ThermalTake SopranoRS 101 Case

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
February 5, 2008
Views
33121
ThermalTake SopranoRS 101 Case
The Thermaltake SopranoRS 101 is a great looking case. Bathed in a piano black glossy finish, you can expect to turn heads when using this chassis.

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Page 1
Intro:

Thermaltake is a company that is very well known to the enthusiast computer builder community. They provide many great products including a line of heavy (as in weight) power supplies, modding, cooling, and cases. ThermalTake was founded in 1999 and has really grown every since. They have always put out good looking products and the SopranoRS 101 is no different. Let's take a closer look.

Packaging:

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No review of mine would be complete without the all important box! Actually, this section is important since proper packaging is required if you don't want your case to be damaged on arrival. As you can see, the case is properly packed and the box survived the trip.

Specs:

Code

Model                VG7000BWS
Case Type            Middle Tower
Side Panel           Transparent window
Net Weight           6.19 kg / 13.65 lb
Dimension (H*W*D)    440.0 x 200.0 x 500.0 mm
                     (17.3 x 7.9 x 19.7 inch)
Cooling System       Front (Intake) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm (optional)
                     Rear (Exhaust) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm, 1300rpm, 17dBA
Drive Bays
- Accessible         11
- Hidden             4 x 5.25’’, 2 x 3.5’’
                     5 x 3.5’’
Material             SECC
Color                Black
Expansion Slots      7
Motherboards         Micro ATX , Standard ATX
Container Load       20’-396, 40’-839, 40’HQ-935


Basically we are looking at a mid tower case with a side window and a standard rear exhaust fan. There is a front intake filter as well. It may stop some dust, but it will get clogged fast.

Parts:

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Thermaltake includes a extender shroud for the window vent as well as some basic hardware for securing the board and components in the case. Don't worry, aside from the motherboard and fans, the case is screwless.

Exterior:

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The first thing you notice about the SopranoRS 101 is the great piano black finish on the front. The problem with a finish like this is that any spec of dust will be visible very fast. There are chrome accents on the front and combined they form a nice face. The other exterior panels of the case are finished with a matte black paint which is common. A matte finish should hold up better than the high gloss piano black finish. This is why only the front features the great looking paint job.

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The case has a very functional window. It has vents built in with screw holes ready for two fans. You can choose between 80-120mm on each of them which is a nice feature. One thing about this case is that the fan choice is all over. You aren't limited to only one size fan. The window also has an etched Thermaltake logo. No offense to Thermaltake, but the window doesn't need a logo etched into it. There is already enough obstruction from the vents. You can clearly see a duct in the window to provide fresh air to the CPU. This is easily removable (I had to since my fan doesn't fit with it on).

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The back of the case is pretty standard except that you should notice the 120mm fan can be replaced with an 80mm or 92mm since the screw holes are there. Using 120mm fans are a dream since they move more air with less noise. The back contains a I/O plate that always needs to be removed. It was the type that is built into the back and you have to snap it off. The PCI shields are made the same way. I would much rather have regular inserts that you don't need to snap off. I got cut on a few of those type of things, but not this one.

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And we are back to the front of case. The SopranoRS 101 has a really nice high glass finish. The middle of the front contains the chrome accent and the top logo is silver as well as the bottom ThermalTake logo. You can see the vents for increased airflow through the front. Many cases don't provide venting through the front and instead just let the opening on the bottom take care of the work. I like this approach much better. There are two clear dots to let the LEDs shine through.

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The entire front of the case opens to more high gloss finishing. You can see that the case provides four 5.25" drives and two 3.5" external drives. This is great for a mid tower case. Notice the line of vents that feed air to the intake fan (if you purchase one). These vents also direct air to the hard drive array in the case. You can easily pop the front off and get to the filter.

The case doesn't lock in by using molded plastic. It actually uses magnets to hold the door in place when it is closed. If you aren't an enthusiast and you are reading this, don't worry, these small magnets won't do anything adverse to the computer.

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The other side of the case hides the USB and audio connections. No firewire option exists on this case, but since I never used firewire at home, I bet most people won't have a problem with this.

Now let's move on to the interior of the case.
Page 2
Interior:

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Most cases are fairly generic and the inside of the SopranoRS 101 is hardly different. ATX is a standard and the case needs to follow specifications, this is why they all look the same inside. You need to dig deeper and see what accents they offer. You can see the drive arrays totaling four 5.25" and seven 3.5" drives.

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The case comes with a Thermaltake 120mm fan that is installed in the back for exhaust. This is a nice touch from Thermaltake to include the fan, but make sure you have an intake fan as well if your system produces heat like mine does.

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Here are the accents that I was talking about. The case is primarily screwless and it accomplishes this by using these nifty locking mechanisms. They come off with a twist and once you install the drive, they are placed back on with a twist and are locked in place. This is a great way to install since they are using the screw holes built into the drives to hold them instead of just pressure like other cases.

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Continuing to the other side, the PCI brackets are also nifty. They not only snap in place to hold the card with force, it has a small plastic rod that holds the card's screw hole like it was screwed in. Very ingenious on Thermaltake's part.

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There are the standard connections for the motherboard. You'll find no speaker connection, so I hope your motherboard has one.

Use:

The case is very easy to build a system with. Yes, there are some sharp edges, so be mindful of your fingers. For the most part, the case offers a great deal of room to work with.

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My Asus P5N32-E SLI fits in there with room to spare. You can see my rather large CPU heatsink and I moved the Thermaltake fan to the front and placed an Arctic Cooling 120mm fan for exhaust.

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The case looks pretty good with the window as well. I'll have a running shot posted at ASEville very soon. It has a nice red cathode in it.

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And here's that very bright blue LED present on so many pieces of computer hardware. Another thing you should notice about this case is that when it is on, it is much quieter than a standard case that uses 80mm fans.

I mean much quieter.

Conclusion:

The SopranoRS 101 is fairly inexpensive at $60. At this price, I highly recommend it. It pairs a great black glossy finish with a very nice screwless design. You get the backing of a great company and a product that looks absolutely great. Add some lights and you're all set.

I'd like to thank Ramsom from Thermaltake for providing this case for review.
members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2321m.jpg box.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2322m.jpg packing.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2323m.jpg iso1.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2324m.jpg iso2.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2325m.jpg window.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2326m.jpg window2.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2327m.jpg back.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2328m.jpg front.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2329m.jpg openfront.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2330m.jpg parts.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2331m.jpg inside.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2332.jpg backfan.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2333.jpg connections.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2334m.jpg extusb.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2335m.jpg drivelock.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2336m.jpg pcilock.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2337m.jpg complete.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2338m.jpg completew.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/05/2339m.jpg light.jpg

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