Thermaltake Commander MS-I Case ReviewBluePanda - April 5, 2012
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Taking off the side panels, I am getting quite a whiff of déjà vu. Not too long ago I looked at the COUGAR Solution, the innards are EXACTLY the same. The only slight difference are the screw-less drive holders. These are red and swirly, rather than black and orange for the COUGAR. We also only get one fan filter in the bottom (COUGAR gives you two for the same price). I know a lot of companies use the same case bodies, but it’s never been so obvious than this. I guess one last minor difference between the two is slightly less head room in the top of this one, but other than that, identical to the COUGAR Solution, if you want a comparison. Who came first, I don’t know. But, it is funny to see the same body from different companies.
The back side still has the nice large opening to access the CPU backplate, but the cable holes lack grommets. With the I/O panel more in the middle rather than at the top, the cabling seems to be routed well and shouldn’t cause any issues that I can see up front. There is definitely enough room back here for some cable management, as well as some extra space in the panel as well.
Pulling off a couple of the screw-less clips, unfortunately you don’t get them for every bay, you can see they are relatively simple fixtures. Turn the red nob vertical and it is unlocked, horizontal and it will be locked in place. It is not the best design in the world and you almost feel like you are breaking them, but they seem to do the job well.
A single fan filter is in place on the bottom of the case, sitting right below where the PSU would sit. Seems like it might help keep some extra cat hair or dust out from the case, but you only get one. If you want to mount a fan on the bottom, you’ll have to do so without having a second filter. I’m not sure why you only get one down here, but it’s awkward to get to since it’s between the PSU and case, so I wouldn’t plan on cleaning it out too often.
A user manual and warranty policy packet are included inside the case. A bag of mixed screws and a random motherboard speaker are also included. You don’t get the zip ties or quite as many other accessories you seem to get with a lot of other cases, but to be honest a lot of them generally go unused. I am surprised however to see normal screws, most cases come with black screws anymore, as to hide them even more. Either way, I should just be happy that I have been given screws to use.
Putting everything in the case, I can’t help but think how I’d just put it in a very similar case not too long ago. It had all the same problems as the COUGAR as well. The SSD had to mount to the bottom of the case, so luckily I only have one. The cables were awkward to plug into my SSD since there wasn’t much of a lip to support wider SATA power connectors. The wiring was a hodge podge mess up front, with the way the drives mounted, but there wasn’t really anyway around that. You can’t really see it out the window either, but I know it is there! The audio cable routed a little nicer and opened things back up for running crossfire, if I so desired. The USB 3.0 had to go out a PCI-E slot and plug into the back of the motherboard, but seeing as I don’t have a 3.0 header on the board, it’s a plus to have the cable still.
Overall, when everything was up and running it looks pretty nice. The blue LED fan in the back matches up with the blue LED for the power on the front. I did not catch it in this shot, but the HDD light flickers in red with activity, always nice to check and see what things are doing. In the end it’s not too bad looking for the price.