2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued

Of special note is the new 14-page user’s manual that comes with the Lanfire VM2000AD. Thermaltake has taken seriously our request for case manufacturers to improve the quality of the documentation and manuals that come with cases and has produced a manual that is included with the Lanfire VM2000AD that now exceeds Antec’s manuals in quality. The Lanfire VM2000AD walks the user through the installation of the components into the Lanfire VM2000AD with a variety of pictures and diagrams. This step by step approach is quite good for novice users looking to build their first system, but experts will like the clear easy to read diagrams that a cut above those found with other cases. Well done, Thermaltake !

A look at the front-mounted ports on the VM2000AD. Also notice the nice smooth finish on the VM2000AD.

The Lanfire VM2000AD features two front-mounted USB 2.0 ports, as well as one 1394/Firewire port, located behind a flip-up door on the front of the case. While we do miss the choice not to include the MIC and headphone jacks, the quality of the door is good and the ports are easy to access. Thermaltake also gets high marks for including a 1394/Firewire connector that plugs into the motherboard, unlike other companies who opt to route the 1394/Firewire cable out the back of the case.

The Lanfire VM2000AD includes the Thermaltake Hardcano fan bus control and temperature monitoring device that is located in a top drive bay above the door. We tested the Hardcano and it rivals some of the best Fan Bus devices that we have reviewed. We found the functionality of the Hardcano to be a nice added feature for the Lanfire VM2000AD.

The Lanfire VM2000AD also includes an EL lighting "Fireball" logo design that is mounted into the front bezel. The on/off switch for this is located inside the case, which means that you have to remove the side panel to turn it on or off. Due to the lack of thumb screws on the side panel, you will need a screwdriver to remove the side panel, which is a more inconvenient than we liked. Thermaltake should consider changing the screws that secure the side panel to thumb screws to allow for easy access to this switch or moving the button for the switch to the outside of the case.

Overall, the Lanfire VM2000AD is a nice case that offers a great deal of features for the money. It offers a manual that is a clear cut over other companies, which is a clear favorite with us. While the actual design of the inside of the case isn’t that ground breaking, it is functional, which is what many people want. With an aggressive look and an aggressive price point, many people will be drawn to the Lanfire VM2000AD. We expect that the Lanfire VM2000AD will be popular with gamers, and we expect to see a lot of these at LAN parties worldwide.