Thermaltake Level 10 Gaming Station Review - HotHardware

Thermaltake Level 10 Gaming Station Review

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"Rather than covering the expensive interior of the tower, Level 10 celebrates the ensemble of the individual modules by creating a unique component landscape." - Thermaltake


Thermaltake has consistently pushed the limits of computer enclosure design and the Level 10 is no exception. It is unlike any other case we have ever seen and an exciting step in the evolution of gaming towers. Instead of sharing the same space, each component has its own area with pronounced borders that aid in the dramatic effect of the product's architectural design.

Early photos of the Level 10 hinted at a shiny, acrylic looking chassis but Thermaltake decided to go a different route. The entire case is made of aluminum and painted matte black. The finish is mostly smooth with a hint of texture that reveals fingerprints if handled excessively.  However, the included cleaning cloth works well to eliminate any markings to restore the product's appearance.  



Above we see the front I/O ports and 5.25" drive bays. The case provides an On/Off switch, reset button, eSATA connector, microphone jack, headset connector, and four USB ports. There is also a strip of red LED lights that travel the length of the case along the top edge, from the rear to the front of the chassis and also below the I/O ports. The lights don't cycle in any way, but they remind us a little bit of KITT, the car from the TV series Knight Rider.  


A look at the rear of the enclosure reveals a 120mm red LED fan, eight expansion slots, and openings for the motherboard I/O panel and power supply. There are several mounting holes available for different fan sizes if so desired. This angle also shows that the red LED's do not extend past the top edge of this area.



The side panel sports two security locks that must be opened in order to access the main components of the system. One keyhole is for the motherboard, power supply, and side panel. The other secures the optical drive bays and hard drive bays. Even with both of these locks opened, you still need to turn two thumb screws and slide out the side panel to access the system's cabling.

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Oh yea to me the case and the monitor are 2 things you do not skimp on. The case is what you build your whole system around and the monitor is what you will be looking at. Back to the case though yea this definitely makes a statement, I would go as far to say they have equaled or surpassed Silverstone as the case that is functional yet makes an impression when you first see it. With BMW engineering input on this case you know it is going to be bold as the lines on this thing just flow. It is pleasing to the eyes I must say. I guess with the amount of cooling and BMW's German engineering the airflow would be sufficient. I think I will name this the M10 as BMW's M series is known for performance.

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Man, I really wish I could justify the cost of buying that for my next PC. Sadly, I think I'll have to go with a slightly more practically priced case. Or make my own... hmmm.

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This case is incredible, and worth the $800 IMO (if I had that much money, that is). The only two things I can complain about are: 1.) only the top optical drive bay has an opening cover (which really isn't a problem for me if I put in more than one optical drive and a fan controller, for example), and 2.) the hard drive cooling. What hard drive cooling? All the hot air from all your drives rises, and there's no way to vent it at the top. And if you put your hottest drives at the bottom next to the mobo intake fan, you'll be blowing hot air into the case. Although I'm sure the compartmentalized, open-air design helps this a bit.

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Great review guys! The first thing I wondered about when I saw the picture was whether or not it would be compatible with water cooling components and sure enough, you answered that. When you started writing about the hard drive bays I immediately wondered if a Velociraptor would fit given its cooling enclosure and "BAM!" you answered that as well. And I'm glad you pointed out that only two of the drive bays are suited for SATA. It's these little yet significant catches that make your reviews a must read.

In spite of its few shortfalls this is a beautiful case. Personally, I like cases that allow for an internal view, however, with this case any see through parts might actually detract from its sexy lines. Who knows, maybe Thermaltake and BMW can figure something out. At the very least I hope they mosey on over to this review before they start designing their next chassis.

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There are some odd situations where it does not reflect. If you're on a budget but love computers you might keep that old boring case and CRT monitor (that still has great image quality) and rather spend money on new hardware.

One thing though is that once you put money on a case you don't have to buy a new one for a long time. $700+ is expensive but as its a one-time cost (as oppose to always buying the latest graphics card etc.) I can see quite a few buying it even though they're wallets aren't too big.

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My case is made of wood D: lol jk, I would love to buy this case (i wanted to when it came out but im like... broke Sad) Its $850... compared to my case's price... its 7-8 times more :(...

Didn't you guys report about a company making a water cooler that is for this case?

Nice review.

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Where would you put the radiator though? Unless you were only water-cooling the CPU, then that makes sense (put a one-fan rad where the 120 exhaust is, and let the 140 intake cool the cards). But in that case you don't need any special equipment at all.

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When I first saw this thread, I thought someone was digging up an old thread. This case was first introduced a good while back. I'm glad they had the foresight of how long graphics cards could get. Glad to see you guys stuck in a 5970 in there.

I would have like to see some temperatures.

 

Nethersprite:

Where would you put the radiator though? Unless you were only water-cooling the CPU, then that makes sense (put a one-fan rad where the 120 exhaust is, and let the 140 intake cool the cards). But in that case you don't need any special equipment at all.

I don't think you would want to water cool this thing unless you wanted to have most of it external. There isn't any room to place the pump. I guess you could mount the pump and the radiator to the other side.

 

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this case is BEAUTIFUL. reminds of me of this pc:

http://www.million-dollar-pc.com/systems-2009/special/lessdegrees/pius-edelweiss.htm

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WOW, thats an awesome case there until240, i sure wish i was that guy that has or HAD it :) lol. the wiring is very neat and its just pure awesomeness! Is that tube the cooling solution reservoir?

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