2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued

Weighing in at about 9 pounds completely naked, the Lanfire VM2000AD tries to hit the mark with gamers who do not need all of the bulk and features of a full mid tower case. The Lanfire VM2000AD is a bit smaller and not quite as full featured at the Xaser III Super Tower Series, which continues to be the top rung in the Thermaltake case offering ladder. The Lanfire features a variety of cool features that are sure to please many with a price point that makes this case very competitive when compared to offerings from other manufacturers.

The inside of the VM2000AD.

The construction of the Lanfire VM2000AD is 0.8mm gauge aluminum with a touch of plastic here and there. At 0.8mm, there is a noticeable difference in the thickness when compared to other cases. While the Lanfire VM2000AD did exhibit some twist and a little more bend than normal, we could not consider this to be unacceptable. It is obvious, however, that the thickness is less than many other aluminum case offerings, but the case is sturdy and should prove to be durable over the long haul. Also of note is that Thermaltake goes the extra mile by protecting the windowed side panel with plastic sheeting on both sides to prevent damages and scratches prior to assembly.

The interior of the case is similar in many aspects to designs that we have seen from other companies. While Thermaltake does not manufacture the cases, they design and configure the features and options that go into these products. The inside of the case features a combination of construction techniques that include rolled edges, smooth finish, rivet construction and heavy cross members. This allows the Lanfire VM2000AD to offer a sturdy construction, without adding the extra weight that makes other cases such monsters to transport. We would rate the construction quality as excellent, but then again we have seen an internal design like this before, so we were not surprised by the results.

Lanfire VM2000AD uses a four fan configuration for cooling. An 80mm fan located in the front of the case is used as an air intake, while being exhausted out of the rear of the case using a 90mm fan located in the rear. A 90mm fan is located inset into the window of the Lanfire VM2000AD, along with an 80mm fan on the other side panel in the hard drive cage area to add additional cooling. This cooling configuration works well and was not as noisy as many other similar configurations that we have seen. Thermaltake uses its own trademark orange fans in the Lanfire VM2000AD. We rate the cooling performance as excellent and among the best of the cases in this review.