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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.12.04]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake



You've seen them before, and you'll see them again - clips you install on the drives themselves, so you can simply slide them into place. The problem with most designs are that you have to screw the clips onto the drives! What's the point of that if your goal is a completely tool-less installation!

The clips for the Skull actually CLIP onto the drives themselves, cleverly using the mounts on the sides and bottoms of the drives. The same method is used for CDROMs and HDDs, while floppy drives get plastic versions. By the way, you can use screws instead, for any drive, if you choose.

The accessories kit' on the bottom of the case includes all the clips for the drives, and some screws (which I find to be somewhat ironic - isn't this supposed to be a screwless case?). There are two pairs of CDROM clips, two pairs of HDD clips, and one pair of floppy clips. In my opinion, this is not enough. Thermaltake should have included enough clips to fill ALL the bays using screwless clips. But since you CAN use screws if you have to, this isn't so bad - it's not like you are forced to buy more clips of you want to add a third HDD.

All in all, you have to be a fan of wilder looking case designs to truly appreciate the Xaser III Skull. If you are into an attention-getting hardcore case with a sweet looking window and EL lit logo on the front, then you have to check out the Skull.

Installation of a system proved to be an absolute breeze, thanks to the 99% tool-less design. The only troubles I had were getting a PSU with a fan on the bottom to squeeze in above the exhaust fan housing (to make it fit, I removed the fan grill on the PSU), and the fact that tools WERE needed to install a third HDD.

The 4 case fans included are all ultra-quiet, and therefore don't move a lot of air. If your goal is a QUIET PC, then this is great, but if you are a hardcore OCer, you might want to replace them with your own fans. Grab some 3 pin fans, and hook them all up to the included Volcano 10, and you'll have the best of both worlds!

Another note is that this is a steel case, and therefore is somewhat heavy. Without any drives it weighs in at a chunky 23 lbs. With a full PC installed, it will be even heavier. Just a note, and at $94 at MWave, this is one of the more costly steel tower cases I've seen. Of course the cost has to be offset by the HardCano 10 and the cool EL lighting features.

As far as hardcore mid tower cases go, the Skull is allright in my books, and comes just a hair short of receiving an award.

  • Looks awesome, if you're into this style of case
  • Almost completely tool-less installation
  • Many security features
  • Awesome features on the HardCano 10

  • Pretty heavy, in weight and price
  • Exhaust fan bay can get in the way of some PSU's

Final Score: 90%