Thermaltake Level 10 Gaming Station Review

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Thermaltake Level 10 Gaming Station ReviewComputer cases tend to reveal certain things about their owners. With one glance, your friends can estimate just how serious (or casual) your computer hardware addiction may be. Whether the chassis is a generic, cream-colored throwback from the 90's, a standard mid-tower with a couple of LED fans, or an extravagant full-tower gaming behemoth with see-through side panels and custom graphics, first impressions unavoidably start with the enclosure.

Although the market is loaded with a myriad of attractive cases, one product from Thermaltake caught our attention from the moment we laid eyes on it and it has captivated us ever since. The Level 10 gaming tower is a new over-the-top enclosure made specifically for enthusiasts who want to make a statement without saying a word; or at the very least, appreciate cutting-edge design and absolute precision build quality. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but few can deny the Level 10's eye-catching good looks and extraordinary construction. As you may have heard, this case was created by BMW Group Designworks USA for Thermaltake. The BMW Group designs new concepts for a variety of industries, such as yachts, trains, and aircraft. Let's check out its latest creation made specifically for gamers, to see if it's really as revolutionary and well-built as it looks...

Thermaltake Level 10 Gaming Station Review

 

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la_guy_10 replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 12:10 PM

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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Lev_Astov replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 12:28 PM

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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Zestia replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 12:55 PM

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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Schmich replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 3:26 PM

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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Inspector replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 3:42 PM

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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until240 replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 8:27 PM

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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Inspector replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 8:52 PM

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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RyuGTX replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 1:33 AM

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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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

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@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.

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until240 replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 5:41 PM

@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.

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RyuGTX replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 2:50 AM

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.

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

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 3:08 PM

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!

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RyuGTX replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 4:20 AM

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!

 

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

 

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Inspector replied on Sun, Mar 28 2010 4:58 PM

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

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Xolso replied on Mon, Apr 5 2010 1:07 AM

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.

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sp12 replied on Mon, Apr 5 2010 11:39 AM

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.

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RyuGTX replied on Tue, Apr 6 2010 6:46 PM

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.

 

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.

 

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caspia replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 1:24 PM

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!

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@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

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dlim783 replied on Thu, Jul 1 2010 8:19 PM

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

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fat78 replied on Wed, Jul 7 2010 9:56 AM

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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