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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Comments
la_guy_10 4 years ago

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.

Lev_Astov 4 years ago

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.

Nethersprite 4 years ago

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.

Zestia 4 years ago

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.

Schmich 4 years ago

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.

inspector 4 years ago

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.

Nethersprite 4 years ago

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.

RyuGTX 4 years ago

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.

 

[quote user="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.

[/quote]

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.

 

until240 4 years ago

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

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

Inspector 4 years ago

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?

until240 4 years ago

@inspector

that has to be the reservoir but i'm a bit confused with the other small cube-ish thing that looks like a reservoir, but that's probably the pump. i've never seen an acrylic pump like that before. but then again the whole setup is pretty insane so it's probably some custom job.

yeah, that's always been my favorite build, and i'm glad that there's a manufactured version of it available if i wanted to cough up the cash.

RyuGTX 4 years ago

When this case was first announced, I believe that was the time when manufacturers started getting into the whole "cooling zone" design. The Thermaltake Level 10 just takes it one step further and puts a box over each component.

animatortom 4 years ago

I saw this a while back and the first thing in my mind was "They want what for the price?!!"

If a case is more than 200 dollars, then it really needs to be designed by Ferrari! Then have Michael Schumacher as their spokesperson!

That's just the thing, if you wanted to water cool this it is very impractical. All they did in the design of this thing was look at all the components and built little boxes around them. Then interconnected it all.

Of course I am sure over at BMW they were one day sitting around drinking a good German Lager Playing FIFA World cup on their PlayStation 2! When they said to themselves, hey this would make a great computer case? SO they enlarged it and put some red lights on it, then said to themselves lets charge 1K for it.

When it comes to cases, I am more concerned about the internal functionality. Like the previous reviews of this thing if the drives get to hot and it cant be water cooled, or maybe even fit some of the SLI or crossfire setup. Then what is the point?

If the case defines the gamer, then I am more inclined to be impressed by the people who mod them to fit their personalities and Fandom.

 
Like this Stargate one. Now this one is Worth 800+ dollars http://dvice.com/archives/2009/09/stargate-motori.php

gibbersome 4 years ago

@animatortom

Woooah, now that's an awesome case! Would be the pick of any LAN party. The Level 10 is a different matter: dropping $700 on a case that is not water cool enabled or easily transported to LAN parties...ehhh, I dunno.

Still the major accomplishment of the case seems to be the easily swappable hard drives. Might be awesome for a server.

bob_on_the_cob 4 years ago

Good review. I just really don't like the look of this case. Maybe it's not for me.

3vi1 4 years ago

Yeah - it's a bit different; people are going to love it or hate it. I love the look myself, but am so put off by the price that I will never own it.

Great review, HH!

RyuGTX 4 years ago

[quote user="3vi1"]

Yeah - it's a bit different; people are going to love it or hate it. I love the look myself, but am so put off by the price that I will never own it.

Great review, HH!

[/quote]

 

Who knows. Cooler Master may hold a contest and put up one of these cases as a prize.

 

Inspector 4 years ago

Ryu OR HH can host the contest :P lol, that would be nice :P

Xolso 4 years ago

Man that thing looks awesome, and it's only $800 ! ( sarcasm  )

I'm sure it's a nice case and worth buying if you're loaded, but you could build a decent PC with that much.

sp12 4 years ago

I'm not sure whether or not the fact that it's compartmentalized would help or hinder heat dissipation :( Reagrdless, it looks awesome except for the price tag.

RyuGTX 4 years ago

[quote user="sp12"]

I'm not sure whether or not the fact that it's compartmentalized would help or hinder heat dissipation :( Reagrdless, it looks awesome except for the price tag.

[/quote]

 

As far as the concept is concerned, it doesn't seem too different than what most pc cases are doing today. This case just literally divides up the components. Where as other cases just do it all internally. It might perform a little worse just because the lack of fans that are on this thing. Two intakes for the motherboard compartment would have been better. Basically one for the video card and one for the cpu.

 

caspia 4 years ago

An amazing piece of kit!

I am seriously considering going for it. I do have a few questions.

Will moving onto 64 bit processing limit the programs I currently use with 32 bit?

Is 64 bit well established now?

I see that there are four USB ports on the front. I need at least eight. Are there any on the back and if not can they be incorporated easily?

I live in Spain and it gets hot in the summer (40 degrees Celsius). Is the cooling / fan capable of handling this efficiently?

How noisy is the processor when running normally?

I will really appreciate somebody making life easier for me by posting replies and I thank you in advance!

moethelawn 4 years ago

@caspia - This is a case not a computer, so you can put whatever parts you want in it. A 64-bit OS can still run 32-bit programs no problem.  Luckily drivers today have both the 32-bit or 64bit options so I don't think compatibility is much of a problem anymore.  I'd say the only time everyone will leave 32-bit stuff is when the next version of Windows is only 64-bit.  The case offers 4 USB ports in the front but whatever motherboard you install in this case will allow you to have more USB ports in the back.   The USB ports are right on the motherboard so once the motherboard is in, the ports are right there in the back where they should be.  I don't know how well air goes through the case to keep it cool but I'd make sure you buy a nice heatsink for your CPU.  According to the article, it's not really water-cooled compatible which is unfortunate for how much it costs.    Since I don't have the case, I can't answer if the fans are noisy but the noise factor also depends on the CPU fan you use if you have one

dlim783 4 years ago

Way too expensive! $800! That case doesn't have good air flow.

fat78 4 years ago

well for 800 dollars i think the airflow could be better,  but it has some pretty good features like the fact that all the hardware is kept separate, has a fan for each hard drive, huge exhaust holes, and pretty good fans that blow air directly across the motherboard then blown out.

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