Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Ventilation wasn’t in the focus of the designers of the disk bays, so each HDD is totally enveloped from every side. It can only get some air flow from above. We really doubt that the preinstalled 200mm front-panel fan can ensure proper cooling for HDDs under such conditions.

Otherwise, the disk bays are handy. They are compatible with 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch devices and the side mounting points even have rubber pads to absorb vibrations. It is easy to grip the bay while taking it out. To do this, you need to open the front-panel lock, press an appropriate button on the front panel and pull at a bay. That doesn't sound simple, but the good side is that the disk bays cannot slip out accidentally.

We wouldn’t call it full-featured hot swapping, though. You have to work with your screwdriver to replace an HDD by unfastening (and then fastening again) four nonstandard screws.

It is much easier than usual to connect the installed HDD, however. All of the HDDs' power cables are connected via an adapter to a single SATA power connector of the PSU. So, you only have to plug in SATA interface cables.

Of course, there are simplifications compared to the original Level 10. The bays are plastic rather than metallic (and do not support individual cooling) whereas the SATA interface cables are not pre-attached to the HDDs so that you only had to plug them into the mainboard’s connectors. On the other hand, the Level 10 GTS is still superior to any comparably priced computer case when it comes to connecting HDDs.

Besides the four disk bays described above, there is one bay inside the chassis. Located between the main disk rack and the external 3.5-inch bay, it is cooled by the front fan but not easy to take out.

The mounting holes suggest that this bay is compatible with both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch devices, too.

It lacks the connection convenience of the four main HDD bays but is cooled much better.

The unconventional HDD bays require a nonstandard side panel which has a cutout for them. The side panels have multiple fixing points at the top and bottom, as is typical of inexpensive computer cases. We've seen the same solution in the Commander MS-II and MS-III discussed above.

 

There is a flip-down headset holder on the side panel. We don't think it's useful even if you don't mind its fragility. You just won't be able to reach the holder if the computer case stands in a desk niche. And it wouldn't be convenient, either, if the case stood on the floor.

 

The side panels are easy to install, though. The Level GTS 10 has a deep cable compartment and the respective panel is additionally protruded, increasing the available room. As a result, the cables do not press against it, letting you close it with little effort.

The CPU cooler cutout is large and you can use it to route the CPU power cable behind the mainboard (prior to fastening the mainboard in the chassis, of course).

 

It was rather easy to assemble our configuration in this computer case (some minor inconveniences have been noted above).

There is 315 mm of space for expansion cards, just a little less than the maximum space offered by the Commander MS series. However, this number doesn’t depend on where you’ve installed your HDDs and you won’t have problems installing a long graphics card along with putting HDDs into every available bay.

The default ventilation system consists of two fans: an intake front-panel 200mm fan with blue highlighting and a 120mm exhaust fan on the back panel. In the mainboard’s Silent mode, the 120mm fan was working at 850 RPM and the 200mm fan, at 550 RPM.

Like the above-discussed entry-level products, the Level 10 GTS allows installing more fans. It supports larger fan formats and has dust filters in each location (except for the preinstalled back-panel fan).

One 120mm and one 120/140mm fan can be installed under the top panel of the chassis. Or you can use this place for a single 200mm fan or a radiator of a liquid cooling system.

A 120mm, 140mm or 200mm fan can be placed on the side panel. There are vibration-absorbing rubber pads available for the latter two formats. Like the fan seats under the roof, this place is protected with a perforated dust filter.

And finally, one more 120mm fan can be placed on the bottom of the chassis (together with the PSU fan, it is protected against dust by a large removable mesh filter in a plastic frame below the bottom panel).

The assembled Level 10 GTS is a rather unusual view due to the unconventional configuration of the HDD rack with access from the outside.

Highs:

  • Unconventional but nice-looking exterior
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good protection against dust
  • HDDs can be hot-swapped without removing the side panel
  • USB 3.0 support

Lows:

  • Unwanted sounds from the front fan
  • HDD rack design is not efficient in terms of ventilation
 
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