Description

I purchased an original Thermaltake Level 10 Gaming Station case (VL30001N1Z), which is the discontinued version of the current Level 10 Titanium Edition case (otherwise they are identical); it was my 'dream' case what can I say?

I finally got the disposable funds to do a great build like I had always wanted to do, and went for it.

I stress tested the system using prime95 for the CPU and 3DMark for the GPU , so all load temperatures are torture test temperatures for worst case scenario. Regular gaming loads are much cooler around 40 C on the GPU and mid 30's on the CPU Core temp without any overclocking.

The only difficulties I ran into with this build:

USB 2.0 Headers: The Corsair H80i GT Cooler utilizes both USB 2.0 Headers to power the pump, on the ASUS Sabertooth Mk1. Leaving me to purchase a USB 2.0 Y-Splitter jumper to enable the case front USB 2.0 ports.

GPU Clearance: Thermaltake's FAQ regarding the height of the GPU that can fit into this case is stated as 150mm, however that information was inaccurate as that is the entire width of the cases separate Motherboard compartment. The actual maximum is closer to 130mm, however having already purchased an ASUS Matrix GTX 980 ti, I was forced to address the clearance issue. The GPU I bought is 138mm in height, and I was really feeling those 8 mm.

Fortunately I was able to remove one of the internal air filters, and make a modification that allowed the heat pipe to clear so the Motherboard compartment would close. And while I hated having to modify the case, in the end it all worked out, though having stayed closer to reference on the GPU would have been, in hindsight, preferable.

Case Intake Fan: Ultimately, I substituted out the stock case intake fan for a Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition High Airflow case fan, as a response from Thermaltake indicated that the CFM was far lower than what was desirable. By upgrading to the Corsair AF140 my air flow shot up to 67.8 CFM and still maintained a whisper quiet 24 dBA.

And while I've yet to overclock the system, I can honestly say the thing is damn fast as is, though I'm looking forward to some conservative tweaking in the future.

Overall, the system is amazing, it's fast, reliable, quiet, and just... works. I haven't had a single issue after a month of active gaming use; it works really well, all the warranties are outstanding (most of them being 5 years up to lifetime), and the case is absolutely gorgeous to look at too.

I'm extremely happy with my first computer build.

Update 02/15/2016 NZXT UI01 Internal USB 2.0 Expansion port card was just installed. I was prompted to search for and found this solution to power both the cooler pump for the Corsair H80i GT and Command Link monitoring dongle, as well as the 2x USB 2.0 case front port leads. And though other solutions exist, I thought this solution was the most optimal The adhesive Velcro base was attached just next to the motherboard and the upper cable port for mounting the port card. It looks both clean, and does a great job providing an internal expansion for my USB 2.0's. Took all of 1 minute to install and a few more minutes to do some cable management.

Part Reviews

CPU

Outstanding CPU... Skylake was the right choice for my build.

CPU Cooler

Great cooling system, quality construction, was everything I expected this cooler to be and more. Keeps my system very cool.

Motherboard

I had toyed with going for a fancy ASUS ROG Motherboard, but the more I thought it over, and was drawn in by that fantastic 5 year Warranty on the Sabertooth. In hindsight I have ZERO REGRETS, this board is amazing, and built like a tank. I absolutely love it, and will only buy these types of boards in the future. Just a phenomenal choice for a casual enthusiast looking for a rock solid board.

Memory

Great RAM, quality heat sink construction, and limited lifetime warranty.

Storage

When you stop noticing something is there, despite it loading every game you play, you know you have something really good in your system. That's how I feel about the 850 EVO SSD's - They do exactly what they are supposed to, and I'm very pleased with their performance and reliability.

Storage

This thing is BLAZING fast. I can barely stand to sit in front of an older computer with the OS on a traditional HDD. This M.2 SSD will spoil you, and you'll never be the same computer user again when you boot from this NVMe Drive. Absolutely worth the money... every single penny!

Storage

Don't skimp.. skip the 1TB and get the 2TB (or higher) because it has the additional stabilizer tech from Western Digital isn't included on the 1TB Black Series drives. And for a storage drive on a gaming rig, I want something that's fast and will last. I definitely got that with the 2TB Black Series.

Video Card

ASUS makes a lot of claims about this GPU... they are all true. You may have your personal preferences for a certain manufacturer, and that's fine, but this card will definitely earn anyone's respect. This card will definitely set a benchmark among GTX 980 ti cards. And I'm really happy with it.

Case

Back in 2009 when the original Level 10 was introduced, and interest in the one off exposition case exploded, it was an absolute 5 star case. It won several awards, and there are just so many amazing things to say about the case. But that was 7 years ago now, and graphics cards are growing larger. And in a nut shell that is why this case only gets a 4 out of 5 star; because you are very limited to sub 130mm GPU Card heights or the MB Compartment will not close! Also EATX is completely out of the question... And while I love my own Level 10 Gaming Station, the reality is, that unless you are dying to have a piece of modern tech art doubling as your gaming computer, you're better off with a current full tower ATX designed to support all the current tech out there from 240mm closed system cooling Radiators, to EATX, to these massive off-reference water cooled GPU's; Companies are out there that have amazing cases for 1/10th the price.

But at the end of the day, there'll never be another case like this - so it's definitely something special.

Power Supply

Love it, definitely in my opinion the 'Goldie Locks' output range of the digital power supplies.

Optical Drive

Superb value for a Blu-Ray player when you have any plans to watch anything via your computer, instead of having to have a separate Blu-Ray capable device.

Operating System

Very pleased with Win 10, however don't buy this version. Get the USB version instead. So you can finish uploading your OS in like 7 minutes, and didn't have to waste your time copying the disc contents onto your own USB drive because you didn't know any better.

Comments

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

I smell a feature!!!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Woot Woot EVE! +1 just for that, among other things.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice! No denying it is a beautiful, albeit very expensive case, with an amazing build to go along with it. Although many would disagree, I think it is always nice to have an optical drive just in case. Great job!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh my, someone actually got that super expensive case for once.

I am compelled to upvote just for that and your other generally good part choices.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

That GPU looks a beast... But does it really outperform the 980ti Strix?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Matrix vs Strix

Yes it does outperform, but marginally, so if price is a consideration then the Strix is totally a contender. But what you get with the Matrix Platinum is that massive 10mm heat pipe and superior air cooling.

I was initially considering a Strix, however due to space limitations and the fact that the Strix is such a MASSIVE card, it simply wouldn't fit no matter what I might try, the case just can't hold it.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks... I am considering buy the 980ti Strix, but then the Matrix came out.. And I am still like, should I wait, does the matrix worth the 100€ more... etc etc

Thanks dude

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Just watched the video and... Well, 100€ is a lot for just 1 or 2 frames more...

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't disagree... but then 10MM HEAT PIPE MONSTER RAWRRRRR! :P

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

the strix also have DirectCU III with 10mm Dual Heatpipes :P

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

That case costs more than my entire system . But right now that case looks soooooo appealing to me im tempted to buy it .......

*anyway , good build.

(but can it run minesweeper ?)

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I admire the push pull setup you have with the radiator. =]

You could have bought an R9 fury X 4gigs of HBM =]

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Can't wait to get my parts so I can actually start building in this case. I already have the level 10 but just been saving up to get parts.

  • 46 months ago
  • 0 points

Holy crap, that case is beautiful.

Omigod, that graphics card.

$H!T, YOUR SET UP is frickin' sick.

+1

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