You know its funny; I remember a few years back I was very intimidated by building my own computer, that task used to scare the living day light out of me. Now of course a few years later, it is just one of those things, when I need a computer I will build it, and one of the key things you need to show your custom builds off is a good quality case. You will hear this phrase thrown around a lot with cases “the airflow is terrible” or “that case is all looks and zero quality” and that can be the case for many cases, especially the very inexpensive ones. But today we have the privilege of looking at Thermaltake’s latest Mid-Tower in the Thermaltake Soprano a case that tries to combine both a flashy look with a bunch of features. Does this case provide the full package?
- High Efficient ventilation: Dual 12cm silent fan in front & rear, 9cm fan on side panel
- Tool-Free when installing 5.25" & 3.5" device
- Transparent X type side panel window
- Dual USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 Firewire, Audio & Speaker ports
- Retractable foot stand
- Highly flexible "Silent Purepower supply" unit supports PS/II for PC case (optional)
When I talk about a case design, I am not only talking about the look of the case although that can be very important when purchasing a case (who really wants a cheap looking case) but I am also going to be talking about the functionality of the case and how well the case was designed for installation, air flow, and things of that nature which all correspond into making a well designed case. So what are my feelings of the Thermaltake Soprano’s design?
Well first off from a total “look” standpoint (putting all technical jargon aside) this is actually an extremely good looking case. The case that I got to look at included a very sleek side window which has two side locks. The locks can be a bit tricky at first but there real easy once you get the hang of them. Past that you have the front panel which from my experience felt a little cheap or in other words seemed a bit flimsy. And although during my testing with the case it held up just fine, I do however worry about the life span of the front panel and if it will last for the long term. What however I did appreciate of the front panel was the lock mechanism so you can keep unwanted users off your computer. So although the actual front does feel a bit flimsy the look of it actually is quite good.
Ok so now we move over to the sides of the case which on one side included a very nice looking side window. Thermaltake did a really nice job with the Transparent X-Type Side Window which not only looks good but also feels very high in quality. There is also a lock on the side panel with the window just in case you want to keep people out of your case. The lock is a bit weird but it gets the job done. On the back of the case there are two thumb screws which work very easily and overall make it very easy to get into your case.
Now one of my favorite features in the design is the top which consists of Dual USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 Firewire, Audio & Speaker ports on the top. There is a little pop-up latch that lets you access these extra ports which in my opinion is a very useful and well made feature. Plus when you get your friends over to show off your new rig, you can really impress them with these hidden extra ports. And so we are left with the bottom of the case which usually has zero interest for most cases but not the Soprano, because it has a retractable foot stand. This addition is a welcome one and one that may become very useful for some.
Ok so we have now talked about the outside extremities of the Thermaltake Soprano lets talk about what’s inside the case. Well first off you have three fans in the case which includes and front and back 12cm and a 9cm on the side panel. Now of course this case did not come equipped with a PSU, so there were some cords still lying throughout the case, most of those being the fans and top ports. What I did like however was that the USB, Firewire, and Audio ports were all labeled to make it easier for you when going for installation. Which leads us now to the installation.
Well now we get to the more technical part of the review where we get to the installation of the components themselves. Installation is one of those things where the good and the bad begin to separate from each other. One thing I have noticed over my years with building computers is that the less expensive cases seem to be the most cramped of space. Well not only does the Soprano have a pretty fair amount of space but they added some very nice features to make the installation a little less painless.
Included with the case is the tool-free hard drive installation which is a definite plus, as well as the sliding rail design for your CD-Rom/DVD-RW drives. Both of these features in my case worked flawlessly and really made the installation is little less painful like I mentioned earlier and really are features that I think “all” cases should be coming with. The one thing I did really like about the Soprano was that the case really had a ton of room for you to be able to move around in. So unlike some of the less expensive cases you have plenty of maneuverability in this case which allows for a very happy pc builder. Overall the case came with enough instructions as well as a nice cloth to keep your side window clean. Everything that was packaged in the Soprano was very easy to access and allowed for a very straightforward and easy pc installation.
Of course when we go out and purchase a case that looks good we also hope that the case performs well to and thus is the case with the Soprano. It does provide a very nice performing case that does a great job of keeping a good amount of airflow going through the case. The three fans that are included with the case are pretty quiet, and did an excellent job of keeping the Soprano nice and cool and all the components nice and happy. Like I said earlier the only thing that I didn’t like about the use of the Soprano was the flimsy front panel which in my eyes just feels like more of a hazard then an actual compliment to the case. With that being said of course I really don’t have all that much to complain about wit the Soprano and its performance.
I must say that the Soprano does make it a worthwhile price tag with the solid cooling and beautiful layout of the case. So to sum it up for all of you, if you like the look of the case, and are in the market for a new case, well I am here to tell you that the Thermaltake Soprano is a very solid solution. It may not be a flawless case, but it does have enough positive features to make it a worthwhile purchase!
Originally Posted on Kunzo.com
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.