Case and power supply combos always look like a bargain, but bargain-basement parts have always seemed to chase experienced builders away. Today, we consider three budget-enthusiast models to determine if any of them can meet our basic gaming needs.
Combining its stylish M9 chassis and modular TR2-series "450W" power supply, Thermaltake’s model VI1450BWS tries to outpace low-cost competitors by including dual fans and a side window.
The side panel holds two additional fans, but the benefits of adding these will depend on graphics cooler design (bottom) and CPU cooler design (top). Thermaltake even throws in an extendable CPU air duct, but its benefits are again dependent on the design of other components. A well-fitting duct still adds noise, and the dual exhaust fans (one in the power supply) usually make it unnecessary.
Two USB 2.0 ports and a pair of audio jacks fulfill the needs of most users. The M9 case’s front panel lacks nearly-defunct FireWire and upscale USB 3.0.
As with the side panel, the rear fan bracket is drilled to accept 120 mm, 92 mm and 80 mm fans. Tightly-packed octagonal holes allow high-end ventilation, while knock-out slot covers remind buyers that the M9 is a truly inexpensive product. One slot is left open by the manufacturer.
The M9 chassis includes a 5.25”-to-3.5” bay panel adapter plate and a single screw-in slot cover that most builders will need to fill the hole left empty by the manufacturer. This VI1450BWS model also includes several power cables for its included 450W modular power supply.
- Sticking It To “The Man”
- Cooler Master USP 100 (RC-P100-RKR1)
- Inside The USP 100
- Building With The USP 100
- In Win Griffin (With Power Man PSU)
- Inside The Griffin
- Building With The Griffin
- Thermaltake M9 VI1450BWS
- Inside The M9
- Building With The M9
- Test Settings
- Measured Test Results
- Energy And Acoustic Efficiency