Thermaltake really put some effort into this case and it is by far, one of most well thought-out designs I've ever tested. the uit is versatile accomodating a wide variety of motherboards ((ATX, Micro, BTX (w/kit)) and with H20-cooling in mind. Thermaltake has intended the Kandalf to be future-proofed offering a BTX upgrade kit although I belive most consumers are still somewhat confused at to what exactly a BTX environment should look like (including myself).
|Case Type ||Aluminum Super Tower|
|Side Panel ||Transparent Side Panel|
|Net Weight ||10.1Kg|
|Dimensions ||530x220x560mm (HxWxD)|
|Material ||Chassis - 1.0mm Aluminum |
Front Bezel - 4.0mm
|Cooling System ||Front Intake - 120x120x25mm 1300RPM 17dBA |
Rear Exhaust - 120x120x25mm 17dBA
HDD Rear Exhaust - 90x90x25mm 19dBA
Top Exhaust - 90x90x25mm 19dBA
|Expansion Slots || 7|
|Drive Bays ||Front Accessible - 10 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5"|
Internal - 6 x 3.5"
|Motherboards ||Micro ATX, ATX, Extended ATX, BTX|
Kandalf's front bays double as grills with micro-foam filters (perhaps metting hepa standards) behind each. The bay covers easily release with a screwdriver, revealing 5.25" bay-drive hardware. Below I've installed TTGI's Fan Master 610
with its mirrored front plate. One of three 3.5" bay trays can be seen extruding out from 6th bay down.
From this reverse angle you can see the bay-covers with their black foam filters and just make out the front intake 120m fan blades (orange). The thumbnails provide a few more reverse angle views of the front intake fan which is mounted to the DD-rack, although there is lso a rear HDD rack also with a 90mm cooling fan, mounting the 1200mm front intake fan onto the HDD rack ensures thos critcal drives are kept cool. (Below)
Located toward the front on the floor of the case was a mysterious, somewhat nefarious looking "black box" which bemused me? The blackbox with it's three position toggle switch simply controls the front panel lighting effects. The switch powers a Thermaltake logo on the case front panel. The logo may be left illuminated, or provide a flashing effect in which Ther-mal-take is illuminated by syllable.
As I was about to dismiss any notion the switch had some nefarious underlying purpose, I recalled early pyschology classes covering subliminal advertising. The Ther-mal-take name repeatedly flashes in the "victim's" (I mean owner's) minds-eye as they continue to buy Thermaltake products to the point they've cashed in their children's College funds. All kidding aside it's a bit much as the cost could have been spent on temp panel.
below we see the uit flashing (please don't stare too long)...
As mentioned earlier the HDD rack can accommodate up to three 3.5" devices. In the first photo we see the front intake fan with the foam filter backed sectional grills removed (3 BAYS mask the fan), in the next photo the rack with the primary intake fan mounted to it is partially slid out.
Installing components began with PCPower&Cooling TurboCool 850SSI
. Kandalf has provided ample room for those of us constantly installing and removing components to keep pace with the perpetual metamorphosis of the PC-hardware. I would normally use a blanket term "evolution," however; that term denotes growth, advancement and I'm sorry to say this is not always the case with many purported "advances." I'm beginning to realize how DDR2 and BTX were forced upon us by a company whom now epitomize devolution in CPU technology and are more concerned with profit.(more on that in a later article).
Installing PCPower&Cooling’s 850SSI (which epitomizes evolution in PSU technology) required the removal of Kandalf's 90mm top exhaust fan. The quick release mounting bracket made removing the fan very easy (bracket holes are visible in the photo).
Initially I'd installed a water-cooling system into the case, however; the size of the radiator precluded internal placement. This forced me to remove the side-panel which would make it impossible to test Kandalf's thermal properties. Any case designer worth their weight in silica will consider very carefully fan placement, as this will affect case airflow dynamics, ergo thermodynamics. Creating a vacuum is difficult when silence is a primary concern. Manufacturers have to consider ergonomics and sacrifices are made in the name of performance to meet noise requirements. My initial dissapointment was laid to rest somewhat as I relalized three exhaust fans vs one intake fan creates a vacuum. Below we see the test system installed and running.