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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.30.06]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake



The VFD, remote control, and media software are all rebranded SoundGraph iMON products. BeingĀ a Korean designed product, the iMON series is as well-engineered as you could imagine, and extremely robust and customizable. If you've been with us for a while, you may have noticed that I am a big proponent of Korean PC products. They are usually higher quality than mass-manufactured Taiwanese and Chinese components, but don't usually carry the inflated price of Japanese parts.

The remote is well laid-out, and the mouse controller actually works quite well. It is fully customizable with the included software as well. The VFD is also very robust, and easy to customize.

The PVR software itself is okay as a basic solution. You may want to consider SnapStream BeyondTV for a more fully-featured media software suite.

Any full ATX case that is 90mm high is going to be a specialty product, and thus will have disadvantages that are inherent to the design. Such things as the need for a riser card, and a more cramped installation are unavoidable. So we have to forgive Thermaltake for these, and at the same time thank them for attempting to make a low-pro case for HTPC connoisseurs.

Because of the small, cramped interior, there was only room for two 80mm fans, and not much space for airflow, so again, as a specialized component you will need to take care when putting together a PC using the Mozart Sx. For instance, you'll definitely not want to use a Prescott CPU in here, but I guess that goes without saying.

As an HTPC case, it's not exactly a pretty as I'd have liked. I guess I am just more into the 'stealthy' look, where components such as USB ports and power and reset buttons are only seen if you need to access them. If not for the VFD (and there is a version without this display), it would look a lot like a plain ol' desktop PC sitting in your living room. I'm also not a big fan of the tutone look, but hey, to each their own.

I have to say that the quality of this case isn't as good as I've come to expect from other case manufacturers like Zalman, SilverStone and NZXT. The fit & finish is just not very 'tight'. This bulky, heavy steel case rattles and jiggles where it shouldn't, and doesn't quite fit together perfectly. However once initial installation is complete, it's probably not something you're going to notice. And there were no showstopping problems to deal with. Everything did fit where it should.

As long as you have room to accommodate a case that is 47 cm wide, I don't see much reason not to recommend the Mozart Sx. Most likely it is only suitable for a very small niche, of which I am somewhat frustrated to be a part of. On one hand, you want a nice small form factor that won't stand out from your DVD player and XBOX 360. On the other, you want something that has room for the power and expandability that you crave. It's a really tough thing to get right, and while Thermaltake comes close here, they haven't gotten it quite right yet. Then again, nobody has, to my knowledge.

  • 90mm low profile design
  • Fits full ATX motherboards
  • Well-designed riser card supports 1 PCIe x16 and 1 PCI
  • Fits full ATX power supply
  • Room for three 3.5" devices
  • Well-design VFD and software

  • Huge footprint; 47x44cm base!
  • Inherent flaws to this type of product; only 2 peripherals supported, cery cramped interior
  • Fit & Finish lacking compared to competition
  • Doesn't look so hot
  • VFD power requires a huge cable extension
  • Must use motherboards with a specific layout to be able to add peripherals
  • Does not support double-slot VGA coolers