Thermaltake Level 10 And SilverStone Fortress 2: Contemporary Cases?

Building With The Level 10

Thermaltake packs its installation kit, complete with a manual and cleaning cloth, in a gift box to simulate the ownership experience of a car, perhaps?

Two screws hold the top of the Level 10’s power supply basket in place. Removing these allows it to be lifted from two metal tabs at the bottom for power supply installation.

The Level 10’s motherboard tray is also removable, though doing so is not actually required for motherboard installation.

Notice the brass standoff next to the 140 mm intake fan. We installed the left-over standoffs in the front column of the EATX motherboard mounting holes to illustrate that these boards fit only by sacrificing the front fan.

Thermaltake’s Web site lists the front fan bracket as 120 mm-compatible, but it only has holes for 140 mm parts. Adding a single-fan radiator here thus requires alternative installation methods, such as cable ties or tape. Conversely, the exhaust fan mount is drilled for 140 mm, 120 mm, and 92 mm fans, but there’s only enough space at the outer edge for 120 mm or 92 mm fans to be installed.

The Level 10’s main housing easily swallows the largest PC hardware, with enough room for most workstation-grade components and oversized CPU coolers. An eighth expansion slot below the bottom of the board even adds mechanical support for dual-slot graphics cards in the motherboard’s bottom slot.

An LED strip highlights the Level 10’s upright edge and those who find it tacky can simply leave it unplugged during hardware installation. The same cannot be said for the blood-red LED cooling fans, which also glow softly, but must be modified or replaced if you want to mute the lighting effect.

Soft lighting also applies to the labels adjacent to each front-panel connector, though these are still a little hard to see next to the more brightly lit power and reset buttons.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • burnley14
    I like the Fortress 2, especially the 90 degree rotation from typical setup. The Level 10, on the other hand, is an ugly monstrosity. Anyone willing to pay $700 for something that ugly needs therapy.
  • philologos
    The Fortress 2 is very likely the case for my first home-build. It's a bit more than I'd like to spend, but it satisfies my need for air-cooling performance and classic styling.
  • Crashman
    burnley14I like the Fortress 2, especially the 90 degree rotation from typical setup. The Level 10, on the other hand, is an ugly monstrosity. Anyone willing to pay $700 for something that ugly needs therapy.
    I just saw a girl driving a rusted-out Mazda with a new set of 18" Enkeis, painted rotors on the front, and painted drums on the back. The rocker panels between that fine work...rusted away!

    So, I'm sure someone will spend $700 for the Thermaltake Level 10. In fact, I know someone who would.
  • I recently bought à fortress case for my most recent build (i930 + hd5970) and this is by far THE best case i've ever had the pleasure of building a pc from/in. Yeah it's pricy and wether it's worth it, but personally, i really, really like it! It cools very wel, and the very large 5970 actually fits :)

    and irl it's quite a handsome case!
  • mados123
    The Level 10 deserves to be in MOMA next to the G4 cube for its innovation in design.
  • micr0be
    i think level 10 is a amazing .... just replace some side windows with glass and uv got a rig that looks as good as crysis .....
  • huron
    As amazing as it is, I'm sure there will be some people shelling out that kind of $$$ on a case - probably the same people who post in the forums that they have a budget upwards of $3500 and want someone to build it for them...
  • warmon6
    while i like the look of the level 10 case, i dont like the high price tag that comes with it.
  • HKH
    Am I the only one who finds the Lvl 10 Case pretty decent looking?
  • acadia11
    The cost savings made no sense, to me, in the Level 10, keeping it under $1000 is stupid, to someone spending $799 on a case, makes no difference if it cost $999 for a more quality product. In fact, people, who are willing to spend money like this care more about quality than cost. I decided not to get the case, because, in my mind $800 on a case alone better buy me perfection, and they tried to get cheap with it to save a couple of hundred bucks, as though the difference between $800 and $1000 really mattered that much to my wallet, Imean it's not like cases normally hover anywhere in this price range. With an expensive uber product you set themarket, period. And they dropped the ball on knowing the demographics here.