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Thermaltake Urban T81 Review

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Thermaltake Urban T81: Conclusion

Let us recap my reasoning and scoring method before diving into my final words. First I look at what the company is saying it offers. For example, say the company states the case supports large / long graphics cards or ten quiet fans. In this example, I examine what is advertised versus what is actually offered. Most of this becomes uncovered as I take pictures to document the product. If the company does not stay true to its word, then it loses points because no one ever wants to be sold on false advertisement. Next I look at what the product is marketed for and put it into perspective. An example of this could be trying to overclock a CPU in a Mini-ITX case and expecting a low temperature. This would contradict its target market and something I try to catch so it does not affect the score. The last bit is my own interjection. What could the case offer in its price range, and what do other companies offer. This category may include an extra fan, cable management, different color paint, or support for larger video cards. This list is endless so let's move on to the conclusion.

Thermaltake has once again put a great amount of effort into making something that can stand out from the average chassis. I can say that Thermaltake has produced another quality product, but it isn't without some minor faults. Following suit with my previous reviews, I like to start with the negative things about the chassis first and then leave on a good note. Thermaltake has minor issues that hold it back from being another editor's choice. I believe that if I reviewed this chassis before the Core V71 that it would be a different story. The market is also evolving and I can see what ideas and design choices it took from this chassis and applied it to the next generation.

My only complaint is that, for the asking price of $189.99 MSRP,  the hard drive cages could be slightly stronger. I didn't cover this at all earlier, but I could easily bend the metal, which was odd considering how solid the rest of the frame was. The trays themselves are using plastic, when I feel metal would be more appropriate for the price range. In contrast, the Core V71 also uses plastic trays, but they are much stronger and the overall latching system generally is just better in my opinion. Now you can find the chassis much cheaper when on sale and with rebates, but the bay design will not change until another Urban revision.

The Urban T81 has a ton of great features and reasons that this chassis is worth every penny. I don't have time to write out each in detail or this would go on forever, so I'm just going to cover the things that make it stand out. First up, having support for nearly every aftermarket CPU cooler is a major advantage. I have time and time again given advice for purchasing a cooler, only to find out that a height limit is an issue. At 185mm and a good amount of surrounding space, there isn't much that will not fit. Going along with the CPU cooler; having space up to 360mm without removing a hard drive cage is insane! I also expect Quad X-Fire or SLI to not be a problem at all, considering the huge amount of airflow generously provided by two 200mm fans in front.

To continue, the chassis has great support for either large aftermarket CPU coolers or video cards, which is always welcome, and a huge amount of airflow for nearly any setup. Next, the inclusion of an 8-pin extension cable was a great idea from Thermaltake, because once again not everyone has the same setup and I have personally ran into similar problems where the power supply cables are just too short. It's just extremely frustrating to run cables over the motherboard or order an extension cable because they nearly make it, but are just not long enough.

Lastly, the water cooling support is top notch! What can I say, wow Thermaltake, great job! The options are endless and it's great to see whatever direction you go, you couldn't ask for much better. It's pushing the reasonable price range, though that's what sales are for.

To conclude, this chassis isn't far from the ideal high end chassis. It definitely has its place in the market with a unique style crossed with performance; appearing simple and elegant, but is a beast underneath. If the bright lights and mesh design choice of the Thermaltake Core V71 does not fit your style, but the frame itself does, then this is what you should buy. I can only compare it so much to other chassis, but this is truly its own and it should be treated as such.

Pros:

  • Advanced water cooling support
  • Well built metal frame
  • Dedicated fan-hub
  • Support for large aftermarket CPU coolers (185mm)
  • Support for high-end graphics cards (400mm)
  • Long internal cables / 8-pin extension cable
  • Easy cable management (20mm behind tray)
  • Good manual
  • Modular design
  • 360° dust filter coverage

Cons:

  • Plastic trays / cages
  • Price
OCC Gold



  1. Thermaltake Urban T81: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Thermaltake Urban T81: The Case
  3. Thermaltake Urban T81: Working Components
  4. Thermaltake Urban T81: Advanced Features
  5. Thermaltake Urban T81: Specifications & Features
  6. Thermaltake Urban T81: Testing: Setup & Results
  7. Thermaltake Urban T81: Conclusion
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