Since there doesn’t exist a synthetic benchmark for how good cable management is yet, I’m afraid you’ll have to run with my own experiences with the case. Focusing on a few key features, such as strength, noise and cooling and anything else that springs to mind, I’ll run down my views of the chassis and tell you what I think.
Im a bit torn on how to award this part of our testing procedure. While the frame of the Level 10 GT is incredibly strong – not even an iota of flex regardless of the force put on it – but the case itself does have a lot of extra plastic. The core of the GT is sturdy as a rock, but the rest of it I can’t say as much more.
Let’s put it this way, your graphics card is more than safe inside the Level 10 GT, but if the chassis gets knocked about, expert some of the plastic extras to come pinging off.
Noise and Cooling
The cooling capabilities of the original Level 10 left much to be desired, but I’m happy to say that the GT variant addresses these issues perfectly. It has three massive fans, two intakes and one exhaust: all of them 20cm in diameter. Not only this but there’s a further 14cm one mounted in the rear, with the potential to add another on the floor panel if you so wanted.
Usually a cooling setup like this will cause some problems noise, wisebut fortunately this case includes a built in fan controller. While it only has two settings, the slower of the two is near whisper quiet, which is more than enough for most enthusiasts. The faster setting delivers a lot more air into the system, but it does get reasonably noiseu. With a CPU cooler, GPU cooler etc in there as well, I’d be wanting to leave things on the quieter settings.
The built in LED controller is quite cool, allowing you to switch between different colour displays. The options are blue, red, green and a flashing mix which cycles all the colours together one after the other.
The Level 10 GT is certainly a case that has some very noteworthy features. Thermaltake have included a very robust cable management system with all the pre attached cables coming nicely tidied away. This will please most, though it can be a bit annoying trying to figure out what’s what when it’s already bundled together with everything else. That said, the ammount of holes, rounded corners and cable ties should keep even the messiest of cases nice and kept.
USB 3.0 in the front panel is always nice, though it is the external variety so if you want to make sure of it you’ll have to route the cables round the back and into your motherboard’s native ports. These are backed up by a full array of USB 2.0 ports, an eSata and twin 3.5mm headphone connectors offers about as much connectivity as you’d want.
I also really liked the toolless nature of the whole thing. While the hard drive swapping does feel a bit gimicky and plastic adhorned, its executed pretty well and does keep things nice and simple. It does put a lot of metal inbetween the front intake fan and the internals, but the side mounted one should take care of any lingering hot air. Similarly the optical drive bays utilise some very simple slide in clips that are becoming more and more common in modern chassis; they’re easier than screws and can handle as much weight; why wouldn’t you use them?
Alright I’ll give it to them, I quite like the headphone rest also:
While the original Level 10 would have set you back well over half £500, its newer, perhaps less fancy, rendition will “only” cost you around £200. Pocket change in comparison, but still almost double what you’d spend on most high end cases.