Thermaltake Spedo--Build And Installation
Our favorite Thermaltake innovation is a contact, whereby the side-mounted 230 mm fan gets power as soon as you snap the side panel into place. For the first time that we’ve seen, this means no more cables draped between side-mounted fans and the power supply. Also, the Cable Routing Management system, located behind the case’s motherboard tray, did a great job of hiding fan wiring, unused front-panel headers, and excess power cables.
Although the mechanism for mounting hard drives (up to six) and 5.25” drives (up to seven) is made of plastic and not very hardy-feeling, it is still surprisingly convenient. Both of the hard drives in our test platform snapped right in without the need for a screwdriver. Room for expansion slots is similarly generous. Had we wanted to attach three GeForce GTX 280s to Asus’ Rampage II Extreme, we could have, though it would have meant setting aside the Advanced Thermal Chamber technology included as part of Thermaltake’s Advanced package.
That technology, dubbed ATC3, divides the Spedo into three chambers—similar to ABS’ design, only removable. While it wasn’t too difficult to remove or install, we wonder how many enthusiasts will use the four plastic pieces comprising ATC3, as our thermal results demonstrated the Spedo with the second-highest idle and load temperatures, on average.
Disassembling and piecing back together the ATC3 added an extra bit of complexity to our system installation. Overall, though, assembling the case is easy—and particularly clean given the integrated cable management system.
Having learned from the three preceding builds, after dropping in the motherboard and securing it into place, we attached necessary front panel leads and SATA cables before installing graphics cards.
With storage connectivity run to the back of the chassis, it was easy to put the hard drives in their trays, lock them back into place, and attach data/power.
The fan wiring inside of the Spedo is particularly nice because Thermaltake wraps each three-wire lead with a black, flexible sheath.
Once we solved our power supply issues, by bending the steel at the bottom of the case, our Cooler Master UCP 1100 slid right in. It’s worth noting that the PC Power and Cooling 1 kW PSU would have worked as well.
With cables run and hard drives installed, we were ready to add graphics cards. Our only there was trying to get Thermaltake’s screwless slot clamps snapped into place over each Radeon’s metal bracket. The first one closed without issue, but the second slot cover just wouldn’t close on either card. That issue didn’t affect functionality though, and the cards were secured by just a single clamp.