Thermaltake Xaser VI VG4000BWS Review

Angry_Games - 2008-07-15 16:49:45 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Angry_Games   
Reviewed on: August 21, 2008
Price: $250.00

Introduction:

One important factor in building your own computer is that you get to express yourself, instead of having the same computer as the next guy - who bought his at Best Buy. You have control over the components, and yes, the case that they go into. The case is a work of art, displaying your taste and style. Just like people who comb their hair a certain way and put on makeup, your case is an expression of you and your system. But, a case is more than just style - it is protection for your system. Heat is a deadly element in computer systems all around the world. To combat that heat, a case must be designed for air efficiency. This way, the critical components inside will not overheat and fail.

Thermaltake has released a case that covers both of these areas, protecting your system and giving you a chance to show off your creation. The Thermaltake Xaser VI VG4000BWS case takes a unique approach, with the inside and outside designed for both maximum airflow and unique looks. The Xaser series of cases have been around for quite some time, and have always featured a new and radical approach to their designs. The Xaser VI comes in either a black and red or black and silver color scheme, and also has the ability to house an integrated Liquid Cooling System (LCS), which makes cooling your components with liquid easy and fast.

 

Closer Look:

When the Thermaltake Xaser VI arrived, the packaging was quite tattered, and I was concerned that something might be damaged inside. The front and the back of the box sport a large image of the case, so you can get a good idea of what the Xaser VI looks like. The side has a list of the features that make the Thermaltake Xaser VI unique, such as being optimized for liquid cooling setups, and having independent thermal management for HDD, CPU, and video cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was so nervous when I started to open the beat-up package that I took a slow, cautious approach. However, lo and behold, I saw how well Thermaltake protected the case and components inside. They really went above and beyond to make sure no damage would come to the Xaser VI when the item was in transit. The Thermaltake Xaser VI was wrapped in a protective sleeve to keep any of its parts from being scratched, and then sandwiched in between foam to prevent and dings or dents from outside forces. This was a relief, and kudos to Thermaltake for their care in packaging the Xaser VI.

 

Now that we have the Thermaltake Xaser VI out of the box, let's finish unwrapping it and take a better look at the monster.

Closer Look:

The Thermaltake Xaser VI is a full tower case that will give your system an imposing look. This Xaser VI weights in at a hefty 24.2 pounds, and stands 23.8 inches tall. Thermaltake calls the Xaser VI a "Super Tower", and keeps the same "X" style design that the previous Xaser cases have used. The Xaser VI uses a mesh design and a see through window for visual access to the components inside - perfect for showing off your creation! The Xaser VI has an aluminum and plastic outer shell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping with Thermaltake's tradition of designing cases with maximum airflow, they have made the top vent big, so that hot air from the CPU and other components will be expelled quickly. In addition to the vent, Thermaltake has included an accessory bay that is hidden under the top panel of the case - just slide the top panel back and viola! This is also where you would fill the Liquid Cooling System, if you had that option installed in the Xaser VI.

 

 

The Xaser VI has all of the necessary ports you will need for your system. Included are four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, the audio jacks, and two eSATA ports for external drives. The eSATA ports connect to a standard SATA port on the motherboard, so if your motherboard does not have eSATA already, this gives you that capability. There is also a Power switch that doubles as an "X" logo, a Reset switch, and the hard drive LED. The X and surrounding shapes glow when the system is powered on.

 

 

The front of the case has a vented mesh door that opens to provide access to the optical drives; the door can be removed or switched around to allow it to be opened from the left or right side, depending on your needs. There are dust filters covering each of the drive bays, and the top seven can be removed to install drives or other accessories. Just reach in and pull on the dust filter to release the latching mechanism; the cover pulls away and can be stored for use in the future.

 

 

Now, let's switch over and take a look at the inside of the Thermaltake Xaser VI case.

Closer Look:

The Thermaltake Xaser VI offers a lot of space to keep your components safe and cool. There are seven 5.25 inch bays for all of your optical drive and fan controller needs. The top two bays are where the integrated Liquid Cooling System would reside, if you purchase the case with the LCS included. All of the 5.25 inch bays use a tool-less design to allow easy installation and removal of the drives. Below the 5.25 inch bays are the 3.5 inch hard drive bays. The hard drives are screwed into removable cages that allow for easy removal and swapping of hard drives. There are a total of seven 3.5 inch bays, five in the removable hard drive cage, and two more on the floor of the case in removable drive cage, which can also be taken out to have fans installed in its place, for better case cooling. On the floor of the case, there's even enough room to add a dual 120mm radiator for an aftermarket water cooling setup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermaltake also added more room to the expansion slots on the Xaser VI. There are a total of 10 PCI expansion slots, also with a tool-free setup, although the design takes some getting used to. Above the PCI slots, there's a 120MM LED fan which takes the hot air away from the CPU and expels from the rear of the case. Thermaltake has kept the power supply in the traditional top-rear of the Xaser VI, but has added a great feature to support it. There's an adjustable PSU bridge that can slide forward or backward, securing the PSU and supporting it, so that all of the stress is not on the rear of the case where the PSU screws in. With power supplies getting larger and heavier, this was a smart move by Thermaltake.

 

 

To make things a whole lot easier, Thermaltake has made the motherboard tray removable. This is the best feature a case manufacturer can include. There are also cutouts on the motherboard tray to make routing cables easy, and to improve airflow in the case with proper cable management.

 

 

Also included with the case are all of the accessories that you will need for your setup. Thermaltake gives you more than enough screws, standoffs, and zip ties to install and manage your hardware and cables. There's also a 5.25 inch to 3.5 inch bay converter for floppy drives, a 5.25 inch accessory bay for storing tools and more, and a fan which attaches to the hard drive cage, for added airflow around the VGA card.

 

 

Now that everything is out, let's install the hardware and see how the case performs.

Specifications:

 

Model
VG4000BWS
Case Type
Super Tower
Dimension (H*W*D)
605 x 250 x 660 mm (23.8 x 9.8 x 26.0 inch)
Net Weight / Gross Weight
17.7 kg ; 39.1 lb / 20.5 kg ; 45.3 lb
Side Panel
Transparent Window
Sliding Motherboard Tray
Yes
Cable Management
Yes
Sliding Hood
Yes
Adjustable PSU Bridge
Yes
Material
Front Door: Aluminum / Chases: 1.0mm SECC
Color
Chassis color: Black / Metal mesh : Red
Cooling System
- Front (intake) :
  140 x 140 x 25mm blue LED fan, 1000rpm,
  16dBA or 120 x 120 x25 mm fan (optional)
- Rear (exhaust) :
  120 x 120 x25 mm blue LED fan, 1300rpm, 17dBA
- Top (exhaust) :
  140 x 140 x 25mm TurboFan, 1000rpm,
  16dBA or 120 x 120 x25 mm fan (optional)
- Bottom (intake) :
  Two 140 x 140 mm fans (optional)
  or two 120 x 120 x25 mm fan (optional)
- VGA (intake) :
  140 x 140 x 25mm TurboFan, 1000rpm,
  16dBA or 120 x 120 x25 mm fan (optional)
Motherboard Support
9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX), 12” x 13” (Extend ATX)
Drive Bays
5.25” Drive Bay: 7
3.5” Drive Bay: 1(Converted from one 5.25” drive bay)
3.5” Drive Bay(Hidden): 7
Front I/O
e-SATA connector x 2, USB2.0 x 4, IEEE 1394 FireWire x 1, HD Audio
Expansion Slots
10

 

 

Features:

 

Testing:

Now with all of the Thermaltake Xaser VI's glory brought to view, I bet you're wondering how well the case performs its cooling duties. Well, there's only one way to find out, and that's to put it through its paces. I am going to record the operating temperatures while idle and at load for the CPU, chipset, and video card. To create a full load, I used OCCT to push the CPU, chipset, and the memory, and 3DMark06 for the video card. To measure the temperatures, I used CoreTemp, and SpeedFan. I also want to see how the Thermaltake Xaser VI stands up to other cases on the market, so I will be comparing its test results to those of the Cooler Master Elite 330 and the Cooler Master Stacker STC-101. All tests will be run with the same hardware setup, and all hardware will be run at stock speeds, settings, voltages, and timings to prevent any interference with the scores.

 

 

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thermaltake Xaser VI performed its best when the system was at load. It ran neck and neck with the Cooler Master Stacker STC-101, matching it temp for temp.

Conclusion:

The case performed on par with the comparison test case with similar characteristics. The airflow was more than adequate, and cooled all of the hardware I had in it and then some, and with all of the room available, I could add enough hardware to run NORAD. Thermaltake really makes it easy to install and remove hardware with the tool-less design and removable parts. This is the most modular case I have ever had the pleasure to test, and on top of that, you can add Thermaltake's integrated Liquid Cooling System for even better temperature control. The design of the case makes me feel like I truly have a powerful self-built system, instead of a "cookie cutter" computer with a drab chassis.

First, this case is beautiful. The red and black color scheme is just awesome. There are a few disappointments, however. Why did Thermaltake decide to make all of the LED's blue? For the life of me, I can't figure this out. This doesn't detract from the beauty of the case, but the colors clash pretty severely when the lights are on. In total darkness, of course, one can't tell what the actual colors of the case are. But, when do you sit in complete darkness? Then again, does anyone really care if the case is red and black, and the lights are blue? I suppose not, but still - I would have liked it more if it looked more uniform. Also, for the size and weight of the case, Thermaltake should have included removable wheels so that the case would be easier to move around. Lastly, the door is so flimsy that every time I open it, I feel like it is going to break off in my hand.

Even with the few drawbacks, which are mainly personal preference, this is a rocking case. Plenty of room and excellent features. The price is a little on the high side, but you get what you pay for, and with the Xaser VI you get a lot. If you are in the market for a great case with more room that you can dream of, I highly recommend taking a gander at the Thermaltake Xaser VI. You will not be disappointed.

 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: