Five Gaming Enclosures, Rounded Up

Thermaltake Element G

Average Online Price: $120

Another small, interesting case, the Thermaltake Element G features three, large, color-shifting fans for the best light show in this roundup. Whereas the cases from Lian Li and ABS are large and stately, this little case is spunky.

The top of the case features a fan control knob, four USB ports, and audio jacks. Interestingly, this case lacks eSATA, FireWire, and other types of ports.

The side, top, and front fans, at 230mm, 200mm, and 200mm respectively, are the color changers. There is also a 120mm rear exhaust fan. The side fan is on the left and comes out with the door. The vast majority of the case is porous for airflow.

For storage, the case has three exterior 5.25" drive bays, and seven internal 3.5" bays. They're all in front, in a relatively standard configuration.

It was tough to get our big kilowatt power supply into place in this case. It's a tight squeeze at best. The case is shorter than the Panzerbox, but not as fat. It's anything but tool free, but that's not a knock. Building in the Element G was a mostly-ordinary experience, as its interior design is fairly standard.

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  • Pailin
    "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."

    err... not according to your own graphs its not.

    The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    The 5870 "might" push me from my P182 to a P193 due to the extra length and me not wanting to loose HDD slots - but will prob just get a 5 and a qtr bay converter and hopefully only have to move one drive.
  • Other Comments
  • doomtomb
    That Lian Li PC-X1000 is my favorite
  • CoryInJapan
    Haha I was thinking the same thing about the Lian Li PC-X1000
  • CoryInJapan
    I dont think I would ever need to change my case for an extremely long tile with that Lian Li PC-X1000 case
  • Proximon
    Thanks, good article. I have a comment and a request:
    You said, "The other complaint came in having to remove the bezel of our optical drive so that the case's own bezel could take over." this was on the Lian Li case.
    I would consider this a feature. Brushed aluminum cases look crappy with flat black optical drives and the only way normally to avoid that is a stealth mod, such as I have done with my TJ09.
    I would like to see a picture of each case with the motherboard in place. This helps provide perspective and gives the less experienced builders a clearer idea of what they are actually getting.
  • mcbowler
    Awesome PanzerBox. Where do the hard drives go?
  • redgarl
    400$ cases... WTH? I will never buy that! Where is the Raven one?
  • CHRISTLUBAS
    Panzerbox.........I prefer a M1A1 ABRAMS BOX!!!!!!!
  • neiroatopelcc
    How flimsy/sturdy is the plastic cover for the connectors, and the power button ? looks like they're using the same parts as on my PC-A70 ; and on mine the power button feels as if it isn't big enough for its socket, and the top lid broke off quite easily.
  • Pailin
    "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."

    err... not according to your own graphs its not.

    The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    The 5870 "might" push me from my P182 to a P193 due to the extra length and me not wanting to loose HDD slots - but will prob just get a 5 and a qtr bay converter and hopefully only have to move one drive.
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    Pailin"The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."err... not according to your own graphs its not.The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    Yeah, what gives? I could understand if we're taking points off for the effort that goes into assembling it and wire routing versus the Panzer, but "performance" would, I think, be measured by how well it cools and how quiet it was. It cools better when idle, almost identically under load, and apparently was the quietest case in the roundup.
  • Onus
    Pailin and Wheels beat me to it. Unless the numbers on the chart were transposed, the P193 is equal or superior to the Panzerbox on all but one test.
  • JohnnyLucky
    I can understand hardcore gamers into serious overclocking getting excited about case cooling but I don't think a difference of a few degrees would matter for the typical user.
  • icepick314
    is side window going out of phase in these latest cases?

    the cases themselves look great but what if i want to show what components i used to build my gaming rig?
  • Onus
    I'll also agree with Proximon. Additional data I'd like to see includes a pic of the final build (showing cable routing), decibel measurements at typical distances from floor to a desk, and total weight.
    What power connectors are on the fans? I may have no desire to water-cool, but many do; so what about radiator mounting and pump placement? The article was interesting as far as it went, but could have included a lot more.
  • nukemaster
    mcbowlerAwesome PanzerBox. Where do the hard drives go?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSdJZyrsj1g
  • coolronz
    interesting review, but my ugly HAF 932 will take em all!!! and i have room to park my car... lol
  • JackNaylorPE
    "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox. The taller, more elegant cases, the ABS Canyon 595 and the Lian Li PC-X1000, were warmer throughout the tests."

    Er......Not according to ya charts dude. The Antec and ABS looked better at idle. 27-81-28 The total (136) is 8% bigger than 24-78-27 (129)

    30-82-39 (141)under load also looks like a virtual w/ 29-82-40 (141)
  • baddad
    Thermaltake has much better cases for gaming then the one you showed and you don't need to spend 400 to get a nice roomy case with lots of fans.
  • Lavacon
    This is missing the Corsair 800D. I would have liked to have seen that against these cases since it @ $270 it is in the middle of the price range in this round up.

    I wasn't impressed with the selection of cases for this review one bit.
  • cknobman
    Panzerbox looked sweet gonna consider it for my next build. Small, open, airy, and tool free.