Thermaltake Element S Mid-Tower

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Product: Thermaltake Element S Case
Provided By: Thermaltake
Price:


Introduction:

Today we have the opportunity to take a look at Thermaltake's newest case, the Elements S.  While the Thermaltake cases didn't perform so hot at the Build a PC race at CES, hopefully this case will live up to their high standards.

 Case Box - Front Case Box - Back

 

Let's take a look at a few specifications before we continue.  These have been copy and pasted here for your convenience. 

  

Specifications:


 
Case Type    Mid Tower
Material   

SECC

Front Bezel Material    Plastic
Color    Black
Side Panel    Solid
Motherboard Support    Micro ATX,
Standard ATX
Motherboard Tray    No
5.25" Drive Bay    3
Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay    0
Int. 3.5" Drive Bay    7
Expansion Slots    7
Front I/O Ports    USB 2.0 x 2,
eSATA & HD Audio ports
Cooling System   

- Front (intake) :
  120 x 120 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1300 rpm, 17 dBA : 120 x 120 x 25 mm (optional)

- Rear (exhaust) :
  140 x 140 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1000 rpm, 16 dBA

- Top(exhaust) :
  230 x 230 x 20 mm red LED fan, 800 rpm, 15 dBA

- VGA (exhaust) :
 Two 60 x 60 mm fan(optional)

Liquid Cooling Capable   

No

Liquid Cooling Embedded   

No

Power Supply Supported    Standard ATX PSII(optional)
Power Supply Included    No
Dimension (H*W*D)    21.3  x 9.1 x 19.9 in
505 x 230 x 540 mm
Net Weight    19.49 lbs
  8.84 kg
Security Lock   
Application   
Warranty    3 Year

 

Below are a couple of more pictures before we get into our thoughts and first impressions.

 Case - Front  Case - Back

 

 
 

First Thoughts/Impressions:

The first thing i noticed as I pulled the case out of the box was that it was plastic, most cases are aluminum or steel (very heavy) but the outside of this case was different. The inside however was something they called SECC. Doing some research online yielded this result.

Sheet steel,
Electrolytically coated (with zinc, typically),
Cold-rolled,
Commercial quality.


It actually felt really nice and smooth to the touch, it was easy to work in and didn`t have any edges to get cut on that happen so frequently in other cases.


This case has a separate compartment for the PSU at the bottom making cable management a lot easier. Since the cables are at the bottom worries about them falling down from the top are gone. Also since the case is so wide, it has rails for the PSU to be situated in the center with airflow moving all around it, so that the Power Supply won`t blow up as easily.

 

With a massive drive bay accommodation (7 3.5 inch bays) there are no rails this time, so you actually have to screw things in! The good news is that the cage is able to be taken completely out of the case and then putting the drives in will be a much easier task than having to work inside the case. They also have a slightly abnormal design for the bays, rather than having the HDDs sit on a couple planks of metal they have them sit on the screws themselves which they provide quite large heads for.


The I/O panel on the top of the case is nice for accessibility however when it is in a cubby hole situation or on top of a desk it's not so hot. I also really like the all black insides, most cases at this level have the regular silver looking stuff but it's kind of nice for a change.

At the back of the case I noticed as I was running my power cables that there is a hole underneath the CPU which provides easy access to the back of the motherboard without taking out the board. This is really handy in case I wanted to upgrade my CPU cooler to a custom one, say the Domino, which requires a back plate, this simple feature actually cuts the work down by at least 5 minutes and cuts the headaches involved in half.

This case also provide lots of options for cooling as well, while I didn`t receive the case with the fan on the side, I notice that it is really easy to get at the optional fan on the front making for a nice cool 10$ upgrade. If you're the type to have 5TB of storage with as many drives as possible, then I would definitely recommend pimping the case out a bit.

On the next page we'll drop a system into this case and then compare the cooling performance with another case we've recently reviewed.

 

Installation:

This is one of the best cases I have ever worked in, the edges of the metal is smooth bringing the cuts I get down to a minimum. The cable management is also at a premium, they had a slanted metal piece to the right of the motherboard with holes in it to run cables through the back where no one looks. However, there were no holes to bring the IDE cable and power to my optical drives, even though there were several down lower by the motherboard.

 



Performance:

To get things in perspective here is the test bench that I used. 

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor
  • 4gb Crucial Ballistix pc2-6400 ram
  • Nvidia nForce 680i SLI motherboard
  • 8800GT graphics card w/ Thermaltake DualOrb cooler
  • 500GB Seagate HDD

 

 Element S  Zero 2

  

So the temperatures seem to be a little bit higher than some of the other cases we have taken a look at. I think it has something to do with the PSU being on the bottom, so that all the hot air from the PSU rises through the Video Card as well as the CPU before getting sucked out.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed working with this case, it was nice to work inside, and although the cooling is not the best it makes up for it with cable management inside, even though it does have some holes in the design (or should I say lack of holes). The accessory package was very sufficient and the metal was nice. It is remarkable that this case isn't very heavy considering it is made of steel.  Also for 150$ USD (at time of writing) the value on the case is pretty good. You can still go higher, but this is a nicely placed  product at the high-mid range area.

 BCCRating

I'd like to thank Thermaltake for setting us up with the Element S.  It's not a perfect case by all means, but it has a lot of promise if you're a storage junkie (7x 2TB HDDs + 2x 512GB SSDs = 15TB).

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post in the forum at the "Comments" link below.