Thermaltake Element G Case

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Product: Thermaltake Element G Mid-Tower Case
Provided By: Thermaltake USA
Price: Find Lowest Price Online

 

Introduction:

I'm not typically the case reviewer here at BCCHardware so it has been a nice change lately to mix things up with a few nice cases on my bench.  Today I am looking at the Thermaltake Element G Mid-Tower case that brags about lots of storage capacity.  There are currently five cases in the "Element" line from Thermaltake and the "G" comes right in the middle of the pack.  The Element Series is geared for "Pros" so it will be interesting to see what sets this case apart from other non-pro cases.  Stay tuned and we'll jump right into the fray.

 Box

First Look & Accessories:

Thermaltake is not new to the case market and they've had a lot of experience to get things right.  I remember back when I saw the first Xaser case - the thing was a beautiful monster.  It probably had a lot of issues, but I remember the guy who paid $200 for it was pretty happy.  The Element G isn't the first Element from the series and hopefully they've taken some early suggestions to heart and we have a pleasant experience with this unit.

 Front Side Profile
Front Side Profile
Rear Side Profile
Rear Side Profile

 

The Thermaltake Element G is a good looking case and ventilation is one of the things they obviously were concerned with on this beast.  As you can see in the front and rear pictures of this case below, they have very large fans and lots of holes for unimpeded airflow. Included in the bundle are the standard screws along with a couple of brackets for standard 120mm fans.

 Front & Back
Front & Back
Bundle
Bundle

 

Now that we've covered a bit of this case on the outside, we'll take some of the case features and specifications before we take a closer look.


 

Features:


Just before we jump into the technical specifications regarding this case, we'll cover some of the specifications of this case.  It seems to be made with storage in mind, but also good looks, class, and a little bling.  You can check out all the features and info at the Thermaltake product page here.

Gaming
Colorshift Fan with 6 color changing pattern for optimal gaming experience

Glittering
Three enlarged color shifting fans creates most eye catching appearance

Gradational
Adjustable fan speed control for performance mode or silent mode

Gigantic
Massive storage capability with 7 x 3.5” and 2 x 2.5” HDD or SSD bay

Glaciated
Excellent thermal performance with glacial airflow

Colors

 

Specifications:

Case Type   

Mid Tower

Material    SECC
Front Bezel Material    Plastic
Color    Black
Side Panel    solid w/23cm side fan
Motherboard Support    Mini ATX
Full ATX
Motherboard Tray    No
5.25" Drive Bay    3
Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay    0
Int. 3.5" Drive Bay    7
With Additional 2 x 2.5" HDD / SSD bay
Expansion Slots    7
Front I/O Ports    USB 2.0 x 2,
HD Audio ports
Cooling System   

- Front (intake) :
  200 x 200 x 20 mm Touchcolor (600~800 RPM, 12~14 dBA,49.735/65.30 CFM)
2 x 120 x 120 x 25 mm (optional)

- Rear (exhaust) :
  140 x 140 x 25 mm TurboFan (1000 rpm, 16 dBA, 50.0 CFM)

- Top(exhaust) :
  200 x 200 x 20 mm Touchcolor (600~800 RPM, 12~14 dBA, 49.735/65.30 CFM)

- Side(intake) :
 
230x 230 x 20 mm Touchcolor (600~800 RPM, 12~14 dBA, 57.0/76.0 CFM)
- 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)   

565 (H) x 231(W) x 526(L) mm
22.2(H) x 9.1(W) x 20.7(L) in


 

Closer Look:

We'll start with a quick look at a few outside features that are worth mentioning.  First up is the top front of the case, and the four USB ports, front audio, power and reset buttons as well as the fan speed know that can also be pressed like a button in order to change the color of the fan LEDs.  Speaking of airflow, the bottom of the case is vented so that the bottom-mounted PSU can draw in fresh air.  The vents have filters and this will help keep dust out of your case.  Also the back and top of the case is "holey" and this allows the hot air to exit quickly and quietly.

 Top Buttons & Ports
Top Buttons & Ports
Bottom Vents
Bottom Vents
Top & Rear Ventilation
Top & Rear Ventilation

 

As we carry on inside the case we have a look at the front drive bay area as well as both side of the motherboard tray showing a hole in the tray that will allow you to install large CPU coolers that require a back plate - all without removing your motherboard.  Of course this won't work on all motherboards, but it's a nice thought.  I'm glad to see that Thermaltake has included a filter for the front intake fan that can be easily removed and cleaned.

 Front Inside
Front Inside
Side Off
Side Off
 Mobo Tray Side
Mobo Tray Side

 

The case relies on air from the front and side fans to cool the chassis, while the PSU draws in air from the bottom and expels it out the rear keeping it self contained.  The side fan is a nice 23cm fan that has a very unique power connector at the front of the chassis.  This connector requires that the side panel be on and it works.  There is no need to plug in the wire.  This is very handy and tidy - too bad the side fan doesn't have a filter.

 Power Connector
Power Connector
Side Panel With Fan
Side Panel With Fan

 

On the next page we'll drop in a system and see how installation goes, and if this case is a nice home for your gear.


 

System Installation:

The Thermaltake Element G doesn't have a removable motherboard tray and on this case I find that a bit of a pain.  The motherboard and heatsink combination that I used required that the heatsink be installed after the motherboard was installed, and there isn't much room at the top of the case to work with a large heatsink.   The Optical Disk Drives and other 5.25" devices require screws and are not tool-less.  The hard drives however are somewhat tool-less as you can install the guide screws with your fingers or a screwdriver if desired.  The drives slide into the cage with the connectors at the back in order to minimize cable clutter at the visible side of your case.

 ODD - Installed
ODD - Installed
Tool-less HDD
Tool-less HDD

 

When I installed a system into this case, I used the lengthy Thermaltake ToughPower 1200W PSU and was unable to keep the bottom piece of metal that acts as a 2.5" drive bay.  Because of this I couldn't use an SSD without a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter so instead I installed a pair of 640GB drives in RAID 0.  A normal length power supply won't have any issue however, and this case is not necessarily designed to hold three or more graphics cards - the Element G is about storage space.   While you certainly can install multiple cards, the case is a bit small for a Tri-SLI system or a massive CrossfireX setup.  

Installed

As you can see, the SATA cables connect to the backside of the drives and the cables can be routed more efficiently.  Due to the bottom mounted PSU and mid-tower design, the case appears to be a bit crowded - even with a single graphics card installed, but keep in mind that the ToughPower PSU is very large and there are some non-modular wires that need to be stuffed somewhere.  A normal sized PSU would help clean up the case.  There is still room for an additional five hard drives and another graphics card though, and this shows that there is still a lot of room left in this case.

 



Final Thoughts:

Lights At the end of the day, the Thermaltake Element G is a nice solid contender, but it has a couple of issues that I find a bit irritating.  First, the non-filtered side fan seems like an oversight that negates the benefit of filtered bottom and front intakes.  Also the PCI slots covers snap off to allow you to install cards, and there are no replacement blank covers.  This was a beef of ours with other cases in the past as well.  Finally, the case seems a little crowded at the top and it makes installing large heatsinks a little more tricky.

It's not all bad news though.  In fact some of the features on this case are downright impressive.  The hole in the motherboard tray makes installing large heatsinks a breeze.  Also the ventilation is very good and the fan controller is pretty handy as well.  As a bonus, the multi-colored LED fans add a touch of "Glitter" to the case and appeal to gamers and those who want to show off their gear.  The side fan power connector is genius and this eliminates the need to plug in a fan cable, and try to keep it in place while you slide on the side panel.

Pros:

  • Aggressive design for gamers
  • Sleek enough for a professional look
  • Support for seven 3.5" HDDs
  • Support for two 2.5" HDDs
  • Filters on front and bottom intakes
  • Good cable management
  • Side panel has great power connector 
  • Hole in mobo tray for CPU back plate installation

 

Cons:

  • Side fan has no filter
  • Crowded at top for HSF installation
  • No PCI slot covers

  BCCRating

Silver

As you can see, the "Pros" do in fact outweigh the "Cons" and while this case does have a few issues, it is still a good choice.  It has excellent ventilation, is very quiet and has large, slow fans that pump out a good amount of air with multi-colored lights.  The built-in fan controller is handy as well.  If you keep in mind that you could easily put 15TB (7 * 2TB 3.5" HDDs + 2 * 500GB 2.5" HDDs) of drives in this case, it is worth considering if you're a storage junkie.

I'd like to thank Thermaltake for sending over the Element G for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.