The Level 10 is by far the most expensive case I have ever used. It is built amazingly well with a very distinctive look and feel to it. Thermaltake and BMW’s DesignworksUSA did a very nice job on making not only a sharp looking case, but a downright complicated one to build at that. I found installing all the parts into the Level 10 to be fairly easy. The only time that I was frustrated was when I was trying to figure out how to add in fans to cool the hard drive bays.
This leads me to the downsides of the Level 10. The first downside is the sheer size — particularly the height. With the case height combined with the way wire needs to be routed you are going to need very long SATA cables. The longest I had was a 12″ cable, and with the optical drive in the very top and my SATA connector on my motherboard at almost the bottom of the case 18″ wouldn’t even cut it. So, keep that one in mind if the Level 10 is on your list of possible cases; longer is better.
The biggest rub is on the hard drive bays. Only the top two bays have the backplane and cooling fans. With the price tag north of $700 one shouldn’t have to add anything to it outside of the system hardware. The remaining 4 hard drive bays can either be handled the traditional way or the end user can spend another $40 to outfit the drive bays with SATA backplanes. The same goes for the cooling of the hard drives; the top two drives have fans and the remaining four do not. It is a large pain for the end user to add these items in as the locking bar has to be removed and the right side panel bezel loosened to gain access to all the screws needed to remove the bay and add in the parts. It would have been nice if the bays were all fitted with the SATA backplanes and fans from Thermaltake.
In the grand scheme of the Level 10 these are minor annoyances. If you’re dropping the money to get the Level 10 then you’re building a centerpiece that is getting your undivided attention and a budget to go with it.
Due to its design there is a limit on the height of the CPU cooler you can use, which is 150mm. Although, there is room for self-contained water cooling units like the Corsair H50. With the right parts and a little planning you may even be able to get a custom loop for the CPU in there, but no full on full system water cooling. Well, not without a lot of hacking, and if you can swing $700+ for a case just to cut it up, more power to you.
Currently the Level 10 can be found on our shopping link for as little as $708 and free shipping. The next price up on the list is $830. So the decision to pick up a Level 10 isn’t going to be a light one.
Thermaltake has done something with the Level 10. They have shown the world that an off-the-shelf case doesn’t have to be a box that looks like every other case on the market. Thermaltake spent a good amount of money and took a rather large risk in doing so. Yes, the Level 10 is pricey, but it was costly to design and make and it shows on every aspect of the case. The fit and finish is quality. Combine that with the unique look and design, and that is why we are giving the Thermaltake Level 10 our Innovation Award.
Legit Bottom Line: The Level 10 is by far the most unique case I have seen to date, and the most expensive. Thermaltake and BMW were definitely thinking outside the box on this one.