Case Fans, Noise and Conclusions
Case Fans and Noise

The Thermaltake SwordM full-tower enclosure comes with five 120mm case fans installed: (1) Front, (2) Back, and (2) Top.  The single intake fan mounted on the front of the internal HDD cage features clear plastic blades and blue LEDs.  All of the Thermaltake labeled fans are rated for 1,300 rpm and 17 dBA at 12V.  If that doesn’t generate enough airflow to meet your needs there are six more pre-drilled locations where you can add up to six more fans of your choice: (2) Bottom and (4) Left Side Panel Door.  Now that could lead to some serious airflow and case cooling!

Note: SwordM enclosures that include the optional water-cooling system have a large radiator with two more 120mm fans mounted on the left side panel door.

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120mm Rear Case Fans

Sound Pressure Level (SPL) measurements were taken 3’ away from the front of the case with an average background noise level of 27.6 dBA.  All doors and the convertible top were closed.

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With all of the fans operating at 12V the SwordM is not silent but certainly not loud for a high-end gaming enclosure.  Using a fan speed controller or under-volting the fans quickly reduces noise (and airflow) to the point where it is virtually silent.  The front intake fan with the blue LEDs was noticeably noisier than the other case fans when they were all running at the same speed.

*Note: Only the front intake fan with blue LEDs would start at 5V.  The remaining case fans would run at 5V but would not start.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Thermaltake pulled out all the stops when they designed the new limited edition SwordM full-tower case.  The SwordM’s unique styling and sleek curves are sure to draw attention to this high end gaming enclosure.  The SwordM is big, bold, and features innovative features including a pop-up convertible top, multiple hinged doors, and hydraulically damped spring cylinders.  Add on Thermaltake’s 7” LCD monitor and/or the optional water-cooling system and you are sure to have a very unique show system.

We’ve said from the start that the SwordM is a large, full tower enclosure so I do not consider that a weakness and yes it is expensive.  My main concerns are with the basic features that seemed to have been forgotten; like only three internal 3.5” HDD bays, no external 3.5” bay, and no dust filters on the air intakes.  For a case of this size and in this price range I expect a lot more room for mounting HDDs (and with vibration isolation please) and easy to remove intake air dust filters should be standard.  The rear door may cause problems for some users with short cables or a wireless PCI network card.  And the optional 7” LCD mounting cage installation doesn’t fit with this otherwise very cool feature.  However, for many users, these deficiencies will seem minor when weighed against the numerous strengths and awesome styling the SwordM enclosure has to offer.

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The Thermaltake SwordM full-tower enclosure and 7” LCD monitor are currently available from your favorite Thermaltake resellers.  And as you might expect, a hand assembled, limited edition full-tower case with all the features included with the SwordM does not come cheap. 

•    Thermaltake SwordM Full-Tower Case $499.99 USD
•    Thermaltake SwordM Full-Tower Case (with water-cooling system) $599.99 USD
•    Thermaltake 7” LCD Monitor $339.99 USD

•    Awesome, one of a kind styling!
•    Pop-up convertible top for show and added cooling
•    Multiple hinged side panel doors for easy access
•    Hydraulically damped spring cylinders on top and main side door
•    Sleek rear door conceals cable clutter
•    Large, full tower case provides plenty of room for components
•    All aluminum construction, hand assembled
•    Integrated aluminum carrying handles
•    Caster style wheels for mobility
•    Excellent case ventilation and cooling
•    (5) 120mm Case fans included (6) more optional positions
•    Fully integrated water-cooling system (optional)
•    7” Drive bays support optional LCD monitor

•    Only three internal HDD bays
•    No external 3.5” device bay
•    Potential issues with cable routing because of the rear door
•    Not compatible with PCI wireless network adapter (signal blocked)
•    No dust filters on air intakes
•    Issues with 7” LCD monitor mounting cage installation and clock

The Thermaltake SwordM is a radical case designed for the elite gaming enthusiast with deep pockets.  It isn’t perfect but for many the unique styling and numerous features will far outweigh a few short comings. 

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Thermaltake SwordM Full-Tower Case

I would like to thank our friends at Thermaltake for sending us the SwordM enclosure and 7” LCD monitor to review – thank you!  Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best price for the SwordM case or any of Thermaltake’s other fine products.

If you have any questions or comments about the article, or would like to see what others have to say about the SwordM case, just click into our Cases, Cooling, Power, and Modding forum to join in the discussion!

And don’t forget to watch for Part 2 of the Thermaltake SwordM full-tower case review where we will take a detailed look at the water-cooling system that is available for the SwordM enclosure.  Coming soon!

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