Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Thermaltake Commander MS-II

 

The MS-II doesn’t look much different from the above-discussed MS-I. We can only spot some minor variations such as an extra external 5.25-inch bay and the differently shaped side window.

But the two models are actually much more dissimilar than you can guess at first sight.

 

You can see a different kind of quick fasteners and a new chassis. We’ll discuss it in more detail below.

The I/O connectors include not only a USB 2.0 port but also a USB 3.0 one. The latter is to be connected to a mainboard header. We haven’t seen USB 3.0-compatible computer products in the affordable category before (the Antec One is somewhat more expensive).

The front-panel connectors are placed appropriately: two USB ports are separated by headphone and microphone sockets, so you can easily plug two large USB devices into them simultaneously. It must be noted that each of the cables for connecting the computer case’s USB ports requires two mainboard headers.

The Power and Disk indicators are rather too bright.

The front panel is similar to the MS-I’s with its plastic carcass, foam-rubber protection and metallic exterior mesh. It is fastened by means of six metallic "flowers", each composed of four "petals".

Unlike regular affordable products, the MS-II has reusable back-panel brackets with thumbscrews.

The openings for the pipes of a liquid cooling system are sealed with rubber stoppers now. The stoppers are very stiff and it's hard to bend their "petals".

Compared to the MS-I, the accessories now include a few cable straps and a power adapter from a 3-pin fan connector to a 4-pin PATA power connector.

In the MS-I the mainboard is installed onto protrusions in the mounting plate. In the MS-II, it is secured on threaded support pins. To insert the latter, there is a special tip for a cross-point screwdriver among the accessories included with the computer case, but it's not easy to screw in the pins near the top and back panel, anyway.

The vibration-absorbing pads turn out to be under the PSU fan’s grid rather than under the PSU case when the PSU is installed with its fan facing down. That’s not good.

You don’t have to take out your PSU or even open the computer case to clean the filter since the latter is located below the bottom panel. Besides the PSU, it protects the optional bottom fan.

The filter itself is worse than in the MS-I. The perforated sheet of flexible plastic resists the air flow more than a mesh.

The MS-II lacks a dedicated cable compartment, so you can’t but leave all cables in the main volume of the chassis. The interior design of the MS-II seems to be outdated by some five or more years.

Like in the MS-I, there is a place for a 2.5-inch SSD below the main disk rack which is designed for five 3.5-inch devices (plus another one if you don’t use the external 3.5-inch bay).

 
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