This review is for those who want a PC case that looks like a modified PC cases.
The following pages are going to take a closer look at Thermaltake's Soprano PC case.
This PC case comes in two versions and colours: with or without the transparent
X Side Panel Window, in black or silver. We had the opportunity to test the
Black Soprano with the transparent panel.
The Soprano VB1000BWS is very striking, mainly due to the wavy front door
and the X type transparent panel. However, one thing that is annoying is how
easily fingerprints show up on the case, although TT provides a lens cloth to
clean them with.
Enclosed dust cloth....
|| Transparent X type side panel
||Black or Silver
||495 x 210 x 7480 mm
||120x120x25 mm, 1400rpm, 21dBA
|120x120x25 mm, 1400rpm, 21dBA
||90x90x25 mm, 1800rpm, 21dBA
||0.8 mm SECC
||4 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5"
||Micro ATX , Standard ATX
||High efficiency ventilation: Dual 12cm silent fan in front & rear, 9cm fan on side panel
|Transparent side panel
|Tool - Free when installing 5.25" & 3.5" device
|Dual USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 Firewire, Audio & Speaker ports
|Highly flexible "Silent Purepower supply" unit supports PS/II for PC case (optional)
Now that we've covered the basics, let's move on to the detailed analysis of
the features and case accessories.
The Soprano VB1000BWS is based on the Tsunami case, though the Soprano is a
little simpler. The Soprano has many features that make it unique, among them
the ability to lock the front door and the side panel.
Let's look all these features, one by one
- Piano Coating Front Door. The front panel door has a piano
style finish and is very impressive.
- Audio and Speaker. There are two audio ports at top of the
case (microphone and speakers), quite a handy inclusion.
- Rear Exhaust Fan. A 12 cm cooling fan is installed in the
- Front Fan. A 12 cm cooling fan is installed in the front
of the case.
- Side Panel Fan. A 9 cm cooling fan is installed on the transparent
- USB 2.0. Dual USB 2.0 ports at the top of the case, next
to the Audio ports.
- IEEE 1394. The IEEE 1394 firewire slot is also at the top
of the case, next to the USB 2.0 ports.
Apart from these basic features, the Soprano also offers:
- A Transparent X side panel, enabling a clear view of the
interior. The panel locks.
- Tool Free Installation when installing 5.25" & 3.5" devices,
with plastic holdings and a patented sliding rail design reducing installation
time to a minimum.
- Thumb-screws are used for convenience when opening the Side
- EMI Protection spring which applies pressure to the side
panel for perfect fit.
- Screwless slots, for easy installation of PCI peripheral
- Front Door, 2 way open, with 3-way key lock.
- Dust Filter, which is behind the second front door.
- Midi tower.
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
3. A Closer Look
As we previously said, the Soprano comes in two versions, Black
or Silver and with or without the transparent X Side Panel. We received the
Black version with the transparent Panel, pictured below.
The Soprano VB1000BWS weighs about 9.4kg and its dimensions are 495 x 210 x 7480 mm.
On the top of the case you will find an IEEE1394 Firewire port, two USB 2.0
ports, and microphone and speaker ports.
On the front panel, you will find 4 x 5.25" and 2 x 3.5" drive bays. This panel
also houses the Power and Reset buttons, as well as two activity LEDs, one for
HDD and the other for power. The front panel is also 3 way lockable.
The side panel has an interesting design, which offers an excellent
view at the inside of the case. It is also lockable and equipped with a cooling
The rear of the case features the rear exhaust fan (120mm). We
can also see the motherboard I/O slots, expansion slots and the power supply
Having concluded with the exterior of the case, let us now move
on and cover the interior as well as installation procedure.
4. Inside the Soprano
The interior of the Soprano is rather simple. The case contains two 120mm fans (one at the rear and one in the front) and a 90mm fan on the Side Panel.
|The orange colored rear fan...
The front panel fan has a washable dust filter, which can be removed
after the second front panel has been taken off. It is strongly recommended
that the dust filter be cleaned frequently to avoid any loss in ventilation
|the washable dust filter...
A classic orientation for the Hard Discs, however it might be difficult to
install HDDs, if you have an SLI system, due to the limited space between the
VGA cards and the HDDs.
|the HDD case...
||the HDD is too close to the VGA card...
A convenient feature is the locking mechanism for expansion cards
which doesn't require a screwdriver.
|Screwless slots for easy assembling...
Unfortunately, the top panel USB 2.0, FireWire and Audio connection wiring, requires some fiddling around
when connectiing to the motherboard, because the connectors are separated into single wires. You have to painstakingly locate and connect each pin, one by one.
|USB 2.0, FireWire, Audio connectors...
Another feature on the Soprano case is the chassis security intrusion detector, which alerts the user when the side panel opens by accident, preventing any damage that might occur. This intrusion detector
on the left of the case, between the side panel and the case, and is a small switch that closes when the side panel is installed.
|chassis intrusion detector...
Installation is quite simple, as with most PC cases, so we will only cover the important parts here.
After screwing the motherboard and Power Supply in place and installing the VGA card, we next mount the HDDs.
|Tool-free HDD installation...
Installation of the Hard Discs is tool-free. the only thing we had to do was to apply a plastic lock on the side of the HDD bay and turn the green switch to lock it into position.
Installation of 5.25" devices is also tool-free, thanks to the sliding guide-rail design.
|Sliding guide-rail design for easy 5.25'' devices installation...
Other than that, the rest of the installation process is straightforward and in most cases tool-free. As we mentioned previously in this review, the HDD layout is not the best and longer PCI cards such as SLI VGA cards can make things quite cramped.
|Two SLI cards will fit, but you might face problems with cables...
Well, that's about it. We managed to assemble our 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 tool-free strategy is adhered too for almost all components in this case.
Nowadays, PC case modding is widespread with many enthusiasts, so the PC case market is continually producing cases of all types and styles, especially fancy ones with lots of lights and extravagant gadgets. What is it then that makes the Tt Soprano case so special? It is a stylish case with a lot of conveniences and can take further modifications.
The tool-free strategy is one of the primary merits of this case. There's almost no requirement for screwdrivers when assembling or adding components to the case. However, the limited amount of space between a HD drive in the HDD bay and any longer PCI cards is a problem. The Firewire, USB 2.0 and Audio connections at the top of the case are very handy and convenient.
The case is not equipped with any fancy features. But it is eye catching with its Piano style look and finish. There's also the impressive lockable, Transparent Side Panel. Finally, with a couple of fancy LED fans and an equally fancy CPU cooler, the outcome can be quite spectacular.
At the time of this review, the price of the Soprano case was US$75.95 at pricegrabber.com, which is a very reasonable price and makes it an attractive purchase.