The numbers differ somewhat from what we saw with the above-described SViking. Particularly, the temperatures of the graphics card and mainboard are lower, implying a better ventilation of the case. Well, it is just easier to organize proper airflows in a larger volume. Let’s see what happens if we load the central processor to the full.
CPU Burn Mode
The results of this test mode are much better than with the SViking model: the temperatures of the CPU and mainboard have decreased a little and the GPU temperature is much lower. It means the bottom part of the Soprano and the Tsunami Dream cases is ventilated better than that of the SViking.
The same can be observed when the graphics card is loaded as in the next test mode.
VGA Burn Mode
The GPU temperature is quite acceptable now, so it is a proven fact that system cases of the Soprano and Tsunami Dream series have better ventilation at their bottom than the SViking model.
As for the hard disk drive temperature, it was the same 38°C in the HDD Burn Mode as with the SViking. Again, this is a highly satisfactory result.
The side-window experiment brought curious results: as I had suspected, it was harmful rather than useful to blow at the CPU cooler. Thermaltake’s engineers cannot change the laws of aerodynamics yet. When there was a fan in the side panel, the temperature of the CPU went up by 7°C, while the temperatures of the other components remained roughly intact. This side-fan configuration may work if you assemble the system with a low-profile box CPU cooler. In this case, the air stream from the side fan may be more useful.
Summarizing the results of the tests I should say that system cases from the Tsunami Dream and Soprano series are certainly going to find their customer. They feature an excellent exterior and give you the opportunity to choose the configuration of the side panels. They have convenient internal design and good ventilation. These advantages by far outweigh their minor drawbacks. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend these cases for building a top-end computer since they are unlikely to maintain a normal thermal environment for top-end components in a room without an air-conditioner. On the other hand, such system cases are not bought for assembling top configurations, so the potential buyer is unlikely to meet this problem.
Our Verdict: Thermaltake Soprano
Average retail price - $100, without a power supply
Highs: Good design; cute side window; preinstalled fans
Lows: Non-removable hard drives rack; not very helpful fan on the side panel; rather flimsy front door
Conclusion: This is an excellent system case with nice design and functionality and for a reasonable price, but it is not suitable for a top-end computer.
Our Verdict: Thermaltake Tsunami Dream
Average retail price - $140, without a power supply
Highs: Superb and stylish design; aluminum chassis and decorative front door; removable hard disk drive cages; simple assembly
Lows: Dirt-sensitive panels; not suitable for top-end computer systems
Conclusion: A stylish system case that will fit well into any interior. It is functional and reasonably priced