Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
On the outside, the V9 Black Edition (From here on referred to as the V9 Black) shares a shocking resemblance to the Antec Nine Hundred. And understandably so, as the Nine Hundred is one of the most well rounded mid tower gaming cases available. Measuring 46.2cm tall, 20.8cm wide and 48.5cm deep, the V9 Black is a decent size case. One problem I can see right now is that with only 20.8cm of width, there might be some issues with the side panel fan interfering with the installation of some taller tower style heatsinks such as the Noctua NH-U12P, or the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. Like most cases on the market nowadays, the V9 Black is constructed out of black SECC (steel, electrogalvanized, cold-rolled coil) and plastic. Its primary SECC construction gives the V9 Black a cross between aggressive looking gamer cases, and conservative looking mainstream cases. The front of the case features four 5.25" drive bays, as well as two externally accessible 3.5" drive bays. This is excellent for those who still want to install a floppy disk reader or a 3.5" internal card reader. At the very bottom of the case, just behind the Thermaltake logo, is a 120mm fan with red LEDs providing intake airflow via the front panel; this fan is powered by a single Molex power connector (As are all other fans in the V9 Black). While we are here, the front panel construction is mostly composed of plastic mesh. Each of the 5.25" and 3.5" drive bay covers feature a foam dust filter. The front construction of the case is again black colored metal mesh, with holes for easy ventilation and low air resistance intake.
Like the rest of the chassis, the V9 Black's side panels are constructed out of SECC that matches the rest of the case. Unlike the regular Thermaltake V9, the V9 Black features a large 230mm side fan instead of a right side window. Unlike the front intake fan, this one is not LED lit. This fan pushes air into the case and over the core components of your system, including parts such as the video card, memory, chipset and any other cards you may have installed in the expansion slots. This fan is, what I think, an important component of a gaming case. With the graphics card being such a hot running component, it really helps when you have a huge 230mm fan pushing fresh air towards it. However, while this increases the magnitude of airflow into the case, it will distract regular airflow patterns from front to back as well as case air pressure. Build quality wise, this is where I think there needs to be some improvement as the side panels are very prone to bending and denting.
We can see that the opposite side panel is pretty much identical to the right side panel, save for the 230mm fan. There are holes punched out on the top right and bottom left corners for air ventilation. At the top of the case, Thermaltake has included one 230mm exhaust fan. This fan is placed in a position that is valuable in such that the heat generated from your system can easily be exhausted out of the chassis -- hot air tends to rise toward the top of the case. With this fan at the top, as soon as that hot air reaches the top it will be immediately pulled out. On the exterior, the fan is again covered by mesh covers that allow air to be exhausted with reduced resistance.
Toward the rear of the case, at the very top, we find two holes for water cooling tubes -- one for inlet, and one for outlet. This is a nice addition to a gamer oriented case, as many enthusiasts will be evoking the use of water cooling. One glaring disadvantage that I found right away is that these holes are not exactly wide enough to fit water cooling tubes with a larger diameter. And it would have been nice for Thermaltake to make these covers out of rubber instead of plastic. Below that, we have a single 120mm exhaust fan. Like the other two 230mm fans in this case, the 120mm exhaust fan at the rear of the V9 Black is not LED lit. This fan is placed in a position that, if you are using a tower style heatsink such as the Noctua NH-U12P or the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme in a front to back configuration, the heat drawn away from your CPU by these heatsinks will be dissipated into the air and removed from the case interior. To the left of the fan, we can see the standard I/O panel. Below the standard I/O panel are seven expansion slots, which is sufficient to compliment all ATX motherboards. What I had hoped Thermaltake would include are replaceable expansion slot covers, but instead the V9 Black features the cheaper punch out plates. One obvious problem with this is that if your system configuration changes, and you happen to leave an expansion slot that's previously used vacated, there will be a hole there. Lastly, at the very bottom of the case is the power supply mounting location.
What we have at the very top of the case, just in front of the 230mm top exhaust fan, are the front panel connectors. Thermaltake has opted for two USB 2.0 ports, as well as front panel headphone and microphone output/input jacks in this location. It would have been nice for eSATA or Firewire to be featured, as those two are basically standard in many cases on the market today. The front panel connectors were relatively easy to install; but like the Thermaltake Element G, the front panel connector pins were not labeled positive or negative. In future implementations, it would be nice for the front panel connectors to be labeled for more user friendliness.
As we flip the V9 Black over on its side to examine the bottom, on the very right is a dust filter for the bottom mounted power supply, as well as four plastic feet. This is a relatively standard setup; but some improvements could be made to its feet by possibly making them rubberized to prevent the case from sliding easily around on the desk.
Lastly, the side panel mounting system utilizes a total of four thumbscrews (Two for each side) to secure the side panels in place. In today's chassis design, thumbscrews are basically standard for side panel mounting, so it is nice to see Thermaltake keeping it up. What the V9 Black lacks though, is a locking mechanism -- just in case your computer is taken to a LAN party.
1. Introduction, Packaging
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion