Thermaltake has quite an offering on their hands with the Spedo Advance full-tower, and it might be one of the most robust chassis’ we’ve had on our bench to date. Noticeable R&D went into this one, with cool features such as a wireless door fan, an “advanced” thermal chamber, pure black aesthetics and top-notch cable management.
As I sit here finalizing my thoughts on the Spedo, I am at odds as to how I feel about it. On one hand, it is a very capable chassis with well above average cooling characteristics. The design and layout shows attention to detail. It is very roomy and offers lots of space for upgrades. Having the ability to hold up to 12 hard drives is almost mind-boggling. Add into the mix the well-planned cable management system and we should have a knock-out winner.
My main beef is the use of far too much plastic. In fact, so much plastic is used, that the case creeks and groans as it is being handled. The caddies for the hard drives can be temperamental to get open as the latches seemed to hang up when presses. Same thing happened with the tool less 5 ¼ bay locks. The final nail in the plastic coffin was the lever for the positional fan mount. That just feels cheap.
The Advanced Thermal Chamber is somewhat clumsy to use and requires a bit of patience as well upon reassembly once you have your gear installed. The end results do justify the means as it works very well. I am up in the air over its looks, but in my book performance always trumps style. The same goes for the cable management system. It seems clumsy but it is extremely effective as well as reusable unlike all those zip ties that need to be cut out and tossed away when changing your configuration.
Another grievance is the side panel fan. Having chosen to cut slots into the window instead of a perforated metal grate has cause the fan to be quite noisy. The rest of the fans are near silent while this particular fan is just in-your-face noisy. The one shining star about this fan is the way it wirelessly gets its power from the chassis. I have yet to come across a cleaner and simpler method to power a side panel fan and would love to see this on all chassis’.
In the end, I still feel that a rating of 8 out of 10 is still well-deserved. There is no denying the fact that the Spedo does its job better than most of the competition. Once you get past all that plastic you see there was incredible attention paid to the small details. I also loved the fact they painted the metal surfaces as I just can’t stand the shiny cheap look of raw steel.
With an average retail price of ~$229US, this case is not geared towards the entry-level enthusiast. Once you get past its faults, you will find a heart of gold in this chassis. Don’t let the plastic scare you. If you are looking for a versatile and high cooling capacity chassis, then you need to take a serious look here.
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