Thermaltake max 4 review: Thermaltake Max 4 Active Cooling HDD Enclosure Review

Thermaltake Max 5G Review (Page 1 of 4)

By: Devin Chollak
May 20, 2011

Have you ever woken up in the morning and wished for a breakfast in bed? I am certain a few of you individuals have experienced this craving, and let me be the first to tell you that the Thermaltake Max 5G is exactly that craving taunter. Now, many of you are probably wondering what I am trying to get at here, so let me clarify — bacon. Simply put, this hard drive enclosure smells like bacon in my opinion. Thermaltake must have some kind of telekinesis power, because who would make a HDD enclosure that smells like bacon? Let us not get too carried away with the «bacony» goodness of the Max 5G. Many would have expected this «meaty» enclosure to make a lot of noise, considering it incorporates two fans. With two fans, one would at least expect to hear much of the fan noise. However, after turning it on for quite some time, it was actually not too bad. Continuing on with my daily chores, it almost made me think the fans were not even on, but the stylish blue LEDs convinced me otherwise. I am not sure what is with all the blue LED fans that manufactures keep using on almost all the electronics I use, but it is almost getting to the point where my computer is now a glowing blue monster in the middle of the night. Thermaltake sure seems to be messing around my head when it comes to this enclosure. Read on to find out why!

Our review unit of the Thermaltake Max 5G and bacon came in a large, brown corrugated cardboard box from California, USA, all the way to our offices in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Using UPS Standard, everything arrived in excellent condition. With much anticipation, I am sorry to disappoint you, but unfortunately, there was no actual bacon that came with our Max 5G unit.

Thermaltake seems to have mastered how to ship products with UPS, because there is absolutely no visible damage on the box for the Max 5G — but it could also be because the Max 5G is just that beasty. The box itself was in a clean plastic shrink wrap to keep out anything nasty from getting inside the box during transit. I particularly like the design on the box; simple yet stylish, and takes on a dark shade of color. The design itself really brings out the blue in the LED fans on the front.

Before we move on, let us briefly take a look at the product features and specifications, as found on the product packaging as well as the manufacturer’s website:

— Dual ultra-silent 80mm fans with blue LEDs ensure data integrity during file transferring between external hard disk and the host computer
— Easily turn off blue LEDs with built-in switch on the back of the enclosure
— Blazing file transfer speed utilizing the world’s fastest SuperSpeed USB 3.0 transfer speed of up to 5Gbps
— Backwards compatible with all USB 2.0 (up to 480 Mbps) and USB 1.1 hosts
— Supports for all 3.5” SATA I, II, and 6G Hard Drives up to 2TB
— Includes shielded USB 3.0 cable to ensure maximum transfer speed with minimum distortion
— Integrated stand easily twists out for added overall enclosure stability

P/N: ST0020
Material: Metal Mesh & Plastic
Interface: SATA to USB 3. 0
SATA Compatibility: SATA 3.0, SATAII, SATAI
Transfer Rate: Up to 5Gbps (USB 3.0)
Accessories: USB 3.0 Cable, Power Adapter, Hexagon tool
Fan Dimension: 80 x 80 x 15mm
Current: 0.15A
Voltage: 12V
Fan Speed: 800 RPM
Noise: 12 dBA
Weight: 405g
Dimension: 145 x 207 x 47 mm
Power Source: Power Adapter; CE, FCC, GOST R Certified

Opening up the retail box, I discovered the enclosure was well protected with two pieces of Styrofoam on either side. The other components were also safely stored inside white cardboard boxes. Pulling everything out of its packaging, you will be presented with the enclosure, a USB 3.0 cable, a power adapter and cable, a screwdriver, an instruction manual, and some padding. I do not suspect that many people will need to use the installation instructions, as the overall process is fairly intuitive. Just in case you get confused, rest assured as it is there for you with additional images. As mentioned in the features list, the Thermaltake Max 5G incorporates an integrated rotatable stand with rubber grommets at the bottom of the unit that adds stability. Unlike other enclosures that have a choice of exterior color, the Max 5G comes only in a black version. Overall, I quite like the look of the enclosure with the dark case and rotatable stand. Some might consider it a bit bulky; however, I would have to disagree, simply because this is not just a typical enclosure — it uses active cooling. That basically means it should be placed in the open, which rules out the need for crunching it in tight spaces. Next, we take a look at the inside of the Thermaltake Max 5G.

Page Index

1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation
3. Test System, Benchmark Results
4. Conclusion

Thermaltake Max 5G Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 — A Closer Look, Installation

At the back of the Thermaltake Max 5G, you will find four key parts. First one is the power switch. Just in case the smell of bacon is overwhelming for your liking, you can simply flip it off. Adjacent to the power switch is a light switch; this is a feature I wasn’t expecting at all. It really shows that Thermaltake is thinking about its customers in the design process. Having the ability to turn off the fan’s LED lights is a brilliant feature, as I know very few products with LED fans with such a feature. I sometimes really wish the fans on my computer case had this ability. Also on the back of the enclosure, we have a DC power input (A power adapter is included). This is obviously needed for the 3.5″ enclosure and two LED fans, as one USB port doesn’t stand a chance in powering the «baconator». The Max 5G also offers a blue USB 3.0 port on the back. In that case, this enclosure is something you might want to consider picking up. Fortunately, if you don’t have any USB 3.0 ports, it is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, giving you the benefits of a cool enclosure until you get around to upgrading to the blazing fast USB 3.0 interface. The only thing this enclosure is missing is an eSATA port, but that isn’t too much of a problem, considering the point of this enclosure is to utilize the USB 3. 0 feature.

Installation was remarkably intuitive, and the design allowed for the whole process to be effortless. The only issue I have with the Thermaltake Max 5G is it uses non-standard screws, and by that, I mean uncommon. They do, however, provide a screwdriver that comes inside the box. The screws use a hex socket, also known as an Allen head. This is fairly annoying, and it would have been more preferable for users like myself to use either a Phillips head or a slotted head screw. I am only irritated by this because I have to find a way keep track of their tiny little screwdriver years down the road when I want to swap out the drive. Thankfully, once the cover was off, I was very happy to see how easily the drive would slide in. The tray that holds the hard drive slides back from the SATA connectors to make installation and removal as easy as flipping bacon. With the 3.5″ drive installed, the only thing left is to put the cover back on the side and put the screws in. The nice feature here is it does not take any screws to secure the hard drive in place, because it easily slides and snaps in.

I have to say the Max 5G is fairly durable, despite many parts of it being plastic. I have transported around many times without any worries. The clips on the inside are plastic; however, based on some simple tests, they are still fairly strong and holds the hard drive in without any worries. Basically, I can spin this thing around and smack it against a few hard surfaces (I have an old dead HDD for this purpose), and the hard drive stays right in place. The plastic is just over 2mm thick, making it quite strong. Sure, it isn’t metal, but don’t underestimate it. The only thing that didn’t hold well was the plastic clip used to secure the non-sliding half. It just slipped out of place, but the drive was still securely held in place, even with it only half clipped in. Unless you are planning to throw this off of your balcony, it will hold the drive in securely.

The metal mesh on the fans provides good airflow while preventing the user from accidentally coming in contact with the side fans. I really feel this was a well thought out design, as the whole thing feels rock solid when I pick it up or move it around. With a 3-year warranty mentioned on the package, you can really only expect high quality. The Thermaltake Max 5G uses an ASMedia controller for its SATA 6Gb/s internal interface. This means we don’t need to worry about the any bottlenecks other than the USB 3.0 interface, which means that you can cook bacon very quickly! Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the specific model number of the controller bridge.

At the front of the enclosure, there is a blue LED light that acts as an HDD LED indicator. On the side with the fans is a metal mesh cover where you can also see the LEDs of the two 80mm fans. Now take note — if you think the Thermatlake Max 5G is going to be loud thanks to this pair of fans, they are actually almost inaudible during operation. You’ll be very pleasently surprised. Flipping it over to the bottom side, you are greeted with three rubber grommets — one up front and two on a rotatable stand at the back. As aforementioned, the bottom of the Thermaltake Max 5G has a rotatable plastic stand. The enclosure stands on its side fairly well enough, even without it being rotated. Although it might not be needed, having the base rotated out provides you with an extra level of stability. The rubberized grommets are placed in very good position along the bottom to ensure that the Max 5G stays in place during operation, while lessening the vibration simultaneously. Well, enough about the enclosure’s exterior, let’s see how well it performs through the set of benchmarks!

Page Index

1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation
3. Test System, Benchmark Results
4. Conclusion

Thermaltake MAX-1542 Hot Swap SSD 4-in-1 2.5″ to 5.25″ Review

Solid-state storage is getting cheaper almost by the day, so it is no surprise that users are starting to put more than one SSD in their workstations and desktops. Personally I have had at least three SSDs in my main workstation for two years now. Thermaltake sent its solution, the Thermaltake MAX-1542 hotswap enclosure that puts four 2.5″ hot swap drive bays into a single 5.25″ drive slot. Old-time users of this site may remember I used similar 4-in-1 devices with my old 8x 15K rpm SAS setup. At that point I used  two Athena Power 4-in-1 hotswap enclosures but came away thinking that they were not the best in terms of noise, especially cooling 15,000 rpm 2.5″ SAS drives. Let’s see how the Thermaltake MAX-1542 unit compares.

Test Configuration

The test configuration for this series is going to be my single-processor LGA 2011 test bed.

  1. CPU(s): Intel Core i7-3930K
  2. Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 WS
  3. Memory: 32GB (8x 4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600
  4. Drives: Corsair Force3 120GB, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2x OCZ Agility 3 120GB
  5. Chassis: Corsair Carbide Series 500R
  6. SSD Hotswap Enclosure: Thermaltake MAX-1542 4x 2.5″ in 1x 5.25″ bay
  7. Power Supply: Corsair AX850 850w 80 Plus Gold

Overall, this provides a good mix of drive connectivity alongside a fairly fast test platform.

The Thermaltake MAX-1542

Thermaltake sent their MAX-1542 enclosure that fits four 2.5″ SSDs in one 5.25″ bay, normally reserved for full size optical drives. The product itself looks really sleek with a black enclosure accented by red plastic door levers. These products are great additions to the HP Microserver N40L where there is one free 5.25″ bay or even desktop enclosures.

Thermaltake MAX-1542 Front

The SSDs are installed into four individual hot swap trays. As one can see below, there is a large piece of plastic covering drives which I cannot figure out why Thermaltake adds other than to make normally thin SSDs thicker. Personally, I wish Thermaltake decided to use the room afforded by this plastic piece to make a tool-less design. One can also see the locking mechanism for which Thermaltake includes two keys, very standard practice with these units. Frankly, if someone has needle nose pliers, these locks are not going to do much good for theft protection. What they will do is prevent accidental removal of the trays. A tip here is to keep the keys nearby in the event of a failure.

Thermaltake MAX-1542 Hot Swap

The rear of the chassis is very interesting. One can see the dual fans, four SATA ports and one SATA power connector. One piece of advice here is that using right angle SATA connectors can be very problematic as right angle connectors attached to the top ports will generally block the bottom (I tried five right angle cables and only one did not exhibit this behavior.) Right angle connectors on the bottom ports may interfere with anything below such as an optical drive or chassis. Installed in the Corsair Carbide Series 500R‘s bottom 5.25″ bay, there was interference using right angle connectors. Frankly there are two easy fixes. First, just use straight SATA connectors either through standard cables that come with the unit or by using a SFF-8087 breakout cable from a RAID card. Second, one can just play with the connectors a bit. I was able to install four right angle connectors but doing so exerted pressure on the SATA connectors. On a review sample, I was willing to take the risk that I might break the backplane and given my personality I would have done so if I purchased this normally. With that being said, some users may have second thoughts with exerting this kind of pressure on SATA connectors and will want to use the straight cables that come with the MAX-1542 or use longer versions thereof.

Thermaltake MAX-1542 Rear

This enclosure reminded me a lot of the Athena Power BP-SATA-1842C units I used with 15K rpm SAS drives that I used years ago. The side vents on the Termaltake unit are much larger, there are no SAS connectors on the Thermaltake unit, the Thermaltake unit is powered by a SATA power connector not a Molex connector, but nonetheless, it seems rather similar. The rear SATA connectors match the rest of the unit and are flat black.

Thermaltake MAX-1542 Interior

Looking inside the unit with trays removed one can see that there are standard SATA data and power ports for each drive. Overall, this is a very simple design with the data ports exiting to the rear and the power being broken out to all four drives. I will say that the fans were really quiet compared to enterprise-level components. Trading plastic tray components for something that is not overly offensive to the ear in a workstation is something I think a lot of people will be willing to do. I will note at this point that I do not think that I would put warm drives as I did with the Athena Power units into this enclosure, but that is not the point of the Thermaltake MAX-1542. It is instead a unit designed to be used with SSDs which generally run really cool. In terms of performance for the intended application this works.


Overall, for those looking at a consumer 4-in-1 for solid state drives, the Thermaltake MAX-1542 is a great option. It is relatively quiet which is much better than those units intended for servers. For those users that want hot-swap SSD trays and have limited space, this is an excellent option. I tried nine different drives in the enclosure and all fit without issue. I will say that this would have been slightly better if Thermaltake were to use all metal drive tray mechanisms and a color other than red. Just looking at the all black Carbide 500R chassis the red handles really pop out. I may be in the conservative minority on this one, but black would have been just fine for these. The Thermaltake MAX-1542 did a great job and nearly earned a 9/10 to the point that I delayed the go-live of this piece a week just because I was unsure of a 8.5 versus 9.0 overall score. In the end, for those users that need this kind of density, and that do not mind spending the money, this is a great option. Two of these can be used with an inexpensive controller such as the IBM M1015 to get a nice eight drive 6.0gbps subsystem.

Thermaltake MAX-1542 Summary

Thermaltake The Tower 100 Review: Affordable ITX Weirdness

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

Although Thermaltake’s The Tower 100 isn’t the most practical case, it’s joyfully weird and doesn’t cost much.

  • +

    + Unique new case design

  • +

    + Showpiece from all angles

  • +

    + Easily accessible top IO

  • +

    + Reasonable thermal performance

  • +

    + Affordable

  • Cheap build quality

  • Lacking cable management

  • Impractical build process

  • Limited cooling potential

Today’s best Thermaltake The Tower 100 and deals

$109. 99



Reduced Price






Reduced Price

Thermaltake’s The Tower 100 is a new ITX chassis that comes with a totally different design from what we’re used to. It places the motherboard along the back wall of the chassis, GPU directly into the PCIe slot, rear IO at the top under a cover, and a large ATX power supply in the basement. It’s bigger than most ITX cases, but it’s got a unique design that may appeal to those who want to show off their hardware, thanks to the glass on three sides.

But although it’s a small showcase, it does limit practicality somewhat by favoring form over function. Without further ado, let’s dig a bit deeper and find out if the case is good enough for a spot on our Best PC Cases list.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)


Type Mini-ITX
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX
Dimensions (HxWxD) 18.2 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches (462.8 x 266 x 266 mm)
Max GPU Length 13.0 inches (330 mm)
CPU Cooler Height 7.5 inches (190 mm)
Max PSU Size ATX, up to 7.1 inches (180 mm)
External Bays
Internal Bays 2x 2.5-inch
Expansion Slots 2x
Front I/O 2x USB 3.0, USB-C, Headphone, Mic
Front Fans
Rear Fans 1x 120mm
Top Fans 1x 120mm
Bottom Fans
Side Fans
Damping No


Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Touring around the outside of the chassis, two things that are immediately clear are the lavish amount of glass that’s included for an ITX case, and the ventilation. Glass doesn’t do many favors for cooling, but ventilation does, and from the looks of it, there’s plenty to be found here.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

  • Thermaltake The Tower 100 (Black) at Amazon for $97.99

The materials quality isn’t the most stunning, but given that this chassis carries an MSRP of just $109, it’s nothing to be upset about and more than adequate. Only the shroud around the top of the chassis is made from cheap plastic, though it is color-matched quite well to the rest of the case.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Front IO comprises two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, dedicated microphone and headphone jacks, and of course power and reset switches. This is all very complete, and much appreciated at the case’s price.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Meanwhile, air filters are also provided on all possible air intake locations. All the side and front vents have filters. The top and rear exhaust have filters, and the bottom PSU intake has an air filter. Of course, that’s a good thing, but there’s a good reason for it: With no dedicated spots for fan-assisted air intake, every corner better have filtration or you’ll end up with significant dust buildup.

Opening Up the Tower 100

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Opening up The Tower 100 is a bit of a tedious process, but let’s start with the teardown to reveal the case’s internals. First, you pop off the top cover by pressing down the back to click it out, revealing access to the top-mounted rear IO location. You’ll also spot an exhaust fan here, along with all the cabling for the front IO.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Then, you have to remove five screws to remove the plastic shroud. It then comes right off, and you can remove the glass panels.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Then, we remain with the bottom vents, which are removed by unscrewing them from below. The thumbscrews here are quite tight, so you’ll need a screwdriver to get them off. Personally, I would have preferred to see the front and sides as a single panel and the top shroud stuck on with clips. As designed, it’s quite a bit of work to get the side panels off – a lot more than most ATX cases.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The rear panel comes off by removing four thumbscrews, again bring your screwdriver.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

And with that, we have the chassis stripped down to its bare essentials.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The only remaining thing to mention about the internals of the chassis is the dual SSD brackets on the right side, where you can mount your 2.5-inch drives somewhat on display.

A Word on Hardware Compatibility

This chassis is primarily aimed at offering a lot of GPU space and compatibility. As such, fitting large GPUs up to 13 inches (330mm) is a breeze, but you won’t get a lot of CPU cooling potential. The biggest AIO that fits in here is a 120mm unit, which isn’t much. For gaming, this will be fine, but if you’re also running a very powerful Intel CPU and doing a lot of CPU-intensive tasks, you may want to look elsewhere.

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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

Thermaltake The Tower 100 Review

To paraphrase Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” Mini-ITX PC cases are very much like that when it comes to building in them. (It may be a smooth caramel, or a tooth-achy, crunchy surprise.) Thermaltake’s The Tower 100, though, is the opposite of all that: The filling is on full display. As much a display case as a PC case, The Tower 100 begs to be lit up with all of the RGB lights you can find. It’s also easier to work with than many Mini-ITX designs, and it’s priced at $119. 99. That said, we ran across some odd quirks about the design that could use addressing in a future revision. But on the whole, this case is exactly as «good» as your PC-building skills are.

A Quirky, Colorful Cabinet

The Tower 100 stands just over a foot and a half tall (18.2 inches, to be exact) with tempered glass panels on the front, left, and right. Most of what is not made of glass is perforated steel. This helps to ensure that the system has sufficient airflow to prevent your component mix from overheating.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

The model we received for review is a stylish turquoise model that retails for $119.99. The case is also available in white or a dark «racing green» color for the same price. A fourth, all-black version costs a bit less at $109.99.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

The front I/O panel is relatively spare, with a row of three USB ports. Two of these are USB 3.0 Type-A, and the third is a USB 3. 2 Gen 2 Type-C that’s fed by a modern Gen 2-style motherboard header. (Make sure your Mini-ITX motherboard of choice has both kinds of USB front-panel headers; older ones won’t.) Alongside these are microphone and headphone jacks, as well as the usual power and reset buttons.

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(Photo: Michael Sexton)

Externally, that’s about all there is to the The Tower 100 case, but the building experience is considerably different than any other case I’ve worked with so far.

The Building Experience

On the back of the The Tower 100 case are four thumbscrews. For anyone that’s built a PC before, this appears to be the way to open the case, but it’s not actually the main access point, though you’ll eventually want to go back here. Behind this panel is the back of the motherboard mounting tray. To open the case up for building purposes, you need to start at the top and work your way down.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

The top-most panel is held on by a set of clips that release the panel when pressed. Underneath is another panel that doubles as a mounting bracket. This is one of only two locations where a fan can be mounted, and it’s the only place where you can install a closed-loop water cooler. Officially, you can install a radiator here only up to 120mm in size, but the fan bracket supports both 120mm and 140mm fans. The second fan mount is set behind the motherboard tray and is the same size, but the motherboard tray makes it impossible to add a radiator in this location. Both fan slots come with 120mm fans pre-installed into them. This panel is removable by taking out five screws.

After the top panels have both been removed, you can remove all three glass panels by simply sliding them up and pulling them off of the case. It’s only after removing these panels that you’ll be able to start building a system.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

The motherboard gets mounted vertically in this case, positioned so that the board is on full view through the front glass panel. With all of the glass panels removed, getting access to all of the various headers to get them connected up is made fairly easy; you have easy access from three directions. The same goes for the RAM slots on your board, and the PCI Express slot for your graphics card.

Directly below the motherboard mounting tray is a compartment for housing the power supply. The power supply slides in through the back of the case and mounts to a removable metal bracket. Putting the power supply in is a straightforward and painless experience. Afterward, the cabling can be run up into the main case chamber through various slits in the PSU compartment, up to the motherboard or graphics card as needed.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

Beside the motherboard mounting tray and the PSU compartment, Thermaltake left a large space for the video card. The cavity can accommodate a dual-slot card up to 330mm long.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

In total, the case can hold four storage devices (not counting M.2 drives that may be mounted on your motherboard of choice). On the right side of the case are side brackets that can hold two 2.5-inch drives. Two 3.5-inch drives can be added to the back of the case behind the motherboard mounting tray, but this will require you to remove the fan from behind the tray to make room.

The Rear I/O Panel: Twists and Turns

There’s one last key point that we need to discuss about The Tower 100, and that’s the rear I/O panel placement. It’s an unconventional design, to be sure, and Thermaltake opted to place the rear I/O panel in one of the least accessible arrangements of any case in recent memory. Instead of being on the back of the case or elsewhere on the case’s exterior for easy access, Thermaltake positions the I/O panel inside the case under the top-most panel. It makes the case look sleek and minimal from all angles on the outside, but heaven forbid if you have to plug in anything in a hurry! You’ll need to snake the cables through cutouts in the back of the case then bend them downward to the ports. You’re looking here at the inside of the chassis’ top panel from below, with the I/O port zone to the left of the fan…

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

As you can see, the graphics card’s backplane, and thus your video outs, will also point up and out of the top panel. This design is just as bothersome as it probably sounds to you, and it makes plugging anything into a motherboard built into The Tower 100 a chore. That is, of course, unless you take the lazy way out and leave the top panel off…but who wants to keep their showcase chassis part-disassembled, with cables looping out the top? That goes against the whole aesthetic of this chassis.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

How could it be corrected in a future revision? A vertical motherboard mount like this necessitates the I/O positioning up top, to be sure, but some extender cables to the most commonly used ports (such as to a subset of your USB ports or to the display output) would be very thoughtful accessories to include. Or perhaps some L-adapters for stiff cables like HDMI or DisplayPort.

Another option might be to make the chassis a little taller, allowing for more room to access the I/O panel from the rear. Having the rear I/O panel on the top of the PC case is unconventional, but doing this would make getting to the rear I/O panel far easier without significantly changing the design.

Verdict: Not a Bad Deal, for a Tower in Teal

A system built into Thermaltake’s The Tower 100 case has potential to be a real eye-catcher. The Tower 100, however, leaves a lot of that work to you. The price is attractive enough, but Thermaltake doesn’t give you a whole lot outside the glass (aesthetically speaking, and in terms of accessories in the box) to make it an attractive option for someone looking to build a flashy PC case. It’s something of a blank-slate box.

For one: The case doesn’t have any LED illumination built in, nor does it ship with RGB or aRGB LED fans. (The two included spinners are, curiously, unlit.) The case will do a good job showing off the parts you install into it, but as you can seee here, our finished build looks rather dull without some LED flair.

(Photo: Michael Sexton)

Even with added LEDs, some more conventional PC cases could make better display cases for computer hardware than this one. The thing is, though: Most of those are ATX, and this is Mini-ITX.

Setting the aesthetics aside, the case isn’t particularly difficult to work with; we’ve wrangled with far more difficult Mini-ITX cases in our day. The cooling options are quite limited, however, and the unusual rear I/O panel placement means you’ll want to plug in what you must from the outset and mostly rely on your front USB ports from then on out. (Another reason to make sure your motherboard has that modern USB 3. 2 Gen 2 header for the USB-C port.)

Overall, The Tower 100 leaves us with some mixed feelings, and we wish Thermaltake, a champion and pioneer of blingy gear, had opened up its purse and provided some cool RGB stuff in the box to enhance your build. But if the price fits your budget, the aesthetic tickles you just right, and you have the patience and the parts, where else will you find a teal or racing-green Mini-ITX chassis?

Thermaltake The Tower 100


  • Tempered glass on three sides

  • Fairly easy to build in


  • Awkward «rear» (actually, top) I/O panel placement

  • No included RGB lighting in a case that screams for it

  • Included fans are unlit

The Bottom Line

Thermaltake’s The Tower 100 is as much a curio cabinet for your components as a PC case. The industrial design comes in some quirky, fun colors, but it’s your PC parts that are the real star of the show with this unusual chassis.

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Abstract: This isn’t quite what you expect
to see when you hear the name Thermaltake, but this square heatsink is indeed one of theirs.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Thermaltake   Cooling / Heatsinks   Feb 26, 2001   Max Page  

Thermaltake Volcano II Review

This isn’t quite what you expect
to see when you hear the name Thermaltake, but this square heatsink is
indeed one of theirs. The extruded aluminum heatsink fits in the 60mm frame work
of the socket form factor, remedying problems with other heatsinks that overhang. With a 25mm high fan atop, and a stepped
fin array below it looks like one devilishly capable heatsink, but is it really?

After all, why abandon, even if for a moment, the round success of the Orbs for the more traditional square
design? Let’s take a look and find out as we review the Thermaltake Volcano II.

The ThermalTake Volcano II (DUO462-7)

  • Dimensions: 68x60x60mm
  • Everflow Fan: 12VDC, 0.17A, 4500RPM, dual ball bearings
  • CFM: 36, RPM monitor on fan
  • Extruded Aluminum form factor
  • Uses Thermagon T905c interface
  • Cost: $30 CDN
  • Manufacturer:

° Next Page 

Table of Contents:
 1: — Thermaltake Volcano II Review


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Overview of the Thermaltake ToughLiquid Ultra 240 liquid cooling system with two 120 mm fans and an LCD screen on the pump

Specifications, scope of delivery and price


Manufacturer Thermaltake
Model Thermaltake ToughLiquid Ultra 240
Model code CL-W322-PL12GM-A
Cooling system type liquid closed type pre-filled non-expandable for
TDP n/a
Compatibility motherboards with Intel processor sockets: 2066/2011-3/2011/ 1700 /1366/1200/1156/1155/1151/1150;
AMD: AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2/FM1
Fan type axial (axial), TT-1225 (A1225S12S), 2 pcs.
Fan supply 12V, 0.23A, 2.76W, 4-pin connector (common, power, rotation sensor, PWM control)
Fan dimensions 120×120×25 mm
Fan speed 500-2500 rpm
Fan capacity 123.5 m³/h (72.69 ft³/min)
Fan static pressure 37.1 Pa (3.78 mm w.c.)
Fan noise level 28.1 dBA
Fan bearing n/a
Radiator dimensions 273×120×27 mm
Radiator material aluminum
Hose length 400 mm
Hose material rubber
Pump integrated with heat sink
Pump power 12V, 0.38A, 4.56W, 3-pin connector (common, power, rotation sensor)
Pump speed 3200 rpm
Pump noise level n/a
Heat sink material copper
Heat sink thermal interface thermal paste in syringe
LCD screen
  • power and control: Micro-USB connector, 5 V, 11. 5 W
  • size: 2.1″
  • type: IPS
  • resolution: 480×480 (RGB) pixels
Delivery set
  • Radiator and pump
  • connected by hoses and filled with coolant

  • fan, 2 pcs.
  • fan power splitter
  • cable for connecting the screen on the pump to the connector on the motherboard (terminal 9contacts on two Micro-USB connectors)
  • pump mounting kit for processor
  • heatsink fan and chassis heatsink mounting kit
  • thermal paste in syringe
  • system installation guide
  • TT RGB Plus software manual
  • warranty description
Retail offers

ask price


The liquid cooling system is delivered in a colorfully designed corrugated cardboard box, on the outer planes of which not only the product itself is depicted, but also its description is given, some features (supplemented by illustrations) and technical characteristics are listed. The inscriptions are predominantly in English, but the listing of the features of the LCD display on the pump is duplicated in several languages, including Russian. A papier-mâché mold, polyethylene foam padding and plastic bags are used to protect and distribute parts. The sole of the heat sink is protected by a plastic film.

Inside is a heatsink with a connected pump, fans, splitter, mounting kit, thermal paste in a syringe and a cable for connecting the screen, as well as installation instructions and TT RGB Plus software, a description of the warranty.

Installation manual with inscriptions in English, but it is mostly in pictures, so it is understandable without translation. The company’s website has a full description of the cooler and links to PDF files with instructions and to the TT RGB Plus software.

System is sealed, primed, and ready to use. The pump is integrated into one unit with a heat sink. The sole of the heat sink, directly adjacent to the processor cover, is a copper plate. Its outer surface is ground and slightly polished. Towards the center, the surface is convex with a difference of the order of 0.1-0.2 mm.

The dimensions of this plate are 56×56 mm, and the inner part, limited by holes, is 44×44 mm. Two of the eight screws that secure the plate to the pump body have tricky heads that prevent them from being unscrewed. As a result, the pump can be considered non-repairable. Thermal paste in a small syringe, which, of course, is less convenient than a pre-applied layer. A complete supply of thermal paste is enough for one time for sure, and at best for two, if the processor is with a small cover area, and the consumption is economical. All tests used high-quality thermal paste from another manufacturer.

Looking ahead, we will demonstrate the distribution of thermal paste after all tests are completed. On Intel Core i9-7980XE:

And pump sole:

It can be seen that the thermal paste has spread over the entire area of ​​the processor cover, and approximately in the center there is a large area of ​​tight contact. Note that the cover of this processor itself is slightly convex towards the center. (The distribution of thermal paste, of course, changed slightly when the processor and pump were separated, and the corner on the sole of the pump accidentally smeared.)

The pump housing is made of hard black plastic. It is covered by a casing made of less hard black plastic. A lid with a black plastic ring and a central round insert made of transparent plastic with a smooth surface is fixed on top of the casing. This insert has a thin mirror coating on the inside, making it a translucent mirror. Under this mirror is a round LCD screen. Its power and control is carried out from the Micro-USB connector. Included is a cable with block 9pins on one end, which is supposed to be connected to a connector on the motherboard, and with two Micro-USB connectors on two branches 92 cm long. The second Micro-USB connector can be used, for example, to connect some kind of backlight controller. The cover on the pump rotates 270 degrees (actually a little more), which allows you to set the screen in the correct orientation, regardless of the installation of the pump (the picture can also be rotated programmatically).

Just when power is applied to the screen, it first displays an animated splash screen, which is replaced by an image over which the coolant temperature can be displayed. This splash screen and image can be selected by the user on the settings page for ToughLiquid Ultra in the TT RGB Plus software.

When the screen on the pump is connected via USB and the TT RGB Plus software is running, the screen displays what the user has set. Namely, one value or several values ​​\u200b\u200bof the PC parameters that are changed in a cycle (carousel mode).

The user can also upload a static or animated image, over which one or more parameter values ​​can be displayed.

Examples of screen output can be seen in the video below:

And here is a demonstration of the screen and the entire Thermaltake system:

The water block is relatively large — the diameter of the cover with the screen is 76 mm, and the height from the base of the heat sink is 69 mm. The length of the cable to the fan connector on the motherboard is 41. 5 cm. The hoses are 37.5 cm long excluding sleeves (relatively long, which expands the installation possibilities), the outer diameter of the hoses is approximately 13 mm. The hoses are encased in a slippery synthetic sheath. The L-shaped fittings at the inlet to the pump rotate, which makes it easy to install the system.

The radiator is made of aluminum and has a matte black finish on the outside, which is relatively resistant.

Frame and fan impeller are made of durable plastic, black and grey, respectively.

At the corners of the fan frames there are anti-vibration pads made of elastic plastic (probably silicone). However, the mass of the fan and the rigidity of these pads allow us to reasonably assume that due to the high resonant frequency, this system will not have any significant anti-vibration properties in any case.

The marking on the fan lets you know that the model used is TT-1225 (A1225S12S) from Hong Sheng.

Fan cables are braided. According to the legend, the sheath reduces aerodynamic drag, but taking into account the thickness of the flat three- or four-wire cables inside this sheath and its outer diameter, we strongly doubt the veracity of this legend. The sheath is impregnated with some kind of compound resembling rubber, so it is relatively rigid and elastic, and clings to everything, dragging a cable in such a sheath inside the case is not an easy task. However, the shell will allow you to maintain a single design style for the interior decoration of the system unit. The braided sheath on the splitter is slippery, which is better, and there is no sheath on the pump power cable, which is a good thing. The fans support PWM control. Fan power cable length 89see Cables are long, which increases the possibility of installation without the use of extension cords. The length of the two branches of the splitter is 20 cm each.

The fasteners are made primarily from hardened steel and have a durable galvanized or semi-gloss black paint finish. Note that the mounting frame is simply inserted into the grooves on the pump, which is very convenient. The assembled system with fasteners for LGA 2011 weighs 1288 g.

The Thermaltake ToughLiquid Ultra 240 liquid cooling system has a 2-year warranty.


A full description of the testing methodology is given in the corresponding article «Testing methodology for processor coolers of the 2020 sample». For the load test, the powerMax (AVX) program was used, all cores of the Intel Core i9-7980XE processor worked at a fixed frequency of 3.2 GHz (multiplier 32). In all tests, unless otherwise noted, the pump operates on 12 V.

Determine the dependence of the cooler fan speed on the PWM duty cycle and / or supply voltage

The rotation speed adjustment range is wide; Note that at 0% short circuit, the fans do not stop, which can be important in a hybrid cooling system with passive mode at minimum load.

The change in speed is also smooth, but the adjustment range with voltage is slightly narrower. Fans stop at 2.7/2.8V and start at 2.9V. Apparently, if necessary, it is permissible to connect them to 5 V.

Let us also give the dependence of the pump rotation speed on the supply voltage:

Note the smooth increase in the pump rotation speed with increasing supply voltage. The pump stops at 3.9V and starts at 6.7V. Now the pump can no longer be connected to 5V. still does not overheat (at 24 degrees of ambient air) at fan speeds achieved by reducing the short circuit to 35%, which corresponds to about 660 rpm.

Determining the noise level depending on the rotation speed of the cooler fans

It depends, of course, on individual characteristics and other factors, but somewhere from 40 dBA and above, the noise, from our point of view, is very high for a desktop system; from 35 to 40 dBA, the noise level is classified as tolerable; below 35 dBA, the noise from the cooling system will not stand out much against the background of typical non-noisy PC components — case fans, fans on the power supply and on the video card, as well as hard drives; and somewhere below 25 dBA the cooler can be called conditionally silent. In this case, the entire range is covered. The noise from the pump alone is 22.3 dBA. The pump is quiet, so it doesn’t make much sense to reduce the noise by lowering the pump’s supply voltage. The background level was equal to 16.0 dBA (conditional value, which shows the sound level meter).

Construction of real maximum power versus noise level.

Let’s try to get away from the conditions of the test bench to more realistic scenarios. Let’s say that the temperature of the air taken in by the cooling system fans can rise to 44 °C (a realistic scenario when the fans on the radiator are set to blow out of the case in which the powerful video card is running), but the temperature of the processor under maximum load does not want to increase above 80°C C. Restricting ourselves to these conditions, we construct the dependence of the real maximum power, denoted as P max (earlier we used the designation Max. TDP ), consumed by the processor, on the noise level (details are described in the method):

Taking 25 dBA as a criterion for conditional noiselessness, we get the approximate maximum power of processors corresponding to this level , this is about 245 watts. Hypothetically, if you do not pay attention to the noise level, the power limits can be increased somewhere else up to 285 watts. Let us clarify once again that in harsh conditions of blowing the radiator with air heated to 44 degrees, when the air temperature drops, the indicated power limits for silent operation and maximum power increase.

Comparison with other FLCs for Intel Core i9-7980XE CPU cooling

Using this link you can calculate the power limits for other boundary conditions (air temperature and maximum processor temperature) and compare this system with several other FLCs tested under the same methodology (the list is updated). As you can see, among cooling systems with two 120 mm fans, this LSS shows good results.


The Thermaltake ToughLiquid Ultra 240 liquid cooling system can be used to create a relatively quiet computer (noise level of 25 dBA or less) equipped with an Intel Core i9 type processor-7980XE (Intel LGA2066, Skylake-X (HCC)) if the processor consumption under maximum load does not exceed 245 W, and the temperature inside the case does not rise above 44 °C. With lower cooling air temperatures and/or less stringent noise requirements, the power limits can be increased. The main feature of this system is the LCD screen on the pump, which can display useful diagnostic information, an animated GIF or just a beautiful picture.

For appearance and functionality liquid cooling system Thermaltake ToughLiquid Ultra 240 Wins Editorial Award Original Design :

Thermaltake Smart RGB 600W — 27 secret facts, review, specifications, reviews.


The most important characteristic of a computer power supply, regardless of the form factor. For a simple office computer with an integrated or low-power discrete graphics card, a power supply unit of 400-450 watts is sufficient. For more productive PCs — at least 600 watts.
Show all

600 W

max 2000

Average: 668. 8W

2000 W

Fan diameter

The larger the power supply fan, the lower the speed it needs for effective cooling, which means less noise. Above average are considered fans with a diameter of 120-140 mm.
Show all

120 mm

max 140

Average value: 122.5 mm

140 mm

80 PLUS certified

Minimum acceptable PSU compliance with Energy Star 4.0 international energy efficiency standard. Means an efficiency of at least 80%.
Show all


Short circuit protection

In the event of a short circuit, the power supply will automatically turn off before any damage is done to the PC components.
Show all


Overload protection

The function automatically turns off the power supply at a critical load, but when the allowable current value (measured in Amperes) is exceeded, and not voltage (measured in Volts).
Show all


Overvoltage protection

If the output voltage exceeds the allowable value, the system will automatically turn off the power supply. This prevents the failure of PC components.
Show all



PFC is a type of power factor correction of the system unit PSU. Distinguish between active and passive PFC. The first is preferable, since it gives a power factor of up to 0.99, while the passive one does not exceed 0.75.
Show all


Cooling system

Power supply cooling can be active — preferably with one or two fans, or passive — without a fan, only with a heatsink. Fanless PSUs are silent, but only suitable for low-power PCs.
Show all

1 fan

Maximum running voltage


max 264

Average: 238. 3


Minimum running voltage


max 230

Average: 133


ATX12V version

Most of today’s desktop PCs experience the main load on the +12V lines. Therefore, support for the ATX12V standard will be predominantly required.
Show all


max 2.4

Average: 2.3



140 mm

max 267

Average value: 153.3 mm

267 mm


86 mm

max 156

Average value: 85.2 mm

156 mm


150 mm

max 200

Average value: 147. 5 mm

200 mm

Form factor

The most common form factor of the built-in power supply is ATX with dimensions of 150x86x140 mm. More compact options are PS3/ATX and SFX with dimensions of 150x86x100 mm and 125×51.5×100 mm, respectively. TFX with dimensions of about 85x65x175 mm is designed for cases of non-standard shape and size.
Show all


Motherboard connector type

For the past 20 years or so, the most common motherboard power supply connector has been the 24-pin connector—standard for the ATX form factor. In the near future, it will probably be replaced by a more advanced 10-pin.
Show all

20+4 pin

Detachable cables


Number of connectors 15-pin SATA

15-pin SATA is a connector for supplying power to modern hard drives and optical drives with SATA interface.
Show all


max 62

Mean: 6.4


Number of 4-pin IDE connectors

4-pin IDE is a classic 4-pin power connector for mechanical HDDs and optical drives with an IDE interface (obsolete, but still quite common).
Show all


max 14

Mean: 3.9


Number of connectors 4+4 pin CPU

The 4+4 pin CPU connector is designed to supply additional power to the processor. The connector is collapsible, and is compatible with motherboards equipped with both 4-pin CPU power sockets and 8-pin ones.
Show all


max 210

Mean: 1.5


Number of 6+2-pin PCI-E connectors

The 6+2-pin PCI-E connector is designed to supply power to video cards with both 8-pin and 6-pin connectors.
Show all


max 18

Average: 3.6


Number of connectors 4-pin Floppy

4-pin Floppy — 4-pin connector for powering floppy drives. May be needed in very exceptional cases.
Show all


Average: 1.1


Line current +5 V Standby

The +5 V SB (Standby) bus is required for the function to wake up the computer from sleep mode on key events — pressing a key, request via local network, incoming call to the modem, etc. It is also needed for the Suspend-to-RAM mode to work.
Show all

2.5 A

Average value: 2.7 A

6 A

Line Current -12V

Negative -12V current required for COM ports to work.

0.5 A

Average value: 0.4 A

2 A

Line current +12 V 1

The maximum current through the first line is +12 V. In modern power supplies for safety, the +12 V bus.
Show all

42 A

max 167

Average value: 43.9 A

167 A

Line current +5 V

The parameter was relevant for computers of previous generations. Modern PC power supplies with a large margin cover this requirement.
Show all

17 A

max 50

Average value: 20.3 A

50 A

Line current +3.3 V

In modern computers, this parameter has lost its relevance, since all new power supplies are oriented to 12 V, which is much more than the specified minimum.
Show all

22 A

max 40

Average value: 21.5 A

40 A

Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler review

::>Cooling systems
> Thermaltake Ruby Orb


In this review, we will test Thermaltake’s Ruby Orb cooler, which was released a long time ago to replace the Blue Orb II copper core cooler, inheriting its patented fin branching technology. The Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler has a typical, rarely seen now, radial design and attracts attention with a beautiful and catchy ruby ​​color that goes well with the red fan lighting. We warn you in advance that the beautiful modding design is not the only positive quality of the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler, as it may seem at first glance, besides this, it has other advantages, which we will discuss in the review.

Full specification:


Thermaltake Ruby Orb

Support for processor sockets

LGA 775, Socket 754/939/AM2

Processor support

Intel Core 2 Exterme, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Pentium Extreme Edition, Intel Pentium D, Intel Pentium 4, Intel Celeron D, AMD Athlon 64 X2, AMD Athlon 64 FX, AMD Athlon 64, AMD Sempron

Radiator material


Radiator dimensions, mm

140 x 140 x 73. 3

Fan dimensions, mm


Rated voltage, V


Start voltage, V


Power consumption, W


Rotation speed, rpm


Air flow, CFM


Air pressure, mmh3O


Noise level, dB


Power connector


Life, hours


Thermal interface

in bag

Weight, g


Manufacturer website


Average price

View in
View in

The Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler, like most of Thermaltake’s products, comes in a beautiful and eye-catching branded red-black package. The cardboard box has a large round cutout on the front side, through which you can see the entire top side of the cooler, sealed in a transparent plastic case. On the sides of the cardboard box there is a specification and several photos of this cooler from different plans, which you can easily get an idea of ​​the design and appearance of Ruby Orb.

On the back of the box, there is also an oval cutout so that buyers can pay attention to the very high-quality workmanship of the base of the Thermaltake cooler.

Thermaltake Ruby Orb comes with:

  • small installation instructions;
  • backtape for platforms with processor socket AM2;
  • backtape for AMD K8 platforms;
  • two metal frames with four screws and spacers for installing the cooler on LGA 775;
  • two metal frames with four screws for mounting the cooler on AM2;
  • two metal stands for mounting on AMD K8;
  • sachet of thermal paste.

The Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler features a radial heatsink design where aluminum fins fan out from the base. A large 120 mm fan impeller is located in the center of the structure and completely fits into the dimensions of the radiator.

To make the Ruby Orb cooler moddable, its aluminum fins have been painted ruby. It is quite clear that the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler would be perceived as quite ordinary if the heatsink had a simple white aluminum color, and such a coloring clearly distinguishes the cooler.

As already noted, when developing the design of the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler, the manufacturer used its proven method of branching fins, due to which it turns out to increase the heatsink’s dissipation area. The edge extending from the base bifurcates twice, and as a result, the total number of edges in the extreme part reaches 140.

The cooler’s radiator is blown by a 120 mm fan, the impeller of which has nine blades and is made of transparent plastic. In the center of the fan there are built-in LEDs that illuminate the fan in red. A red and black company logo is glued to the top of the impeller. The maximum fan speed is 1700±10% rpm and according to the specification at this speed it creates a fairly large airflow of 77.85 CFM with a relatively low noise level of 17 dB.

The fan has a 3-pin power connector, which means that it does not support PWM power, but its wires are prudently hidden in a protective case. If we compare the design of Thermaltake Ruby Orb with heat pipe coolers with fans that force air flow downwards, we mean models like Thermaltake BigTyp 120 VX or ASUS Triton 75, then we can note that the fan on Ruby Orb is located noticeably lower. If the fan on the Ruby Orb cooler is supposed to be at a distance of 50 mm from the base, then on the models shown for comparison this distance will be 90-100 mm, which is actually twice as much. From this we can conclude that when using the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler, the power regulator located near the processor socket will receive better cooling. Although, of course, there are other models of heat pipe coolers that are a big competitor in this direction. For example, Thermaltake’s new Max Orb cooling system, which, we hope, will also be tested. On it, the fan is already slightly lower at a distance of about 70 mm, and in addition, the installed model has a slightly higher rotation speed and, accordingly, creates a greater air flow.

There are fairly large gaps between the heatsink fins in the central part of the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler, and the fins themselves don’t seem very thick. The base of the cooler has the shape of a circle, the main fixing element of the cooler is attached to it, in the form of two screws and a metal clip, with which the heatsink is pressed against the base. The weight of the heatsink is 545 g, and if we take into account its not very high height, then, in principle, a cooler with such a weight could be mounted using a conventional mount, which is used for «boxed» cooling systems. But the low and fairly wide shape of the radiator, in some cases, makes it impossible to use conventional means of fastening. Therefore, the cooler is held by screws on the metal frame, and in the place above the screws, the radiator has cutouts through which you can easily insert a screwdriver.

The base of the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler is well finished.

The Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler can be attached to motherboards with an LGA 775 processor socket without an additional backtape. The metal frames are held only by screws, under which dielectric pads are supposed to be placed on the back of the motherboard. Unfortunately, there were only four gaskets in the kit, so there will be no chance to play it safe and put them between the metal frame and the motherboard, on which “tracks” pass under the varnish in this place.

On platforms with an AM2 processor socket, these metal frames are already attached using the backtape. The installation process of the mounting frames requires the removal of the motherboard, which takes some time. And it’s quite easy to install the cooler on the motherboard, since the radiator is not very high and the spring-loaded screws that press the radiator are fastened quite easily and quickly.

The shape and profile of the Ruby Orb cooler is designed so that it can be installed on motherboards with large chipset cooling systems and a processor power regulator. Therefore, it is made quite narrow at the bottom.

During testing, we found a small flaw in the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler — a loose bent power cable, trying to straighten out, can rise, as seen in the photo, and accidentally get into the rotation area of ​​the fan impeller.

As you can see in the photo, a wide cooler covers a fairly large area around the processor socket, and therefore its sufficiently powerful 120 mm fan will provide a good level of ventilation for the motherboard cooling system, which is installed on the north bridge and power stabilizer, and will also partially be able to blow and memory modules.

As for appearance, you can see for yourself that the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler gains attractiveness not only during operation. The backlight on the fan is moderate, so it simply gives the transparent impeller a red tint, which harmonizes quite well with the ruby ​​color of the radiator.


A test configuration of a platform with an AMD and Intel processor was assembled from the following components:

On an AMD platform:


ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe on nForce 570SLI (AM2, DDR2, ATX)


AMD Athlon 64 3600+ X2 (ADO3600JAA4CU), AM2, @2600MHz


2x DDR2-800 1024MB PQI PC6400

Video card

Gigabyte GV-NX76G256D GeForce 7600GS 256 MB DDR2 PCI-E

Hard disk

Samsung HD080HJ 80GB 7200rpm 8MB SATA-300

Optical drive


Power supply

Fortron ATX400-PNF 400W 120mm low noise fan


COLORSit ATX-L8032 + 92mm SilverStone FN91

Intel based:


Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4 (Intel P965 Express)


Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (LGA775, 1. 86GHz, L2 2MB) @2.8GHz


2 x DDR2-800 1024MB Apacer PC6400

Video card

EVGA GeForce 8600GTS 256MB DDR3 PCI-E

Hard disk

Samsung HD080HJ, 80 GB, SATA-300

Optical drive


Power supply

Chieftec CFT-500-A12S 500W, 120mm fan


CODEGEN M603 MidiTower, 2 x 120mm fans for intake/exhaust

Idle . Idle mode, in which the processor load is minimal. In this mode, the computer works when the user is working in office applications or browsing the Internet.

  • Normal . The processor load is at the level of 60%, as when performing simple tasks or tasks not intended for multi-threaded execution. We got this mode of operation when transcoding uncompressed wav to mp3 using the LAME codec, which works in single-threaded mode.

  • Burn . The maximum processor load mode, which is typical for many resource-intensive tasks and modern games, was simulated by the CPU stress test of the EVEREST program.

  • The Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler demonstrates better efficiency than boxed cooling systems, but this difference is not very big. If we compare the Ruby Orb efficiency figures with those of most heat pipe coolers, then this cooler will noticeably lag behind. From this angle, Ruby Orb clearly looks worse. In terms of noise level, the Ruby Orb cooler can be categorized as moderately noisy, since at high and medium speeds it creates a certain sound background, and at low speeds the cooler becomes very quiet.


    The Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler turned out to be a very nice modding solution with not very high cooling efficiency, but still better than boxed cooling systems. In terms of CPU cooling efficiency, it clearly cannot compete with heat pipe coolers, but even so, it has some advantages. From the point of view of practical value, the design of the cooler attracts attention, in which a large 120 mm fan is located not far from the surface of the motherboard, and due to this, the processor power regulator and, to some extent, memory modules will be effectively cooled. And this fact is very important for improving the reliability of a gaming or productive computer, the processor of which is usually under load for a long period of time. As for the noise level of the Thermaltake Ruby Orb cooler, we didn’t find anything outstanding: at maximum speeds, it emits a quite normal average noise.

    The advantages include:

    • the ability to cool elements on the motherboard well,
    • modded look with backlight;
    • reasonable cost,
    • secure mount;
    • universal mount.

    The disadvantages include:

    • not very high efficiency compared to models on heat pipes;
    • cooler installation process requires removal of the motherboard.

    Author: Dmitry Masyuk

    We express our gratitude to PF Service LLC (Dnepropetrovsk) for the equipment provided for testing.

    Water Cooling Review —

    The year that has passed since our previous testing of water cooling systems has brought a significant expansion of the product range. In addition, several other large companies have entered this market. This time we will test as many as 12 systems! As usual, we expect high performance and low noise levels from them. We also want to benchmark each system against the benchmark of a good air cooler. CNPS 9 selected for this honorary role0157

  • 2.1 Aucma Coolriver 3
  • 3 Aucma Coolriver 3
    • 3.1 CoolerMaster Aquagate mini R120
  • 4 CoolerMaster Aquagate mini R120
    • 4. 1 Gigabyte 3DGalaxy GH-WIU01
  • 5 Gigabyte 3DGalaxy GH-WIU01
    • 5.1 Promodz Cooled Silence Extreme Package
  • 6 Promodz Cooled Silence Extreme Package
    • 6.1 Thermaltake Rocket
  • 7 Thermaltake Rocket

      The heating element was 2 bipolar transistors soldered to the bottom of a copper plate 7 mm thick and 35×35 mm in size. Its surface is finely machined and polished. The transistors are located as close to each other as possible, and the thermal field formed by them looks like two partially overlapping spots with the hottest point at the intersection center. That is where the thermostat is located. Stand power is regulated in the range from 0 to 600 W. Temperature measurement accuracy — 0.1 њС.

      This design of the heater only approximately emulates the heat dissipation of the processor, so the results can be considered relative. At the same time, the increased area of ​​the thermal spot compared to the processor leads to a decrease in the load on the heat exchanger and, consequently, an increase in its efficiency. Why this is done, you will find out below.


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      Test Method

      Measurement comparison charts

      We installed the cooling system on the stand, filled and pumped; set the maximum number of revolutions of the fan blowing the radiator. Then the stand was turned on and its power was smoothly brought up to 100 watts. A few minutes later, when the temperature stabilized, we took readings from the temperature sensor, after which we dismantled and installed the water block and measured the temperature again at 100 W. If the two measurements matched, the testing continued, otherwise, we reinstalled the water block until we reached the complete identity of the results, indicating its correct installation.

      The next step was temperature measurement at 150, 200, 300 and 400 W.

      We found it inexpedient to test at a power of less than 100 W, because a good air cooler can easily cope with such a load, and with minimal noise. A power of 400 watts is certainly very high, but if you build a system based on a hot dual-core processor from Intel and complement it with two top-end SLI or CrossFire graphics cards, then this figure will not be so incredible. While most of the CBOs we’ve tested have only one water block, it’s possible that you’ll want to add a couple more heat exchangers over time.

      Therefore, we have simplified the task of the only water block installed at our stand so that it does not become a «bottleneck» of the system and allows us to test the remaining components: pump, radiator, fan — in the maximum heat load mode.

      Test conditions

      The room temperature was maintained at +23 ºС. Testing was carried out at maximum fan speed. KPT8 paste served as a thermal interface between the heating element and the heat sink. Tap water was used as the refrigerant in all systems.

      Taking into account positioning in hi-end — no

      A large plastic box contains a copper-acrylic water block, a copper radiator for two 120 mm fans (included), a pump with a reservoir, a set of tubes and mounts, a software disk (! ). The result is not surprising — with a power of 400 W, heat is easily dissipated, moreover, the system withstood even half a kilowatt! The noise is quite moderate. Most likely, you will not need such performance, so feel free to reduce the fan speed. By the way, this is the only system that can be controlled by software, and not only the fans, but even the operation of the pump! It is also possible to monitor the temperature at two control points due to the presence of temperature sensors in the kit. They, like all other elements, are connected to the pump! This pump controller contains electronics that controls the pump itself, fans and thermal sensors, as well as communicates with the computer via the USB bus.

      The manufacturer of one of the most powerful and expensive water coolers, Asetek, has released a budget version of the WaterChill liquid cooling system.

      The system is packaged in a regular corrugated cardboard box without printing and has an instruction that looks like a photocopy, and the photos on it can be seen with great difficulty. A high-quality copper heatsink is painted black and is designed to be blown by a 120mm fan (which is not included). The copper-acrylic water block has a very simple design. The system uses a conventional Hydor Selz L20 aquarium pump with a declared capacity of 800 l / h, designed to be plugged into a 220 V outlet. The CBO does not have a reservoir, which led to difficulties when filling and pumping the system. But the performance pleased — provided that it is equipped with a good fan, it is very high.

      Of course, the results shown by Aucma Coolriver 3 confirmed that it is not completely outdated yet, shows good performance and can be used in modern systems. Although owners of PCs based on new processors will have to make a mount not only for the chipset and video chip, but also for the processor, since the Coolriver 3 available for sale is still only compatible with Socket 478 and A.

      CoolerMaster Aquagate mini R120


      We found it interesting to install the water block. You need to choose a mount suitable for your platform, screw it to the base of the unit, then screw the plate through the mounting holes to the motherboard. Thanks to this, the water block does not move under the fasteners.

      This CBO showed almost the same results as the Titan Nikita. And for this, three radiators were not needed, one was enough, but several larger sizes. It’s just a pity that silence didn’t work out again, however, the system is equipped with a fan speed controller, and annoying noise can be reduced somewhat, although the pump still works with an annoying hum.

      This CBO is equipped with a very powerful pump, and a solid tank is equipped with a water level sensor. If the level drops below a certain value (for example, in the event of a depressurization), the system will give a sound and light signal and turn off the computer after a few seconds. Very thick hoses reduce the system’s flow resistance, allowing other components to reach their full potential. An interesting find of the developers is a cooler for cooling the power elements of the motherboard. A backlit fan is placed on top of the water block and blows the components around the processor socket. A very noisy, albeit very efficient, cooler is installed on the radiator. Perhaps a copper heatsink with a quieter fan would show approximately the same efficiency.

      Better performance; low noise

      High price; unreliable sealing

      The first mass-produced liquid cooling system in the CIS makes a good impression. Very high-quality water blocks, a large, beautiful radiator, the most powerful pump in the test — all this predetermines its high efficiency. Unfortunately, there was also a fly in the ointment — the tank is leaking at the locations of the plugs. It would also be nice to have a fan speed controller in the kit (after all, maximum efficiency is not always needed) and the ability to minimize the noise emitted, since the system performance is enough with a margin and even in almost silent mode it works great.

      And one more unpleasant detail is the high cost. We hope that Promodz will eliminate minor flaws in the design and configuration, and an increase in production volumes will reduce the price. Then the system can safely claim leadership in the struggle for the buyer, because there are all the prerequisites for this.

      Thermaltake Rocket






      50664 POP




      Ease of assembly

      The only significant difference, perhaps, is only the removal of the pump from the radiator into the computer case. We would not call such a solution successful, since it leads to an increase in the complexity of installation and refueling, cluttering up the computer case. Moreover, the nozzles on the pump can easily be bent, so you will have to tinker with them during installation. «Rocket» is significantly cheaper than passive Zalman CBOs, but, unfortunately, its efficiency leaves much to be desired — it showed the worst results in the test.

      However, this is a good solution for a budget system, because if your processor is not the most powerful and “hot” (and it usually is in budget PCs), then the performance of the Rocket CBO will be sufficient to cool it. And the noise from the computer will not bother you.

      Thermaltake Symphony


      $ 312

      Water block

      00664 Design



      Easy assembly

      Original design; high efficiency; low noise level

      High price

      Thermaltake again pleased with an interesting development. This time we have an external CBO in the form of a floor column. Looks simply stunning. Behind the decorative black mesh, you can see a huge almost human-height aluminum radiator, which is cooled by five low-speed 120mm fans that work very quietly.

      The system is equipped with two standard Thermaltake pumps and showed excellent performance, even handling 500W! We did not expect anything else from such a colossal device. Adequate in size and price, because Thermaltake Symphony is designed to coexist with no less expensive Hi-Fi / hi-end sound components, cheap crafts would be out of place here.

      Well, the system will perfectly complement your computer and decorate the interior of the room in hi-tech style. Guests will wonder why you need an extra speaker.

      The installation and connection procedure for the water block is very simple, but access to the inside of the cooling block is a little inconvenient: you need to unscrew 12 bolts to remove the handles and the top cover. However, there is no need to carry out this procedure often — only at the beginning of operation for refueling and once a year for refueling.

      On closer examination, we found that the system was built using the same water block, radiator and pump as the Big-water SE. But it uses a quieter fan, resulting in lower noise levels and, unfortunately, performance.

      A very interesting system from a conceptual point of view. Some of its features can be safely called engineering finds. For example, the possibility of both external and internal mounting of the SVO. The cooling system is built in such a way that air is taken in and ejected through the front panel. This is especially true for the internal installation of SVO: excess heat does not enter the system unit. 2 radiators are located in the system case, and one more is remote. At the rear of the case is a turbine that sucks in air through one radiator and blows it out through another. But it is not clear why air is taken in at the top and thrown out at the bottom. The fan speed on the external radiator can be adjusted from the front panel of the system; unfortunately this does not apply to the internal turbine.

      The most efficient passive system in the test

      The price does not match the performance

      Three passive systems are also included in our test, which work almost silently. The first and most famous of these is Zalman’s Reserator 1, a beautiful blue anodized aluminum tower with a built-in pump, as well as a round water block with a gold-plated bottom and perfect polish. Optionally, the simplest water block on the video chip is supplied.

      When we started the system, we heard a small but quite noticeable hum. Obviously, the vibration of the pump leads to resonance in the aluminum bulb. However, this defect is easily eliminated, it is enough to put a rubber gasket under the radiator, and the noise will disappear.

      Naturally, we did not expect high performance from a passive system, because its main advantage is the silent operation. Nevertheless, the system overcame 300 W, and this is a good result. If you want silence and are willing to pay a hefty price for Zalman Reserator 1, then you will be satisfied with your choice.

      Zalman Reserator 1+



      Water block







      Easy assembly

      Great design; noiselessness; GPU waterblock

      Lower performance than predecessor, higher price

      Modified version of the previous system. The radiator is black (unfortunately, this time it is painted, not anodized), water blocks of a new design. Having carried out comparative testing of all components of both CBOs in different combinations, we concluded that the efficiency of the radiators is absolutely the same, but the new water block is less powerful (although it has become lighter and more compact), therefore the performance of the new system is lower. The aluminum waterblock for the video chip, which is included with the system, has a simple design and is not remarkable except for its shape. The only advantage of this CBO, in comparison with the previous version, is the use of quick-release self-locking fittings, which exclude all the water from flowing out of the tower when the hoses are disconnected from it. It makes no sense to overpay for a new $35, the original Reserator will be a better buy.

      See also:
      Water cooling systems: theory and practice

      Thermaltake Tower 900 review: one of the best foundations for enthusiast water-cooled custom gaming PC — Reviews

      Tiffany Garrett


      Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

      Thermaltake makes a lot of PC cases and some of them deserve to be added to our best PC case collection, but many of them fall into the category of style over functionality. Tower 900 strives not only to look like a part, but also to provide sufficient thermal performance, especially with a special solution for the water cooling circuit.

      I’ve built a fairly powerful PC inside the Tower 900 with one water cooling circuit for the CPU. This chassis supports two circuits, and I’ll be sure to add one more with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card, but this will be a time when waterblocks (and GPUs) are easier to pick up.

      uploading photos from iphone to windows

      PC Vending Machine

      Thermaltake Tower 900

      Lower Limit: There is a lot to love about Thermaltake Tower 900. It’s pricey, huge, heavy, and unwieldy, but it also provides plenty of room inside for even the most ridiculous enthusiast PC builds. Want to get the most out of your water-cooled PC with multiple GPUs and CPUs? It is quite possible with this monster.


      • A huge amount of internal space
      • is perfect for demonstrating internal parts
      • supports radiators up to 480 mm and 560 mm
      • Panoramic views from hardened glass
      • Excellent thermal characteristics of
        • Seriously heavy and bulky
        • Top panel is not magnetic
        • Cable management can be tricky
        • $300 at Newegg

        Thermaltake Tower 900

        at a glance

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        other hulls with a full turret. This monster case will easily fit Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and E-ATX motherboards, and there’s more room than most PC builders know what to use it for.

        The best video card will fit without problems, and you can install up to two water cooling circuits inside. Available in black or white, it has ample thermal capacity, plenty of fan mounts, and the ability to mount two large heatsinks behind the main motherboard tray. Specification Motherboard E-ATX, ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX I/O 4x USB 3.0
        HD Audio Expansion 8x PCIe
        8 x 2.5″ (or 6 x 3.5″ and 2 x

        ) Fans included 2x 140 mm (top) Best fans 2x 120 mm / 140 mm Lower fans 1x 120 mm Rear of the venture

        0 9000 20 mm mm / 140 mm

        Side fans to 8x 120 mm / 140 mm Left radiator to 480 mm Right radiator

        9000 mm 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 , behind Registration GPU: 400 mm
        Processor: 260 mm
        BP length: 220mm Gabarit dimensions 752 x 423 x 483 mm
        (16. 7 (c) x 19(Sh) x 29.6 (d) inch) 12.59 kg
        (pounds) 9 Materials steel
        Plastic 0009

        years old

        What a

        Thermaltake Tower 900 has to offer

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        Looking at the PC case, it looks like a miniature claw machine you would normally find in arcades. It’s huge . The front side and half of both sides are made of tempered glass, while the rest is metal except for the plastic top cover. It will look great in black or white.

        As with Thermaltake’s transparent panels, the tempered glass is attached to the case with large screws. The two side panels that cover the heatsinks can be removed with a lever just below the top panel (which can’t be accessed), which is a nice touch.

        The back panel is secured with a few thumb screws, but I have a problem with the top panel. Like the front panels in more affordable cases (although some case makers still prefer to use them in more expensive cases), they are attached to the main body with those plastic retractable pushers that have always been a pain.

        Luckily the top just comes off using the back as a lever, but that’s still a problem as that’s actually what covers the motherboard’s I/O. That’s right, the back of the Tower 900 is reserved for two 140mm fan mounts and a dust filter. Under the top panel, you’ll find the back of the GPU and motherboard ports.

        Frequent networking can be a problem, so I find it strange that Thermaltake doesn’t use magnets.

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        Fortunately, this is bad for design. The rest is pretty much top notch. The glass panels are tinted and look good through them. The metal panels are solid, as is the main body with the panels removed. This is a heavy but solid and well built case from Thermaltake.

        The Thermaltake Tower 900 is a solid and well built case.

        Refrigeration was a major factor in the design of the Tower 900, which was carried out in collaboration with Watermod France. The interior of the case is divided into two parts, where tempered glass and metal panels meet on the sides. The front is for all your components, while the back is for all cables and heatsinks.

        Up to two 140 mm blowers can be mounted inside the front. At the back of Tower 900, you can add 11 more. Yes, 11 fans, bringing the total to 13. In terms of heatsinks, the Tower 900 can handle up to 560mm (four 140mm fans) or 480mm (four 120mm fans). fans). One can be attached to either the left or right side, although you will need to remove the pre-installed hard drive cage.

        The case comes with two 140mm fans, although they don’t have RGB LED lighting and you’ll probably want to use some to showcase all your components. The bottom fan should be used as a supply fan; the same with the two side panels of the radiator. The top and rear fans should be used as exhaust fans.

        This configuration will create a large positive pressure that will prevent air (and dust) from being sucked into openings and other areas where there is no dust filter. All Tower 900 filters are easily accessible.

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        The inside of the case is quite modular, allowing you to remove the motherboard tray and install anything outside of the case, and you can remove some of the other panels that hold the cable grommets as well two pump and reservoir brackets at the front.

        There’s plenty of room for cable management in the back of the case, although if you’re using RGB fans from companies like Thermaltake, all the extra cables can get a little tangled. The heatsink brackets can be removed with a few screws, allowing heatsinks and fans to be attached to the outside of the chassis for ease of installation.

        PC build with

        Thermaltake Tower 900

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central


        Tower 900 boasts excellent thermal performance for enthusiast systems.

        Thermaltake Tower 900 is an intimidating PC case and you may be wondering where to start? Once you’ve started the process, it becomes relatively simple. First, it’s important to remove the motherboard tray and install as much as possible outside of the case.

        Most Tower 900 PC builds will use some form of water cooling, probably a custom circuit that will be the focus of this review. No matter how you plan to cool your computer, we have a guide on how to properly build your computer, and that also applies to this Thermaltake case.

        Once the motherboard, CPU, and RAM are installed on the motherboard, it’s time to reattach it to the main chassis and start planning the water circuit. This is also a great opportunity to install the PSU in the back of the case, as well as radiators on the necessary brackets.

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        Thermaltake provides plenty of room in the back for all your cables, handsets, and other accessories, though you might find it a little cramped on the bottom with the power supply. I planned for the pipes to run from the radiator on the right side through the bottom to the front of the case and up to the CPU and tank/pump combo.

        Speaking of tanks and pumps, Thermaltake provides two brackets on the front to showcase your water cooling circuit, but they only really support the company’s own products. This isn’t a problem if you don’t have anything to install yet, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you have products from other manufacturers (may require some drilling).

        Interestingly, the motherboard is actually installed at a 90 degree clockwise angle compared to most cases, so the I/O ends up at the top of Tower 900. This may stretch some power supply cables slightly, so plan ahead. make sure everything can reach the required ports.

        Source: Thermaltake Tower 900

        Installing all of the water cooling components went without a hitch and I was able to create an easy to use bleeder valve at the back of the case to make draining the circuit a little easier to clean. The second circuit (with heatsink and tank/pump combo) will be easy to install for a water block GPU.

        And that’s where the Tower 900 really shines. I’m using a 480mm radiator from EKWB, which is 60mm thick, and using four 120mm heatsink optimized fans to cool the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. It is a 16-core 32-thread processor that can comfortably run at 5.0GHz without going over 70°C when the system is fully loaded.

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        gtx 1060 vs gtx 1050ti

        When everything is installed, configured and working, the Tower 900 is just great. As long as you have bright enough LED lighting inside (perhaps add a few strips on the sides), your internal components will be on display for all to see. When running some intense games (Shadow of the Tomb Raider, GTA V and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord), the temperature was within safe limits.

        NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti maxed out at 64°C with CPU at 68°C. Case interior measured at 47°C. Water-cooled PCs typically have hotter components due to certain areas connected to the loop ; in this case the CPU. Thermaltake fits Tower 9 perfectly00 with impressive performance.

        If you buy

        Thermaltake Tower 900 ?

        Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

        Who it’s for

        • PC enthusiasts who need plenty of room for custom builds
        • Those who want impressive thermal performance
        • Those who love the look of tempered glass
        • For those who want to spend more than $200 on a PC case
        • For those who want to build their own water cooling circuit

        Who it’s not for

        • For those who prefer a simple build
        • For those who prefer a compact build
        • For those who want to stick to a tight budget
        • For those who want a small PC case

        anyway are the thermal characteristics. This is necessary in order to ensure sufficient airflow for your components, heatsinks or heatsinks. Thermaltake is notoriously a little out of step with this, but the Tower 900 shows how capable the company is. This is a superbly designed chassis.

        If you want to go all out to create your own water cooling circuit for your PC, there really is no better case, especially when more than one circuit is used. The ability to place the CPU and GPU in separate circuits with dedicated heatsinks is a great solution for more efficient cooling.

        4.5 out of 5

        However, the Tower 900 has a few drawbacks. It’s expensive, but you get a lot of materials for your money. This case is huge and terribly heavy, making it difficult to move around without a backup request. If you don’t need to move it around (or open the top bar) often, it will look amazing.

        This is truly one of the best PC cases and the best choice for builds with custom water cooling circuits. If you can fit it within your budget, I would recommend checking out the Thermaltake Tower 900 in person to see how great it is.