Thermaltake AH T200 Micro Chassis Review
Just Your Typical Helicopter-Inspired MATX Case
It goes without saying that Thermaltake’s AH T200 is a very unusual-looking Micro ATX case. Styled after a helicopter, it is actually the little brother to the full-tower AH T600. So, if you like this aesthetic and need a larger version, you’re in luck.
We don’t see many Micro-ATX cases around here anymore, and indeed I have no recent MATX motherboards on hand. Of course the AH T200 also supports Mini ITX, and that form-factor will be the basis of our test build for this review. To take full advantage of this case, however, I think MATX is the way to go.
- P/N: CA-1R4-00S1WN-00
- Series: AH Series
- Model: AH T200
- Case Type: Micro Case
- Color: Black
- Material: SPCC
- Side Panel: Tempered Glass x 2
- Expansion Slots: 5
- Motherboards: 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)
- Drive Bays: 2 x 3.5″ or 3 x 2.5” (3.5” HDD thickness limitation: 22mm)
- I/O Ports: USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type C x 1, USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
- PSU: Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
- Fan Support
- Front: 2 x 120mm or 1 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm or 1 x 140mm
- Top: 2 x 120mm or 1 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm or 1 x 140mm
- Radiator Support
- Front: 1 x 240mm or 1 x 120mm / 1 x 280mm or 1 x 140mm
- Component Clearance
- CPU cooler max height: 150mm
- VGA max length: 320mm
- PSU max length: 180mm
- 3.5” HDD thickness limitation: 22mm
- Dimension (H x W x D): 444.2 x 282 x 551.5 mm (17.5 x 11.1 x 21.7 inch)
- Net Weight: 10.8 kg / 23.8 lb
AH T200 Design and Build Notes
The description of a “helicopter styled open frame” case pretty much says it all with regard to this design.
The AH T200 is a mix of metal, tempered glass and some plastic. It features sharp angles, unusual cutouts, panels affixed via large thumbscrews, and hinged glass doors on both sides for convenient access to the system within.
This helicopter becomes a functional case with no more effort than it takes to remove a single large thumbscrew. And bonus points for the hinged side panels. I think they add to the “cool” factor, however subjective.
I’ll stop here to point out that, as unusual as this case seems at first glance, it’s pretty much a open frame style with some extra panels and visual interest. That being said, I was expecting the air scoops adorning each side to function as intake for the system – but alas, they are just plastic trim.
These parts snap on, and there is just metal behind them once removed. There are still air gaps galore around various parts of the enclosure (this is considered an “open air” design), so the front is less crucial than it is with many enclosures.
While on the subject of the front of the AH T200, I will note here that I found it to be less accessible than desired. There is no simple way to remove the entire front panel as it consists of a series of interconnected parts that also hold up the side panels. The smaller windowed section at the top can be pulled off, however, once six screws are removed (three on each side).
Fans and radiators mounted to the front intake require the removal of a bracket, and this comes free (with the front windowed section removed) via a pair of thumbscrews located at the top of the case.
I installed a pair of 120 mm fans supplied by Thermaltake for this review (not included with the AH T200), and then replaced the bracket. And while it is not ideal to work with this front fan mount once a system is in place (as I did), there is enough clearance to remove and replace the bracket as long as you don’t have a GPU installed.
Here’s a look inside the component chamber:
And a look behind the motherboard tray:
With the glass doors fully open the AH-T200 presents few challenges for a standard MATX or MITX build, beyond the noted complexity to adding front fans. My quick test build was very simple and didn’t involve any upper fan mounts, but you can incorporate them; should you require upper fans/radiator, the top panel comes off easily with a few thumbscrews.
There isn’t much left to discuss with a build process which for me involved a mini-ITX motherboard and standard size components. There was adequate room for full-length graphics cards and ATX power supplies larger than the compact unit I used.
The build was completed using an ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming mini-ITX board, AMD Ryzen 5 3600X processor, 16GB of Thermaltake TOUGHRAM XG RGB memory (it seemed appropriate), and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE graphics card.
For a more than slightly obsessive person such as myself, being able to see the cable mess from the front like this is not ideal. I don’t always want a lower PSU shroud, but here even a partial shroud would help provide a clean look.
Still, with some extra care the visible cables can be minimized, and even with the addition of a controller for the Thermaltake ARGB fans the floor isn’t particularly cluttered:
AH T200 Performance Notes
I tested thermal performance with the AH-T200 with no case fans (as shipped) as well as with dual 120mm front intake fans – a pair from the 3-pack of Riing Quad 12 RGB fans that Thermaltake sent over with the case. For comparison, thermals with the components in open air are included in the chart as well.
To test the system I ran my haphazard little Ryzen 5 3600X + RTX 3080 Ti FE build through a series of short 15-min gaming load tests powered by the venerable Unigine Heaven benchmark, run at 4K/Ultra settings using DX11.
The open bench provided the best overall thermals, though the GPU temps were almost identical when the dual 120mm intake fans (spinning at 100%) were installed in the AH-T200. Oddly enough, the CPU temps recorded without any front intake fans in the AH-T200 were actually lower than those with the fans – which possibly suggests that the RTX 3080 Ti FE’s warm air was being directed over the CPU cooler. I re-checked everything, and CPU temps were still higher with the fans on. Odd.
Thermaltake’s AH T200 is a unique take on the concept of an open frame case, looking very much like a helicopter (minus the rotor, tail boom, etc.). It is nicely constructed, and looks every bit as premium as its $169.99 price tag suggests – if not more so.
It is not a perfect case; while the side and top panels both offer large thumbscrews for easy removal, the front panel is considerably harder to work with, and the build can be a little tricky if you are using fans or a radiator on the front intake.
Thermaltake’s video overview of the AH T200 is embedded below:
This is ultimately an open frame concept with some exotic window dressing, so it’s understandable that it’s a bit harder to hide cables (particularly at the case floor). I did find it to be quite functional in spite of its appearance, and the hinged door panels are great. Oh, and the power button has the most satisfying click of any modern case I’ve tested.
There are also enough air gaps at the front of the case to allow some airflow in spite of the cockpit windows surrounding the top intake fan, and thermals were better than I expected. In all, I really like this design, regardless of practicality – and it presents some very interesting mod-related possibilities.
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How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from Thermaltake for the purpose of this review.
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