Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Case Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on May 27, 2010
Today we are going to analyse one of the most inexpensive cases from Thermaltake, V3 Black Edition. Although being an entry-level case, it keeps the overall quality and features found on more expensive cases from this brand. Check it out!
Even though V3 Black Edition is a simple mid-tower case, it comes with meshed areas on the top panel and a small acrylic window on its left-side panel.
As mentioned, Thermaltake V3 Black Edition has a small acrylic window on its left-side panel, which allows you to see the inside of the case around the CPU area. Below this window the case has a mesh that helps with the ventilation of the video card.
The right-side panel of V3 Black Edition is solid, with no extra features.
The front panel of the reviewed case has 5.25” and one 3.5” external bays. The 5.25” bays use meshed covers with air filters, which is nice to see in an entry-level case.
In order to remove the front panel all you need to do is to pull it. In Figure 5, you can see the back of this panel. Note how the four 5 ¼" bay covers are meshed and covered with air filters. The lower side is also meshed, but with no filter (a pity). The bay covers need to be removed from the rear side of the front panel, so if you want to install an optical drive you must remove the panel.
In Figure 6 you can check the front side of the case without the front panel. Only the top bay comes opened; the other bays are covered with metallic plates that must be broken off if you want to use them. There is room for a 120 mm fan on the bottom side of this panel.
In Figure 7, you can see the front panel connectors and buttons. At the right-hand side we have the power and reset buttons and at the left-hand side we have the hard disk activity LED. At the center, above the external 3 ½" bay, there are two USB connectors (with a good distance between them, so you can install two "fat" USB devices at the same time) and audio connectors for a headset. Thermaltalke really saved on this panel, bringing only the basic features. We really missed an eSATA port here.
In Figure 8 you can check the top panel, which has room for two 120 mm fans. This is a very good ventilation solution, because even with no fans installed the heat convection forces hot air out of the case.
In Figure 9, you can see the bottom panel of V3 Black Edition. As you can see, this case has an air intake for the power supply here, since the power supply is installed at the bottom part of the case, and also room for the installation of another 120 mm fan. This fan is installed inside the case.
In Figure 10, you can see the rear panel of V3 Black, where the position of the power supply is obvious. The rear panel and the interior of this case are painted in black, which gives it a very professional looks. V3 Black Edition comes with a 120 mm fan installed on the rear panel (1,300 rpm, 17 dBA, 50 cfm), using a three-pin power connector, allowing you to connect it to the motherboard and thus monitor its speed. This fan has blue LEDs that glow when the fan is working.
Another unusual detail for an entry-level case are the holes where you can pass the tubes of water cooling systems, right below the fan. These holes, however, have no covers.
Two slots covers (the first and the last ones) are removable, while the other ones must be broken off if you want to use the respective slot.
What we really missed on this case was some thumbscrews to hold the side panels: it uses regular screws for this function.
Let's now take a look inside Thermaltake V3 Black Edition.
In Figure 11 you have an overall view from inside Thermaltake V3 Black Edition interior. As we mentioned before, its interior is painted in black. The motherboard tray has a hole around the CPU area, which means you don't need to remove the motheboard if you need to upgrade your CPU cooler with a model that requires you to install a backplate. There are no holes to route cables behind the motherboard tray.
In Figure 12, you can see the rear panel from inside. There is no toolless mechanism for holding expansion cards, but this case uses a plate that holds all the expansion cards with only one screw. This system proved to be pretty practical, but we preferred to see thumbscrews here.
In Figure 13 you can check the area where the power supply is installed. A nice surprise was to find a removable air filter here. A drawback is that you need to remove the power supply if you want to clean this filter, because it is installed inside the case between the case floor and the power supply. In this picture you can also see the place for installing a 120 mm on the bottom panel, that must be installed under ventilation mode, i.e., blowing air from outside the case to the inside. Thermaltake could have included an air filter here as well.
In Figure 14 you can check a computer built using V3 Black Edition. We installed a very big motherboard (ASUS Rampage III Extreme) and it fit just fine and we still had some room between the motherboard and the disk drive bays.
We measured the available space and the reviewed case supports video card up to 10" (25 cm), but if you use only the lower 3 ½" bays you can install video cards up to 12" (30 cm) long.
V3 Black Edition has four 5.25” external bays, one 3.5” external bay, four 3.5” internal bays and one 2.5” internal bay. Only one 5.25” external bay, one 3.5” internal bay and the external 3.5” bay have screwless retention mechanisms, while the other bays require regular screws.
The 2.5” internal bay is located at the bottom panel and you must use regular screws coming from outside the case in order to attach a hard disk or SSD drive there. This bay is usually found only in more expensive cases.
There is enough room for you to install a 3.5” hard disk on the lower 3.5” bay and an SSD or laptop hard drive on the 2.5” bay at the same time.
Thermaltake V3 Black Edition case main specs include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
Thermaltake V3 Black Edition is an excellent case if you consider its price tag. It brings an excellent cost/benefit ratio for users looking for a good yet inexpensive computer case.