One thing that manufacturers never seem to get right is a really cheap computer case. There are probably a hundred cheap cases from a number of manufactures, but they'll likely sacrifice a few features like, aesthetics, expansion, functionality, and of course, quality. Thermaltake's designers decided to get together, throw out the rule book, and came up with the V3 Black Edition computer case. Just to finally put the last nail in other budget competitors coffins, they decided to release this thing for $39.99 US. That's crazy cheap, but the real question is, can it be too cheap? Let's find out!
Features and Specifications
Introducing the Thermaltake V3 Black Edition computer case. The case is from the company's V Series where the V definitely stands for value. Other than a few bezel highlights, the good stuff is definitely on the inside. Take for instance the fully blacked out interior that you'll find on a lot of much more expensive cases. This premium feature already sets the case apart from the dull gray interiors of all the other cheap cases on the market.
Affordable doesn't mean featureless. The V3 offers a nicely manufactured mesh bezel to help with ventilation. Plus, there are six 120mm fan vented fan ports with only the back port occupied by a red 120mm LED cooling fan. Since the bottom fan ports aren't always used, the case includes a filter on one of the slots not occupied by the power supply.
You'll find another chassis feature where the PCI slots have a secured back plate which prevents movement of the expansion cards. It also makes it pretty obvious if someone should try and get in to your case at a LAN party. The 3.5 and 5.25 drive bays include at least one tool-less locking clamp for quick installation. These are super easy to use and do a very good job of locking at least one drive in position without any chance of movement. Hopefully, Thermaltake offers these as an accessory. They would be worth the cost of a few more bucks.
The V3 Black Edition is one of four cases in the V Series. They range in price from the $39.99 V3 Black Edition, V5 Black Edition, V9, and at the top, $139.99 V9 Black Edition.
V3 Black Edition Up Close
As you can see, the V3 isn't boring like hundreds of other budget chassis on the market. The chassis is built using rigid, light weight SECC steel. It weighs much less than conventional SECC and machines easier than ever which cuts down on production costs. It also means the case is able to shed a few more unneeded pounds, making it lighter for toting around to those LAN parties.
The front bezel doesn't offer any crazy curves or designs, but its nicely machined mesh design does a lot to make you appreciate it. It also makes air intake really easy by allowing you to add an optional 120mm front intake fan.
The left and right side panels are pretty basic in construction. They're quite straight and fit against the chassis very well. The left panel features a small acrylic window and passive vented port meaning you can't add a fan. If engineers would have went with one or the other at twice their size, it probably would have been a better balance, in my opinion.
Moving around to the back of the chassis, you can tell once again, that it's all black. You can also see there are two smooth, machined holes underneath the back cooling fan. These are in case you decide to add water cooling to your system. While rubber grommets are the usual choice, these are still quite nice and will more than do. On that note, the top of the case has dual 120mm fan vents. The size and length is just about right for adding a dual 120mm radiator if you go for water cooling. Since there aren't any extra holes for that alignment, you might have to get a little creative about which holes to use.