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Thermaltake Element V (a.k.a. VL20001W2Z) is the first full-tower case from Element series – all other models (G, S and T) are mid-tower products – coming with a controller for the fans where you can adjust not only the speed from the fans, but also the LED color and blinking pattern, identically to what happens with Element G. Let’s see what is new on this latest release from Thermaltake.
The side panels are very different from the other Element models. The left panel, for example, has a big 230 mm fan (190 mm blades, 600 rpm to 800 rpm, 57 cfm to 76 cfm, 14 dBA), a small transparent window and two latches for you to easily remove the panel. These latches feature a lock to prevent unauthorized people to open your case. This is a nice feature but not 100% safe, as the kind of key necessary to open this lock is the same kind used for the “keyboard lock” function available when computers still ran on coal.
The front panel does not feature a door and follows the same design concept found on other Element models: the front panel is completely meshed with dust filters behind it.
[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]
Element V comes with five external 5.25” bays and two 120 mm fans on the front panel. The top fan is controlled by the fan controller (900 rpm to 1,200 rpm, 35 cfm to 46.7 cfm, 17 dBA) but the lower fan must be connected directly to the power supply through a standard peripheral power connector, not featuring LED’s (1,400 rpm, 47 cfm, 17 dBA). These two fans as one would imagine are there to cool down the hard disk drives.
On the top panel from Element V we have a 200-mm fan, also connected to the fan controller (160-mm blades, 600 rpm to 800 rpm, 49.7 cfm to 65.3 cfm, 14 dBA) and a space for installing another 200-mm fan or a 120 mm fan.
On the top panel we also have the buttons and connectors from the case (see Figure 7). Element V comes with one eSATA port and four USB ports, plus the standard audio jacks. The big knob from the fan controller is identical to the one found on Element G. Thru this knob you can control the speed (by rotating it) and color (by pressing it) from the top, front and side fans. You can select between red, blue and green plus two different alternating patterns. You can also turn off the lights if you want.
The rear panel from Element V can be seen in Figure 7. We were disappointed to see that Thermaltake didn’t paint the rear panel or the interior from this case, differently from what they did with Element G and Element S.
There is a 120 mm fan on the rear panel (1,400 rpm, 50 cfm, 17 dBA), which isn’t connected to the fan controller. The slot covers are meshed, which is great to improve the internal airflow from the PC. There is a mesh above the expansion cards where you can install up to two optional 50-mm fans. Element V comes with two holes for passing hoses from liquid cooling systems that you need to break to use. This case, however, comes with plastic rings for you to install on the holes once they are opened, making your case to look nicer. Like other members from Element series, the new Element V comes with a cable holder for the mouse and keyboard cables, in order to prevent them from being stolen.
Now let’s take a look inside Element V.
[nextpage title=”Inside Element V”]
Both panels are fastened to the chassis using chromed thumbscrews. As mentioned earlier, removing the left panel is pretty easy as Element V comes with two latches that must be pulled in order to remove this panel. Like Element G the new Element V features a quick connect mechanism for the fan that is attached to the left panel, so you can install or remove the panel without having to worry about installing or removing the power plug from the fan.
Element V has several holes on the motherboard tray. The biggest one is used for having access to the CPU cooler backplate, allowing you to replace your CPU cooler with a more power model without the need of removing the motherboard from the chassis. The smaller ones are used for routing cables behind the tray.
You can see the rear and top fans in more details in Figure 12. As you can see daughterboards are installed using regular screws. We think a case with this quality should
come with thumbscrews here.
As already shown, the power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case and on Element V the power supply must be installed with its fan facing down and the case is meshed on the bottom to match the power supply fan, however no dust filter is present here. The case has a stand that can be moved to match the power supply length.
Now let’s take an in-depth look at the disk drive options from the reviewed case.[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
This case has five external 5.25” bays, six internal 3.5” bays (in two cages) and one internal 2.5” bay. There is no support for external 3.5” devices like floppy disk drives and memory card readers.
Element V uses a new screwless mechanism for holding 5.25” and 3.5” devices, where you need to press and lift a plastic latch.
The hard disk drive cages are removable, as you can see in Figure 16. This may help you when installing several hard disk drives.
The 2.5” bay is located on the bottom of the case, as shown in Figure 17, and uses regular screws. This bay is mainly targeted to solid state drives (SSDs).
In Figure 18 we show all accessories that come with Element V.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
Thermaltake Element V case main specs include:
- Style: Full-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC).
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: black.
- Side panel: Meshed with a 230 mm fan, small acrylic window.
- Dimensions: 21” x 8 ¾” x 21 1/8” (53.2 cm x 22 cm x 53.7 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net Weight: 31 lbs (14.2 Kg)
- Gross Weight: 37.5 lbs (17 Kg)
- Bays: Five external 5.25” bays, six internal 3.5” bays and one internal 2.5” bay.
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: Two 120 mm on the front (top: 900 rpm to 1,200 rpm, 35 cfm to 46.7 cfm, 17 dBA; bottom: 1,400 rpm, 47 cfm, 17 dBA), one 200-mm fan on the top (160-mm blades, 600 rpm to 800 rpm, 49.7 cfm to 65.3 cfm, 14 dBA), one 230 mm on the left panel (190 mm blades, 600 rpm to 800 rpm, 57 cfm to 76 cfm, 14 dBA) and one 120 mm on the rear (1,400 rpm, 50 cfm, 17 dBA).
- Optional fans: One 200- or 120 mm fan on the top panel and two 50-mm fans on the rear panel.
- Extra features: Mouse and keyboard cable lock, fan speed control and fan color control.
- More Information: https://www.thermaltakeusa.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 170.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Thermaltake Element V is a full-tower case targeted to the user that wants a good-quality product with several features. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
- Good number of hard disk drive bays that will please even very high-end users (six).
- One 2.5” bay.
- Meshed bay covers with dust filters.
- Hole in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler.
- Holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray.
- eSATA port.
- Fan speed control.
- Fan color control.
- Good screwless mechanisms for fastening the disk drives.
- No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
- The interior and the rear panel are not painted black.
- Could have a dust filter for the power supply fan.
- No anti-vibration mechanisms for the hard disk drives.
- Could have one FireWire port.
- Holes for liquid cooling solutions must be broken (but the case comes with rings for making them to look nice).
- Could have come with thumbscrews for fastening daughterboards.
- It could be a little bit cheaper.
Element V is a good product for the user that wants a full-tower case with several different features, especially the fan speed/color control. A better attention could be given to small details on the aesthetic side, especially on the holes for liquid cooling solutions (which need to be broken) and to the rear panel and the interior, which are not painted black like it happens on Element G and Element S. It also could cost a little bit less, and its price is the main reason we are giving it our Silver Award instead of our Golden Award.