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Appeared on: Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Thermaltake Swing VB6000BWS


1. Introduction

This review could start with the following: "To all PC moding enthusiasts..." So, the pages to follow are dedicated to a closer look at TT's new PC case release, the "Swing", from the VB6000 Middle Tower Series, a new PC case appealing entirely to moding enthusiasts. This new case comes in two colors, the Black AKA VB6000BWS one, and the Silver VB6000SWS version. We received the Black Swing model and set ourselves to looking into it as fast as we could Here's what we've got...

The new Swing VB6000BWS model is simplicity in itself. It has neither extravagant illuminated indications nor anything of the like. Of course the end user is free to further mod the case and give it the "touch" that suits his needs. However, TT has provided the case with a reflection-capable, streamline design front panel, that catches the eye at first sight. The "Piano coating" as described by TT, covers the entire front face and it is pretty impressive. The rest of the outer view remains typical, with the exception of the transparent Side Panel which allows a direct view of the inner system. With proper lighting the outcome is really impressive, a fact we will be able to come up with, further on in this review.

- Specifications

P/N VB6000BWS
Case Type Middle Tower
Color
Black
Net Weight 7.65kg
Dimension (H*W*D) 430 x 190 x 500 mm
Power Supply
N/A
Cooling System Front
(intake)
120x120x25 mm, 1300rpm, 17dBA (optional)
Rear
(exhaust)
120x120x25 mm, 1300rpm, 17dBA
Material Chassis:0.8 mm SECC
Drive Bays 10 External 4 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5"
Internal
4 x3.5"
Expansion Slots 7
Motherboards
Micro ATX , Standard ATX
Features High efficiency ventilation: 12cm silent fan in rear
Transparent side panel
Tool - Free when installing 5.25" & 3.5" device
Dual USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 Firewire, Audio & Speaker ports
Stylish streamline form design
Thumb-screws for easy opening side panel
EMI protection spring

Now that we've covered the basics, let us continue with a detailed analysis of the features and case accessories while proceeding with the rest of the review.


2. Features

The fact may be that the Tt Swing is based on simplicity when it comes to its design, yet as far as its features are concerned, the Tt has come up with some really interesting additions to its case, additions that will satisfy any potential buyer. Being light years ahead from the default stock cases people are used to procuring along with a new retail PC buy, Swing's features make up a good reason to render this case one of the primary targets in the shopping list of the consumer who is really a fan of moding.

Now let us have a look at these features, one by one...

- Piano Coating Front panel. By reflecting what is all around it like a grand piano, the Front Panel, as discussed above, offers a pretty impressive look to the case.

- Audio and Speaker. There are two ports on top of the case, the Audio and the Speaker ones, a quite handy addition...

- 12025 Fan. A 12 cm cooling fan is installed in the rear (exhaust) escorted by a fan holder placed at the front (intake) plans to ensure low operating temperatures.

- IEEE 1394. The IEEE 1394 firewire slot in the front panel resides next to the Audio/Speaker and USB ports and it is more than welcome.

- USB 2.0. Front panel Dual USB 2.0 ports.

Apart from these basic features, the Swing also offers:

- A Transparent side panel, enabling a straight clear view of the interior. With proper illumination and moding, it should look quite impressive by the end of the day.

- Tool Free Installation when installing 5.25" & 3.5" devices, with the aid of sliders adjustable to them, and a patented sliding rail design, will render any tools unnecessary, reducing thus installation time to minimum.

- Thumb-screws are featured to exclude any inconvenience while opening the Side Panel, and that means screwing as well as unscrewing it, a task usually undertaken when a new device is being installed.

- EMI Protection spring which applies certain pressure on the side panel for perfect fit.

- Midi tower

"Midi Tower? Will all my stuff fit?"

It is an indisputable fact that the TT "Swing" is a really versatile case, with more than enough extra bays and room to cover every need should it occur, not to mention the fact that it is an SLI enabled motherboard, as is the case in this review.The thought that it can displace a full tower case must never cross your mind as this is not what the Swing has been designed for. But it sure does its job.

Here you can clearly discern the 4 x 5.25" and 2 x 3.5" drive bays... notice the marble floor pattern reflected on the "Piano coating"...pretty impressive...

In addition to the Exterior drive bays, the Swing also holds 4 x3.5" Internal drive bays.

Quite a handful of features, but what about the case itself? Moving on to the next page, we will see a more detailed view of the case exterior and-mainly-interior environment.


3. A Closer Look

As we have already mentioned, the Swing VB6000WS (Side Window), comes in two versions; a black and a silver one. We received the Black colored case, and we do believe it is the most impressive one, in the hope that most you will agree with our taste.

The VB6000BWS weighs about 7.65kg and its dimensions are 43 x 19 x 50 cm.

In the front panel one will find 4 x 5.25" and 2 x 3.5" drive bays, along with an IEEE1394 Firewire port, two USB 2.0 ports, and an Audio and a Speaker port.

Unfortunately, our camera could help being trapped in the "Piano Coating effect" as we had been working on the front panel ports photo...

The front panel also hosts the two system buttons, the traditional Power and Reset Button, as well as the two activity leds, namely the HDD and Power led.

a rather simple button layout, nothing extra here...

Other than the above, the Front panel is simple with a streamline design and a Piano coating as we discussed earlier in this review.

a rather simple button layout, nothing extra here...

The side panel has a transparent window, which offers a good look of the inner parts of the case.

The side panel and the inner parts of the case as they came in our labs...

On that panel, we can find a special air ventilation, which can be used for extra temperature management.

The extra ventilation system, though it holds no brackets for an extra inner fan ...

The rear side of the case holds the rear exhaust system (120mm fan), the motherboard slots along with expansion slots and the power supply slot.

the rear view of the Swing Case...

Having concluded with the exterior part of the case, let us now move on to cover the inner side of the Swing as well as its installation.


4. Inside the Swing

The interior of the Swing case is rather simple though sophisticated, much alike the case as a whole. By default, the case contains a 120mm rear (exhaust) fan, while it has the fan holders for an extra 120mm front fan (optional) which we suggest be used for maximum ventilation performance.

The orange colored rear fan...

The front panel fan, as it happens with most cases, has a washable dust filter, which can be removed after the front panel has been taken away. It is strongly recommended that the dust filer be attended frequently to avoid losses in ventilation performance.

a close up of the dust filter...

An interesting differentiation from the rest market cases is the orientation of the Hard Disc Drives, as the HDD rear faces the transparent side panel. This way more space is now available to facilitate supply cables and this happens due to the fact that as it has been noted many users tend to change midi cases to full ones because of SLI problems (GPU cards won't fit).

The HDD case...

The next important feature are the expansion slots, which render any current or future addition (PCI and such) tooless, requiring a small amount of effort and time from the part of the user.

Screwless slots for easy assembling

Last, yet not least come the front panel slots (USB 2.0, FireWire, Audio etc.) which are easily connected with the motherboard as seen in the picture below..

Before we go off to the next page and the installation, let us have a quick look at an extra function of the Swing case. The Security chassis intrusion detector, which alerts the user when the side panel gets open by accident, preventing thus any damage that might occur. This intrusion detector resides at the back of the case, and it is a small button-like piece of plastic that once alleviated from the pressure applied to it by the side panel, alerts the user.

This switch may become irritating, especially to power users who constantly open the case for additional installations. Thus, the intrusion switch can be disabled. All one has to do, is simply not plug it in the motherboard.


5. Installation

Installation is rather simple, as with most PC cases, so we will only cover the important parts here.

After screwing the motherboard in the Swing case and having put the Power Supply in place, we go off to the HDD drives.

The HDD slots and the sliding rail devices...

Again, the installation of the HDD drives is tooless, and all that is needed is the installation of the plastic holdings to the HDD drives in order to slide the railings into the HDD slots. As one can see in the above picture, the plastic holdings are by default located in the HDD installation area, which must be removed and put on the drives.

the holes in the module might limit the airflow...

One minor drawback the user should pay attention to are the fan holdings at the front side of the panel, having to do with ventilation. The HDD loading module does not have large enough "holes" on it, so the airflow might be somehow limited.

Other than that, the rest of the installation is simple and not at all time consuming, as the procedure is an entirely tooless one. As discussed earlier in this review, the HDD orientation is perfect (in space management terms) and will help a lot with SLI enabled motherboards and of course SLI graphic card owners.

Two SLI cards will fit right in, without any cable problems...

After all the necessary parts have been assembled, we turn the PC on and take a look at the results.

Nice blue like view of the inner part of the Case.. clicking on this image will get you to a larger version of it...

Well, that's about it. We managed to assemble the PC in less than an hour, all parts included, and we had it up and working in no time. A really enjoyable task since the tooless philosophy is followed with almost all parts of this case.

During the installation process we used the following parts:

ASUS A8N SLI Premium
Thermaltake PureStation 520W PSU
AOpen 7800GTX (x2)
Corsair XMS TwinX 1024-3200XL RAM
AMD 3800+
Thermalright XP90c
WD800JD 80GB 7200RPM


6. Summary

Let us face it, PC case moding is one of the most widespread hobbies with the moding enthusiast's community, so the PC case market is overwhelmed with cases of all types, but mostly with fancy ones, lots of lights and extravagant gadgets, all nice and beautifully in the eye.What is then so special about the Tt Swing case? Well, it is as simple as this: It is just a fancy case with user friendly characteristics.

The tooless pattern is one of the primary merits of this case. Almost no implementation of screwdrivers is needed in order to complete the task. The HDD orientation is another plus with the Swing case. More space is available and no cost in terms of expansion slots/ drive bays. Also, the extra Firewire, USB 2.0, Audio & Speaker inputs are always welcome, and the Swing offers them in the front panel, for main use and fast access.

But the case is not only equipped with features. It is also an eye catching one, that will please most of the potential buyers. The "Piano coating" front panel is surely a beautiful sight. On top of that, the stylish streamline panel gives a touch of design to the Swing. And the most important part is none other than the Transparent Side Panel. With the appropriate lighting or just the appropriate cooler, as in this case (the one reviewed), the outcome is really nice.

Let us get back to the features though. The airflow provided is quite sufficient and more than enough for the usual needs of the average user. As discussed earlier, it might be considered limited only to the fact that the HDD module does not have sufficiently big enough "holes" for the air to flow, from the front to the back. Other than that, we did not notice anything to be considered a flaw.

While the Swing case was being tested, its price was approximately to $56 in the e-market, which is rather reasonable and made it an attractive purchase.



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