Introducing the Thermaltake Level 10 GT

This promised to be a good month for big stonking enthusiast-class cases, and we're delivering on the second half of our one-two punch with Thermaltake's monstrous Level 10 GT. This is the biggest, most expensive enclosure we've reviewed to date. It was one of the major centerpieces of Thermaltake's line-up back at CES, and later it showed up housing one of the most powerful gaming systems we've ever reviewed, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme FTW. Today we get to take a look at the Level 10 GT on its own and pit it against the best and brightest we've been sent so far.

When I reviewed the CyberPowerPC unit back in May, I found myself with some reservations regarding the Level 10 GT. A great many of those were ameliorated when I went to actually test that tower and found it to be a remarkably capable enclosure, able to dissipate the heat generated by a pair of GeForce GTX 590s and a massively overclocked Intel Core i7-990X without creating too much of a racket. At the very least on that front it seemed like it would be a winner, and spoiler alert: it is.

Within that review I stated that I'd come back and review the Level 10 GT on its own merits, and that's on the docket today.

Thermaltake Level 10 GT Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25", 1x 3.5"
Internal 5x 2.5"/3.5" (see above)
Cooling Front 1x 200mm fan
Rear 1x 140mm fan
Top 1x 200mm fan
Side 1x 200mm fan
Bottom 1x 120mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 8
Front I/O Port 4x USB 2.0, headphone and mic jacks
Top I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, eSATA, fan controller, fan lighting toggle
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 13.5" (Expansion Cards), 190mm (CPU HSF), 290mm (PSU)
Weight 28 lbs.
Dimensions 23" x 11.1" x 23.2"
Price $269

From the stats it's pretty easy to tell: the Level 10 GT is big. Off the cuff it looks like it retains a lot of the design and compartmentalizing cues from the original (and comically expensive) Level 10, but as we get into the review you'll see the Level 10 GT is really a very different beast.

In and Around the Thermaltake Level 10 GT
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  • Skott - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Performance wise it may be good but its not what I would call a sleek case. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though. It looks rugged however. More like something you would take out and carry around every day in a work environment. Not that I would want to carry it around every day. It may look rugged, be rugged, but it would also be very heavy and impractical for that.
  • jsbiggs - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Nice review, but I have a problem with the graphs. Maybe it's just my eyes, but I absolutely cannot read the white text on the bright yellow bar representing the Level 10 GT. The darker yellow is fine, but when the brightness goes up, I just can't tell what the numbers are. You can easily infer the performance relative to the other offerings, but would be better if you could read the number.
  • tzhu07 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I still prefer the simplicity of something like a R3 Define case or Lian Li. The Level 10 is incredibly tacky.
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I can't say I've ever seen a steel and plastic enclosure that was worth over $200 before reading this article and afterward. Still no.
  • StickyIcky - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Am I the only one that thinks this thing looks like a severely mutated Playstation 2?
  • danjw - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    If you are going for air cooled, I personally would go for the Silverstone FT02. If liquid cooled, I think the HAF X would be my choice. Personally I don't really like the looks of either the HAF X or Level 10 GT, but from a utility standpoint the HAF X wins in my book. It would be great if you guys would do a review of it.
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Having purchased on of these a few months back, I can say that it isn't perfect but pretty good.

    First the negatives. Unlike this review, I took advantage of the fact that an EATX motherboard will fit into this case. Fitting such a large motherboard into the chassis isn't easy. I was further hampered by needing to remove some of the standoffs which wasn't that big of a problem. However, I discovered that the paint on the motherboard tray is a bit thin as I scratched a spot near one of the stand offs. Getting the IO panel properly mounted with an such a large motherboard is pain. Similarly, mounting a large PSU is also a pain. Another oddity is that the rear 120 mm fan doesn't match the rest of the fans which color changing LEDs. The feet rotate 90 degrees which is generally a good thing overall but they're very easy to move and feel like they're break if some one stubbed them while walking by. The USB 3.0 ports are nice but to use them on most motherboard you'll need to have them plug into the rear IO panel instead of a header on the motherboard. I wish ThermalTake included a USB2.0 header or USB3.0 header adapter so that keeping the USB 3.0 cable internal was an option (I have such an adapter from elsewhere and it works rather well).

    Now for the good news. It is very quiet and it manages to keep my build cool. The ability to adjust the air flow of the side fan is a very, very nice feature to help keep a high end GPU cool. The side panel uses a novel approach to cable management with regards to the side fan: opening up the door turns off the fan due to a series of pins that don't connect when open. Speaking of the side panel, it locks independent of the hard drive bays. There is no actual back plane for the hard drives which for a consumer case works rather well. You can use you own power and data cables to each individual drive if you so choose while retaining removability. The case is large but the face that it has a handle makes moving it relatively easy. Overall I do like the case as it is functional, quiet and good looking in my eyes.
  • etamin - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    With that many mesh panels, it looks like a nightmare to dust out. I didn't see anything in regard to filters either.

    Call me shallow, but if a case doesn't look good (exemplified by this one), it doesn't matter how user-friendly, upgradable, cool, and efficient it sure as hell isn't going in my room.
  • mlosee222 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I'd be interested to see how these new fangled cases hold up to the classic Antec 900. Often imitated but never duplicated.
  • Money Loo - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    Loved the article, per usual. However the choice of yellow for the bar graphs makes it difficult to read the numbers in them. Sure, I can sort of ascertain what it might be by looking at the other numbers above and below it, or by holding ctrl+mouse wheeling up to make them bigger. Just a small nitpick in an otherwise great write up.

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