Thermaltake Tai-Chi review: Thermaltake Tai-Chi

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The Good Plenty of expansion room; constructed to aid overclocking, tool-free expansion card bays.

The Bad In order to swap out one hard drive, you need to disconnect them all; visual appearance a challenge to spousal acceptance factor.

The Bottom Line It's not the prettiest case in town, but the Thermaltake Tai-Chi lends itself very well to aggressive overclockers.

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6.0 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 7

It won't win any aesthetic awards, and it might not be the easiest case to work with, but if you're looking for a case to aid your PC overclocking efforts, the $399 Thermaltake Tai-Chi will aid your cause like few other desktop enclosures. (There's also a $499 model with a bundled liquid-cooling kit.)

At first glance, you might mistake the Tai-Chi for a gigantic heat sink. The fins on the sides increase surface area, which in turn aids cooling. The entire case is made of aluminum (a more cooling-efficient material than steel or plastic), which further boosts overclockers' temperature reduction efforts. The front bays hide behind two curved, swing-out panels. Once you open them, you'll find room for six 5.25-inch drives, as well as a small plastic drawer on the bottom of the case.

Rather than sliding off in one solid piece, both side panels on the Tai-Chi consist of two hinged doors that swing open, one of which does so with the aid of a hydraulic arm. This isn't a bad design outright, but the long screws that hold each door in place are difficult to fit into place and not very easily turned by hand. The hard drive cage presents a more serious problem. Because there's no access to the screws for each drive, in order to swap out one drive, you need to remove the entire drive cage and disconnect all of the other drives. It's not all bad on the inside, though. The motherboard tray marks the screw holes for multiple motherboard form factors, there's plenty of ventilation, and the tool-free mechanism on the expansion slot bays makes for easy card swapping.

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