Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Chassis Review

BluePanda - 2012-01-20 08:05:40 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: February 12, 2012
Price: $139.99

Introduction:

Cases, cases, cases – it is almost the second month of the new year, and I have my first chassis to review. Since I just arrived home from CES 2012, I know there's going to be some stiff competition coming out this year, and it should be interesting to see where each chassis falls in comparison over the year. Although a case says a lot about you, why even bother if it can't keep your hardware at reasonable temperatures? Most companies are aware of this problem and have provided quite reasonable options these days. Today we’ll take a look at one of Thermaltake's recent releases, the Tt Overseer RX-I; so if you've had your eye on this one, this review will help you decide if it's the right fit for you. Let's take a look at what this full tower has to offer.

Closer Look:

The box is rather boastful of what can be found inside. The box doesn't have anything to hide as it arrived on my doorstep in full color. The front and back display what the entire chassis looks like, and the box seems to have an overall transformers theme. Some of the unique features we'll discuss later are disclosed on the back side in full color.

The sides of the box provide handles, which has become one of my favorite things about any case box these days. I need a way to carry it into the house, and therefore a lack of handles makes me, and my back, sad. The box indicates that it could potentially come with an optional 500W PSU for an additional price. There are no additional color options marked on the box. The other side of the box provides the usual list of features in multi-lingual options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting open the top reveals the front of the case. A nice Thermaltake logo is presented through the plastic bag reminding you that you bought a true Tt product. The usual foam caps hold and protect the top and bottom of the case. Even with the beating this box took, the case arrived with no harm at all; a plus-one to the packing team. Sitting in its foam caps, the Overseer wants to be let out of the bag already and is telling me to stop with all the photographs…

 

Closer Look:

The photos are far from over; the plastic bag and foam are removed to reveal something rather pleasing to the eye. The front almost presents itself as a decent replication of the HAF series from Cooler Master. This style seems to be the favorite from many manufactures, as they try to make proceeds off of a very concrete design. Three blue accents on either side of the drive bays give this case its own look, and I see great potential here for you modifying friends!

In contrast to the stylish front panel, the back side is about as average as that of any case you can find anymore. A couple of water tube ports, bottom mount PSU, an array of PCI-E slots, and a 120 mm fan make up the rear. At the top right you'll notice a little change-up in the form of peripheral protection (this feature allows you to "lock" your keyboard and mouse to deter thieves). Two thumb screws secure each panel, and a hidden fan filter for the bottom fans can be seen. We'll discuss this filter when we look at the innards of the case later on in the review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The left and right sides of the case are next. The left has a small window and, with the protective film removed, provides a clear look into the case. A large fan opening is covered with a mesh filter, but unfortunately doesn't come stock with the fan itself. The window provides a little peek inside, but it does not show off the hardware much. As for the right side, it is just a plain panel with a little extra room built-in for cable management.

 

 

The top I/O portion of the case can't go without mention. The center isn't a button but rather a blue emblem that actually "breathes" with a blue LED once it is hooked up properly. I'm not really sure why this feature was added; it reminds me of the Razer DeathAdder mouse logo which "breathes" for no particular reason other than to simply look "cool". Two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports are available (unfortunately my motherboard does not support the USB 3.0 header, but it is still a great option). An eSATA port as well as microphone and headphone jacks are also available for quick access. What seems to be more and more common in cases is the hot-swap feature for both SSDs and standard HDDs. It is something I personally didn't care about prior but has slowly found a way to prove its usefulness to me over the last few months. It's a nice feature that I really enjoy seeing in chassis of all designs.

 

Overall this case is quite appealing from the outside. As a fan of any blue in cases, I'm happy to see the blue LED fans, blue accents, and blue power lights. Besides, what would a BluePanda be without her blue?

Closer Look:

Taking off the side panels to get a good look at the innards wasn’t very difficult. The panels slide on and off like an old-school chassis and aren’t hard to put back into place. The Overseer looks like your typical case on the inside. It has three external drive bays with blue accented toggle clips and five HDD bays that support mounting both full HDDs and the smaller SSDs. The back side doesn’t appear to have much room for cable work, but the side panel itself does protrude about ¼ to ½ an inch to support some of the messier cable jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I mentioned before, the back end of the case comes stock with a 120 mm fan set up for exhaust. The opening in the motherboard tray is nice and large, making it perfect for mounting those troublesome backplates some of the CPU coolers come with today. You can see there is room for seven PCI-E slots. Most people cannot take full advantage of these, but you will be able to run your Crossfire or tri-SLI setup with ease. There are also five rubber grommet holes for cable routing so there’s no need to have a mess of cables showing.

Speaking of cables and cable mess, the pre-wired front I/O panel of the chassis requires quite a few cable connections during installation. If you plan on using that hot-swap bay, remember to plug in both the SATA cable as well as the molex power connector; otherwise you’ll be in for a sad surprise when you go to use it the first time. All the cables are well labeled so if you know where you need to plug them in you shouldn’t have any issues getting that front panel to work on the first shot.

 

 

 

The drive mount clips are accented with the same blue color as the accents of the front of the case. These clips work much like the majority of the newer ones with a couple pins to hold in the drive and a simple pull on the blue tab to release the drive. It's nothing too complicated and should even work with those crazy half bay designs you might need to mount.

On the other hand, the HDD bay slots are sort of a step backwards in time and technology if you ask me. The bays remove easily like in most cases, but rather than a simple flex of the plastic to insert your drive onto the four grommet-mounted pegs, you have to pull out a screwdriver and drive in some screws. I couldn’t believe it. Not only do you need to put screws in to mount your hard drives, but they are awkward screws that aren’t exactly standard size. With an unusually large head to the screw, you won’t want to misplace the extras for when you upgrade. Your SSDs will mount the same as any drive bay these days, with the simple four screws through the bottom of the mount. No problem with the SSDs, but I can’t get over the fact that I’m actually screwing my HDDs in place – even my old junker case has clip-on drive rails…

 

 

 

Moving away from the upset, let's take a look at that top hot-swap bay for your full 3.5" hard drives and even your 2.5” SSDs. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of these slots, but having recently used them to do quick transfers of large files and pull information off old drives, this dock has become my new favorite feature. There’s nothing better than getting full drive speeds at your fingertips, and there's no need to go dig through a mess of cables to do so. I love it!

As for this specific chassis, there is a hole cut out for your SSD, and then a spring-loaded door that flips down to accept your full sized drives. It doesn’t look too bad and it works great. Just remember to hook it up to your motherboard and power it with a molex, and you will have this great feature available any time you need it.

 

 

 

One thing I found a little frustrating while moving this case around for pictures and from my table to my office was a little issue with the front panel. The front panel completely detaches for the purpose of removing the bay covers. The I/O panel wires aren’t connected to it either, so you can just pull the whole thing away – however, since you can grab it from the bottom to pull it off, it isn’t too surprising that it might want to come off if you try to carry it from this bottom edge. Be forewarned, it is best not to carry it from this edge. I didn’t manage to drop it, but the panel did not want to stay on very long. If you want to carry it around, pull off the front, put the case where you want it, and place the front panel back on.

The top portion of the case comes off almost as easily, but you likely won’t be carrying it from the top. The ability to remove the panels makes for an easy way to clean dust from those large fans as well as rinse any particles off the panels. The quick access is greatly appreciated, but the poor execution made transporting this case rather unpleasant.

 

 

 

Next, I flipped the case over for a different perspective. You always look at the case upright but you tend to forget what's underneath. The Overseer has four enormous feet on it. They are about 1" to 1.5" in height and have non-slip padding on the bottom that makes them sit quietly on hardwood floors or up and over your carpet. Back to that dust, just think how much tends to build up underneath your case and inside your PSU, especially if you have pets. Fortunately Thermaltake thought of this when they put this case together. A nice hidden fan filter slides right out of the bottom and makes for a quick clean of the case for better air flow. This is a very nice touch to the chassis as a whole.

 

 

 

Here is the usual photo of some screws, zip ties, manual, and random cables that come with the chassis. I always find this collection a bit odd to try to describe and even a little funny to look at in a review. It is pretty useful if you want to know if it comes with an 8-pin extender or not, but otherwise, screws anyone? Anyway…Thermaltake takes care of you here. They include an 8-pin/4-pin extender. You can plug in either an 8-pin or a 4-pin mobo connector to extend to your case. The 8-pin gets you about nine extra inches, and the 4-pin gets you about 17-18 extra inches in length. I didn't need the extra length but if you have a short PSU connector, you have no worries here. Two 3-pin to molex fan connectors are included for whatever your needs may be. For me it was easier to connect a couple of the built-in fans this way. It's a nice option to have rather than digging through the components you have, or ordering them after your case shows up. Kudos to Thermaltake for this one!

 

 

With my build all together, this chassis looks pretty nice. There wasn't much pain in putting it together either. All my cables reached where they needed to, and aside from those HDDs, there wasn't any extra difficulty with installation. It's a nice chassis to work in, and I'm very happy with the overall build.

 

 

After powering it up and taking a look at those LED fans, this case is quite the looker. Not only is she a beauty, but she's incredibly quiet too! I still cannot get over how quietly this case runs. Sometimes I have to check and make sure it's still on even when it's sitting right next to me. I love the blue, but what can I say, I am BluePanda after all…

Specifications:

 

Case Type:
Full Tower
Material:
SECC
Front Bezel Material:
Combination of plastic and high air flow mesh
Color:
Black inside and out
Side Panel:
Solid with transparent window
Motherboard Support:
mATX, ATX, E-ATX
Motherboard Tray:
No
5.25" Drive Bays:
3
Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay:
Use converter
Int. 3.5" Drive Bay:
5
Expansion Slots:
8
Front I/O:
USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, eSATA x 1, Microphone & Speaker
Liquid Cooling Capable:
Yes
Power Supply Included:
No
Dimensions:
535 x 220 x 580 mm
Net Weight:
10.3 kg
Security Lock:
Peripherals only

 

 

Features:

 

Cooling:

 


All information courtesy of: http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=c_00001803


Testing the Tt Oversseer RX-I required pushing my hardware to heat things up! Testing involved recording temperatures for the CPU, GPU, chipset, hard drives, and overall system during idle and load phases. Load was simulated by running Prime95’s small FFTs, HD Tune, and 3Dmark Vantage for one hour. The maximum temperatures were recorded using HW Monitor. It is important to note that each case is tested from its factory setup, including location of fans, unless otherwise noted.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, this is the new year and I have new hardware! However, this means that I don't have a lot of chassis to compare to at the moment. I have the stock 600T we run around here at OCC along with the current case. So I do apologize for the lack results here, but as the year progresses there should be more comparators.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Cases:

 

Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooling-wise, this case does well even when pitted against only one comparison case. Looking back to when I had the old AMD rig, the Corsair 600T always ran quite hot. As long as the Overseer is performing better than the 600T it is a step in the right direction. The CPU temps were unbelievable at first, and I actually retested them just to see that they were that low…they were!! HDD temps were unusually hot and even after a couple of retests they still scored high. I'm guessing it's all that additional plastic used for mounting keeping things toasty. I didn't like the mounting system anyway, so perhaps this will improve in the next generation. Overall, it's still a good case. It's one I'm actually going to be keeping around for a while, which speaks for itself.

Conclusion:

In the end, it's hard to find that so-called "perfect" case. Personally I don't think one exists that will ever hold up to my extreme standards. I'm rather picky when it comes to cases, but the Tt Overseer RX-I left me pleasantly surprised. The only thing that bothered me that I'm struggling to get past is the annoyance of the screws on the HDD mounts. I just don't understand why Thermaltake would take a step back and require screws on HDDs again. I would rather deal with hard-to-bend plastic mounts than to have a screw-in configuration. This annoyance doesn't completely cancel out the great features it does have though. The blue is something I like, but I know not everyone wants this color so I respect my readers by saying blue doesn't win it all. Overall, it's a pretty solid case, and I can see myself using it for my secondary build for some time to come. It's smaller than the HAF 932, which is nice even after all my love for that 932. Once you "burn" off that weird plastic smell that it emits for the first week or so, she's so silent you hardly know you even have a computer anymore. I was honestly worried my CPU fans weren't even running because it was so quiet. The hot-swap bay on top is just icing on the cake. I'm not completely infatuated with its appearance, but the quietness and performance almost find my true love.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: