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Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 Review

Today I’ve got another case for review, this time from Thermaltake. The case is called the Chaser MK-1 and it’s big with bold styling and lots of features that anyone building a system can appreciate. The Chaser MK-1 has USB 3.0 ports built-in, 33cm fans to keep the system cool and it has a hard drive docking station built right into the case so you can quickly and easily access hard drives when you need to.

Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:

Chaser MK-1

Command Center – With Chaser MK-1’s fan controller onboard, gamer and enthusiasts can appreciate the convenience of adjusting the fan speed or lighting effect of the computer system.

USB 3.0 SuperSpeed – Tired of reaching to the back of the computer to connect a USB 3.0 device? Chaser MK-1 features latest USB 3.0 ports with internal header. Two USB 3.0 ports are conveniently located on the front of the case.

HDD Docking Station – By adapting world’s best selling BlacX Docking Station concept into a computer case, users can now effortlessly transfer large volume of data without the need for a conventional external storage device. Simply insert any 2.5” or 3.5” SATA hard drive into the docking station and start enjoying hot-swap capability and blazing-fast transfer speed through SATA interface.

VGA TripleMax 33CM – All of today’s high-end and advanced graphic cards that are capable of delivering ultra-realistic, immersive and intense gaming experience have longer than usual form factor which means not all computer case will fit. Chaser MK-1 not only address this concern by supporting graphic card up to 330mm in length, but also designed cooling surrounding the graphic card location to improve heat dissipation and reduce acoustic output.

CableClear Cable Management – Dramatically improves thermal efficiency of the computer system by ensuring power cables do not get in the way of airflow.

Enthusiasts Water Cooling Ready – Spacious interior is only the bare minimum when it comes to water cooling. Chaser MK-1 features an innovative top removable panel that can be easily transformed to accommodate high-efficiency 24cm radiator!

Combat Headset Holder – Headset holder designed into the case allows gamers to store their gaming headset easily and securely.

Heightened Foot Stands – High thermal efficiency case that addresses all common and uncommon issues. Heighten foot stands elevate the whole computer system enough to prevent rug or any other soft flooring material from blocking the air intake/exhaust found on the bottom of the case.

Specs:

Case Type: Full Tower

Material: SECC

Front Bezel Material: Combination of plastic and high air flow mesh

Color:

Interior: Black

Exterior: Black

Side Panel: Swivel Door with Transparent Window

Motherboard Support:

9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)

12” x 9.6” (ATX)

5.25″ Drive Bay: 4

Ext. 3.5″ Drive Bay: By using 5.25″ to 3.5″ Converter

Int. 3.5″ Drive Bay: 6

Expansion Slots: 8

Front I/O Ports:

-USB 3.0 x 2

-USB 2.0 x 2

-eSATA connector x 1

-MIC & Speaker (support AC’97 & HD Audio)

Cooling System:

Front (Intake) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Colorshift fan x 1 (600~800rpm,13~15dBA) or 120 x 120 x 25 mm x 2 (optional)

Rear (Exhaust) : 140 x 140 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1000rpm, 16dBA or 120 x 120 x 25 mm x 1 (optional)

Top (Exhaust) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Colorshift fan x 1 (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA); 200 x 200 x 30 mm x 1 (optional) or 140 x 140 x 25 mm x 2 (optional) or 120 x 120 x 25 mm x 2 (optional)

Bottom (Intake) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm x 1 (optional)

Side (Intake) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm x 1 (optional)

Liquid Cooling Capable: Yes

Power Supply Supported: Standard ATX PSII Power Supply

Dimension (H*W*D): 567.9 x 237.0 x 581.6 mm / 22.4 x 9.3 x 22.9 inch

Net Weight: 12.3 kg / 27.1 lb

Security Lock: for peripherals only

Application: Suitable for gaming, enthusiast, DIY and modding

Price: $159.99 (from Amazon at time of review)

A Better Look at Things- Outside:

Thermaltake is no slouch when it comes to package design and the Chaser MK-1 box is bold just like the case inside. The case is packaged well with Styrofoam and plastic, when you open the box you’re greeted with the user manual.

chaser1 chaser2

The Chaser MK-1 is big, more than enough room for most any system and more. Its design certainly makes a bold statement.

chaser3 chaser4 chaser5

Not sure I like the light blue coloring, but I can live with it. The bay covers are held on by the blue tabs, there are four 5.25” bays. Towards the bottom of the case you’ll find cooling vents and a Thermaltake logo over them.

chaser6 chaser7

On the top of the case you’ll see the control panel. On the left side are audio jacks, a reset button, high and low fan controls and the fen LED color changer. In the middle is the SATA hard drive dock and the power button. On the right side you’ll see two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 connectors along with a e-SATA port.

chaser8

Behind the control panel is the fan cover that just pops off very easily. One fan comes installed for you already.

chaser9 chaser10

The right side of the case is just plain black with a technical like design on it.

chaser11

On the left side of the case you’ll find a small window and a large ventilation area.

chaser12 chaser13

There’s also a flip down holder for a pair of headphone storage.

chaser14 chaser15

On the back you’ll see the usual ports along with three holes for water cooling and a lock for peripherals like mouse and keyboard.

chaser16 chaser17 chaser18

On the bottom you’ll find four oversized feet for stability and a removable filter, the feet can be rotated if need be.

chaser19

 

A Better Look at Things- Outside:

The front bezel easily pops off to reveal the drive bays and another removable fan filter.

chaser20

When you remove the left side of the case the first thing you’ll notice is probably all of the room inside and then the accessory box.

chaser21

The bottom of the case is mostly a vent and there’s a bracket that acts as a stand for the power supply. The PSU actually sits up off of the bottom of the case.

chaser22

On the motherboard tray you’ll see a very large cutout for making CPU cooler installation easier, it should accommodate every type of configuration. You’ll also notice five spots for cable management with rubber protectors.

chaser23

A fan comes pre-installed on the back of the case for you. The PCI slots are the vented style and held on with thumbscrews for ease of installation.

chaser24 chaser25

The 5.25” bays are tool-less, there are clips on the bays.

chaser26

The hard drive bay comes populated with trays for your hard drives, and there’s a large fan in front of them to keep the drives cool.

chaser27

Here’s a view from the back of the case with the side panel removed, you’ll see all the wire connections hanging there.

chaser28

Inside of the accessory box you’ll see a bag of screws, power cable, zip-ties and even a little speaker to connect to your motherboard header. There’s also a 5.25” bay adapter and 5.25” to 3.5” adapter.

chaser29 chaser30 chaser31

The wires include the standard for motherboard headers, along with two SATA and a USB 3.0 connection.

chaser32

 

Installation:

The hard drive trays just pop out of the bays of course.

chaser33

The hard drive just pops into the tray and there are clips that go into the said of the tray and the hard drive. There are silicone grommets built in the tray to help prevent vibration noise.

chaser34 chaser35

I’m using this case for my work or main system which consists of:

EVGA P55 motherboard

Corei5 750

Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler

12 gigs of DDR3 ram (OCZ Gold and Kingston HyperX)

AMD/ATI 4890 and 4870 video cards

ASUS US36 SATA6/USB3.0 PCIE card

Seagate Barracuda XT 2tb

Seagate Barracuda XT 3tb

Seagate 7200.12 1tb

Seagate 7200.12 1tb

LG Super Multi Blue Blu-Ray drive CH08LS10

3.5” memory card reader

Here’s the beginning of the installation, just the motherboard and CPU Cooler in there. It’s a bit tight near the top, but there’s still plenty of room to work getting screws in. I also found there’s a cutout in the motherboard tray near the top so you can run the second power cable up and behind the tray to connect it if you have a top power connection as I do.

chaser36 chaser37

Then here’s everything installed, there’s plenty of room for large video cards and you can be creative with the wiring as well to hide it. Here you can also get a better look at the top are of the case that I just mentioned, and you can see the power wire routed to the board through the slot.

chaser39 chaser38

Here’s the mess of wires behind the motherboard tray, actually it’s not too bad.

chaser40

Here are a few pictures of the top with a hard drive in the dock. The HDD LED indicator is red and actually next to the reset switch. The fan controller buttons will light up blue when activated, and then there’s a larger power LED around the power button.

chaser41 chaser42 chaser43

The hard drive dock on the top of the Chaser MK-1 is based on the BlacX docking station so it works the same and it works well. It’s my favorite part of this case; it makes transferring data back and forth very easy.

The fan speeds are just high and low and even on high speed they’re very quiet and they seem to do a good job at cooling the system.

The fans are nice to have, but I found the side panel sucks in dust and needs to be cleaned fairly often to keep the case looking nice and clean with unrestricted airflow. The same pretty much happens on the front as well.

 

Summary and Comments:

The Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 is big and bold surely, but under it all it’s a well designed and aesthetically pleasing case.

There’s plenty of room for even the largest of video cards and several hard drives to make sure you’ve got room for all of your stuff.

I found installation to be easy since the case is nice and large inside giving you plenty of room to move around.

 

Pros:

+Lots of room

+Looks great

+Quiet fans included

+Built-in SATA hard drive dock

+Keeps system cool

+Easy installation

+Room for liquid cooling

+Quiet fans

 

Cons:

-Side panel sucks in dust and needs to be cleaned often

-USB 3.0 only for motherboards with those headers, no adapter included

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