Fractal Design Define 7 XL PC Case Review WePC.com

When it comes to high-end PC cases, the Thermaltake guys definitely come up with some of the most unique and customizable case options. When Thermaltake decided to send us their helicopter inspired – yes, you heard me – AH T600 PC case, we were more than excited to see what it could bring to the growing market.

The AH T600 is the latest in a growing list of uniquely designed enclosures where aesthetic capabilities seem to take precedence over thermal performance and noise levels. The fully open design case is equipped with three sides made of tempered glass, plastic rocket Esq side cases and a front in the cockpit style, which rounds off the helicopter theme well.

Today we’re going to put the AH T600 through its paces to see how this fancy design can compete with other high-priced alternatives. We will give a complete overview of airflow, water cooling and ease of installation.

With this in mind, let’s dive into the Thermaltake AH T600 case report!

advantages

  • Very good construction – consistently high quality materials
  • Supports large E-ATX motherboards
  • Unique design that screams showpiece
  • For the most part, tool-free modularity
  • Almost completely modular
  • An open design designed to remove heat build-up

disadvantage

  • Comes to the top of the price range
  • Very limited airflow thanks to the open design
  • Weighs well over 20 kg when fully built
  • The rigidity of the case leaves something to be desired
  • The housing is delivered without a pre-installed fan

Specifications

Case type Full tower
Dimensions (mm) 628 x 337 x 763 (L x W x H)
materials Steel, tempered glass, plastic
available colours Black-and-white
Weight 20.64 kg
Front I / O panel 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, audio I / O, on / off switch, reset button
Expansion slots 8th
Drive bays 2 x 3.5 “
3 x 2.5 “
Motherboard support Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, E-ATX
Cooling (front / top / rear) Front – 4 x 120 mm or 3 x 140 mm
Top – 3 x 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm
Inside right – 3 x 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm
Rear – 0
Below – 0
Maximum GPU length VGA length restriction: 300 mm (with water pump)
440 mm (without water pump)

Main features

  • Fully modular structure
  • Two sides of tempered glass
  • Helicopter inspired aesthetics
  • Tailored to water cooling
  • USB Type C.

In the box:

Thermaltake ah t 600

  • Thermaltake AH T600 PC case
  • Accessory box
  • Starter guide

The outside

The first thing you notice when you unpack this case is how big it is. I mean, this thing can measure in size and weight with its View 71 – weighing over 20 kg without any internal components. If you’re familiar with View 71, you know how cumbersome this can be when you have limited space. Well, unfortunately, the AH T600 poses the same problems for some.

Aside from the size, this could be one of the weirdest cases I’ve seen in some time. The AH T600 is inspired by military attack helicopters, and you can see this if you look at it from certain angles. The front looks like a helicopter cockpit and the side boxes could represent missiles. It’s a little ridiculous to tell the truth.

Nevertheless, the demand for such cases is growing in today’s market. I still can’t say who this is really for. Hopefully this will become much clearer as the review progresses.

front

As mentioned above, most of the aesthetics are in the cockpit style on the front. It consists of three 3mm tempered glass panes, located just below the I / O ports, providing visual access to any cooler or RGB case fans you want to install. The tempered glass is in a thick plastic shell that can be removed if access to the fans is needed.

The lower half of the front panel is made of a thick, angular piece of steel that adds very little in terms of physical design features. It shows the Thermaltake logo in a rather subtle way (compared to the rest of the case design) and has large cutouts between the steel and cockpit areas. This sets the tone for the case in terms of aesthetics and thermal design, with most of the AH T600 being open – as we’ll see shortly.

back

Go there to the back of the case once again There is not much to tell in terms of design features. For lack of better expression, the back is a gaping hole that gives users full access to the internals of the PC. Out-of-the-box, there are literally no functions on the back of the case.

Thermaltake ah t 600 1

However, the AH T600 has Thermaltake’s patented, rotatable PCIe 8 slot, which can be screwed to the back of the case and gives GPUs and additional expansion cards the necessary stability. In addition, a power supply bracket is included, which can be pulled in and out with a knurled screw. This greatly simplifies the installation of the power supply for the user.

The summit

The top of the AH T600 consists of two layers, one of which is the chassis and the other is a lid-like part made of pure steel. The steel lid doesn’t really offer many functions, but it has ventilation openings (large honeycombs) through which the upper cooler or fans have full airflow.

The lid is screwed into both sides of the housing using four fairly robust knurled screws and feels secure in its housing – a feature that is not always the case wi
th this housing. Near the front are the I / O ports, which give the already peculiar appearance of this case a strange design. The I / O connections include an on / off button (together with LEDs), 2 x 3.5 mm audio jacks (headphones and microphone), 1 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB Type C .

The inner

Access to the inside of this case, as you can imagine, is fairly easy – accessible from a variety of angles. The side walls, which we didn’t really touch, are made of 5 mm thick tempered glass and are attached to the chassis via two easy-to-install hinges. The doors can swing open when users have access to the components and want to secure them with a large, accessible thumbscrew. While we are discussing the sides of this case, an aesthetic feature that we have not mentioned is the rocket-like sleeves that are on both sides of the faceplate. As far as I can tell, these have no impact on performance in this case – apparently installed for aesthetic reasons only (and to determine the helicopter theme Thermaltake was intended for). That being said, they’re made of plastic and feel pretty sturdy – albeit pretty useless.

When you open the side panel, you get a better idea of ​​how big the inside of this case is. It’s huge – good news for various reasons.

Thermaltake ah t600

At the front, users have access to the fan mounting frame. The rack can be removed relatively easily using two screws under the plastic “Cockpit” shell. Once the screws are removed, users can tilt the fan mount back and simply pull it out. Users have numerous cooling options here with support for a 480 mm cooler, 3 x 140 mm fans or 3 x 120 mm fans. The installation of the fans is extremely easy thanks to the modular structure of this housing. The users simply screw the fans on and push the whole thing into position.

The roof can be accessed by simply removing the four knurled screws on both sides of the cover. Once the lid is removed, users have access to the fan mounting area, which is a lot of clearance from the motherboard – a dream for builders who use advanced high-end cooling solutions. The top of the AH T600 supports a 360 mm cooler, 3 x 120 mm fan or 2 x 140 mm fan – more than enough for the most complex cooling configurations.

The base of the case is clearly the area with the lowest priority of the AH T600. It offers very few design features and only offers a double tank / pump bracket that is screwed into the ground with a single thumb screw. There is neither a power supply cover nor a fan assembly for the floor in this housing. The base is a solid piece of steel without ventilation openings. Regardless of whether you like it or not, the power supply must be mounted with the fan facing up.

This leads us nicely to the motherboard compartment. Here is one of my favorite features of this case, the modularity of the motherboard compartment. Although modularity was an ongoing feature in this case, it was still a surprise when we discovered that you could physically remove the entire motherboard tray from the case. Right, you can physically remove the motherboard tray, install the motherboard (and most of the other hardware), and then reinstall the whole thing with little effort – using a few thumbscrews above.

The AH T600 supports up to E-ATX motherboards. However, when installing our own E-ATX board in this case, we noticed that cable management routes were performed – especially if you want to use a large cooler next to the motherboard mounting area. The board would extend over some of the cable cutouts, making the installation of certain cables (e.g. 24-pin) very difficult. However, using a more conventional ATX motherboard gave much better results, so we had access to an absolute ton of cable management options. As already mentioned, large radiators installed in the roof of the chassis do not cause any problems with the game thanks to the size of this housing.

In addition to the motherboard mounting area, users can mount a cooler with up to 360 mm, 2 x 140 mm fans or 3 x 120 mm fans. As with many other full tower cases, this is a nice feature that custom builders can really experiment with the cooling aesthetics they choose. Your water cooling tank (if you plan the water cooling route) or several SSD compartments / HDD compartments are also located here. As for the release, you won’t have to fight for space in the near future. This thing has a lot of interior space to play with and very few obstacles. Even the largest of the 2080Ti GPUs would not cause any problems in this case. Speaking of GPU support: With the AH T600, users can mount vertically if they wish. The display version at CES 2020 used this feature (with water cooling) and I can say for sure that it looked pretty fantastic.

The backside

On the back of the case, users are greeted by another identical 5mm tempered glass side panel, which is also hinged. After removing the side panel, it becomes clear that cable management was a big part of the design process. There are a variety of cable routing options, including cable tie holes, cable cutouts and Velcro straps. However, it will be difficult for users who do not use a modular power supply to hide the cables. Since this case is completely transparent and open, we were a little surprised that Thermaltake didn’t fit any type of shroud. It would have been nice to have a small inlay or area that could have been used for wiring. However, this was not an option.

Thermaltake AH t600 2

There is a large cutout in the middle of the motherboard compartment that allows easy access for installing large CPU coolers. Beneath this, users will find three individual hard drive compartments, which can be changed as required. Choose between two 3.5-inch hard drives or three 2.5-inch SSDs. You have the choice. You can also reposition the compartments on the left side so that you have more space for the cable routing.

Overall, the back follows the same trend as the front. Aesthetically, it fulfills many of the right boxes, functionally it could probably use some optimizations.

properties

Features are one of the most important factors to consider, especially if you’re buying a case that is retailing around the $ 250 mark. Features can make building in a suitcase easier, make airflow more efficient, and have a real impact on a person’s decision to buy. With this in mind, let’s look at the main features of the AH T600:

Open design – The design of this case may not be for everyone, but it has a place in today’s market. Thermaltake has given the AH T600 a completely open design that really leaves little to the imagination. While this can look fantastic (if done correctly), it does pose some problems with the efficiency of the airflow. Most of the time you want an
enclosed space where air pressure builds up and a steady flow of air can follow. With an open design like this, this pressure cannot build up, which means that the airflow is much less strong than in other cases. That means it has its positive sides. In contrast to a closed housing, the AH T600, for example, can dissipate heat much better directly from the components. There is no place for the warmth, it simply dissipates on the sides.

Full modularity – For me, modularity is one of the biggest selling points for such high-end cases. Modularity makes building much easier in one case. In this particular case, just about any part can be removed to aid the creation process. All side panels, the front and top “covers”, the fan mounting compartment (front) and even the entire motherboard compartment. In addition, the PCIe slot on the back can be removed, as can the power supply compartment.

Water cooling support – Water cooling has been growing in popularity for several years. It is therefore not surprising that more and more cases contain water cooling components. With the AH T600, this was definitely one of the main reasons why this case was realized. It only screams for water cooling. Thermaltake has given builders a lot of leeway to play so they can create crazy, custom loops that are competitive. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to the versatility of water cooling for this build.

Our verdict

So there you have it, the interesting and uniquely designed Thermaltake AH T600 PC case. At first, I thought this was just another dark-looking case intended for the scrap metal container. After spending some time building in it (and seeing the tremendous amount of water cooling / aesthetics options), it’s clearly something much more than that.

Ultimately, we have a showpiece here – a dream of a custom builder when it comes to water cooling. As shown at CES 2020, you can make this thing look really great. It has a ton of water cooling space, is extremely easy to install, and doesn’t actually look that crazy – albeit inspired by a helicopter gunship.

Although this case is not perfect and has some shortcomings for the everyday user, it is still a very efficient design for a much more daring project. The bottom line is this; If you want to put together a water-cooled PC and want an extremely loud aesthetic, the AH T600 is exactly what you are looking for. Unfortunately, I can’t really see this thing in any other scenario. A decent case, but a little too dark for me.

Thermaltake AH T600

Summary

An extremely large full tower PC case that’s tailored to custom water cooling manufacturers who don’t meet budget requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *