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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are going to analyse one of the most inexpensive cases from Thermaltake, V3 Black Edition. Although being an entry-level case, it keeps the overall quality and features found on more expensive cases from this brand. Check it out!

Even though V3 Black Edition is a simple mid-tower case, it comes with meshed areas on the top panel and a small acrylic window on its left-side panel.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 1: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition.

As mentioned, Thermaltake V3 Black Edition has a small acrylic window on its left-side panel, which allows you to see the inside of the case around the CPU area. Below this window the case has a mesh that helps with the ventilation of the video card.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 2: Left-side panel.

The right-side panel of V3 Black Edition is solid, with no extra features.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 3: Right-side panel.

The front panel of the reviewed case has 5.25” and one 3.5” external bays. The 5.25” bays use meshed covers with air filters, which is nice to see in an entry-level case.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 4: Front panel.

In order to remove the front panel all you need to do is to pull it. In Figure 5, you can see the back of this panel. Note how the four 5 ¼" bay covers are meshed and covered with air filters. The lower side is also meshed, but with no filter (a pity). The bay covers need to be removed from the rear side of the front panel, so if you want to install an optical drive you must remove the panel.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 5: Front panel removed from the case.

[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 6 you can check the front side of the case without the front panel. Only the top bay comes opened; the other bays are covered with metallic plates that must be broken off if you want to use them. There is room for a 120 mm fan on the bottom side of this panel.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 6: Front of the case.

In Figure 7, you can see the front panel connectors and buttons. At the right-hand side we have the power and reset buttons and at the left-hand side we have the hard disk activity LED. At the center, above the external 3 ½" bay, there are two USB connectors (with a good distance between them, so you can install two "fat" USB devices at the same time) and audio connectors for a headset. Thermaltalke really saved on this panel, bringing only the basic features. We really missed an eSATA port here.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 7: Front panel connectors.

In Figure 8 you can check the top panel, which has room for two 120 mm fans. This is a very good ventilation solution, because even with no fans installed the heat convection forces hot air out of the case.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 8: Top panel.

In Figure 9, you can see the bottom panel of V3 Black Edition. As you can see, this case has an air intake for the power supply here, since the power supply is installed at the bottom part of the case, and also room for the installation of another 120 mm fan. This fan is installed inside the case.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 9: Bottom panel.

In Figure 10, you can see the rear panel of V3 Black, where the position of the power supply is obvious. The rear panel and the interior of this case are painted in black, which gives it a very professional looks. V3 Black Edition comes with a 120 mm fan installed on the rear panel (1,300 rpm, 17 dBA, 50 cfm), using a three-pin power connector, allowing you to connect it to the motherboard and thus monitor its speed. This fan has blue LEDs that glow when the fan is working.

Another unusual detail for an entry-level case are the holes where you can pass the tubes of water cooling systems, right below the fan. These holes, however, have no covers.

Two slots covers (the first and the last ones) are removable, while the other ones must be broken off if you want to use the respective slot.

What we really missed on this case was some thumbscrews to hold the side panels: it uses regular screws for this function.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 10: Rear panel.

Let’s now take a look inside Thermaltake V3 Black Edition.

[nextpage title=”Inside Thermaltake V3 Black Edition”]

In Figure 11 you have an overall view from inside Thermaltake V3 Black Edition interior. As we mentioned before, its interior is painted in black. The motherboard tray has a hole around the CPU area, which means you don’t need to remove the motheboard if you need to upgrade your CPU cooler with a model that requires you to install a backplate. There are no holes to route cables behind the motherboard tray.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 11: Inside view.

In Figure 12, you can see the rear panel from inside. There is no toolless mec
hanism for holding expansion cards, but this case uses a plate that holds all the expansion cards with only one screw. This system proved to be pretty practical, but we preferred to see thumbscrews here.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 12: Rear panel.

In Figure 13 you can check the area where the power supply is installed. A nice surprise was to find a removable air filter here. A drawback is that you need to remove the power supply if you want to clean this filter, because it is installed inside the case between the case floor and the power supply. In this picture you can also see the place for installing a 120 mm on the bottom panel, that must be installed under ventilation mode, i.e., blowing air from outside the case to the inside. Thermaltake could have included an air filter here as well.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 13: Power supply compartment.

In Figure 14 you can check a computer built using V3 Black Edition. We installed a very big motherboard (ASUS Rampage III Extreme) and it fit just fine and we still had some room between the motherboard and the disk drive bays.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 14: Computer assembled inside V3 Black Edition.

We measured the available space and the reviewed case supports video card up to 10" (25 cm), but if you use only the lower 3 ½" bays you can install video cards up to 12" (30 cm) long.

[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]

V3 Black Edition has four 5.25” external bays, one 3.5” external bay, four 3.5” internal bays and one 2.5” internal bay. Only one 5.25” external bay, one 3.5” internal bay and the external 3.5” bay have screwless retention mechanisms, while the other bays require regular screws.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 15: 5.25” bays.

The 2.5” internal bay is located at the bottom panel and you must use regular screws coming from outside the case in order to attach a hard disk or SSD drive there. This bay is usually found only in more expensive cases.

Thermaltake V3 Black EditionFigure 16: 3.5” and 2.5” bays.

There is enough room for you to install a 3.5” hard disk on the lower 3.5” bay and an SSD or laptop hard drive on the 2.5” bay at the same time.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Thermaltake V3 Black Edition case main specs include:

  • Style: Mid-tower
  • Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
  • Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC), painted black.
  • Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
  • Available colors: Black.
  • Side panel: Meshed with a small transparent window.
  • Dimensions: 17" x 7 1/2” x 18 5/8" (43 cm x 19 cm x 47.3 cm) (H x W x D).
  • Net weight: 10.6 lbs (4.7 kg)
  • Gross weight: not informed.
  • Bays: Four external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay, four internal 3.5” bays and one 2.5” internal bay.
  • Expansion slots: Seven.
  • Fans: One 120 mm on the rear panel (blue, 1,300 rpm, 17 dBA, 50 cfm).
  • Optional fans: Two 120 mm on the top panel, one 120 mm on the front panel and one 120 mm on the bottom panel.
  • More Information: https://www.thermaltakeusa.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 45.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Thermaltake V3 Black Edition is an excellent case if you consider its price tag. It brings an excellent cost/benefit ratio for users looking for a good yet inexpensive computer case.

Strong Points

  • Excellent ventilation: room for two fans on the top panel, one on the front panel and one at the bottom panel.
  • Meshed 5.25” bay covers.
  • Air filters on the 5.25” bay covers.
  • Air filter for the power supply fan.
  • Screwless mechanisms for fastening 5.25” and 3.5” devices.
  • Support for 2.5” storage devices (SSDs or laptop hard drives).
  • Good number of hard disk drive bays (four) for the average user.
  • No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
  • Holes for liquid cooling system.

Weak Points

  • No thumbscrews to hold the side panels.
  • No eSATA port.
  • Depending on the size of your CPU cooler you may not be able to install fans at the top panel.
  • Could have come with an air filter on the bottom and front panels.
  • No anti-vibration mechanism for the hard disk drives.
  • No thumbscrews for holding expansion cards.