Thermaltake UGK (Ultimate Gaming Kit) Review
When you think Thermaltake and the products they have revolutionized, you will inevitably start to think about cases. They have consistently pushed the boundaries of what computer cases can and should be. While other companies were satisfied with making boring rectangular boxes for their cases, Thermaltake took things to the the tenth level. The heart and soul of the UGK is a Level 10 case – the Snow Edition Gaming Case, and while I’ll be talking about all the other bells and whistles that classifies this as a kit and not just a case, the bulk of the review has to be about this giant beast of a case. Yes, this is a full tower PC case – it is undeniably massive coming in at 23″ x 11.1″ x 23″. That’s almost two feet tall, and almost two feet deep – it was so big that I couldn’t fit it inside of my desk, it had to sit proudly on the top of said desk (which left me an open cabinet for storage now). Something that looks like this though, you don’t want to hide away; no, this is a definite conversation starter when you have it out in the public eye.
Now I have had white cases before – hell up until this came in I was using a pretty standard white case; they look the best against the colors in my office, and stand out nicely – but the Level 10 Snow is more than your standard white case. The color scheme is a brilliant white on black, with the black highlighting all the right places – whoever worked on the design for this deserves a lot of praise for having a good eye. Normally you would have to think of what accessories would go best with a white case – but with the UGK, you are good to go from the moment you open the box. Included with the Level 10 Snow case is a Te eSPORTS MEKA G1 “Combat White” Limited Edition Mechanical Keyboard – now I use a G1 on my other systems because of how well they work. They are by FAR my favorite mechanical keyboards, and to get one in an arctic white color is extremely nice. Also included is a Tt eSPORTS Shock “Combat White” Limited Edition Gaming Headset, and the inappropriately named (at least in this instance) Te eSPORTS BLACK “Combat White” Limited Edition Gaming Mouse. As you can tell from the names, each of these accessories will mirror the color scheme of the Level 10 case beautifully.
Now as you look at the case, you may be wondering what the five “bumps” are on it – this is one of the features of the Level 10 case that I really love. With my job, I am constantly getting new hardware to test out, and it can be a real kick to the junk to have to disassemble a whole system just to drop in a new hard drive. Each of those “bumps” is a hot-swappable bay for you to drop new drives in with no effort at all. Some of my colleagues might think it to be a lazy solution, but when I have twelve hard drives on my desk and I want to switch which ones I’m using, it makes my life a LOT easier. The Level 10 Snow has plenty of room to expand besides the hard drives as well – eight expansion slots, one 3.5″ drive bay, and four external 5.25″ drive bays will ensure you have the room to plug in pretty much anything you could want.
Thermaltake is known for cooling as well, so you can be sure that this case is loaded to keep things running at optimal temperatures. The front, top, and side of the Level 10 Snow case sport 200mm fans with color shifting LEDs, and the rear has one 140mm exhaust fan and room for a 120mm intake fan. These all combine to move a ton of air through the system, so even if you don’t want to use any kind of liquid cooling you should be fine. One thing to note about the case is that not only is it large, it is very heavy. This beast weighs in at about 28 pounds – and that’s unloaded. Only the front face is plastic, the rest of the case is SECC steel. What does this mean for you aside from not being able to easily take this beauty to LAN parties, or QuakeCon? It means that you have a solid case that’s built to be durable. I’m not sure about using the handle to carry it when it’s loaded down (I was well over 40 lbs when I was done stuffing things into the system), but it is an easy way to get it into position before that point.
The only real complaint I have about the case? The biggest radiator you can fit inside of it is a 240mm. Now I know many companies (Thermaltake included) have been focusing on the “all in one” self contained water cooling solution – and that is fine for the average user. When I want to water cool though, I want to go a bit overboard and have some fun with things – for a case with so much upgrading room it seems crazy to me to limit that one aspect. Aside from that one issue, the Level 10 Snow had pretty much everything I needed to enjoy the case. Two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports on the front? Check. E-SATA and HD audio connections? Check. Robust cable management to keep things looking neat and tidy? Check and double check. In fact, the only other complaint I can see other people having is that the Level 10 Snow isn’t able to support an XL-ATX mobo. This wasn’t an issue for me though as I was running some ASUS boards through their paces in it, and ASUS doesn’t make XL-ATX yet.
With the accessories, you couldn’t really ask for a better set to compliment things. Yes, Thermaltake might have dropped in the G-Unit rather than the G1, but the UGK already comes in at $400 and the extra expense isn’t needed. Besides, as I said earlier the G1 is a phenomenal keyboard that I try to use on every system I have. No, I’m not getting any special kickbacks to say that – that endorsement comes free of charge. I’ve tried numerous other mechanical keyboards too, but for the price, the G1 is one of the best you can buy. The “BLACK” mouse might not have all the fancy bells and whistles of a Corsair, but it is solid and precise. I actually replaced the old Mamba I was using with the BLACK, just because I liked the way it felt in my hand. It has a 4,000 DPI engine on it that, while it might not be the king of the mice, still allows it to hold its own against others. Finally there’s the Shock gaming headset, which I reviewed on its own before. Everything I said in that review still stands here, the only difference is that the white color really jumps out at you now.
The Bottom Line: The UGK by Thermaltake is easily one of the best deals you can get if you are looking for a full tower setup that will stand apart from the crowd. If you take into consideration how much you would spend on the keyboard, headset, and mouse alone, the price is completely easy to swallow as well.
- Get a highly stylish keyboard, mouse, headset, and PC case for one good price
- The Level 10 Snow case is the culmination of some serious design work on Thermaltake’s end
- While white cases are starting to get more popular, finding matched white components is rare
- The Level 10 Snow does not support XL-ATX motherboards, which could be a detriment for some people
- The Level 10 Snow case is also unbelievably huge, requiring some planning on where to put it
- No room for a 360mm radiator
You can get the Thermaltake Ultimate Gaming Kit from Newegg for $399.99