Thermaltake V9 VJ40001W2Z Review
Reviewed by: ajmatson
Reviewed on: October 23, 2008
With the speed of components being pushed out on the markets today, cases have to evolve to deal with the additional heat created by these monster parts. Previously, when it came to cases users worried more about the looks and not so much on the number of cooling fans. You were lucky to get one fan with a case for the longest time. Now cooling has become a top priority and the methods being used are getting more and more interesting. One of the most trusted methods lately is the use of large exhaust fans on the top of the case to expel those harmful vapors out of the case with a vengeance. Thermaltake has been manufacturing cases for some time now and the company has created a new addition to the family with the Thermaltake V9 Gaming case. We are going to be taking a look at the model# VJ40001W2Z, which is a black mid-tower case with a flair of glamor for gamers and power users alike.
The Thermaltake V9 came shipped in its retail packaging, which is made of heavy corrugated cardboard to protect your investment during shipment and we all know how our packages are handled by delivery carriers. On the front of the box is an angled image of the V9 along with a close up picture of the 23cm top exhaust fan and some of the key features of the case. Around on the back is a diagram showing how air flows through the case keeping your important hardware inside as cool as possible. There are also close-up pictures of the key features of the case for your to get a better idea of what the Thermaltake V9 has to offer.
Opening the box and pulling out the case you can see the care that Thermaltake put into making sure your case is protected and un-scratched. The case is sandwiched between two foam layers and wrapped in plastic packaging to keep it free from harm. Included with the Thermaltake V9 case is the instruction booklet and a bag that contains screws, standoffs and replacement parts.
Now that we have the case out of the box, let's get up close and personal with it.
At first look you might be thinking the case design looks familiar. I thought so too. To me it looks like the Antec 900 or the NZXT Tempest, which got me excited because both of those cases were well designed and worked even better so I cannot wait to see how the Thermaltake V9 does its business. Starting on the left side of the case there is an "X" style window / ventilation holes design which allows air to be sucked into the case over critical components while allowing a nice view inside at your possessions. The ventilation design also carries over to the right side panel where hot air from the motherboard gets trapped and builds up. Thermaltake took this into consideration and allowed the air to escape through these holes. The V9 keeps its drives uncovered instead of behind a door. This gives you quick access as well as allowing you to install LCD panels and fan controllers without having them covered up. There are four external 5.25" bays and two external 3.5" bays for your devices. At the back of the case there is the I/O panel for your motherboard and the expansion cards. Thermaltake has also included a set of pass through holes for an external liquid cooling setup.
At the top of the case is where Thermaltake opted to place the power, reset, and activity lights. Behind them are two USB 2.0 ports on each side of the analog audio ports. I was surprised to not see any other ports such as a Firewire port or even an eSATA port, which is becoming more popular these days for external hard drives. At the top near the rear of the case is the huge 23cm (230mm) exhaust fan used to draw out the warm air that rises in the case to keep the components cool.
The front of the case at the bottom has a red LED 120mm intake fan designed to intake cool air from your room and push it over the hard drives and into the case. This keeps the drives cooler during operation and helps bring cooler air into the case to pass over other components and cool them down. The fan has a dust filter in front of it to trap the nasties from entering your case and getting it all dirty. This filter can easily be taken out to wash it and pop it back in. Behind each of the drive bay covers are foam like dust filters to aid in keeping the internals clean and free from debris.
Now how about we get inside and see what really makes this case special.
This is a mid tower case that has plenty of room to work in. One drawback is however, that the motherboard tray is not removable so all of the installation will have to take place inside the case. If you have big hands like mine sometimes that can be a task in itself. All of the drives, with the exception of the external 3.5" bays, in this case feature a tool less design, which makes it easy installing and removing any of the drives.
As I mentioned before, there are four 5.25" drive bays, two external 3.5" drive bays, and five 3.5" internal hard drive bays for you to install as much as you need. The external 5.25" and internal 3.5" bays feature a tooless design to secure the drives in place. Just twist the locking mechanism and pull the retention device away, slide in the drive and replace the retention mechanism and you are ready to go.
The power supply location in the Thermaltake V9 is positioned at the bottom of the case. This allows the power supply to draw cool air from under the case and push in out the back of the case without adding any additional hot air to the case. There is another removable dust cover located here to keep dirt from entering the case or the power supply. Above the PSU there are seven expansion slots for your expansion cards. These also feature a tooless design for making installing and removing the expansion cards a breeze. At the top back of the case is a 120mm exhaust fan located right behind the CPU and the voltage regulators which is where a lot of the heat comes from in a computer.
Above the 120mm fan at the top is the mega beast 230mm exhaust fan. This fan is pretty silent considering the size and does a great job removing warm air from your computer. Right below the 230mm fan on the motherboard tray is something I have never seen before. There is a cutout for a small 70x70x10mm fan that can be attached to the back of the motherboard tray and is designed to take warm air given off from the back of the motherboard and exhaust it out the right side of the case. This, in theory, will allow for lower motherboard temperatures, making it more stable.
Now that the case is all opened up let's install everything and test this baby out.
Front Bezel Material
|12" x 9.6" (ATX)
9.6" x 9.6" (Micro ATX)
5.25" Drive Bay
External 3.5" Drive Bay
Internal 3.5" Drive Bay
Front I/O Ports
|USB 2.0 x 2
|- Front (intake) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm blue LED fan, 1300rpm, 17dBA
- Front (optional) :
140 x 140 x 25 mm
- Rear (exhaust) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1300rpm, 17dBA
- Top (exhaust) :
230 x 230 x 20 mm Silent fan, 800rpm, 15dBA
Liquid Cooling Capable
Liquid Cooling Embedded
Power Supply Supported
|Standard ATX PSII|
|Power Supply Included||
|18.19 x 8.19 x 19.10 in
462.0 x 208.0 x 485.0 mm
- Appearance Angle view
23cm fan front view
23cm fan Top view
Rear fan x 1 (120 x 120 x 25 mm TurboFan)
Built-in 23cm silent fan on Top x 1 (230 x 230 x 20 mm)
12cm Red LED fan in front
Easily detachable front dust filter
Front fan cage design
Ventilation hole for HDD device
Bottom PSU fan filter
Pre-drilled hole for MB tray fan
Ventilation hole for MB tray fan
- Structure (Internal)
Tool-free & 90-degree rotated design for HDD cage
Tool-free design for 5.25” device
Tool-free design for PCI slots
Innovative design for better cable management
4 5.25” and 7 3.5” device
- Structure (External)
USB x 2, HD Audio x 1
Easy access Power & Reset button
Reserved hole for LCS system
23cm silent fan on Top for maximum air intake
To test the Thermaltake V9 I will be running a series of temperature tests to see how high the temperatures rise during an idle state and while the computer is under load. The temperatures that will be collected will be from the CPU, the video card, the hard drive, and the chipset of the motherboard. To simulate an idle state the computer will be left untouched for 30 minutes making sure nothing is active (except what loads with Windows) and then the temperature readings will be taken. Then to simulate a load state I will run Prime 95, HDTune, and 3DMark Vantage at the same time for one hour and then the temperatures will be taken. To gather the temperatures I will use Real Temp 2.7 for the CPU, Easy Tune 5 Pro for the chipset/System, HD Tune for the hard drive, and Catalyst Control Center 8.8 for the video card. Cooling for the cases will only be the stock cooling that came with the cases, no fans will be added and the CPU cooler will be the stock Intel cooler that came with the CPU. I will be comparing the Thermaltake V9 to the NZXT Tempest and the Apevia X-Master cases to get an idea of where it stands among other mainstream cases on the market. The same hardware was used in each case for accurate numbers and to alleviate the possibility of contamination of the scores by different hardware.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333x8
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin XP2 8000 Redline 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-12
- Video Card: PowerColor Hd 4850 w/ Catalyst 8.8
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 750GB 7200.11 SATA
- Opticals: LG 16x DVD +/- RW
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
- Ambient Temperature: 22 degrees Celsius
The temperatures were almost dead locked with the NZXT Tempest case, which is claimed by NZXT to be the "Air Flow King." When it came to the chipset scores just having a ventilation hole brought the temperature down one degree.
I must say Thermaltake has done it again. Using old and new design ideas it has created a great mid tower case with plenty of features for a decent price. This case has great airflow with just the included fans. It would have been even better if Thermaltake had included the 70mm motherboard fan instead of making it optional since I think the feature has great potential. The 23cm fan on the top does a very good job at removing the warm rising air and is fairly quiet considering its size. The warm red glow of the case from the LED fan makes it visually pleasing to me since I am a big fan of lights in computer cases. With plenty of room you would not have any problem fitting even the most fully featured computer you can come up with.
There are a few quirks that I have to mention, however. First, I feel a removable motherboard tray is a must for power users who are constantly switching out components and just for general PC maintenance overall. This makes it easier to change components and get rid of those pesky dust bunnies. Also, the plastics used on the top of the case and the front panel are very, and I mean very, flimsy. Picking up the case the wrong way could leave you with a broken case. I would recommend taking extreme caution when moving your system in this case. Other than those two drawbacks I would highly recommend this case to anyone needing a full featured case for their build. You will get a good bang for your buck here. Kudos to Thermaltake for another great product.
- Huge 23cm exhaust fan
- Tool less design
- Dust filters for keeping the case clean
- Excellent ventilation hole design
- Optional motherboard fan
- Liquid cooling ready
- Flimsy plastic top and front bezels
- Motherboard tray not removable
- No fan for motherboard fan slot