Thermaltake V9 BlacX Reviewairman - March 1, 2011
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The front of the case is rather plain, with a smooth surface of mesh covering the entire bezel. A 120mm fan can be seen at the bottom behind the dust filter, just behind the small Thermaltake logo at the bottom. The bezel is lined with high gloss black plastic around the edges and smudges fingerprints pretty easily as seen in the picture. This is one of the first cases in a while that I've seen that has a 3.5" device bay, let alone two! I rarely see anything 3.5" based any more, at least for external uses. However, for those who like or need to use 3.5" devices, this case has what they need. The left side of the case has a large window with two separate sets of perforations for venting. It may be a little hard to see in the picture, but the bottom right of the Plexiglas window has the Thermaltake logo with its motto, "Cool Your Life" beneath it. With the right lighting, this could be a neat addition! The profile of the case from this angle slopes up from the front an plateaus just after the 5.25" device bays.
The rear of the case is also rather plain, with the typical 120mm exhaust fan beside the motherboard tray and beneath the two water cooling grommets. Straight out of the box, the USB3.0 cable is routed through one of these water cooling grommets. Still not the most elegant solution but it works. I'll continue waiting on a manufacturer who figures out the best way to do this, rather than making a water cooling grommet useless; I have not seen it any other way. The right side of the case has the exact same pattern as the left side, except with no window. The pattern of a letter "X" emerges more clearly on this side, hence the "X" in the name BlacX. The paint job is a semi-gloss black that feels durable and is rough to the touch. The roughness will prevent fingerprints and other markings from being very evident.
The bottom of the case is very simple and very similar to other cases. There is a dust filter at the rear underneath the power supply mount, and four plastic feet. I'll provide a close-up of the dust filter in the Working Components section. Flipping the case over to get a look at the top of it will show the case's very stout stature. It is quite wide for its length, though this is not very apparent from other views. The large 230mm exhaust fan peers through the top mesh, surrounded by a neat and rugged looking design. Towards the front bezel are the two hard drive docks, which can support any sized SATA hard drives — all the way up to full-sized 3.5" drives. There will be more on these in the next paragraph. In front of these docking connectors are the I/O ports for the V9 BlacX. These I/O ports include one USB2.0, one USB3.0, and headers for audio input and output. At the very front of the top are the power and reset buttons, on the right and left respectively.
Removing the front bezel of the Thermaltake V9 BlacX was quite pain-free, as I only needed to pop one corner loose before the rest of the plugs came out easily. With the bezel removed, you can see the stamped front piece of metal that shapes the cutouts for the device bays and front 120mm intake fan. Getting a look at the back of the bezel shows the foam dust filters behind each bay cover, which is a nice feature.
With the exterior of the case checked out, it's now time to open up the side panels and take a look inside.