Thermaltake Level 10 GTS Snow Edition Reviewred1776 - May 15, 2012
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The HDD system on the Level 10 Series is unique and is the main feature of this case. There are four hard drives in the GTS Easy Swap array that Thermaltake has dubbed the 'Pit Stop 4' system. All four use what Thermaltake calls S.S.S. or 'Smartlock Security System'. This system uses a key-lockable, push-button system for opening and securing the HDD trays. In the back of the unit you can see that the power connectors are already installed in series, and just need to be attached to a single molex connector from the PSU.
The trays themselves are not the usual framed type, but rather solid plastic using spring steel for both the side latch mechanism and the delicate spring in the finger-pull that gives it a very fluid feel. The hard drives are mounted to vibration dampening rubber grommets with a screw in the center. This tray mount is perhaps the smoothest system I have used thus far. I actually could not feel when the power and data headers were pushed into the back of the hard drive - very nice.
Installation with the Level 10 GTS went smoothly. Everything lined up and fit without issues, and everything that I disassembled went back into place without a fight, with the exception of the left side panel. The tabs around the frame lined up nicely, however cutting out the lower corner for the Easy Swap array seems to have made the panel a bit concave. This asymmetrical shape made it necessary to apply pressure downward in three places to get everything to catch. Not a major issue, but a little persuasion to the middle of the panel made it a two-handed job again. Wire management proved to be adequate and would handle another graphics card or two without getting too awkward. The tool-less mechanisms worked without flaw and hold the optical drive down tight. The extra space provided by the raised, beveled area on the right panel is a very nice touch. If you can keep any unused power connectors 1-1/2" from the edge of the case, you will not have to zip tie everything and will not have a bulge problem
Well there you have it - the Level 10 GTS all wired up and ready to go. Thermaltake made a nice choice with the front fan. The blue LED is not a retina burner like many blue LED's are, it just emits a nice glow.
Detail & Texture:
I like to add this section to my case reviews in recognition that most cases are purchased online from photos depicted in the best light and from flattering angles. Not everyone has a Micro Center down the road to go "kick the tires" before laying down hard earned money; details can make or break a case. Here I hope to give you a better feel for the details of the case and a better idea of what to expect emerging from that box. I hope you enjoy it.
Clockwise: Front panel, lower front detail, tool-less close-up, HDD push button.
Power array, logo close-up, lock rail ribs, HDD lock:
Bay cover close-up, front 200mm fan, Easy Swap Array, front fan hub
There is not a lot of 'embedded' detail on the GTS, but the detail that exists is nicely done and very clean. Let's wire up some components, see how the install goes, and experience what it's like to work with as a whole. On the next page you can have a quick look at the GTS specifications, and then we'll see how it handles the heat.