Thermaltake The Tower 900 PC chassis review

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.

If Mr Shakespeare was alive today, he certainly wouldn’t have chosen a rose as the ideal way to get this point across in Romeo and Juliet – because these days, it’s Thermaltake’s The Tower 900 that couldn’t go by any other name. That name says everything you need to know about this chassis. If I were to make any changes, it would be to capitalise all the letters, throw in some exclamation marks, add an extra zero and make liberal use of the bold function.

THE TOWER 9000!!!

Technical specifications

Materials: Steel, plastic, tempered glass

Dimensions: 483 (L) x 423 (W) x 752mm (H)

Motherboard support: E-ATX, ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX

Drive bays: 1 x 5.25 inch, 2 x 2.5 inch, 6 x 3.5 inch / 2.5-inch

Front panel: 4 x USB 3.0, audio in/out

Radiator support: up to 560mm

Fans: 2 x 140mm (top)

Fan support: 2 x 140mm (top), 2 x 140mm (rear), 4 x 140mm (left), 4 x 140mm (right)

Price and supplier information
Supplier: TVR
RRP: R3,800

Before you go out and purchase this chassis (which I highly recommend you consider doing if you’re in the market), allow me to provide some words of caution. Before you even get this chassis home, you’ll encounter your first issue: it won’t fit in just any car. If you have a bakkie or some other type of large-ish vehicle, you should be fine. If not – then alas, you are up a creek. If you do manage to get it home you’d better have a friend to help you, because The Tower 900, with all its packaging, weighs in at 27kg. And that buddy had better hang around, because getting the chassis out of the box is another issue due to its mammoth size and hefty weight.

Once the chassis is out of the box, you’re then presented with a world of possibilities. Frankly, this chassis is not for the rookie system builder. There are too many options and clever features that would go unnoticed by inexperienced eyes.

The front-facing display area of The Tower 900 is for the more flashy aspects of a modern gaming system. This is where your custom-built liquid-cooling loop is shown off, likely with the assistance of carefully placed LEDs. This chassis has been designed with attention-grabbing water-cooling systems in mind. The rear section of the chassis is where all the gubbins go: HDDs, the PSU, radiators and any cables that should remain unseen. Since the front section is the display area, there are enough cable routes to hide the mess in the rear and focus on keeping the front as aesthetically pleasing as possible. There are four HDD enclosures in the rear that can accommodate 3.5- and 2.5-inch drives, but there’s also a two-drive cage at the front, along with two dedicated 2.5-inch bays with cleverly placed cable routing holes nearby.

Any person planning to install a liquid cooling system in this chassis will be very pleased with the support in that regard. There are two brackets designed to secure and show off a reservoir with attached pumps (such as Thermaltake’s Pacific PT40-D5) in the front section. The rear section is where you mount your radiators, and there’s space for a 560mm radiator and another 480mm radiator. If you aren’t a fan of water cooling or only need one radiator, then the extra space can be used for fans. The side panels that cover the radiators and fans have magnetically attached dust filters. In fact, every major ventilation hole has a magnetic dust filter. There are nine in total (including the 5.25-inch drive bay plate), with two removable dust filters.

If your plan for this chassis is to turn it into the mother of all media servers, then Thermaltake has you covered. While the chassis only supports four HDDs in the rear compartment, Thermaltake does sell extra HDD cages. Without the installation of extra fans and radiators, The Tower 900 can accommodate up to 10 HDD cages, bringing the total number of 3.5-inch hard drives to 22. Fill those bays with 10TB HDDs and you’ll have a whopping 220TB of storage space.

The craziness continues with a removable motherboard tray making installation much easier, a massive shroud that covers the top of the chassis and hides all the cables (the motherboard and GPU are vertically mounted so the cables come out the top), and three massive tempered glass panels that allow you to showcase your system.

The Tower 900 is simply staggering in its dimensions and capabilities. Given how large and well-designed it is, the price tag’s reasonable. Just make sure you have the space to accommodate it. If you’re after a chassis that’ll serve as the media server to rule all media servers, or if you want to build the sexiest water-cooled system on the planet, then The Tower 900 should be at the top of your list. If all else fails, it’ll be a system that can officially double as a bedside table.

9.5This chassis is mammoth. It’s gargantuan. It’s insane. IT’S OVER 9000!

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