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Thermaltake Element Q

Small case for mini-ITX motherboards
 
Author: Aki Korhonen
Published: 05.11.2009
Manufacturer: Thermaltake
Product Group: System enclosures
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi

Temperatures

To test how high the temperatures will rise, the tests were done so that the machine was cold started to the operating system and the temperature monitoring program was started. After the temperatures stopped rising the idle temperature was written down and PiFast is started and let to run for so long that there isn't any changes in the CPU temperature anymore.

Test info:
  • Operating system: Windows 7 RC
  • Ambient temperature: 22°C
 

Thermaltake Element Q
 

After doing the tests it seems that there isn't any difference in temperatures whether you put the case horizontal or vertical. The airflow inside the case is quite poor so after the PiFast test it took a very long time for the CPU to get back to the idle temperature measured first.

 

Noise

The fan in the PSU sounds a bit annoying and it's virtually the only thing in the case making the sound if we exclude all the other parts from the equation as you might be using solid state drives or just otherwise more quiet drives and/or you might have a fan on your CPU cooler.



Conclusion


PROS 
  • Small
  • 5.25" drive bay instead of a place for a slim drive
  • Easy installation
  • Low brightness blue power led


  • CONS 
  • PSU fan noise
  • Poor airflow
  • The bottom HDD holder design
  • Award
    Silver Award!


    Thermaltake Element Q is a small and good looking basic case. The installation of the components is very easy and doesn't take much time. The internal 3.5" drive place should have had some dampening on the bottom side as the bottom of the drive isn't really attached anywhere and it can move a bit (maybe 1 mm) horizontally and it might cause some extra noise if the spinning HDD resonates against the holder.

    It's good that there is a normal 5.25" drive bay instead of a slim drive place as you could install a third HDD inside the case if needed. There are also all kind of accessories you could use in 5.25" that might come in handy if you're not using an optical drive.

    As there is only one fan and it's in the PSU there isn't much airflow inside the case so if you decide to get this case and you're not going to use the expansion slot I'd suggest you to get one of those narrow radial fans that are attached to an expansion slot. It would help getting the warm air out of the case.

    All in all, if you're looking for a small case for a same kind of motherboard as used in the review or a newer Atom based one, this might be a good option. But for a more powerful setup this isn't a good option because of the lack of airflow and the room inside the case.







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    Additional Information

    Thermaltake

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    Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.
    • 06.11.2009 10:31 Jyrchi

    • It's a tough choice between this and the Sugo. I don't like the plastic look of the Element Q, but I also don't like the color and meshy structure of the Sugo. To be brutally honest, I wouldn't take either of these two. I'd take the Antec Mini P180 if I was looking for a LAN-case and the GD04 if I needed a HTPC. Overall the Element Q gives me quite cheap impression, which is not a good thing :(
    • 07.11.2009 03:52 MoFoQ

    • strange, the Element Q bares a striking resemblance to the Rosewill ITX case I got on newegg, aside from the thermaltake branding and red inlay on the front.
      It has the same plastic mount for sliding in and holding a 3.5" hard drive vertically on its side.
    • 28.03.2010 01:50 Mad-Malc

    • I bought this case and the PSU fan was noisy so I opened up the PSU and discovered that the source of the noise is a cable protector. The cable protector itself looks like the flip lid of a cigarette box and is made of very thin clear plastic. It fits over one end of the fan and because the material is so thin it vibrates as the fan rotates.

      Having taken a look at the cables mine were fairly thick and basically going no where so I removed for want of a better word the cowling from the fan and was rewarded with silence. If your cables look like they may drop and foul the fan I would suggest gluing a match stick or cocktail stick to the plastic cowling in order to stop it vibrating.

      Of course this does invalidate your warranty, but my view was that the case wouldn't survive its warranty period in any kind of working order unless I silenced it.

      I now have an almost silent case.
    • 27.05.2010 17:30 mmanville

    • Very detailed review, with excellent quality pictures! Thanks!

      Mad-malc - very useful info about the PSU fan, I will keep it in mind, thanks to you too!

      Jyrchi , I don't know how you can compare this case to the GD04. It's comparing Apples and Oranges. The GD04 is almost exactly twice the size of this case (a little more than twice by volume, I think). Any HTPC application for which you are considering both is a pretty open-ended evaluation.

      FYI, I have read elsewhere that people have been successful in installing a 120mm fan, I think where the HD is supposed to go, in this class of cases (this case, the Apex MI-008, Apex MI-100, and a newegg Rosewill case, I think it's called the RX-01 or someting, are all essentially the same case, with the same PSU, the only differences are the faceplates). silentpcreview I think has some discussions about it.
    Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.


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