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Thermaltake Urban S21 Review


Thermaltake Urban S21 Testing:

Testing a chassis requires the computer to stay at idle and load for one hour. Doing so will give you an idea of what your computer may be like under stress. Normally your computer will not be running this hot, but we do not all live in cold weather or do similar things. Therefore, a full stress test can give people the idea of what it can handle and whether or not heat gets trapped over time. The case is left with stock features to give you an idea of the temperatures without the need for extra fans. It's almost guaranteed to have a slight drop in temperature when more fans are added, but that will not be covered.

I will be using Prime95 "small FFTs" for the CPU load and 3Dmark Vantage "Extreme preset" for GPU. I would like to note that for this review I am using an AMD FX 8350 with a sensor that is reporting false numbers. My solution was to offset it by 10c and allow the full stress to take place. If you look up normal temps with an AMD stock cooler you will find it to be near what I have if they ran Prime95 also. For this reason, a 10c offset seemed enough. The goal of this test is to show a comparison between cases on how much the temps vary and that is just what I have done.



  • Processor: AMD FX 8350 @ 4.0ghz
  • CPU Cooling: Stock Cooler
  • Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X Evo 2.0
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance  DDR3 1600 16gb (2x8gb)
  • Video Card: ASUS DCII GTX 570
  • PSU: OCZ 850w Z Series Gold
  • Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB 7200.13
  • Optical Drive: DVD-Rom
  • OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1




If you look at the CPU temperature charts, the issue here is hot air becoming trapped at the top corner between the rear fan and the vent causing the metal to heat up rapidly. Without the possibility of adding a top fan, an aftermarket liquid closed loop cooler might be the only measure to really decrease dissipated heat getting caught. Any traditional air heatsink is going to run into this sort of problem.

The GPU temperature chart may be the least important chart because the graphic card varies in every computer. Without the addition of a side fan (optional) you are once again stuck with open vents for dissipation of hot air. A push or pull fan setup on the side panel would have a greater impact on load temps. A fan can be added if you choose to, and the chart represents a truly stock case.

Once again, temps will vary on the chipset because each motherboard has different cooling solutions on the chipset. Generally the standard these days is to have the Northbridge and VRMs attached to a large heatsink that wraps around the CPU socket. As you can see, the temps in Thermaltake case are much higher than RaidMax. This variation is contributed to either A) the CPU heatsink pumping hot air directly onto the chipset or B) the lack of a top mounted fan to move air faster rather than the back fan doing all the work.

The Thermaltake S21 did not preform very well under high load, and I think it mostly has to do with the lack of cable management. Yes, in a smaller case you are going to see an increase in temperatures, but the enemy is often just cables blocking air flow, and this appears to be what happened here. The lack of support for a top mounted fan didn't help either. Even so, I like to test my cases out as stock, but having the option would lead me to try an extra fan that could potentially lower temperatures.  Even though I haven't found a way to properly measure how long it takes temps to drop from load to normal idle, my observation simply concludes that it would take a very long time. Air was getting trapped in the top corner, and I could feel the warmth. Are the temps really out of the realm of normal? No, and I've used cases that are far worse.

  1. Thermaltake Urban S21 Introduction & Closer Look:
  2. Thermaltake Urban S21 Closer Look: The Case
  3. Thermaltake Urban S21 Closer Look: Working Components
  4. Thermaltake Urban S21 Specifications & Features
  5. Thermaltake Urban S21Testing: Setup & Results
  6. Thermaltake Urban S21 Conclusion:
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