love Thermaltake's case boxes. They tell you everything
you need to know and then some. They're well designed, and
it's clear a lot of effort goes into their creation. Kind
of pointless for something that ends up in the bin? No,
because it sets up a first impression that may stay with
a buyer for the rest of their buying lifetime. Ultimately
it's money well spent in my opinion.
you first remove "The Shark" from its holding
pool, the first impression is that it's a prime example
of new and radical design. If the Tsunami and Wave Master
broke the case design mold, the Shark is jumping up and
down on it with clogs on.
sharp, it's edgy and its different, but I have to say it's
an extremely masculine design that probably won't appeal
to the fairer sex in the way it appeals to us knuckle-scrapers.
front of the case has the sweeping, aerodynamic lines of
a Great White with design features created to resemble gills
too. It's a design statement of the boldest kind, and a
gutsy move for Thermaltake.
you haven't had the pleasure of handling Thermaltake's Tsunami
before, you'll probably be quite surprised by the Shark's
weight, or more accurately the lack of it. When you first
pick it up it's hard to fathom how they've managed to create
something so complex yet kept the weight to just 14 pounds
without filling it with Helium.
back is as you'd expect any quality case to be with a very
open, honeycomb grill maximising airflow for the installed
120mm fan. There are pre-pressed holes on the back too ready
to be snapped off to accept the tubing for their, or indeed
anybody else's water cooling kits. In the box with the screws
are plastic bushes that push into the holes to stop the
tubing getting cut on the sharp edges.
no provision for a redundant power supply.
Front and Rear View
small, fine silver mesh is purely decorative, at least I
hope it because I couldn't find any purpose for it other
than to look good. The PC speaker may (or should) be behind
there but at this stage I haven't fired the system up. It
might look even better with an LED behind it but left to
my own devices I'd be putting LEDs behind everything.
the door is the plastic fascia with a reasonably open vent
in the lower portion where the front intake fan is situated.
The door is probably the heaviest part of the entire case
being made from a quite sizable slab of aluminium.
door is held closed with a pair of magnetic catches. They're
not particularly secure and the door can easily swing open
under its own when you're carrying it so you might want
to lock it before you move the case anywhere. The stike
button screws into the door and is adjustable if, for some
reason, it stops making contact with the magnet.
sculpted front door hides a blue LED which adds that extra
touch of artistic flair. This also serves as the power indicator
for your PC.
right hand side of the case is just clean, open space. The
only visible features are the locking barrel for the front
door, the audio jacks, the USB ports and the Firewire port.
This side also, in my view, exposes the first design mistake.
A case with a window that's placed under a desk will almost
certainly be placed on the right so as to make the window
visible. This means that if the desk has solid sides or
is up against a wall on the right, you won't have easy access
to these ports. Even if you can get to them, you may not
have room to plug in bigger items like a Flash drive unless
you leave a sufficient gap. For me the ports should be mid
way up the front or on the opposite side.
front door lock is more about stopping the door swinging
open or deterring the opportunist thief rather than a real
security feature. This is because almost every lock-able
case on the market uses the same type and size of key, so
getting hold of one should be considerably easier than trying
to obtain some enriched Uranium for a science project.
if the front door was a bold statement, then how about the
left hand side panel! No plexi here, just two large, sweeping
cutouts with a honeycombed grill and a stylish plastic edge
a regular locking barrel situated below the large,easy grip
quick-release handle with its half-moon shaped aluminium
insert. The handle feels a little unrefined to use but it
looks stylish and works, both of which are more important
in the great scale of things.
a plexi window, the honeycomb steel design offers full EMI
shielding. It also allows masses of cooling air to be drawn
in, even cooling passively when the system is powered off.
The downside is that unless you use a positive pressure
cooling setup, running a system in this case will probably
result in large gulps of dust-laden air being taken in and
the dust content deposited inside.
would actually be very easy to add a plexi panel inside
and hide the screws or rivets behind the plastic molding
around the cutouts, and this may in fact be what a lot of
people choose to do to cut down on the maintenance.
with the Tsunami, the case feet can be swivelled outwards
for added stability. There's a large cutout visible here
and this serves as the primar air intake. Fortunately this
time the air drawn in from here doesn't completely bypass
the dust filter as it could do with the Tsunami. In actual
fact very little of the Tsunami's airflow bypassed the filter
because of it's very open front door vent, but the Shark
can't breathe though the door as easily when it's closed
so it needs to use this opening more extensively.