Thermaltake V9 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on October 1, 2008
Thermaltake V9 is steel mid-tower case targeted to gamers and usually when the manufacturer says that a case is targeted to gamers this means a good cooling system: this case has one 230 mm fan on the top panel, one 120 mm fan on the rear and one 120 mm fan on the front, plus the mesh used on the side panels use very big holes. V9 also has four 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays and five internal 3.5” bays, with the 5.25” bays and the internal 3.5” ones featuring a screwless fastening mechanism. Let’s take a complete look at this new release from Thermaltake.
In Figure 3, you can see the front panel from V9.This case does not have a door. The covers that protect each bay are meshed and featuring dust filters. In theory meshed covers improves the airflow inside the PC, however on V9 each bay (except the top one) comes with the traditional metallic cover between the front plastic cover and the bay itself, so unless you break these metallic covers you won’t be allowing the case to have the maximum internal airflow it could achieve. More about this later when we show this case disassembled. As mentioned before, this case has four external 5.25” bays and two external 3.5” bays for floppy disk drives or memory card readers. If you don’t have floppy disk drives or memory card readers, you can use these bays for installing more hard disk drives (more on this later).
The top 230 mm fan can be seen in Figure 4. Even though this fan is listed as being a 230 mm unit it uses 190 mm blades, making it to be on the same size of “smaller” fans, like the 200-mm fan used on Antec Twelve Hundred. It rotates at 800 rpm. The top panel also has a small storage compartment (which can be used to hold your MP3 player, for example), two USB ports and the traditional microphone input and headphones output. On this case the two USB ports are located far from each other, allowing you to install two “fat” USB devices at the same time.
The top fan and the other two fans use regular 4-pin peripheral power plugs, so they are connected directly to the power supply, not allowing you to monitor their speed through your favorite monitoring program. Also no speed control is available for the fans.
Unfortunately the top panel is fastened to the chassis using a very fragile mechanism, based on thin plastic latches. The sample we received for this review came with all latches broken and thus the top panel was completely loose. We think Thermaltake could make a better job here, using screws to fasten the top panel to the chassis. The stands where the screws would be screwed have to be thick. We say that because one of the parts that came broken was a thin stand that used a small screw to fasten the panel to the case.
In Figure 5 we have the rear panel. On this case the power supply is installed on the lower part of the case and through the hole where the power supply must be installed you can see that there is a washable dust filter for power supplies that have a fan on their bottom, which is the most common configuration nowadays.
On the top part you can see the rear 120 mm fan and also two holes for external water cooling systems. These holes are protected by rubber covers, so you don’t need to break anything on V9 in order to use them.
Now let’s see how V9 looks like inside.
The side panels are fastened to the chassis using thumbscrews, which is great. Even though you can remove the right panel, the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis. In Figure 6 you have an overall look from the interior of this case.
In Figure 7, you can see the rear 120 mm fan and the top 230 mm fan. As already explained, the top fan actually uses 190 mm blades and all fans use regular 4-pin peripheral power connectors, with no speed monitoring.
This case uses individual plastic screwless mechanisms for fastening daughterboards to the case, as you can see in Figure 8. We usually complain about the quality of plastic mechanisms, but on this case this mechanisms look sturdier than the ones used by other cases, especially because they move laterally (parallel to the motherboard) and not vertically (perpendicular to the motherboard) as the mechanisms used by other cases. If they will break after a while only time will tell.
As briefly mentioned before, this case has a washable dust filter for the power supply fan, shown in Figure 9.
As mentioned this case has four external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays and five internal 3.5” bays. If you don’t have a floppy disk drive or a memory card reader you can use the external 3.5” bays for installing more hard disk drives, so you can have up to five, six or seven hard disk drives, depending on the number of external 3.5” devices you might have. The external 3.5” bays, however, don’t use screwless mechanisms and also the holes available are in a position to match the holes on floppy disk drives, which are located on a different position from those on hard disk drives. Translation: if you install a hard disk drive on a floppy disk drive bay, you will only be able to add one screw at each side of the drive, making it to not be as stable as it should be.
As you can imagine from what we wrote on the above paragraph, this case has screwless mechanisms on the 5.25” bays and on the internal 3.5” bays, as you can see in Figure 10. The internal 3.5” bays are rotated 90° compared to the 5.25” bays.
Thermaltake V9 has a 120 mm fan between the front panel and the hard disk drive bays that glows red when it is turned on. To show it to you, we had to remove the plastic front panel from the case.
You can see two things in Figure 11. First, this case has a washable dust filter attached to the frontal 120 mm fan, which is great. The second thing you will notice is that all external bays except the topmost one come with metallic covers attached, which block airflow. For maximum airflow you need to remove these covers.
In Figure 13, you can see the front covers, which are meshed and come with dust filters.
Thermaltake V9 case main specs include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
Thermaltake V9 is a mid-tower case targeted to gamers that want a case with a big fan on the top and don’t want to buy a more expensive full-tower unit. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.
In summary, if you are looking for a mid-tower case with good features – especially the top big fan and truly screwless mechanisms – at the USD 100 range, Thermaltake V9 is certainly a very good option. This product isn’t flawless, and the main problem with V9 is the low quality of the latches that hold its top panel. As mentioned, the sample we got came with all latches broken. This looks like a design flaw to us, since the latches look a lot thinner than they should be. However, it could also be a bad luck on the shipping on the specific model we got. Also, Thermaltake offers a 3-year warranty, so if your top panel breaks you can always replace your case for a new one.