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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  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    It is inferior in construction and design to Corsair and Silverstone cases, yet it costs more than most of them. Again, I don't see the point.
  • kevith - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I don´t think it´s all that ugly. And actually, I´m surprised to see how many, that are willing to set looks over anything else when we´re talking an enthusiast case like this.

    To me it´s about cooling and noise, and in those fields this seems like an absolute winner.

    The issue of the securing the drives doesn´t matter to me anyways, I´m am a silence-freak, so I always find a way and a place to hang my drives freely mounted in rubberbands. Every "silencing, rubber mounting grommets" I ever tried were absolutely worthless. And HDD hum is a major noise factor. Eliminated trough SSD´s of course.
    (Frankly, I dont understand why manufacturers haven´t made up a "rubberband munting system long ago, and a caselike this isn´t supposed for lan-parties anyway.)

    And the price: Come on, if you go for this case it´s probably going to last you a very long time, so if you take the price pr. year, it´s not more than a cheaper case, that´s likely to be swapped substantially sooner.

    One thing about the price though: It´s not very nice to read about a poor paint job in this segment!!

    But thumbs up for Kevin G.´s post, the fine review and the interesting case
  • CList - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    So I have a question for other "enthusiasts" out there...

    If you have the means and/or prioritize your PC so much that you're willing to spend $250+ on a case - why on earth do you need that many drive bays? Is it a macho thing to have a large case or do you actually have that many drives that you want to keep?

    I mean drives are so damn cheap these days... How many do you need? If you are willing to buy such an expensive case, then there's really no reason to own a drive that's smaller than maybe 750GB. Give the thing away and buy a larger one.

    If you need 10TB of RAIDed storage isn't it a lot easier to just put it on a little NAS box that you can stick in the closet with your router?

    Similarly for DVD drives - does anyone even have more than one now? What on earth do you use it for? I have one external USB-based BluRay drive that I plug in when I want to watch a movie or install some software, and then it goes back in the drawer for another two months.

    I have a really hard time understanding why anyone would want so many drive bays - unless you're operating on a budget, in which case why would you buy this case or one like it? Is it a "mine is bigger than yours" thing?

    Not trying to be critical, just curious...

  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    NAS boxes still cost money, and even if they're RAIDed you're still looking at a bottleneck over the network interface.

    Honestly, I'd use all the 3.5" drive bays here. I edit video; I keep project files and personal data on a RAID 1, then my scratch disk and gaming drive is on a RAID 0. And then my system drive is on an SSD.

    People out there will definitely use these drive bays.

    As for optical drives, I have a blu-ray reader and then a blu-ray writer, so that's two right there. ODDs are becoming less and less important over time, but they're still relevant.
  • etamin - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Thinking as logically as I can, I think the bays only exist to fill up space, a decision by the manufacturer and not something a typical user looks for. With at least one bay and a hdd rack, the length of the case must become longer. If a full sized tower (sized based on mobo) were to maintain a semi box-like appearance, there would be a lot of empty space in the front end. Using that space for extra fans is less cost effective for manufacturers than simply adding racks to the chassis. Some makers go for hdd racks, and others go for bays.

    Just a thought..
  • just4U - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I build a fair number of systems and get to test out alot of cases because of that.. I keep thinking that perhaps it's time to go back to some older models since the designers of some of these cases need to be shot. I use 2 Lian-Li PC60 cases. (7 years now) and keep going back to them. Removable motherboard trays, Brushed aluminum, and just overall solid designs. I keep changing fans but that's it.

    I think.. make the case a little fatter to accomadate 120mm fans (front back) Move the Psu to the bottom, add a filter, add 1 140 or 200m fan to the top, add usb 3.0 and microphone/headphone jacks to the front.. you now have the perfect case. Call it a day. Even lian-li won't do it. Ticks me off. How hard can this be???
  • just4U - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    and yes .. I know about the Lian Li PC-60FNW but it doesn't have a removable motherboard tray like the PC60,A,+ etc. Not sure why Lian-Li moved away from them because they were major selling points.
  • etamin - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    good news...what you want exists: Lian Li PC-V2120
    bad's oversized and very expensive
  • corriellan - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I'm adopting this one.
  • Conscript - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    looks like we have another Stranger in a Strange Land fan...I smiled :)

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