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Super Flower/TTGI - TT-103, Continued

2003 Winter Case Review Part 1: MicroATX Case Madness
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As we touched on earlier, the restrictive quarters within the TT-103 did impact the cooling performance of this case. While it was able to pass our testing, the case itself exhibited some of the highest temperatures within this review. The outer panels of the aluminum chassis did get warm to the touch after the case was in operation for long periods of time during our testing. Obviously, much of this is due to the single fan configuration that is found on the right side of the case. While there are numerous ventilation holes in the back of the TT-103 chassis, there is no way that we could determine for mounting an additional fan to help improve the airflow of the TT-103. This is not necessarily a deficiency in the thermal design of this case; however, in a home theatre environment you would not want to set other components on top of this case. It is definitely best suited for lower processor speeds that do not generate much heat, as higher processor speeds do.

The case features front mounted ports for USB headphones and mic jacks. The ports, while not covered, are attractive and easily within reach on the TT-103. The front bezel of this case is covered with a sheet of clear cellophane to protect the Plexiglas front from being damaged during installation and setup. While the silver colored front bezel is quite attractive, purchasers of this case may have some difficulty finding silver colored optical and 3.5" floppy/media devices that will match the front of this elegant silver colored case. While the black bezeled optical and floppy drives that we used in our testing configuration did not look "bad" installed in this case, the silver bezel of the TT-103 clearly necessitates the use of silver bezeled devices, which are harder to find. It would be possible to paint the bezels to match the front of this case; but this seems like more work than should be necessary to match the front of the TT-103.

The TT-103 featured one of the most compact form factors we saw in this configuration, its side mounted fan when utilized in a desktop configuration could present ventilation and heat exhaust issues should the PC be located in a rack type enclosure when located in a home theatre environment. Our preference for a home theatre configuration is still to have a rear exhaust fan setup, which better meets the needs of home theatre enthusiasts. The lack of support for full-height PCI/AGP cards is also another drawback that might lead to disappointment for home theatre enthusiasts, as the TT-103, despite of all of its elegant looks may not be the best fit for home theatre/DVR applications.

Superflower/TTGI has clearly done a good job designing the TT-103 from the outward appearance standpoint. However, it would appear that some re-design is necessary to meet the needs of many more mainstream enthusiasts. While this case is clearly a looker, we were somewhat dismayed by the odd thermal solution and odd omission that we encountered with missing documentation detailing simple removal of the case from the cover. Still, the TT-103 offers the high quality construction that Superflower/TTGI is known for. We are just convinced that this particular case does not correctly address the needs of the majority of the potential purchasers of which this case is targeted toward. The construction quality and look are the biggest pluses of the TT-103, but most users would be better off with the TT-101 from Superflower/TTGI, which offers many, if not most, of the same features without the hassle and only a slightly larger form factor.

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