Thermaltake Element G Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

Physically, the Thermaltake Element G is the size of an average mid-tower case measuring 48 cm tall, 23 cm wide and 52.1 cm deep. By today's standards, one could say that the Element G is actually relatively small especially when compared to its bigger brother, the Element S (Which measures 50.5 cm tall, 23 cm wide, and 54 cm deep). Constructed out of black steel, electrogalvanized, cold-rolled coil -- otherwise known as 'SECC' for short -- as well as plastic, the Element G manages to give the conservatively sleek and stylish allure, yet not so much to the point that the case is tacky looking. On the right side panel, a sideways trapezoid shaped hole is cut out with a metal mesh piece filling in the gap. Underneath that, we can see the giant included 230 mm Touchcolor fan providing airflow over your core components such as the video card, and any other potential expansion cards. As a side note, all of the fans on the Thermaltake Element G are powered by a single molex connector directly with the exception of a fan on the left side panel. This fan receives power from a 'plug and play' metal contact strip, which then connects to its power source. This is a very nice addition since now you can remove the side panel without worrying about unplugging the power connector first.

The side panels are lined with the trademark red trim of Thermaltake's Element Series. The top as well as the left and right side panels of the case are made with black SECC. At the front, we have plastic along the edges, metal mesh for most of the front bezel, and three 5.25" drive bay covers at the top. The front drive bay covers are all located at the top; with the rest of the Element G's front covered with a single piece of metal mesh. The Thermaltake logo is located at the bottom. The metal mesh provides a good resistance-free path for air to enter the case, while maintaining good visual appeal. Construction-wise, the SECC side panels have a very sturdy feel to them and there wasn't overly excessive flex. Sharp edges were virtually non-existent and I couldn't find any places where one could potentially injure themselves while performing installation. Furthermore, what good is a case designed for gamers without a huge front intake fan? The Element G came to us shipped with a single 200mm Thermaltake Touchcolor fan with the ability to switch between three different LED colors (Green, Red, Blue) or even a "Tri-Color" mode. The case also comes with the option to swap out the single 200mm Touchcolor for two 120mm fans of your choice; screwless mounting brackets are provided should you choose go with the option of running two 120mm fan instead of its included single 200 mm.

The left side panel is physically identical as the right side panel -- without the addition of a 230 mm fan -- while retaining the trademark Element series red trim. This gives the chassis a very pleasing yet conservative look to it; with the red trim again reminding us that the case is designed with gamer appeal in mind. According to the retail packaging, this red trim material also provides a degree of sound proofing.

At the rear of the case, there is a single 120 mm fan located near the upper right. Unlike the other three fans in the case, this one is not equipped with any LED lights. This fan is placed in such a way that if you are using a tower style heatsink, any heat generated by it can be immediately removed from the case as implemented on many modern cases. Below that, we can see Thermaltake has given us the option of adding two additional 60 mm fans for more cooling capabilities. Underneath the I/O panel, we can see that the Element G features seven expansion slots, which should be more than enough for any full-featured motherboard. The top expansion slot is covered by a slotted panel held in by a single screw, while the other six below it are standard metal plates that you have to push out. It would be nice if Thermaltake included slotted panels like the uppermost expansion slot as the enthusiast is probably constantly changing parts. And once the standard metal plates are removed, there is nothing covering that expansion slot, should one leave it vacated.

At the very bottom of the Thermaltake Element G, we can see a cut-out for its power supply mounting location. For those running power supplies with the fan designed to be facing down, the screw holes do allow your PSU to be mounted right side up.

Along the top of the case, we can see the front panel connectors -- as well as the large silver colored power button, and the smaller black reset button. The buttons are designed in such a way that it would be quite difficult for one to press the reset button by accident.

On the left of the power button, we can see that there is a large fan speed controller knob. When turned counter-clockwise, fan speed will be reduced; while turning the knob in the opposite (clockwise) direction increases fan speed. Pushing down on the knob enables LED colors to change, and as mentioned above there are three LED color options. They are listed as follows: Blue (Default), Green, Red; to combine them you can have them on Tri-Color mode. You can also switch them off completely if you don't want the lights.

On the right side of the front panel connectors, we can see that Thermaltake has provided us with four USB 2.0 connectors. While four USB connectors are always nice, for a case designed with an enthusiast in mind, and created for gamers I would have gladly sacrificed two front USB ports in exchange for an e-SATA and/or Firewire port. This is a feature available on the Element S that is unfortunately unavailable in the Element G.

Between the four front USB ports, there are two 3.5mm audio ports for both your microphone and headset.

The front panel connectors were easy to install, and in particular Thermaltake opted to include both +,- and +,0,- connectors for certain front panel pin connectors. I had no troubles with my Asus P5Q-Pro -- although it would have been better if the + and - ends of the pins were labeled to avoid confusion.

Lastly, at the top of the case near the back, we have a single 200 mm exhaust fan (Also a Thermaltake Touchcolor) with the five programming modes/three color options as found on most other fans included with the Thermaltake Element G.

As we flip the case over on its side, we can see that the bottom of the chassis is relatively simple. There are four plastic feet attached to the bottom of the case; these feet do allow your case to slide freely on a hard surface. However, due to the design of the feet, I'm not too confident in the ability for these plastic feet to keep the case upright on a softer surfaces such as carpet.

On the right side of the bottom, there is a mesh for a bottom mounted PSU fan air intake. This is a nice addition in the sense that for such a power supply design fan orientation, airflow will not be blocked -- ensuring that any power supply installed will still be able to receive adequate airflow.

Lastly, the side panel mounting mechanism features the use of three thumbscrews for each side panel. This allows the Element G to have easy tool-less entry -- which in any case is definitely a welcome addition. The right side panel does have a hook included should one decide to lock up their case at, say, a LAN party, to discourage easy theft of components.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion