Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review

Manufacturer: Thermaltake Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review

When our editor-in-chief, the esteemed Mr. Peak, notified me that my next review sample was on its way, and was from Thermaltake, I must confess to a level of both nostalgia and trepidation. The first three computers I ever built were all in Thermaltake cases, one of which (a Lanbox Lite) is still floating around amongst the various PC parts I’ve accumulated in the years since.

The first two of those cases were well built and a joy for me as a novice builder. The third was the last case from the manufacturer I ever purchased, as it was the antithesis of the quality of the previous two. Still, Thermaltake holds a special place in my PC geek heart, and I’ve often looked at many of their newer offerings and wondered if they were closer in quality to the first two, or more like the last.

Given that history, Sebastian’s news was very exciting as I could now judge for myself, then a box for what was apparently a dorm fridge showed up on my doorstep.

Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review - Cases and Cooling 35
Product Specifications
  • P/N: CA-1Q6-00M1WN-00
  • Series: View
  • Model: View 51 TG
  • Case Type: Full Tower
  • Side Panel: 3 x Tempered Glass (4mm thickness)
  • Color: Exterior & Interior : Black
  • Material: SPCC
  • Cooling System
    • Front (intake): 2 x 200 x 200 x 30mm, addressable RGB fan (fixed 600rpm, 24dBA)
    • Rear (exhaust): 1 x 120 x 120 x 25mm, addressable RGB fan (fixed 1000rpm, 27.2 dBA)
  • Drive Bays
    • Accessible: 2 x 2.5’’ (With HDD Bracket)
    • Hidden: 2 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ (With HDD Cage)
  • Expansion Slots: 8
  • Motherboards
    • 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX)
    • 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX),
    • 12” x 9.6” (ATX)
    • 12” x 10.5” (E-ATX)
  • I/O Port: 1 x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type C, 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x HD Audio, 1 x RGB Buttom
  • PSU: Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
  • Fan Support
    • Front: 
      • 2 x 200mm or 1 x 200mm
      • 3 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm or 1 x 140mm
      • 3 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 1 x 120mm
    • Top:
      • 2 x 200mm or 1 x 200mm
      • 3 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm or 1 x 140mm
      • 3 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 1 x 120mm
    • Rear:
      • 1 x 120mm
    • Right:
      • 3 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 1 x 120mm
      • 2 x 140mm or 1 x 140mm
    • Bottom:
      • 3 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 1 x 120mm
  • Radiator Support
    • Front:
      • 1 x 360mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 120mm
      • 1 x 280mm or 1 x 140mm
    • Top:
      • 1 x 360mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 120mm
      • 1 x 280mm or 1 x 140mm
    • Right:
      • 1 x 360mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 120mm
      • 1 x 280mm or 1 x 140mm
    • Bottom:
      • 1 x 360mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 120mm
  • Clearance
    • CPU cooler height limitation: 175mm
    • VGA length limitation: 300mm (with water pump)
    • 440mm (without water pump)
    • PSU length limitation: 200mm
  • Dimension (H x W x D): 550 x 315 x 525 mm / (21.65 x 12.4 x 20.67 inch)
  • Net Weight: 14.95 kg / 32.96 lb
$229.99 USD
Manufacturer Description
“The Thermaltake View 51 TG ARGB is a specially constructed full tower case from the View Series chassis which comes with two preinstalled 200mm 5V ARGB fans at the front, one preinstalled 120mm 5V ARGB fan at the rear, and can support motherboards up to E-ATX (up to 10.5” wide).”

Case Design

I’ll make this first, rather obvious, point regarding the Thermaltake View 51 TG. It is freaking HUGE! At 550mm (21.65 inches) tall, and 525mm (20.67” ) deep, there are longer and taller cases on the market, but I’ve seen few of those that match the 315mm (12.4”) width of this cube style chassis. The chassis itself also weighs just shy of 15 kg or 33 lbs. A lot of that weight is accounted for by the three large tempered glass panels which decorate the right side, top, and front of the case.

Thermaltake View 51 TG ARGB Angle

In all honesty, The View 51 TG reminds me a lot of another case (which is currently extremely popular) that someone ordered in ‘super size’ from a drive through. What doesn’t remind me of that particular case are the two 200mm ARGB fans residing in the front of the View 51. After getting over the sheer volume of this chassis, those two fans should have been what garnered my focus the most during my initial inspection of the case and its features, but what became my focus was the sheet of glass sitting only millimeters in front of those fans, and the question that rang into my head “is there going to be enough airflow?”

Before we get into all of those questions, let’s get the specifics of this case out of the way. I’ve already given the dimensions, so let’s talk about the capabilities. The View 51 TG has three tempered glass panels (right side, top, and front), which appear to be decent quality, and relatively color neutral despite a slight tint. The side panel mounts on a hinge and locks closed with a nice, round metal latch at the front. The front and top glass are permanently mounted into each panel, and unfortunately, the plastic on these panels has a very cheap look and feel.

Both the front 200mm, 600 rpm, fans and the single rear 120mm, 1000 rpm, fan feature addressable RGB, which connect via proprietary connectors to a fan/lighting hub on the back of the motherboard tray. The RGB effects can be controlled by use of a button on the front I/O (as long as you plug the case’s reset connector into the hub instead of the motherboard). If I may vent to manufacturers for a moment, I can understand the desire to reduce cable clutter, but having a single cable for RGB control, and fan power, which uses a proprietary connector is a terrible idea, especially if the fans are fixed rpm anyway.

I also dislike the fact that to control the RGB, you lose the ability to have a reset button. Sure, a system reset isn’t a great solution, but sometimes you need it. This is the second enclosure in a row which I’ve reviewed that uses this senseless design. The View 51 did include a plug to go from the hub to the motherboard so a user can control RGB effects via the motherboard software. Unfortunately, I could not get ASUS Aura to recognize the hub or control the fan lighting. So, if you want to match your system lighting effects to the fans, it is possible the included fans will have to be replaced, as they will not connect directly to your motherboard.

The View 51 TG is designed with versatility towards custom loop watercooling in mind. I did measure just over 174 mm from the CPU to the side panel, so you could put any of the largest aircoolers in the View 51, but that’s not really the focus of this case. There is space enough for up to four 360mm radiators which could all be mounted in the chassis without having to mod a single location.

The PCI bracket can be rotated to accommodate either vertical or horizontal mounting of the GPU, but there is no PCI-E riser cable included with the system, so that would still need to be purchased if one wished to mount their GPU vertically. There is plenty of space behind the motherboard tray for cable management, as well as two slide out 3.5” drive trays, but no additional trays, or even places to mount them so this would not be a chassis you’d want if you’re looking for something storage focused. The power supply mounts sideways in the rear section of the enclosure, behind the motherboard tray.

There is an adjustable support which is designed to sit beneath the PSU. The fan/radiator brackets are adjustable in their mounting positions to allow for parts which might require extra clearance, and the lower bracket has two detachable 2.5” drive caddies, as well as a removable water pump bracket. At the bottom of the case is a full length, slide out dust filter (although Thermaltake’s documentation recommends using this location for exhaust). On the left side of the chassis, is a reasonably flex-free, steel panel with two removable dust filters. Neither the front intake, nor the top of the case have any filtering material. The View 51 accommodates up to E-ATX motherboards. Despite my concerns over the questionable ventilation area on the enclosure, after my first inspection, I was quite excited, and looking forward to building in the View 51 TG.

The first design related annoyance I encountered with the View 51 came when I first tried to lift the case. When lifting a case, especially one this large, you want to keep the long side against your chest so that the weight of the case isn’t acting as a lever. You can’t do that with the View 51, at least not easily. There is no gap at the front or rear of the case for you to lift from. The rear is also free of small ledges which could be used to grip. To lift this case you have to reach under each side, leaving you with a narrow hold, and the weight of the case working against you.

It’s not as big a deal when empty, but after building a system, I’d highly recommend just removing all the panels from the case, and then replacing them after the PC is in its final position. While that may seem like nitpicking, let’s remember this case has an MSRP of $229 US, and it’s designed to hold a lot of hardware, but in all honesty, I might not have even mentioned it, but it was the first minor annoyance I encountered, in what would become an avalanche of them.

I had initially planned on putting a custom loop into this chassis for the final system photos, but after installing, then uninstalling my test system, I elected to do a much more simple build for the final photos. There were so many problems that I found highly frustrating. First, several of the aftermarket parts I had intended to use (particularly a 360mm distro plate with a D5 pump) could not be used, but I know that Thermaltake’s own brand of parts would work. So to insure compatibility, you’d have to stick to only Thermaltake liquid cooling parts.

The next issue I encountered was that 5 of the 9 motherboard standoffs had not been fully tightened down at the factory. In addition, the 6×32 motherboard screws included were either poorly machined or poorly powder coated, so they frequently bound up in the standoffs. The result of these two problems was several ruined screws due to cross-threading, and motherboard standoffs coming off with the PCB. If you’ve never had a standoff come free, still attached to the motherboard, I’m here to tell you it can be a real pain.

It went beyond that. Several screws that were installed at the factory were cross-threaded on arrival. To flip the PCI-Bracket, or the PSU support, or remove the lower 2.5” brackets were all highly irritating because they were all improperly installed at the factory. I know that most people building in a case like this would be experienced builders, and have all the tools they might need to deal with this problem. I’d hate for a novice to buy this case, and set to work with just a screwdriver and some zip ties.

Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review - Cases and Cooling 64

So how about an experienced builder who can handle such small issues, as long as it gets them a functional build in the end? Well, that brings us to testing, so let’s take a look at the numbers.

Performance Testing

Specification of Test System:

  • Intel Xeon E3 1245 V2
  • ASRock Z77 Pro M Motherboard
  • 16 gb (2×8) GSkill Ripjaw DDR3 1666
  • EVGA GTX 980 SC
  • Intel 520 Series 120GB SSD
  • Scythe Choten CPU Cooler with Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 fan at 100%
  • Arctic Cooling Twin Turbo II GPU cooler fan speed set to 33% (highest fan speed reached on default curve during open bench stress test)

Standardized Airflow Test

  • 3 x Be Quiet Pure Wings 2 120mm Fans (2 intake, 1 exhaust at 100%)
  • Ambient temperature: 23 C.
  • CPU Temperature Testing: OCCT set to Small FFTs for 30 minutes
  • GPU Temperature Testing: Unigine Heaven set to Extreme at 1080p for 30 minutes.
  • Sound testing conducted during run of 3D Mark Time Spy Extreme
Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review - Cases and Cooling 65
Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review - Cases and Cooling 66
Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review - Cases and Cooling 67

I will be honest, when I saw the front and top glass panels, and the small gaps for airflow, I expected numbers much worse, but those two large fans do seem to still be able to move a moderate level of air. Unfortunately, if you look at the numbers where I removed the front and top panels, it shows a case that sits square among the top performing enclosures which I’ve tested to this point. With the panels in place, the View 51 TG is simply an average at best performer in terms of airflow.


So what’s the bottom line? If you’re wanting to build an air cooled system, there are better options for less. If you’re a novice builder looking to do a liquid cooled loop, there are less problematic options out there for less. If you’re an experienced PC builder, with plenty of custom loop experience, there are better performing enclosures out there for less.

Thermaltake View 51 Tempered Glass ARGB Edition Case Review - Cases and Cooling 68

I do wish to state again that the problems I encountered are only my experience. Perhaps my unit was just assembled poorly. I still can’t get past the some of the other issues like the poor design for airflow, the problematic fan lighting control, and the cheap exterior plastic. It’s really a shame, too, because the skeleton of the View 51 has a ton of potential. If Thermaltake redesigned this case with more open airflow, and better trim, I’d be happy to recommend it.

Review Disclosures

This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.

How Product Was Obtained

The enclosure is on loan from Thermaltake for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The enclosure remains the property of Thermaltake but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Thermaltake provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Thermaltake for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Thermaltake has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

If this article contains affiliate links to online retailers, PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases made through those links.

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