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

Inside The Urban T81

A split door separately covers the motherboard and drive sections of the Urban T81. The rear door lifts off of its hinge pins in the same manner as today’s two other competitors. The front door’s screwed-on hinge appears to have a snap-away design, but our efforts to dismantle the hinge were fruitless (and undocumented in the user manual).

The side window is made of extremely hard plastic that resembles thin glass and even rings when struck. That hardness will likely make it scratch-resistant, though it could also reduce impact resistance.

Spinning the case around the other way, we find a convenient ten-fan hub for the built in controller. Conversely, we also find too little space to conveniently hold cables…without the help of that side panel extension shown on the previous page. This delayed our build process tremendously as I was forced to move wires towards the center of the tray and re-route them around each other so that none of the smaller cables passed over the largest one.

Filter removal aside, full access to front fans is only available after pulling off the front panel. Thermaltake's Urban T81 includes two 200 mm blowers, though its mounts are also designed to hold 120 and 140 mm parts.

All of the Urban T81’s drive cages are removable, as is the divider seen in front of the lower cages on the top photo. Cage removal allows the front to support triple-fan radiators at 120 or 140 mm, or dual-200 mm-fan radiators. The divider can be re-installed to hold a single fan plus one 3.5” hard drive and one 2.5" SSD.

Not interested in giving up all your storage bays? The Urban T81’s top panel supports those same radiator options. Alternatively, you could mount dual-fan radiators in both locations while leaving the top and bottom drive cages installed.

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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