Thermaltake Element Q Review (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion


As asserted earlier, installation was quite simple, and generally very straightforward. First, I removed the pre-installed power supply to obtain some additional space during installation of my Zotac H55-ITX motherboard. I thought making an Intel Core i3 based build in this little system would make pretty good bragging rights, haha. The mounting system of the motherboard consists of the same raised holes as the internal 3.5" drive installation system to act as integrated risers for the motherboard, so the motherboard doesn't touch the bare bottom of the tray and wreak havoc. I installed the CPU, heatsink, and RAM onto the motherboard prior to mounting it into the chassis to maximize efficiency.


Next up, I installed my internal 5.25" DVD burner, and connected the Serial ATA connector to the motherboard before securing it to the chassis. After installing the DVD drive, I attached the rails onto my 3.5" SATA hard drive, and slid it onto the rail mount system in the Thermaltake Element Q, and secured it from the top as directed using the included screws. Undoubtedly, I connected both the data and power cables before doing so, otherwise it would have been difficult to do so after installation. Finally, I took the power supply I have removed earlier, placed it back into where it belongs, secured it in the same way it came in and presto -- I have the whole Mini-ITX system built and ready to go! The only problem I have experienced with the installation process was that the stock Intel 1156 heatsink was actually a tad taller than the space given. That makes the bottom of the power supply touching the top the heatsink's top cover. Generally speaking, for aftermarket cooling, you will need a lower profile heatsink than the Intel stock cooler -- otherwise you will run into clearance problems. It would have been nice to see just a bit more space between the power supply and the motherboard, but a slimmer heatsink can be easily found and purchased at most local computer stores.


With everything installed, the exterior looks about the same as it was before, except with some added weight, and of course any externally accessible drives you've installed. After plugging in the power, I was ready to power this little powerhouse up. I hooked it up to my 42" LCD TV and watched the system come to life as I pressed the power button on the right hand side. The Thermaltake Element Q made a pretty darn nice looking Mini-ITX HTPC build, and fits right into my living room for a quiet, compact, and low power consumption system.


Looking back at all the features implemented into this case, there is no doubt that this is another solid offering from Thermaltake. From its great design (Although this is a bit subjective, but I certainly like it!), solid construction, included 220W power supply, and refinement options such as the included optional plastic feet, there is quite a bit to like about the Element Q! Smart design and utilization of interior room makes the Thermaltake Element Q a very well thought out chassis. Designed with elements inspired from the rest of the Element line -- no pun intended -- the Thermaltake Element Q is clearly a very good Mini-ITX case. That's not to mention its retail MSRP of only $79.99 USD, and retailing for $10 to $20 off the MSRP at press time, the Element Q also offers excellent bang for your buck! A few downsides comes down aspects such as limited clearance room between the CPU socket and power supply, as well as lack of fan installation options to further enhance airflow. It would have been nice to see some thumbscrews, lighter construction, and tool-free installation accessories to truly take it up a notch in refinement in the mITX category of products. But these are just relatively small things. The Thermaltake Element Q is a brilliant product that definitely raises the bar on the whole Mini-ITX category of cases!


Special thanks to Ramsom over at Thermaltake for making this review possible.

APH:Renewal Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
9/10 means Excellent product with very minor drawbacks that does not affect the overall product.
8/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 8.1/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.

The Thermaltake Element Q is a well thought out Mini-ITX chassis that combines both great looks and great build quality.

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