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Thermaltake Tenor VB2000
By: Remco Degooyer
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    Table of Contents:
  • Thermaltake Tenor VB2000
  • Design Appreciation
  • Ports of Call
  • Going Inside
  • Drawbacks and Conclusion

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    Thermaltake Tenor VB2000 - Ports of Call

    (Page 3 of 5 )


    In an effort to continue this aesthetic simplicity and design the case does not shirk its requirements as a PC enclosure as much as it is a home theater unit. The usual front panel connections exist on this case, including a pair of USB 2.0 ports, an IEEE 1394 port, and headphone and microphone jacks. The connectors are mounted on the left hand side of the bezel and provide easy accessibility from the front. However, access is not as easy as it could be.

    The to-the-side placement of the front ports is not necessarily a bad idea, but considering all the time and effort put into the optical drive door and the lower VFD door on the front bezel, the placement of the front ports could have as easily been placed inside the drive door. Since so much thought was put into the development of such a great drive door, it seems like the front ports were added to the case as a late development rather than as a part of the original design.

    Additionally, I continue to question the logic and reasoning behind the inclusion of front audio jacks when the attachment of these devices to the motherboard causes the onboard audio ports to be disabled. Considering the marketing of this case as a home theater enclosure, why would any serious audiophile (or anyone who likes to have more than two channels on their audio) ever connect these?

    Putting aside these issues with the front panel ports, the case still continues to impress. The bottom of the case features four very stylish and very well done non-slip foot stands plated in gold. The foot stands raise the case a good half inch off the desk (or stereo stand) surface. Considering the number of cases that use the quarter inch thick plastic feet shoved through the bottom of the chassis, the addition of these small pieces increases the aesthetic quality of this case exponentially.

    The top panel of the case, however, still seems to be one of the weakest areas of case designers. The top panel includes a square of perforated steel over the area where you would roughly find the majority of PCI expansion cards and a hexagon of perforated steel roughly over the location of the CPU. Considering so many design cues that were borrowed from various pieces of stereo equipment a further "borrowing" could have occurred in the design of the passive ventilation for the case.

    Ventilation, however, remains fairly effective for the case. The case comes with three preinstalled fans including an 80 mm front intake fan and dual -- that's right, dual -- rear exhaust fans. The front intake does draw from a slotted opening in the bottom of the front bezel, and the presence of the half inch foot pads improves the effectiveness of this ventilation method, but it does not ease this obvious deficiency found in any number of computer cases. However, the presence of dual rear 60 mm fans does provide a great deal of effective cooling for the system, as well as a slight thrill seeing that double-barreled exhaust system staring at you like loaded weapons.

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