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Building With The Thermaltake Chaser MK-I

Five Eight-Slot Cases For SLI And CrossFire, Tested
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It'd be hard to argue against the claim that black is the new beige when it comes to computer cases. With that said, the Chaser MK-I’s splash of color should be be enough to win over just about anyone who wants to change things up. Personally, I’ve always thought beige was a color best reserved for pants.

Thermaltake separates the Chaser MK-I’s screws and standoffs into four packs to make selection easier, and adds a 3.5” external bay adapter to the basic hardware and eight-pin power extender.

The Chaser MK-I's drive trays feature removable locator pins on silicon grommets for easy 3.5” hard drive installation. Smaller 2.5” drives are secured in the same connector position using screws. However, doing that means you have to remove and leave-out one of the locator pin sets. Just don’t lose it!

Optical drives are secured via pins on a springy plastic clip. A flip-latch holds the clip in the released position, and builders who want more security can insert drive screws through the other end.

The Chaser MK-I provides enough room in front of the motherboard for extra-long graphics cards, and enough room beneath it for extra-thick card coolers.

Soft lighting puts on a show in multiple ways, with a top-panel switch changing between constant colors, alternating colors, and no-LED modes.

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  • 22 Hide
    rylan , August 8, 2011 6:49 AM
    Why did you test with a single graphics card? I thought the title of the review was Five Eight-Slot Cases FOR SLI AND CROSSFIRE, Tested.

    Just because a case performs well with a single graphics card doesn't mean it performs well in SLI or CrossFire. I know this from experience.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    bhtechmech , August 8, 2011 4:41 AM
    I like the ThermalTake the best for access to HDD. Shape is nice too.
  • 2 Hide
    compton , August 8, 2011 4:54 AM
    The Raven is an appealing case except for it's (supposedly removable) gold trim. That stuff might fly for Mr. T or Too Short, but not for most of the masses. It is truly ugly on the outside, but I like what's going on inside. In fact, I like most any case that deviates from the standard layout conventions, but damn, the RV-03 is fugly. I'm sticking to the Lian Li PC-A05NB for a while longer. You can make most cases quieter, but you can't really make most cases less fugly on the outside.
  • 2 Hide
    hammer256 , August 8, 2011 5:25 AM
    @compton: why not go for the RV-02E then? It's much more subdued. In my opinion though, the true stunner is the FT-02. Now that is a case with a proper sense of style. Too bad it's quite a bit more expensive though.
  • 0 Hide
    hammer256 , August 8, 2011 5:32 AM
    Should have mentioned that those cases don't have the 8th slot though, so I guess they won't work if that's what you need.
  • 22 Hide
    rylan , August 8, 2011 6:49 AM
    Why did you test with a single graphics card? I thought the title of the review was Five Eight-Slot Cases FOR SLI AND CROSSFIRE, Tested.

    Just because a case performs well with a single graphics card doesn't mean it performs well in SLI or CrossFire. I know this from experience.
  • 3 Hide
    mattmock , August 8, 2011 8:21 AM
    It is important to note the >180mm PSU size requirements of the RV03. My Enermax 1050W wouldn't fit in the 03 so I ended up getting a rv02e
  • 1 Hide
    hmp_goose , August 8, 2011 8:35 AM
    The factory castors on my HAF 932 died rather quickly: I'd scrounge up a (metal) substitute set of wheels if I was thinking about another build.
  • 6 Hide
    chovav , August 8, 2011 11:06 AM
    yeah come on guys, you don't even look at the temperature of the most important card, the 2nd, 3rd or 4th in SLI! isn't that why you chose a 8-slot case?

    This article misses the whole point! your could have used a mini-ITX board/case for all that matters.

    Please do yourself a favor and revisit this article with 3/4 graphic cards this time!
  • 2 Hide
    boltronics , August 8, 2011 12:09 PM
    Yeah - one graphics card doesn't cut it when CrossFire and SLI are in the article name.

    I've got a HAF-X with 2x RadeonHD 6990 cards in CrossFire... and can confirm that you missed seeing all the flaws because you didn't review it properly.

    1. The bracket doesn't cover the 6990s - it physically cannot be made to fit.

    2. The fan sitting behind the graphics cards also does not fit with 6990s - they take up more room than the cards allow. Even if they did fit, it would never work with 4 graphics cards (if you were going that way) - it's only designed for 3!

    3. My HAF-X case didn't come with the USB3 header cable. When I contacted CoolerMaster about this and asked them to send me one, they basically said "Yeah we announced we would send them out to people who missed out, but we only meant it if you're in the USA and you're not so..."

    Further, the case cannot handle the heat. The top fan of the HAF-X above the CPU actually warped out of shape and started making a huge noise - the blades started hitting the metal insides of the case. I had to move the fan to the opposite side of the frame - hanging from the metal roof, instead of sitting on top of it.

    And the alignment of the PCI slots is off. I originally intended to go 4-way SLI with my HAF-X (before going down the CrossFire path), and realised it would not be possible (using my Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 at least). The top two PCI slot ports on the case do not match up with the top two slots on my motherboard! The third & forth case slot would be for graphics card 1, 5 & 6 would be for card 2, 7 & 8 would be for graphics card 3... but if I wanted a forth card, there is only one slot left!

    Now, CoolerMaster did cut a hole internally so you could plug a card that overhangs unto the missing 10th slot... but one problem - since there is actually no 10th slot where the heck would all the hot-air go? Yep - straight back into the card. You would be mad to try it on air - otherwise the card would get GPU death.

    Needless to say, deeply deeply disappointed with the HAF-X due to wanting a 4-card setup, which the case clearly isn't designed for. Your article missed every one of these flaws!
  • 3 Hide
    JamesSneed , August 8, 2011 12:35 PM
    The thought was good if the tittle was changed.

    Testing of multiple graphics cards mean more heat and a possibly a larger PSU. I read this thinking I would see answers to the following three questions. Do any of these cases struggle with the added heat from multiple graphics cards? Do any of these cases have an issue supporting larger PSU's? How is the acoustic efficiency when more heat has to be dissipated(do they get louder)?
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , August 8, 2011 1:08 PM
    I'll add my voice to those who are baffled that multiple GPUs weren't tested, given the title of the article.

    Boltronics, on a side note, those are the kinds of almost-invisible "defects" I'd expect from a Coolermaster case.
    Particularly given that fans can be replaced, or mounted on silicon nails to quiet them, the Rosewill looks great for the price.
  • -1 Hide
    boltronics , August 8, 2011 2:32 PM
    jtt283, fair call. I should add that (aside from needing to route the USB3 cable out the back of the case because CoolerMaster didn't provide the header in my box - which looks bloody ugly), I could potentially be happy with the case if I set my expectations way lower.

    If my goal was only 3xSLI, the HAF-X would probably be fine. Probably I would then be able to use the additional fan that is supposed to sit behind the graphics cards, so there wouldn't be so much heat in the case and the top fan may not have warped too... but as it is my poor overclocked 6990s are running constantly at around 100 degrees on each GPU - even after stripping out all the HDDs and unnecessary mounting brackets (booting off a small external USB key) and doing everything else possible to cool it down (albeit only using air).

    I love the way the HAF-X (like the HAF-932 which I use for an older machine) is on wheels and has the PSU extension cable, and I do currently work my rig to the max with BitCoin mining 24x7, but given the price of the case and the constant let-downs with various compatibility issues (this despite it being one of the biggest cases you can buy), I wouldn't recommend CoolerMaster cases again for serious gaming systems based on my experience.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2011 2:57 PM
    seriously.. fail as Rylan pointed out, please redo your title
  • 0 Hide
    youssef 2010 , August 8, 2011 3:32 PM
    xdunpealxAt the lower end of the price scale, Rosewill’s Blackhawk provides top cooling performance, middle-of-the-road acoustic performance, and a low price that could make it a great choice for buyers who’d rather spend their money on internal hardware. It does not, however, provide an internal connector for its front-panel USB 3.0 ports, and that's a feature enthusiasts building modern systems should expect. Rosewill says it plans to offer that feature soon, but it's not available today as we consider the case we'd most like to have hosting our own three- or four-graphics card gaming setup.


    Then Why didn't you use it in your SBMs as a replacement to the Lian Li case. I, for one, prefer functionality over form and also, none of these cases can be described as ugly.

    And let me join xdunpealx and Rylan in thier opinion as, these 8-slot cases were designed for SLI and Xfire so, not reviewing them under these conditions is cancelling the review's main purpose.
  • 0 Hide
    youssef 2010 , August 8, 2011 3:34 PM
    ...... sorry for including xdunpealx' name in the previous quote, it was unintentional.

    Also, USB 3.0 front panel internal connectors is not a deal breaker compared to case temperatures, acoustics, and value, right?
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2011 3:39 PM
    Ive had the RV03 since April 14th, so i know how it works.

    "Getting a little more slack on our power cable did require the removal of the face panel."
    You can remove the twist tie that holds down the cable by removing the left side panel, then put your hand into the PSU area and remove it.

    "The RV03 has no gripping holes for removing bay covers, causing most users to remove the face panel instead."
    You can remove the bay covers by taking off the left side panel, then pushing in the plastic tabs by the flip-up latches.

    Please fix the above so that people don't think SilverStone doesn't know how to make cases simple to assemble.
  • -1 Hide
    Crashman , August 8, 2011 5:13 PM
    nawon72Ive had the RV03 since April 14th, so i know how it works. "Getting a little more slack on our power cable did require the removal of the face panel."You can remove the twist tie that holds down the cable by removing the left side panel, then put your hand into the PSU area and remove it."The RV03 has no gripping holes for removing bay covers, causing most users to remove the face panel instead."You can remove the bay covers by taking off the left side panel, then pushing in the plastic tabs by the flip-up latches.Please fix the above so that people don't think SilverStone doesn't know how to make cases simple to assemble.
    I'm lost on that second part. I checked it over and couldn't find any place to access the tabs.

    The only way I know of to remove the face panels from inside is to reach through the drive bays, but you'd better have really small hands. And the only way I know of to remove the first one from the outside is by inserting a thin blade between the face panel and bay cover, but you'd better be careful if you don't want to scratch up the face panel.

    Once you get the first one out, the rest are easy.
  • -3 Hide
    footman , August 8, 2011 8:02 PM
    I don't get it. I have a Silverstone RV-03 and a Coolermaster HAF-X and I can tell you that the Raven is far louder than the HAF-X and the Raven crapped out with a pair of reference 560Ti's in SLI. They hit 96C before shutting down my computer when in the Raven as opposed to staying at 68C full load in the HAF-X, this obviously resulted in lower noise from the GPU's as well!!!
    I will stick to my HAF-X in my configuration...
  • -1 Hide
    spookyman , August 8, 2011 9:01 PM
    How about an Ultra case in the line up? They seem to be better built then these here.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2011 11:44 PM
    What was the point of this review? you guys got SLI cases and then reviewed it against non SLI configs. The title got me all interested in reading the review, I was bitterly disappointed to see it was a complete waste of time.
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