The Summer of Cases has been a blast but as with all good things it needs to come to an end as we move on to other projects. I was really torn about doing this review because part of me wants to do the full write up like we did in our original review of the Level 10 GT but at the same time this is really the same case with different paint job so I felt that would not be something we needed to rehash. However this case demands attention so instead we will take a quick look at the appearance of the Snow Edition.
Thermaltake it seems could not let other companies show us a white case without strutting out one of their own and strutting is the appropriate word. The Level 10 GT Snow Edition takes everything that is great about the Level 10 GT and gives it a Hollywood makeover.
Now it would be easy to get into a full review of this case and talk about it’s great features, impressive build quality and overall exceptional design, but we already did that with our original Level 10 GT review. So I made sure you get the link to that review and instead we are going to talk about this case purely on it’s looks.
Thermaltake has taken a case that looked great to start with and spruced it up, think of it as having a beautiful woman and then giving her a professional makeover.
Gone is the base black for the body and in it’s place a very pleasing tone of white. The red inserts found on the original case have been replaced with blue. This with the keeping of the black highlights just makes this cases color pop. The front ports panel, as well as the 5.25” bay covers have stayed black as has the grill work in the front. This really makes the various lines in the front of the case stand out and gives a more 3D appearance from a distance to the case design.
As our case slowly turned its working side to us the black and white styling that we thought looked great on the front really came to life on the side and the top. We see all the same basic features we saw in the original Level 10 GT so we will not go into those.
Of interesting note is the fact that Thermaltake decided to keep the base of the left side panel black and then paint the box areas white. At close inspection that seemed odd to me but when you pull back it is easy to see why this was done. This coloring means that the box sections appear to step off the case more, adding more of that depth feel to the design.
The interior of the case is identical to the original Level 10 GT, the same great cable management options and designs. Of interesting note is the grill work and the way it looks at the top of the side, by the optical drive bays. While it looks different from the original GT it is in fact the same. The different appearance is due to the white paint on the body underneath showing against the black grill work.
The Snow Edition sells for about $30 more than the original level 10 GT and the only real change is the paint job. Now a lot of people will question if this is worth the cost difference and I think I would have to say yes.
The original case is a very attractive case, anyone would be happy owning one but the white coloring of the Snow takes a case that people would desire and turns it into a case that they will lust for. Black is done by everyone and is everywhere, white is the color that grabs attention right now and the Level 10 GT Snow Edition definitely grabs attention.
At the price point these cases sell at the extra $30 is not that big of a deal and for me, I personally like the white looks enough to pay the extra money. Now this is a purely cosmetic change so the truth is either version of the Level 10 GT will get you a great case.
The original Level 10 GT as we have said repeatedly here and in our review is a GREAT case, it has everything anyone could want in a luxury level case and looks great to boot. But let’s take that beautiful case and give it a professional make over, put it in a slinky dress and high heels, who would not love that!? It may be called the Snow Edition but the looks of this case are pure HOT!
I posted a few more shots of the Level 10 GT Snow Edition in our Level 10 GT album on our Facebook page. Head over to http://facebook.com/computered to check them out.
Discussion of the Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition recorded 2 October 2011
As summer draws to a close we begin to near the end of our Summer of Cases. Like the colors change as same fades so does the case colors change as we near the end. Back in the days of old we had an amazing choice in case colors, anything we liked as long as it was beige. This was not just the DIY crowd, but the cookie cutters machines as well; all cases came in shades of beige. This meant that when the first black cases hit the DIY market they were an instant success. It did not matter if the case was well made or not, we had all gotten so sick of beige that ANYTHING was better. Plus black was cool, it looked sleek and mysterious.
Fast-forward a decade and now black has become the new beige. Almost every case you can get today comes in black, oh sure there are some cases that use other colors but black is pretty much the rule. Of late however there has been a movement among case companies to try other colors. Various greys have made some good headway, particularly gunmetal, however for the most part black is still the norm. Recently however there has been a move to white, now white cases have been around for a while actually but most looked cheap or rather bland. However some of the newer cases offering white as a color option have made a real splash, such as the Corsair 600T White.
To look at this simple unassuming box, you would be hard pressed to realize that within is a case that makes a fashion statement. The Graphite line up is Corsairs performance line of cases, now I am using performance here based on the definition we use on this show. That means this case costs a bit more but puts together a package to warrant the higher cost. The base Corsair 600T which comes in, you guessed it, black, costs around $160 right now on Newegg. The white model, the one we will be reviewing, comes in at only 10$ more or $170.
While the box itself may be plain jane, the case is not. The cases base color is white but the front has a large grill area, painted black and then an inner lip area that is in a slightly different, shinier black finish. The picture makes it hard to see this but the different black shades used create a really attractive pop against the white case.
The upper part of the front grill area sports four 5.25” bays, beneath that is a large pop out that is the filter for a 200mm intake fan that has white LEDS. The filter is super easy to get to and clean, the design is near flawless and no opening of the case is required.
On the top of the case has four USB 2.0 ports, a fan speed controller for the included dual 200mm fans, a USB 3.0 port, Firewire, headphone/mic jacks and the power/reset buttons. This is pretty typical fare at this price point though having a full four USB 2.0 Ports is really nice as is the fan controller. With Firewire all but vanishing from the marketplace I am kind of surprised to see this port in the front.
Behind that front control area is a large, easy to remove, grill that opens to show the top 200mm exhaust fan. The area under the grill is recessed to allow for dual 120mm fans to be mounted outside the case and thus making installation of a 240mm radiator super easy. This cases seems to have been designed and practically begs for the use of an H100 cooler.
The right side panel is a plane white steel panel with the exception of the two black latches that are used to open the panel. No thumbscrews to mess with or lose on this baby, both panels use this easy to operate latching system for gaining entry to the case. The black latches along with the black foot area of the case do a great job of breaking up the white side panel and accenting it to give even this often forgotten location a nice appearance.
The left side panel has the same latches as well as a nice large window to show off your components. This is one of the changes this case makes over the stock 600T besides the color. That window can be easily removed and replaced with a included grilled panel that is designed to hold up to fur 120mm fans. This kind of versatility is really nice to see in a case and makes this case easily worth the $10 price difference right off the bat.
Opening the case we see the inside and color me impressed, it is obvious that whoever designed this case also build a PC or two in their life. The work area is roomy for a mid-tower case and the CPU back plate cutout is large and well placed. There are a ton of gormmetted cable routing holes so finding a way to make the PC look neat inside, a must with a side window. The grommets are tightly fit and the material thick enough to be durable without being so thick that they are hard to use.
My gripe with HD bays mounted across the axis of the case has begun to mellow, the reason is case companies have understood the reduction in airflow and have offered options to work around it. Many have gone the route of increasing the open space around each drive to allow more air flow. Corsair went the second route and instead used a two bay system with each bay being removable. You can actually move one of the bays back a bit to a spot on the case floor in front of the PSU to give more room around the intake fan.
Each bay comes with 4 HD mounting brackets. These are tool less for standard drives and have mounting locations for 2.5” drives. The brackets are made of a flexible plastic and have 4 metal pins. Installation of an HD is super easy as is removal. The brackets might seem flimsy but trust us they are not; it would take real abuse to break one. The optical drives share in the tool less design that the case has going for it, making drive mounting super easy.
The bottom of the case has a grilled out area for the PSU air intake. At the back of the case you can remove the filter for this intake easily. I was really impressed with this filter; most are just simple filter designs with thin frameworks. The 600T filter is made of molded plastic with a solid framework around meaning it is super easy to take out and put back in. It is this kind of attention to detail, little things to make the build and use experience of the case better that stands out to us when we do reviews.
Corsair has over the years been known for building high performance memory, they gradually expanded that into flash drives but that direction was kind of expected. However they have begun branching out more into the DIYer and Gamer markets. The 600T is OBVIOUSLY a case build with DIYers in mind. The features of the case are just what a builder asks for in his case. It is easy to work in and offers a ton of options for building a system just the way you want it. The build quality is top notch with everything working the way it should, no hitches at all in any of the case design.
There are only two areas in the case design I would call into question and they are personal preferences more than anything else. First I am not sure why they chose to add a firewire port. I think this could have been left out and a second USB3 or ESATA port would have made more sense. The second is the grilled side panel with the four 120mm mounts. I personally would have rather seen a single mount for a 200mm fan. The area is easily large enough and a good 200mm fan would actually cost a little less than the same quality 120mms when done in a group of four, plus would have been quieter.
From an aesthetic point of view Corsair has hit this case spot one. The white finish is well done and the choice of a matte back finish with the subtle two tone in the front is outstanding. The white gives the case a fresh, clean look and the black is just enough to properly highlight the white and make it really pop.
At this price point there are a lot of good cases out there but if you are looking for a mid-tower case with some looks and style that stand out for the norm without being overpowering then the 600T white is at the top of my list. Priced at $170 this case gives everything you could want in a serious DIY build that is looking to the future, this is a case you will use over and over for years. Add to that a really sexy appearance and you have one of the best mid tower cases on the market.
If you would like to see some more pictures, head over to http://facebook.com/computered and check out our Corsair 600T Album.
Corsair 600T White review segment as aired live 25 September 2011