The TT Overseer RX-I
There is more to chassis’ than just looking good. Do not get me wrong, making sure the chassis looks good is a major contributing factor when choosing a chassis for my computing needs. But, there are other factors we all need to look at when making our final choice on a chassis. These other factors that I consider are:
- Size: will the chassis be large enough to handle all of my computer hardware
- Installation: will installation be effortless? (This also includes times when we need to upgrade our computer components, and when we need tear down the computer for cleaning purposes)
- Cooling: the chassis needs to keep all of our expensive computer hardware cool during our times of either browsing the internet or when we start one of our many long gaming sessions that can last for hours.
The Thermaltake Overseer RX-I happens to be one of the very few chassis that I have used over the years that fits my unique computing needs. Also, it doesn’t require some form of slight modifications to make certain items fit properly (I will go more into detail about this a bit later in the review).
|Case Type|| Full Tower
|Dimension (H x W x D)|| 535 x 220 x 580 mm (21.1x 8.7x 22.8 inch)
|Net Weight|| 10.3 Kg / 22.7 lb
|Side Panel|| Window
|Color|| Exterior & Interior : Black
|Cooling System|| Front (intake) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA)
Rear (exhaust) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm Turbo Fan (1000rpm,16dBA)
Top (exhaust) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA)
200 x 200 x 30 mm fan (Optional)
Side (intake) : Optional
200 x 200 x 30 mm fan
Bottom (intake) : Optional
120 x 120 x 25 mm fan
|Drive Bays|| - Accessible: 3 x 5.25’’, 1 x 3.5’’
- Hidden: 5 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’
- HDD Docking: 1 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’
|Expansion Slots|| 8
|Motherboards|| 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX) , 12” x 13” (Extend ATX)
|I/O Ports|| USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, eSATA x 1, HD Audio x 1
|PSU|| Standard PS2 PSU
|LCS Upgradable|| Supports 1/2”, 3/8” and 1/4” water tubing
|Other|| CPU cooler height limitation: 177mm
VGA length limitation: 344mm
Giving the specifications of the Overseer RX-1 chassis a quick look through, we get an idea about this chassis, on its size, what it can handle as far as fans, and the features of this chassis. So considering that this chassis sells for $129.99 shipped, we get quite a few features/options with the Thermaltake Overseer chassis. Well, as far as chassis are concerned that is.
Which brings me to the question of, “What makes this chassis any different from the countless other chassis on the market today?” There is only one way for me to answer this question, and that is for me to dive right in and start tearing this chassis apart. And, I do mean literally tear this chassis apart. So go ahead, turn the page and let's get busy, shall we?
Unboxing the Overseer RX-1
Since first impressions are lasting impressions, the Overseer RX-1 chassis definitely makes a very good first impression. The sheer size of the packaging gives us the idea that this chassis is not exactly small.
The one thing that grabs my attention on the packaging that Thermaltake uses for the Overseer RX-1 chassis is the capability of having front USB 3.0 headers; Thermaltake calls this Internal USB 3.0. On the end cap of the box, Thermaltake gives us general features of the Overseer RX-1 chassis in multiple languages.
On the backside of the box we get a bit more information about the main features the Overseer RX-1 has incorporated into this chassis.
This is pretty standard packaging that we have seen with multiple other chassis’. I will like to add that even though the box had gotten a bit beat up during transport, the chassis sustained no damage to it what-so-ever.
Once we get the chassis pulled out of the box, and sitting upright, I cannot help but admire the Overseer RX-1 chassis.
OverSeer Exterior Thoughts
These first few images are just me giving a quick overview of the overseer RX-1 chassis, and then I will go more into detail.
The entire front outer portion of the front bezel uses a metal mesh to keep large objects from entering the front fan/chassis during our use of this chassis.
Looking at the left side of the computer (looking from front of the chassis), Thermaltake uses a small window right above the optional side panel 200mm fan.
Like most other chassis, the Overseer RX-1 follows a pretty standard ATX layout.
Looking at the right side panel of the Overseer RX-1 chassis you can see that this is a solid panel with no holes for fans and no window.
Since I covered the other 5 sides of the Overseer chassis, I am going to give you a glimpse of the bottom of the Overseer RX-1 Chassis.
The feet that are on the bottom of the Overseer RX-1 chassis are tall enough to allow plenty of fresh air to enter the chassis from the bottom side. Each foot is made out of plastic with a foam rubber placed at the very bottom to keep the chassis from marring various surface types.
Now it is time for me to see exactly what makes the Overseer RX-1 Chassis different from all of the other chassis that are out there today. In order for me to find out, is for me to start tearing it apart. The front chassis bezel is very easy to remove; just place your hands up under the front bezel and carefully (gently) pull toward you (or away from the main chassis) and it comes right off.
The entire front outer portion of the front bezel uses a metal mesh to keep large objects from entering the front fan/chassis during our use of this chassis.
After we remove the front bezel we get a glimpse of the large 200mm fan that Thermaltake uses on Overseer RX-1 chassis.
Looking into the inner portion of the front bezel of the Overseer RX-1 chassis, Thermaltake also uses an even smaller mesh material to help reduce the size of the debris that enters our computers to micro sized dust particles.
This inner mesh filter is easy to remove for when we may need to clean out the filter to keep our front 200mm fan moving air freely.
The front 5.25” drive bay covers use both a metal mesh on the front portion, then on the backside of these covers Thermaltake places a foam style filter.
This was the one area that could use some improvement; Thermaltake used rather small snap locks to hold the drive bay covers on, and the drive bay covers can only be removed once the front bezel has been removed. When I tried removing the bay covers I had to try and unlock both sides at the same time. Otherwise, if I tried unlocking one side then move to the opposite side to unlock it, the drive bay cover would relock itself back into place. I will have to mention that these small clips are fairly stiff, so be careful when trying to remove the bay covers; otherwise, you might break the small clips. (Thankfully, I didn’t break one.)
Time to turn our attention over to the 200 mm fan mount that is on the left side panel. (Left side if you are looking directly at the front of the Overseer RX-1 chassis.) Thermaltake uses a hexagonal grill opening so that if we do place a 200mm fan here, it won’t restrict the air flow too much. The 200mm side panel fan is optional. If you wish to put a 200mm fan onto this chassis you will have to remove the small button style snaps in order to mount the fan. This side panel will only handle/mount a 200mm sized fan.
Thermaltake also uses the same type of mesh on the side panel fan as they did on the front bezel. But to remove the mesh, we have to remove the button style clips that hold this filter in place. And, if a 200mm fan is placed here, you would have to remove the fan in order to clean the filter.
As we can see, the back side of the Overseer RX-1 uses a standard ATX motherboard layout. Things that I feel are worth mentioning are: that the Overseer RX-1 chassis has 8 PCI expansion ports vs. the standard 7 that are on typical chassis, and this chassis has round ports cut into it to allow the use of an external water cooling setup.
Looking at the PSU (Power Supply Unit) mount, Thermaltake makes sure there are multiple mounting holes so that we may be able to mount different types of PSU’s, or give us the ability to mount the PSU how we see fit. If we look down just below the PSU mounting, we see a small handle; this handle is so we can remove the lower PSU/bottom 120mm chassis fan filter.
To remove the lower PSU/120mm fan filter, all we need to do is gently push down and slide it back. This filter uses a really fine mesh to keep our fans from picking up lint, and hair from entering the PSU/ lower 120mm chassis fan.
The Overseer RX-1 chassis utilizes 8 PCI expansion ports, so those who run with 3+ video cards, this chassis should be more than capable to handle these types of computer systems. The PCI expansion port covers are vented to allow airflow in case we are not using that particular PCI expansion port.
The upper on/off buttons seem like a good spot to start off with on the I/O panel, so I will start there. The button to the left is the reset button; the far right button is the on/off button. The emblem in the center pulsates blue when the computer is turned on.
The Overseer RX-1 chassis uses both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 front IO headers on the very top front of the chassis. There is also an E-SATA header located directly in the center of the top bezel. Now if you look toward the rear (or behind) the USB headers we see a rather strange looking trap door. This is here so we can plug in a bare HDD/SSD directly into this chassis without the need of an external drive enclosure (I will get more into detail a bit later).
Since the Overseer RX-1 chassis is not exactly small, I had to lay it on its side to give you a better glimpse of how Thermaltake incorporated the upper 200mm fan(s). Similarly to how to remove the front bezel, we just need to put our fingers in the small opening towards the backside of the bezel and gently lift it up and away from the main body of the chassis.
Thermaltake uses the same style of metal mesh on the exterior of the top bezel, as they did on the exterior front bezel. I have mixed feelings about using a small opening mesh on the top of the chassis. Using such small holes will keep screws and other tiny debris from entering the chassis from the top, but at the same time, it will restrict airflow from the upper fan(s) a little bit. I would like to have seen a larger opening mesh up here, but this is more of a personal preference than it is a problem.
Sometimes it is the little things that makes or breaks a chassis. Thermaltake uses a small front IO header connector, so if and when we do need to remove the top bezel, it won’t get in our way when we need to install/clean the chassis upper fan(s).
Upon removing the upper bezel, we get a good look at the large 200mm fan that Thermaltake is using to help exhaust the hot air our computer components will produce during our daily usage.
Just in front of the rear upper 200mm fan that Thermaltake includes with the Overseer RX-1 chassis is where the optional 120/140/200mm fan mounts are located. The only problem I see here is that if we do plan on using a 120/140mm fan it may be restricted by the cross member brace.
Since we have the top bezel removed we can get a better look at the front IO headers, and the HDD/SSD docking header that allows us to use any bare HDD/SSD with this chassis.
To finish off the external overview of this review, we take a quick glance at how Thermaltake designed the right side panel (looking at the Overseer RX-1 from the front). Unlike typical side panels, Thermaltake has a slight bow to both of the side panels of the Overseer RX-1 chassis. This bow will play a large part on this chassis, more specifically the installation. So stay tuned.
Even after removing all of the bezels of the Overseer RX-1 chassis, the main metal portion of this chassis had no sharp edges; all of the edges of the chassis were rounded off (including the corners) to keep us from slicing our hands and arms to shreds when we are installing our components into this chassis.
OverSeer Internal Thoughts
Now it is time for me to give the interior of the Overseer RX-1 chassis a good look through. At a quick glance we can see that Thermaltake uses a standard layout that we have seen on countless other chassis. The length of the interior of the chassis from the back of the chassis to the back of the drive bays is a little over 14 inches across, which is more than big enough to handle some rather large computer components.
I should mention that Thermaltake has all of the motherboard standoffs already mounted to the motherboard tray. Also that the Overseer RX-1 chassis can handle both microATX, and full ATX style motherboards.
The 5.25” drive bays do not need the use of screws to secure our drives into the bays. Instead, all we need to do is to slide the 5.25” drives right into the bay and these clips will automatically lock the drives into place.
The Overseer RX-1 chassis can handle up to 5 2.5/3.5” drives, and each drive gets its own drive carrier. Notice the drive carriers have enough space in between each one to allow air flow from the front 200mm fan to help keep these drives cool during their usage.
To remove a HDD cage, just gently squeeze the 2 little tabs (where my fingers are located) and slide it out.
In order for us to get the accessory bag, we need to remove the lower HDD cage and remove the small bag. In this bag we will get all of the screws needed to assemble our computer components into the Overseer RX-1 chassis, we also get a EPS 4/8 pin CPU power cable extender and a couple of 4 pin molex to 3 pin fan adapters. Thermaltake also includes wire ties that will be helpful to hold back our PSU wires when we route them behind the motherboard tray.
All bundled up in the chassis are the front IO headers. Inside of this small bundle of wires is the on/off header, power/HDD LED’s, 2 SATA connectors (one for the E-SATA, and the other for the bare HDD docking), and 2, 4-pin molex connectors.
This is another one of those things I personally like about the Overseer RX-1 chassis: the large CPU cutout on the motherboard tray. It makes this chassis capable of using many different types of motherboards and then we are able to remove/install CPU coolers easier without having to remove the motherboard.
Here is a quick look at the rear 120mm fan that Thermaltake has in play on the Overseer RX-1 chassis.
Since I gave a quick glance at the internal chassis, I need to show what the backside of the motherboard tray looks like. Now, the one thing that had me concerned was the amount of room behind the motherboard tray, which made me worry about how I was going to hide all of my PSU wires once everything got installed into this chassis.
Thermaltake uses rubber grommets in all of the openings on the motherboard tray. This will give our install a much cleaner look and protect the PSU wires from getting chafed once we route them through these holes.
I decided to measure the amount of room there is behind the motherboard, and as we can see there is not that much room, only an half of an inch. Hmm, now I am starting to wonder if there will be enough room behind the motherboard tray to hide my PSU wires.
Since I am a bit worried about how much room there is behind the motherboard tray, I decided to measure how much room I have once the bowed right side panel once it is installed. From the looks of it, I have roughly seven eighths of an inch of room behind the motherboard tray. I am still concerned about the amount of room I have, but since the side panel isn't flat, some room was gained. I guess the only way to find out is to start installing the computer components.
Installing Hardware in the OverSeer
I am going to use my HTPC gaming computer for this review. This is my ever faithful Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor powered LGA775 platform.Tech Tip:
I have been performing this little tip for quite some time now on all of my chassis installs. By performing this little tip, it has made the motherboard install tremendously easier for me, especially once the rear IO plate gets installed and causes the motherboard not to properly line up to the motherboard mounting standoffs.
This is only an optional installation, and not required by Thermaltake. However, you can apply this tech tip to any type of chassis; it is not just limited to Thermaltake chassis.
Since Thermaltake has all of the motherboard standoffs already installed we need to remove the top 2 motherboard standoffs. The standoffs are located right above the CPU cut out.
Now with a wrench, remove the top 2 motherboard standoffs. Do not get rid of these 2 standoffs as we will need them again. They will be fairly tight, so be careful not to strip them.
Locate the motherboard screws.
Now, since we removed 2 of the motherboard standoffs, we need to go on the backside of the motherboard tray and then screw in the 2 motherboard tray screws.
All that is needed to be done is to screw them into the vacant holes. Do not over tighten these into the motherboard tray, just screw them in snugly.
Make sure to do both of the screws, as shown here.
Now locate the 2 motherboard standoffs and then screw them into the 2 screws we just put in prior to. Then, tighten them down snugly; it may require the use of the wrench and screwdriver. Now we should have 2 inverted motherboard standoffs that appear to be studs.
What this little tweak does is align the motherboard to the rest of the open motherboard standoffs allowing us to secure it to the chassis a lot easier. And, if you were like me and installed the motherboard while the chassis is upright, these 2 inverted motherboard standoffs will hold the motherboard in place.
Since I have gotten my little tech tip out of the way, it is time for me to install the rest of my computer components.
Installing the 3.5” HDD’s is pretty self-explanatory; line up the mounting holes to the HDD’s mounting and then locate the proper screws and tighten them down snugly.
Thermaltake places small rubber grommets to ensure the HDD’s are as quiet as possible during times of heavy usage.
Now if you remember from my introduction, I stated that I always had to make small modifications or mod the chassis to accommodate my unique computing needs. This is that one small area I have always had to perform my modifications on; the 3.5/2.5” HDD/SSD drive carriers. I prefer the use of the smaller 2.5” drives and previous chassis I have used did not allow for mounting these smaller drives. So consequently, I had to make special mounts for these types of drives. With the Overseer RX-1 chassis, Thermaltake made the HDD carriers to be able to handle both types of drives without any special tools or braces. All we need to do is line up the 4 mounting holes on the bottom of the drive carrier to our 2.5” storage device and secure it. The only problem is that the 2.5” HDD/SSD mountings are not shock isolated (referring to HDD’s not SSD’s).
This is how each type of drive looks once they are fully installed into the HDD/SSD drive carriers. 2.5” HDD’s (Laptop drives) and SSD’s have the same mounting configuration.
All this image is for is showing how to remove the 5.25” drive once it is installed into the Overseer RX-1 chassis. To remove the 5.25” drive, just push on the blue latch and slide out the drive. If you still choose to fully secure the 5.25” drive to the chassis, there are access mounting holes located toward the rear of the latches.
I forgot to add this portion of the Overseer RX-1 interior overview, oops. Thermaltake allows users to install a 2.5” floppy drive into this chassis. Unfortunately, we cannot remove this mount as it is permanent to the lower part of the 5.25” drive bays.
Throughout the entire backside of the motherboard tray, the Overseer RX-1 chassis has D-Loops. These are here for when we need to tie our PSU wires behind the motherboard tray with the included wire ties.
Well, I will not be winning any beauty contests on my wire routing. It is not the backside I am so concerned with, but how the other side looks.
The lower 120mm optional fan mount for the Overseer chassis is located just in front of the PSU. Considering most PSUs have a fairly small foot print, gaining/using this fan mount will be easy. But, if you happen to have a longer PSU, you will not be able to use this fan mount.
This is what the Overseer looks like fully installed and all wires hidden. The PSU I am using on this computer is a 750 Watt PC Power and Cooling, and the wires are not modular. This happens to make my wire routing a rather pain in the butt. I have to admit that this install is very clean, indeed. Putting the right side panel on the Overseer RX-1 chassis (looking directly at the front) went on without any troubles (meaning I did not have to stand on the side panel to get it to fully close, slight exaggeration of course). The bowed right side panel compensated for any wires that were protruding beyond the chassis.
The Overseer RX-1 chassis uses rather small, but flush, on and off buttons located in the front of the chassis. They are easy to operate and easy to locate what button did what. The larger right hand side button is the on/off button, the smaller left side button is the reset button. The center emblem (in-between the two buttons) pulsates when the computer is turned on.
The Overseer RX-1 chassis can use any 2.5/3.5” HDD/SSD without the need of an external HDD/SSD enclosure. This is accomplished through the use of the internal HDD/SSD docking bay located up behind the front IO ports. I personally thought this was a nice touch, because I do have a few older HDD’s just floating around and no external HDD enclosures for them.
Here is a quick image of the Thermaltake Overseer chassis lit up at night time.
Final Thoughts of the Thermaltake Overseer RX-1
Well, it is time for me to wrap things up with the Thermaltake Overseer RX-1 chassis. This brings me back to my original question that I asked, “What makes the Overseer RX-1 chassis different from other chassis’”?
One of the major things that separates the Overseer RX-1 is the amount of internal room of this chassis. Granted, I am using an older but still fairly large AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 video card with an Arctic Cooling Accelero GPU cooler on it, but trying to find a chassis that can easily handle this large video card configuration is darn near impossible. The Thermaltake Overseer RX-1 chassis not only handles this large card with ease, it makes this large video card look tiny once installed into this chassis.
Another key point I personally liked about this chassis is the location of the top 200mm fan mounts. I realize that almost all chassis these days have some form of a fan located up here, but most of these chassis requires the mounting of the fans to be done underneath the top plate. This makes installation of a fan or fans much more difficult, because we have to hold the fan, grab a screw and hold it, and then grab a screw driver, all at the same time. And, if we have a motherboard installed already, this makes installing a fan that much more interesting (in a bad way). The Thermaltake Overseer RX-1 mounts the upper fans on top of the chassis, and all we have to do is remove the upper bezel, line up the fan to the fan mounting holes, put in the screws, and tighten them down.
Finally, the ability of being able to use my older HDD’s without having to purchase another external HDD enclosure just adds icing to the cake.
Poking and prodding around the internet for a pricing of this chassis, I found the Overseer RX-1 chassis for $129.99 shipped, which makes the Overseer RX-1 chassis a top contender for anyone needing a computer chassis.
Legit Bottom Line: The Thermaltake Overseer RX-1 chassis is a well built, solid chassis that can accommodate some of the largest computer setups with considerable ease of installation.