SUPPLIED BY: Thermaltake
PRODUCT: Chaser A71 Full Tower Case
PROD LINK: Chaser A71 Product Page
PRICE: $129.99 @ NewEgg
Price is at the time of testing!
Let’s do drives next. Unlike the GRone, which is entirely tool-free save for SSD mounting, you must screw all your drives to these caddies. Four of the six 3.5″ mounting holes on each have silicone washers to help reduce vibration noise while the two front most holes have nothing and are nigh unusable anyway due to clearance issues.
The tool-free 5.25″ bays work the same way as Corsair’s bigger cases do, like the 760T. Slide the drive in and they click into place to lock. Press the blue tab to release.
Now… give me half an hour to cable this thing and we’ll see where we end up.
Wow… that’s a lot of cables. And yes, I am going to deduct points for those in cable capacitors now. They are a major hassle in this case, which really is tight on space for all these wires. But most of them I could work around. It was the CPU cable that proved the biggest nightmare. The capacitor at the end of the cable insisted on arcing the cable upwards right into the top 200mm fan. I had to leave some slack and bend the cable down hard to keep it from doing that.
Let’s put the side panel back on now. Ergh… can’t… get it… to grab. Wait, let me lay the whole thing down and put my weight on it. Ah, there we go. Thermaltake, this ain’t cool. I should not have to work so hard to get the side panel on. At least, make it so the side panel has a lip that grabs at the front only, like the GRone. This “slide to latch” stuff isn’t working for me here. There’s just not enough space to get the side panel back on easily as it is now configured, and I can’t see any other way to make it any easier. I have too many stiff EVGA cables to handle.
I also don’t care for the Molex power connection to the top panel docking bay. This means I now need to run one more power cable because that’s the only thing in this build that requires a Molex. Fortunately, I’m a crypto miner and an electronics tech. All of my USB risers I buy for mining come with SATA power adapters, and I always have some extras left over when I build a mining rig. It wouldn’t be difficult to splice one of those in and omit the Molex connector. While I’m at it, I might as well sleeve it in black.
There we have it – everything is installed and ready. I’ll add the extra bottom fan if I need it, though it looks like I no longer have room anyway. Let’s close things up and see if the CPU cooler fits.
Ooh… just barely. I had to apply pressure to get this panel on, too.
The reason why can be seen here… I’ve got two heatpipes on the CPU cooler just pushing ever so slightly on the frame for the intake fan. But the side panel is on, and I’m good to go.
Gotta say this case does make for a good looking build. It’s crammed full, but it looks to be worth it.
Just a quick look at the back panel before firing things up.
And we come to the end with a quick BIOS shot to show you what speed the fans are running at. Chassis fan 1 is the rear 120mm exhaust, chassis fan 2 is the side panel 200mm, and power fan 1 is the top panel 200mm. The front panel fan is attached to the power fan 2 header, which has no monitoring functionality.
But what about keeping the video card cool? Does it do that better than the GRone? In short, hell yes it does. The 280X likes to stay around 80 degrees on auto fan, and it still does now, but it doesn’t run its fans up as fast as it used to. The build, in general, is much quieter than the GRone under full fannage. It’s not all that quiet, but it serves the purpose I originally had in mind for it. The GRone was too loud in turbo fan mode… this one is actually tolerable.
Good thing, too… I can’t slow my fans down anymore unless I buy a fan controller. Or use Asus’ Q-Fan.