Author: Stephen Duffin
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/s/Thermaltake_Element_T/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Thermaltake has been manufacturing PC components since its inception in 1999, producing high quality products for PC's. Thermaltake was there with high quality offerings when most computer users had little to no choice for components or enclosures -- parts that seem may consider extraneous, but in reality, are crucial to the performance of a PC. With CPU's becoming more and more advanced, and generating vast amounts of volatile heat, good cooling is vital.
Today almost anyone who is into gaming knows how important keeping temperatures down to a reasonable level can be, so as to not damage any of their components. When building a gaming or an enthusiast rig, almost everyone first looks at all the new CPU's motherboards and RAM, and sometimes they end up sidelining the enclosures in which these expensive pieces of equipment are housed.
This can be a fatal mistake; the chassis is one of the key areas needed to run an optimized gaming platform. Today we will be looking at Thermaltakes Element T chassis; this is the third in the series and the least expensive. Labeled as gamers' chassis but designed as a budget case there is plenty of potential here, so read on to see how this mid-tower holds up stock from the factory.
Motherboard Support; Micro ATX, Standard ATX Motherboard Tray
5.25" Drive Bay 3 Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay 1 Int. 3.5" Drive Bay
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Ports USB 2.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
Front (intake) : Optional 120 x 120 x 25 mm fan x 2 or 140 x 140 x 25 mm fan x 2 or 200 x 200 x 20 mm fan x 1
Rear (exhaust) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm Turbo fan (1400rpm,17dBA)
Top (exhaust) : 200 x 200 x 20 mm silent fan (800rpm,14dBA) Side (intake) : Optional 230 x 230 x 20 mm fan or 120 x 120 x 25 mm fan
Liquid Cooling Capable
Power Supply Standard ATX PSII(optional) No Power Supply Included
Dimension (H*W*D) 525 (H) x 210 (W)x 480(L) mm 20.7 (H) in x 210 (W) x 480(L) in Net Weight 15.32lbs 6.95 kg
The Element T's front bezel has three external 5.25" drive bays and one 3.5" floppy or card reader drive bay, all of which have dust filters built in.There is also the typical power, reset 2XUSB Mic and head phone jacks. The bezel is comprised of plastic and steel mesh, it does not give the greatest impresions for style or stature but this is a budget case so a little leeyway must be given.
The front bezel can be removed to install the drives, as well as the optional intake fans. This chassis has the option to mount either two 120mm or two 140mm intakes fans here as well as a single 200mm fan.
The left hand side of the case there is space to mount an optional 120mm or a 230mm intake fan here however there is no dust filter, which can cause heat issues for your PC if not properly maintained.The right side of the case is just a flat black cover with no ventilation.
The back of the chassis houses the bottom mount PSU rack and two punch outs for a water cooling loop, as well as seven ventilated expansion slot covers. Moving further up the back of the chassis there is one 120mm exhaust fan and an included I/O shield for a motherboard.
The top of the Element T has an included 200mm LED backlit exhaust fan which can be removed or replaced with an 120mm fan instead.
Being a mid-tower case there is not a lot of room to maneuver around when installing the mobo on to the tray. There are six built-in standoffs and the rest are supplied for installation, obviously dependent on your motherboard type.
The seven ventilated expansion slots are held in by small pins so be careful when choosing which ones to push out when doing your install -- they are not meant to be put back in after removal. When you finally get ready to install your video cards, sound card or whatever else, they will be held in by the supplied thumb screws.
Installing the ODD's or HDD's there is one quick retention bracket for each. If you wish to install extra ODD's or HDD's then you will be required to use thumb screws to secure them into place. To use the quick retention brackets simply slide the switch forward and flip it up and out, slide in your drive and reverse the process.
Mounting the PSU into the tray Thermaltake gives you a nice option by making the tray adjustable by removing two screws underneath the chassis and sliding the mount to the required spot to best suite your needs.
To test the Thermaltake Element T I will be taking temperatures of our setup running inside the case at idle and in load states, in degrees Celsius. I will be using AMD Overdrive to monitor the system, and OCCT to stress the system and create the highest temps possible. Each test will be run for 30 minutes. Ambient room temperature is at 20 degrees Celsius.
• Processor: AMD9650
• Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum
• Memory: 2 GIGS Corsair CM2X1024-10000C5D
• Video Card: Sapphire 4850 HD
• Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S183L
• CPU Cooler: Buffalo Evercool
• OS: Windows 7 64bit
• Power Supply: OCZGXS600
• Hard Drive: Seagate 500 GIGX6 in raid 0
Looking at the temps the Thermaltake Element T chassis fairs really well. I was quite surprised considering you only get two fans with this case, but I guess it just goes to show how well temperatures can be maintained with great cable management.
The Thermaltake Element T is a very sturdy case with a simple design. Aimed towards gamers this case has some great potential. With a total of three available spaces for extra fans to be added ,including the two that came with the case (giving us a grand total of five fans), the cooling of this chassis should not be an issue. The Element T also has the added bonus of the fantastic wire management system to boot.
However there a few things that I did not care for: I prefer to be able to replace the expansion slot covers should the need arise, with some degree of ease, instead you have to play with a pin bend it out of the way and fiddle around; this being my biggest gripe for anyone who finds themselves swapping out parts on a continual basis.
Then there is the issue of the quick retention system for your hard disk drives. This may not be an issue for some, but for those running a RAID setup you only get one bracket and a ton of thumb screws. Maybe I'm just being picky, but to add five more brackets would have been a nice touch rather than the fifty screws. As for the ODD bays I don't find it to be an issue.
Overall being a "budget" gamer's case, Thermaltake has given us a great case in the Element T. The Element T weighs in at 15lbs empty and around 37 full and is not the easiest of things to maneuver about. Costing anywhere from 90US to 130US depending on the e-seller the Element T is a worthy investment and deserves to be considered if you are in the market for a mid-tower chassis with major branding.
I would recomend this case to anyone looking for an inexpensive cooling solution that works there is great value and hidden potential in the Element T. I also recomend to add the extra fans to error on the side of caution before stressing your system to the point of no return.
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