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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [02.03.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: Thermaltake

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Performance Testing

For the purposes of temperature testing, I stuffed my rig into the Xaser III.  Parts include...

AMD Athlon XP 1800+ AGOIA
Thermaltake Volcano 9
512MB Samsung PC2700
80GB WD 800JB
Pioneer 106S DVD-ROM
Lite-On 24x10x40
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer

I used the Tt Volcano 9 because I wanted the processor to heat up more than it does with the Aeroflow or Globalwin CAK4-86.  The results for case temperatures between the Xaser II and Xaser III are as follows:

That's the difference that aluminum construction and two extra fans makes.  I think the biggest difference is probably the blowhole at the top since hot air rises.

So does the next evolution of the Thermaltake Xaser live up to the hype?  Just like when Thermaltake released the Xaser II, there are still those who immediately dismiss it as another modded Antec and others who simply can't stand pre-modded cases (we'll save that discussion for another day...).

But let's be clear on this: the Xaser III is not your average pre-mod case that you can get from the local corner store.  This is the king of all pre-mods, as good as it gets.  From the thumbscrews, to the instruction stickers, to the new Hardcano, the Xaser III is simply packed with features and should
not be overlooked when shopping for a new housing for your rig.

While the issues we had with the original Xaser case still have not been resolved, they are only minor nit-picks and should not take away from Thermaltake's latest offering.  The only real problem is the PCI slot clips.  While the lack of a motherboard tray and a small reset button isn't as important as the successes like the Hardcano and HD rack, I would like to see Thermaltake move away from the Chenming/Chieftec/Antec design and toward a more original, more innovative design.  They showed plenty of innovation when modifying this case into something they can call their why not show the world what you can do without a template?

The Xaser III is nonetheless one of the finest products I've ever had the pleasure of working with and I'm privelged to award it a hardCOREware "I AM HARDCORE" award.

  • looks even better!
  • toolless and cool instruction stickers
  • nice cooling performance with 7 fans...and it's still quiet
  • all intake fans are filtered
  • new Hardcano works great
  • cool HD rack
  • drive rails for EVERYTHING
  • great build quality

  • looks are an acquired taste that some might not get
  • PCI slot clips are flawed in design
  • relatively expensive
  • no mobo tray

Final Score: 94%