Thermaltake Xaser VI Mx VH9000BWS Review

The Smith - 2008-06-16 19:21:20 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: The Smith   
Reviewed on: July 15, 2008
Price: $119.99

Introduction:

What would a computer be without a case ? Close to nothing. The installed hardware needs to be protected, supported, and cooled. You couldn't bring it to your friend's home if it were not in a case. Moreover, it beautifies the computer and it can add features such as front USB ports that are unusable without a case. However, it needs to be as simple to use as possible and its size should not restrict the hardware choices you make to put in it. Since the selection of a case is a very personal decision, many people take some time to make the choice based on the needs of their build. Size, color, features, power supply (whether included or not) are all things to look at.

Thermaltake recently put new cases on the market, the Xaser VI MX VH9000 series. In the next few pages, I will be testing the VH9000BWS, which belongs to this series. This version of the Xaser VI includes a window on the side, in contrast with the VH9000BNS. So if you're currently shopping for a new case and you are wondering which to choose, you are reading the right article. I will see if the Xaser VI is able to accomplish its mission as a high-end case. But before I pass judgment, let's take a look at the latest from Thermaltake.

Closer Look:

The case has a simple cardboard box. Nothing fancy, just some pictures and explanations. On the front, there is a picture of the case, and the advice: "This time, don't let the Thermaltake Xaser VI Mx slip away!" On the back, it goes straight to the point, its features.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The case is well protected. It has large foam sleeves on each side to center the Xaser right in the middle of the box. A tissue bag also protects the chassis from scrapes while in transit. The protection in packageing the Xaser is more than most manufacturers do.

 

A few accessories come along with this case. Thermaltake provides some tie-wraps and adhesive cable hangers to help you in your cable management. Obviously, there is a user's manual which clearly explains each and every feature of the case, and a sticker of the Key 3 spirit concept, representing quality, performance and reliability. This is part of the Key 3 spirit campaign which include three major product lines, the cases, the power supply and the coolers. This campaign claims that all products labeled Key 3 spirit incorporate the concept of performance, silent operation and thermal consciousness. The last thing provided with this case is a small cloth for washing it. Since fingerprints are easily visible on the shiny black finish, you'll need to use this cloth if you want your case to be as beautiful as possible.

 

So now let's look at the case itself.

Closer Look:

The Thermaltake Xaser VI Mx shows its beauty only when you finish unwrapping it. It is made of SECC, a steel having a high thermal conductivity. The trapezoïd grids are also made of steel. However, the front door is made of plastic. On the right side, the grids are replaced by two plexi-glass windows. The colors chosen for the case mesh well together, the red used in combo with the shiny black is very beautiful. Also, the name Xaser is written on each side, including the top, with the first letter put in evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its legs can be turned outward to gain stability. The case also has a blue rear fan and power LED. The light emited by them goes out by the two windows when in a dark environment.

 

The front door can be opened to show the drive bays. There are one 3.5" and five 5.25" bays. The first four from the bottom are false bays, as it is the place of the front intake fan. It also reveals the case brand and its slogan: "COOLall your life." When closed, it is hinged in place by two small magnets.

 

 

The front panel is located on the top, along with the power button, the reset button and the hard drive LED. It features two USB ports 2.0, the microphone in, the earphone out, and an e-SATA port. Again, the "X" from Xaser is put in evidence, as it is the shape of the power button.

 

The drive bay covers can be removed by pulling on the small black grids. The back of the case shows that there are seven expansion slots. The rear 120mm exhaust fan can also be seen. On the side, there is a stylish handle with a lock in it. Two keys come attached on rear of the case.

 

 

We will now look into more detail to its working components.

Closer Look:

When you open the case, you will immediately see that there is a power supply support bar. It can be taken out by removing four screws, two at each end. You will also notice the hard drive cage, which is also held in place by two screws and two clips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hard drive trays are tool-free. However, the hard drive hangers that you install on the tray (see the second picture) are a bit hard to remove. You will need either strong nails or a screwdriver. If you prefer using screws, it is also possible.

 

 

Here are the other tool-free features which include the PCI brackets and the 5.25" drive bays. As you can see, a PCI or PCI-E card is connected quite securely in there. Optical drives are connected by a lever with two small pins that enter into the screw holes. (The hardware in the pictures is here to demonstrate how it is installed. It is not supplied with the case)

 

 

The case features an HD audio connector as well as an AC'97 audio connector. Obviously, the LEDs and switch connectors are there. What's interesting is that there is a SATA cable that can be plugged directly onto the motherboard. It allows the e-SATA port to be used, so no need for an external hard drive bracket at the rear of the case.

 

The fans used it this case are also made by Thermaltake. They pull 0.30A each on a 12V molex connector. Each runs at a low 1300 RPM and does not bruise the eardrums at only 17dBa. The one on the right has four blue LEDs.

 

You can store unused cables behind the hard drive cage. This area can be accessed either by removing the cage or the side panel.

Specifications:

Case Type
Mid Tower
Material  
0.8 mm SECC
Front Bezel Material  
Plastic
Color  
Black
Side Panel  
Transparent Window
Motherboard Support
12" x 9.6" (ATX),
9.6" x 9.6" (Micro ATX)
Motherboard Tray 
N/A
5.25" Drive Bay  
5
Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay
1
Int. 3.5" Drive Bay  
4
Expansion Slots 
7
Front I/O Ports
USB 2.0 x 2,
eSATA x 1,
HD Audio
Cooling System  
- Front (intake) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm Turbo Fan fan, 1300 rpm, 17 dBA
- Rear (exhaust) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm Blue LED, 1300 rpm, 17 dBA
Liquid Cooling Capable
Yes
Liquid Cooling Embedded
No
Power Supply Supported
Standard ATX PS2
Power Supply Included
No
Dimension (H*W*D) 
20.74 x 8.66 x 20.74 in
520 x 220 x 520 mm
Net Weight  
18.40 lb
8.35 kg
Security Lock  
Yes
Warranty 
3 Years

 

Features:

Testing:

I will test the Thermaltake Xaser VI MX VH9000BWS by recording hardware temperatures in degrees celcius at idle and load. They will be provided by the SpeedFan 4.34 Utility, except for the graphics card, which will be reported by ASUS Smart Doctor. I will run Stress Prime 2004 Orthos using small FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform) to load the processor, and 3DMark06 in loop mode to load the graphics card. By copying the program files folder, I will load the hard drive for a long time. Each temperature, representing the highest core for the processor, is measured thirty minutes after beginning the test, for both idle and load. Keep in mind that all digitally reported temperatures have an uncertainty of one degree celcius, as it is the smallest unit used. Also, all fan speeds will be set at maximum in every test, in order to represent maximum cooling efficiency and to avoid variation. Finally, the processor voltage is provided by SpeedFan 4.34 and is reported at idle, having a vdroop of 0.03V at load.

 

Comparison Cases:

The Codegen 4063-CA is a standard case equipped only of a rear 80mm fan exhaust.

 

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

 

In every test, the Codegen 4063-CA was beaten by the Thermaltake Xaser VI Mx VH9000BWS, except in two of them, where there was a tie. The difference in chipset load temperatures was huge: The Thermaltake case crushed its opponent by an incredible 14 degrees Celcius!

However, it was not as good as an open-air setup and that is normal. But the small difference between them means that the airflow in the case effectively evacuates the hot air and replaces it by fresh air. In one test though, the Thermaltake case was able to beat the open-air setup. Since the hard drives are directly next to the case front air intake, they were able to stay cooler both at idle and at load.

Conclusion:

I was stunned by the look of the Thermaltake Xaser VI Mx VH9000BWS. Since I always painted and modded my previous cases to beautify them, when I unwrapped the Thermaltake Xaser VI, the first thing that came to my mind was: "Wow, this case doesn't need to be modded, it can't be more beautiful than it already is." The shapes and colors are great. It will make your friends drool with envy.

The tool-less features are also great. All of the tool-less features are made of plastic, so you don't risk damaging your hardware. However, some are a bit hard to install and remove, like the PCI brackets and hard drive hangers. As I said earlier, you may need a screwdriver to remove them, which is against the tool-free concept. But really, how often will you be swapping out your hardware anyhow? If you are not a hardware junkie, a one time install will probably be all you will ever do.

And as a high-end case, it easily accomplished its mission. It has good air flow and allows the hardware to stay cooler than when installed in a standard case. Since it is roomy for a mid tower, you can install large processor heatsinks without any difficulties. It is deep and there is room left between the power supply and the motherboard so that fit is not an issue. The robust metal frame and panels would definitely protect the components installed inside. However, at 18.4 pounds empty, it may prove a bit too stout as a LAN party box. Good looks, water cooling capable, tool less design and good airflow make the Xaser VI one to consider when shopping for a new chassis.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: