the case as only the intake requires protection.
A let down on the Fan side is that they do not power direct from the motherboard, they have the required connector but have only opted to use a cable for allowing motherboards to measure the fan speed, power to all fans is provided by standard size Molex power connector. This causes complications for routing and hiding cables, I will consider replacing these in the future with fans I can power direct from my motherboard, and obviously Thermaltake have opted for a retro fit to cover users with boards that can't power this many fans.
On to fitting, after following the instructions removed the hard disk bay, easy to do tool free with a thumb screw, once out there is ample room to work in this case. Next stop remove the floppy disk bay, again following instruction it was very easy and tool free, a simple locking switch needed moved, creating yet more space to work.
With the whole case open I get to work, at the front removed the blanking plates on the inner door for my drives, then on the case itself I removed the metal case blanking plates, these require a screwdriver and are simple to take out.
I then proceeded to fit my power supply as this case doesnt ship with one, very easy access with no other hardware in the way, there was lots of room to slot it into place and secure with screws provided.
Motherboard installation is fairly simple, there is a guide etched into the metal work informing you where to install thumb nuts to seat your board on and screw down into to secure.
Next I moved onto my DVD Drive, the 5-1/4" bays only require tool free rails to install into the case, very simple and almost effortless.
Next I picked up the floppy drive cage, this required a screwdriver as there was no tool free option to secure the drive, again a simple task and placing the cage back into the case was very easy and tool free.
Moving on finally to the hard disk cage, there is room to install 5 HHD drives, with simple thumb screws, an nice touch to note here are rubber washers installed on the inside and outside of the cage to dampen any vibrations, installing was easy and putting the cage back into the case was effortless secured at the bottom with a thumbscrew.
You can if desired install 1 more hard disk into the bottom on the floppy disk holder giving room for a maximum 6 hard drives
Card installation in this case is supposed to be tool free and effortless but this was not the case for me with a large 3D Graphics card.
Thermaltakes design suggests you remove a rear blanking plate then pop open a card retaining clip install the card then snap the clip shut to lock it in place, this works for any normal card. I had to work round this for my graphics card, by keeping the clip open then screwing my card in place like I would with any other case so no big deal but something to watch out for.
With my hardware in place I set about plugging and routing cables, the cables inside the case provide for connectivity to an intruder detection point, to let you know if your case has been opened, if you motherboard supports this, cables for the usual power switch, reset switch, power LED and HD LED. No internal support for a PC speaker, some motherboards have their own, but if yours doesnt, this could be an issue if you require one. From the top I linked up only the USB as I had no fire wire support, the front panel audio also plugged in file, I secured the fire wire cable out the way at the top of the case to keep it tidy
After some time tidying my work concealing the power cables for the fans I mentioned earlier I put the panel back on stood it up and it all fired up clean first time. The fans were definitely quieter than my previous case but are not silent.
After a few days of testing under load, my PC runs much cooler so the combination of aluminum construction and large fans does the job.
In conclusion for a Mid-Tower case this ticks a lot of boxes and I would recommend this as a good investment, as its easy to work with and can aid in extending the life of your components by reducing the heat.