I'm sure you would agree that small cases have a special charm to them. Usually I like to fiddle around and make sure things fit, with all the cables neatly hidden away, but sometimes I allow myself to get lazy. This is where the Thermaltake Tower 100 comes in. It is a somewhat large mini ITX chassis which is incredibly easy to work-in and hide any and all cable imperfections, so let's check it out.
This case comes in black and snow white and as with most manufacturers white version is slightly more expensive.
Here we have the black version and it looks a bit like a vertical fish tank which I personally like. It has a pretty small footprint, sporting three tempered glass windows on the sides, the rest of the case is made up of filtered mesh panels. Judging by the setup, it should be good for airflow - we will investigate this in a moment.
In terms of IO - there are 2 USB 3 ports and 1 USB type C port at the top together with separate headphone and microphone jacks. Right next to them we have buttons for power and reset as well as power and hard drive status LEDs.
The case is made for mini ITX boards, but don’t let that fool you. After following the detailed manual and taking it fully apart, we realised that our first impressions were quite deceiving, there is actually a lot of space in this case. It is pretty easy to fit a whole stack of full size components. I began the assembly by choosing a power supply. This time I decided to use a small one, but it supports anything up to 180mm in length.
And just like with any smaller case, I would really recommend building most of your PC outside of the case regardless, this includes CPU, RAM and your NVME SSD. Then top it all off with a cooler.
This is one area where there are some limitations - if you want to have a liquid all-in-one cooler for the CPU, you can only install one with a 120mm radiator at the top, however if you go with an air cooler, you can pretty much go as big as you want, providing it’s within 190mm range.
We chose a huge cooler from BeQuiet - the Dark Rock Pro 4 - it’s the ultimate cooling beast and amazingly there is still some space left.
While we are on the subject of cooling, this case comes with two 120mm fans - one at the back as intake and the other at the top for exhaust, but both can be easily swapped out for 140mm fans if desired.
The next task was to decide on the drives. This case allows for two 3.5 inch drives at the back (you will have to remove the fan to install them) and two more 2.5 inch drives on the side. Thermaltake actually provides little brackets for these. If you are not too fussy or desperately need extra storage - I am sure you could install some more drives just above the power supply, but it would certainly affect the aesthetics.
And lastly - the graphics card. There is a cutout at the bottom of the case to allow for a longer card, anything up to 330mm in length will fit just fine and you have plenty of width too. The full length of the card is on display on the left side and there is a mesh panel just behind to allow for fresh air, we just need to see if that is enough.
Over all, this case is very easy to build in and the amount of cable routing cut-outs is very noteworthy. It is actually very enjoyable doing cable management in this case and the end result certainly looks clean no matter which side you are looking from.
But just because it looks nice, that does not mean it is good. To see if this particular set-up is good we overclocked the CPU and ran Cinebench R20 and Furmark on loop to push the CPU and GPU to the max. Then we took measurements with and without panels and found that clock speed on average is about the same between both scenarios. GPU may be a little bit faster while the panels are off, but not by much.
When looking at temperatures we see the difference between open air and closed case is 5 to 8 degrees on both CPU and GPU which overall is actually pretty reasonable.
The other test we did was noise levels and here we also see very similar results - with the case open we measured 50dBa while at 30cm away. Closing up the case lowered it to 48.5 dBa and most of that noise is coming from the graphics card as it ramps up. To be fair the cooler that we installed is pretty overkill for this CPU which in turn makes the cooling really quiet.
To finish this up - while looks certainly have an impact on the performance, overall this is still a very capable case. There is plenty of space for components and actually this may be a really interesting case to build a full custom watercooling loop in.
The one thing I wish they could add is some sort of clips to attach to the back of the case for cable running, as most of the cables are connected at the top of the case and since this case will likely be sat on top of the desk, there should be a way to keep them hidden, other than that - I can’t really fault it.
PC case: Thermaltake Tower 100: Amazon link
CPU Intel i7 8700k: Amazon link
GPU: Radeon RX 6700 XT: Amazon link
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-i Gaming: Amazon link
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 8GBx2: Amazon link
NVME SSD: Klevv Cras C700 RGB 480GB: Amazon link
Cooler: BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4: Amazon link
PSU: Coolermaster V SFX 650 GOLD PSU: Amazon link
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