Best Of The Best, Part 2: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

Thermaltake Urban T81

Just when we began to question whether $180 was too low a starting point for a premium case comparison, Thermaltake stepped up with its sharp-looking Urban T81 at exactly that price. Can the T81's actual quality and feature set match its apparent value for such a conservative sum?

We do, after all, get black-anodized face and port panel inserts, even if a majority of the case is medium-thickness steel. And the face panel is double-walled plastic to reduce noise.

The front panel section is actually up top, featuring four USB 2.0 ports, along with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, audio I/O, and a two-speed fan controller.

The rear even has an eighth expansion slot to allow users of ATX motherboards and double-slot graphics cards to mount a third or fourth GPU in the platform's bottom slot. Also seen above, the right side panel is extended outward to make more room for cables, and the top panel is mesh-covered for improved ventilation.

The removable front door hides two 5.25” external bays, a 3.5” external bay adapter cover, and two fan covers. All of those features, including the door hinges, have easy-to-use release tabs.

The bottom panel also features a filter that slides out from the rear, though reaching it requires lifting the case and reaching under the back. This is slightly less convenient than Corsair’s similar design, but still easier to use than the optional screw-on or stick-on filters that CaseLabs sells separately.

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42 comments
    Your comment
  • blackmagnum
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
    -3
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.

    You know the original Level 10 was probably "more elite"

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/level-10-fortress-2,2594-5.html
    1
  • vertexx
    Hope the Phanteks Enthoo Primo is part of the final - will we have to wait another 2 months for that?
    3
  • ykki
    I wish that they would use the new powercolor devil 13 290x (their version of the 295X2) for their tests
    0
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Who makes the most elite cases? Corsair and NZXT, no need for investigation :) Still, a nice roundup.
    1
  • Drejeck
    There are some cases CNC made, you should talk about this indipendent manufacturers. On SweClockers I saw the best mini ITX computer ever made, with 2 ssds, 2 fans, a picopsu and a discrete graphic card with riser card.
    0
  • Drejeck
    Anyway my guess was Lian-Li and Silverstone
    0
  • eklipz330
    isn't this a purely subjective article? how can this be quantified?
    3
  • Neve12ende12
    I don't know much about cases, but I have an Azza Hurrican 2000 and I think it is pretty badass
    0
  • firefoxx04
    Phanteks Primo plz
    0
  • firefoxx04
    ID like to see these cases fitted with large radiators.. that is what the case labs is geared for after all.
    2
  • xenol
    CaseLabs is just one of those companies I don't get. Sure they give you a ton of customization options but I don't know, for $300 on a case like that?

    At least the $210 I spent on a Silverstone FT02 was worth it.
    1
  • beoza
    For the price of that CaseLabs case I'd rather get the CM Cosmos II, and save about $60. Sure it's an older design but it just looks so much better to me. The only downside with the Cosmos II is it's big and bulky weighing at just over 47lbs empty.
    0
  • whiteodian
    Quote:
    There are some cases CNC made, you should talk about this indipendent manufacturers. On SweClockers I saw the best mini ITX computer ever made, with 2 ssds, 2 fans, a picopsu and a discrete graphic card with riser card.
    Links please : D

    Here is a link to something similar I won at a LAN party. Comes in a badass briefcase. http://nfc-systems.com/mini/
    0
  • Electromikey
    Without having used any of the other cases, I can say that I had the pleasure of building a system in the 760T recently (a friend had me build him a monster rig), and it was one of my favorite builds I've ever done. The case looks freakin' gorgeous under his desk, too.
    1
  • TheMentalist
    Every time i see articles like this one, it kinda bugs me that the Vengeance C70 is so underrated, damn love that case, even though it's old. Not saying that these cases aren't good.
    -1
  • redgarl
    Fractal Design R2 XL... best Full Tower case for 100$. Nothing came close.
    0
  • redgarl
    Phantek Enthoo Luxe, Pro and Primo should be part of your next article.
    0
  • Karsten75
    the TL;DR - we have an unrealistic benchmark, got some sub-par cases and non should be worthy of an award? Next time do't specify a price as cut-off.
    0
  • Phillip Wager
    out of these the thermaltake would take my money but i think phanteks has the best "elite" case on the market right now.
    0