The front panel fasteners are designed as metallic “petals” in the entry-level Thermaltake cases (we mean the MS-II and MS-III too) and work well. It is easy to take the front panel off and put it back, and there was no wobbliness after that operation.
The quick fasteners are designed in a primitive way and are yet another example of the manufacturer's cost-cutting drive: although the MS-I is meant for five internal 3.5-inch drives, there are only three quick fasteners for them.
There is a place for one internal 2.5-inch drive, too. You can install it on the bottom panel beneath the rack with 3.5-inch drives.
We didn’t experience any serious problems assembling our test configuration in this computer case. We’d only recommend you to use good old screws instead of the unreliable quick fasteners if you are not going to change your drives often.
The photo above shows that the MS-I can accommodate up to seven internal 3.5-inch drives. Besides the five 3.5-inch bays (the three bottom ones are empty in the photo), they can be installed in the two bays for external drives (using the quick fasteners, if you want). Considering that the front panel is only designed for one external 3.5-inch device, you can easily put as many as six HDDs in (plus a 2.5-inch SSD below them) without sacrificing anything in terms of functionality.
The MS-I supports expansion cards up to 25 cm long right opposite installed and connected HDDs. If there’s no HDD opposite the card, the allowable length increases to 32 centimeters. In other words, this computer case can accommodate any modern graphics card, let alone smaller cards of other types.
It is easy to lay the cables out neatly thanks to the dedicated cable compartment.
The side panels are easy to install as they don’t have a lot of fixing points you have to align at the top and bottom.
The cable compartment isn’t deep, though. That’s why the corresponding side panel bulges under the pressure of the cables.
The CPU cooler cutout in the mainboard’s mounting plate may turn out to be not large enough in some situations.
There’s a small cutout for the CPU power cable to hide the latter behind the mainboard. It is easier to lay that cable out prior to fastening the mainboard. Otherwise, you won't be able to put its 8-pin connector through that opening.
The MS-I is cooled by a single default 120mm fan with blue highlighting. It is on the back panel. When our mainboard was switched to Silent mode, the speed of the fan was only 630 RPM. That's silent indeed, but not efficient in terms of ventilation.
You can additionally put half a dozen 120mm fans into the MS-I, though: two on the top panel (but a large CPU cooler may conflict with them), two on the front panel (the top part of the upper fan is going to be covered by the I/O connector panel), one on the bottom and one on the side panel.
The assembled MS-I looks attractive.
- Affordable pricing
- Nice exterior design
- Unexpectedly rigid chassis
- Can accommodate a lot of hard drives
- Offers a lot of places for fans
- Easy to assemble
- Thin metal of the panels
- Single-use back-panel expansion-slot brackets
- Small cable compartment (it makes the side panel bulge)
- Only one fan by default (but it's got highlighting)