I'm seriously considering the Thermaltake Tai Chi to house an extreme gaming machine.
Before I do I want to be sure that the water cooling system works with the 680i SLI mobo (I was looking at the Asus Striker Extreme) and that the case is large enough to support a nVidia 8800 GTX Graphics card . I've heard these are larger than the motherboard and would require a case with considerable depth. Does anyone know for sure that this case will do the job?
I have the Thermaltake Tai Chi chassis. And yes, the 8800 will fit in this case, even with a water cooling kit installed. I purchased this case because of it's size (at the time TT released it, there was only one other case bigger), it has more than sufficient room for upgrades and allows for easier installation.
The Tai Chi was also designed for watercooling kits - both external and internal, it should accommodate both well. However, a number of people do believe the Tai Chi is chassis overkill. I have found that over time with the release of bigger and bigger peripherals, (like Nvidia and the upcoming ATI graphic cards) the size of the case is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Is it noisy? I mean - could I get away without utilising any of the fans? - The whole thing looks like a massive heat sink. I was going to go for the one with supplied the water cooler - could I get away with adding an additional external water cooler and making it a silent case?
It seems that after a bit of research the only completely silent case I can find so far is the Zalman TNN 500AF but it is not very size compatible for the new generation of VGA's so it's not an option for me unless there is anything else comparable on the market.
I did not purchase the Tai Chi with the Big Water Cooling system, I instead purchased the Evercool WC202 Water Cooling Kit (although the Big Water is a better water cooling system).
The Evercool does come with 2 radiators, one of which I mounted to the door of the Tai Chi. I have had this system for a little more than a year with no problem opening the chassis door. Just make sure that you measure the tubing with the door fully opened. You will then need to thread the tubing in such a way where it will not interfere with other components (such as cooling fans) in your case when the door is closed.
Sounds like a pain, but isn't one. There is a thread tape which can be purchased from either Lowes or Home Depot (plumbing dept.) for a couple of bucks that will offer better protection against leaks. You just wrap it around the threads. I have never had a leak with my Evercool system for the entire time that I have used it.
Sorry, didn't catch your other thread. And no, I have 3 120MM fans installed and the Evercool water cooling kit. It is unbelievably quiet! And yes, the Tai Chi is a huge radiator. The deep heatsinks along the sides of the case help to dissipate heat. There is ventilation on the floor of the case and the top!
The entire case is made of extruded aluminium (other than a few metal exceptions). Aluminum is a great metal for a chassis - especially if you tinker in the case a lot. Aluminum doesn't conduct electricity which helps to avoid static charges that can damage a motherboard or some other component.
Other than the price, I have found it to be a great case!