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Thermaltake Commander MS-III

 

This computer case differs from the MS-II in its front panel but both are based on the same chassis. The removable façade has got a fourth 5.25-inch bay, which is supported by the chassis design, and is overall structured differently, but that’s the only difference between the two models.

 

The interior is the same as in the MS-II with the addition of a fourth quick fastener for an open 5.25-inch bay. The chassis design is identical.

So, the MS-III is only different in its front part which is larger, making the whole computer case larger than the MS-II. Just like in the MS-II, the front panel has a plastic frame, a foam-rubber dust filter, and a metallic exterior mesh. It is secured on metallic “petals” as well.

The MS-III wouldn’t be any different from the MS-II in terms of ventilation, so we decided to test it with an additional fan set in its front part to cool the disk rack. We used a Thermalright TR-FDB-12-1300 for that.

The accessories are the same as you get with the Commander MS-II except for the different product name on the user manual.

The I/O connectors have moved into the middle of the front panel but still include headphone & microphone sockets in between one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port.

The Power and Disk indicators have changed their shape but, like in the MS-II, are too bright. Their holes in the front panel are smaller, however, so they are only distracting when you’re looking straight at them.

 

Everything we’ve said above about assembling a computer in the MS-II applies to the MS-III, too. There is only one unpleasant nuance. The cables of the front-panel I/O ports get in the way of the HDD in the top bay. You can install an HDD there but the quick fastener may snap under pressure.

By the way, it is rather confusing that the quick fastener has to be turned clockwise to unlock and counterclockwise to lock (this refers to all the three Commander MS series products and to the external bays of the Level 10 GTS). Fastening something is usually associated with a clockwise movement.

The ventilation system is identical to the MS-II’s: a preinstalled highlighted 120mm fan on the back panel (rotating at 690 RPM in the mainboard’s Silent mode), one fan seat on the front, side and bottom panel each, and two places for 120mm fans at the top of the chassis. Every fan seat, except for the side and back-panel ones, is equipped with a dust filter.

The additional fan we installed opposite the HDD rack was rotating at 790 RPM in the mainboard’s Silent mode.

The MS-III looks less aggressive than the MS-II but we guess that the main difference between the two models is not about design but about component layout. The MS-III is supposed to stand on a desk with its I/O connectors in the middle of the front panel whereas the MS-II, with its I/O connectors at the top, is meant to stand on the floor.

Highs:

  • USB 3.0 support
  • Affordable pricing
  • Nice-looking exterior
  • Unexpectedly rigid chassis
  • Can accommodate a lot of hard drives
  • Offers a lot of places for fans
  • Good protection against dust

Lows:

  • Thin metal
  • No dedicated cable compartment
  • Too bright LED indicators
  • Cable from the I/O connectors gets in the way of the HDD in the top bay
  • Only one fan by default (but it’s got highlighting)
 
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