Thermaltake View 37 Case Review - Better Than Expected

By Published March 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm
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The Thermaltake View 37 is the latest addition to Thermaltake’s big-transparent-window-themed View series. It’s similar in appearance to the older View 27, but with a much larger acrylic window and less internal shrouding.

The acrylic window is impressive, and it’s about the best it can be without using tempered glass. Manufacturing curved glass panels is difficult and expensive, and using glass would probably bring the price closer to $200 (or above, for the RGB version). As it is, the acrylic is thick and well-tooled so it’s basically indistinguishable from glass, other than a tendency to collect dust and small scratches. Acrylic was the right choice to ship with this case, but if Thermaltake sticks to past patterns they may offer a separate glass panel in the future.

Today, we’re reviewing the Thermaltake View 37 enclosure at $110, with some 2x 200mm fan testing for comparison. The RGB version runs at $170.

 

Thermaltake View 37 Specs

Case Type

Mid Tower

Model

View 37

P/N

CA-1J7-00M1WN-00

Dimension (H x W x D)

525 x 261 x 538mm (20.6 x 10.3 x 21.2 inch)

Net Weight

11.8 kg / 26.01 lb

Side Panel

L-type transparent window

Color

Exterior & Interior : Black

Material

SPCC

Cooling System

Front (intake) : 140 x 140 x 25 mm Riing LED Blue fan (1400rpm, 28dBA) x 1 (1000rpm, 22dBA with LNC)

Rear (exhaust) : 140 x 140 x 25 mm Riing LED Blue fan (1400rpm, 28dBA) x 1 (1000rpm, 22dBA with LNC)

Drive Bays

Accessible 3 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’(HDD tray)

Hidden 8 x 2.5’’ or 4 x 3.5” (HDD Bracket)

Expansion Slots

8 + 2

Motherboards

6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX), 12” x 13” (E-ATX)

I/O Ports

USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1

PSU

Standard PS2 PSU (optional)

Fan Support

Front: 3 x 120mm, 3x 140mm, 2 x 200mm

Rear: 1 x 120mm

Right Side(In front of M/B Tray): 3 x 120mm, 3 x 140mm

Bottom: 1 x 120mm, 1 x 140mm

Radiator Support

Front: 1 x 360mm , 1 x 280mm

Rear: 1 x 120mm

Right Side(In front of M/B Tray): 1 x 360mm, 1 x 420mm

Clearance

CPU cooler height limitation: 180mm

PSD length limitation:220mm

VGA length limitation: 410mm (Without Front Fan)

Build Quality - Thermaltake View 37

The View 37 suffers structurally for its looks. The combined acrylic side/top panel means that there’s no metal support in the chassis on that edge, so the whole case warps slightly when moving it around without the panel installed. Thermaltake was clearly aware of potential problems, and added rivets and extra-wide supports elsewhere in the case. Still, with one vertex of the chassis missing, the two upper corners of the case along the acrylic edge aren’t really fastened to anything. To prevent gaps from forming here, a (literal) patch was added to the upper rear corner (not visible at CES). It’s held on with four case screws and does a good job of keeping the panels flush.

Unfortunately, the four case screws cancel out the convenience of panel removal. Without the patch, the panel could be taken off by removing two thumbscrews and easily sliding it back and up. At least there’s no danger of shattering--even if the panel were made of glass, the L-shape makes it difficult to drop.

thermaltake view 37 2

Like the Core P3, there’s a sideways radiator mount inside the case with vents cut into the side panel for airflow. This is covered with a magnetic filter to keep it clean when unused, or to filter incoming air if a front-side intake is necessary for some reason--if used as exhaust, this should definitely be removed.

The bottom filter is reversible, but can only be inserted or removed from the rear of the case. Getting it hooked in properly requires turning the case on its side, since there’s a plastic skirt that almost completely encloses the bottom of the case. This also means that incoming airflow for the bottom and front fans must come all the way from the rear of the case or a tiny vent at the bottom of the front panel. We’ll cover airflow more in the thermal section below, as it’s one of the reasons we were eager to review this case.

thermaltake view 37 3

There’s no PSU shroud, which is a brave choice in a case with such a large window. That means there’s no lazy way to hide power cables, especially if the side radiator mount is used, which further restricts the area that can be used for cable management. Space behind the motherboard tray for cables is generous, but it could be better considering these restrictions. We prefer not using PSU shrouds because of the airflow restrictions they create, and opting not to include one allowed Thermaltake to include a larger HDD cage that’s lifted above the bottom of the case; overall, it’s a positive choice.

The lack of a shroud also allows more room for a vertical GPU bracket. In cases with PSU shrouds and vertical mounts, the mounts are typically placed high enough that a full-width GPU interferes with large air coolers. It’s still not good for cooling (as we’ll discuss in the thermal section), but the bracket is low enough in the View 37 that clearances are generous. A riser cable is not included, but that’s more forgivable in a case like this than in the Core P3.

Removing or replacing the bottom-front stock fan is a pain. The front panel and both side panels must be removed, an HDD tray must be removed to reveal the screws on the back of the HDD cage, four screws must be removed to release the cage, four further screws can be removed to remove the cage mount and allow extra screwdriver room, and then the fan can be unscrewed from the case. We’d like to see removable fan trays like the 500D’s in more cases, or a more easily removable HDD cage. At least it’s not riveted.

thermaltake view 37 4

Our review sample isn’t RGB, so there’s no controller or external RGB control button. The Riing fans included look nice, as always, but they’re lit with simple uncontrolled blue LEDs. The RGB version includes three Riing 14 RGB 140mm fans, one than the base model.

Case Testing Methodology

We tested using our new Skylake case test bench, detailed in the table below. This particular configuration is brand new with the launch of the 570X & 270R. Results on this test platform cannot be compared to previous case benchmark results, as the platform has completely changed.

Conducting thermal tests requires careful measurement of temperatures in the surrounding environment. We control for ambient by constantly measuring temperatures with thermocouples and laser readers. We then produce charts using a Delta T(emperature) over Ambient value. This value subtracts the thermo-logged ambient value from the measured diode temperatures, producing a delta report of thermals. AIDA64 is used for logging thermals of silicon components, including the GPU diode.

All case fans are manually configured to their maximum throughput using BIOS, then we configure to an RPM closer to 1050 for a universal "quiet" testing. If a fan controller is present, we opt-in and test on multiple settings. This forces testing of case fan performance in addition to the case's air channeling and airstream design. This also ensures minimal variance when testing, as automatically controlled fan speeds can reduce reliability of benchmarking. The CPU fan is set to 1100RPM (constant) for consistency, and the CPU is overclocked to 4.4GHz with a vCore of 1.272V (constant). C-States and power saving states are disabled.

GN Case Testing Bench (Sponsored by CableMod)

  Component Courtesy Of Price
Video Card MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (OC Mode) MSI $640
CPU Intel i7-6700K @ 4.4GHz GamersNexus $300
CPU Cooler MSI Core Frozr L MSI TBD
Motherboard MSI Z170A Gaming M7 MSI $180
Memory Corsair Vengeance LED 32GB 3200MHz Corsair $200
SSD Samsung 850 EVO 120GB Samsung N/A
PSU Corsair RM650x Corsair $100
Cables CableMod Pro Mesh Cables CableMod $50-$100
Case This is what we're testing! - -

The video card is configured to run at 55% fan speed at all times.

Prior to load testing, we collect idle temperature results for ten minutes to determine the unloaded cooling performance of a case's fans and air channels. Thermal benchmarking is conducted for 1400 seconds (23 minutes), a period we've determined sufficient for achieving equilibrium. The over-time data is aggregated and will occasionally be compiled into charts, if interesting or relevant. The equilibrium performance is averaged to create the below charts.

Load testing is conducted using Prime95 LFFTs and Kombustor “FurMark” stress testing simultaneously. Testing is completely automated using in-house scripting, and executes with perfect accuracy on every run.

We recently validated our test methodology using a thermal chamber, finding our approach to be nearly perfectly accurate. Learn more here.

Thermaltake View 37 Thermals & Noise

We tested the vertical GPU mount and with the front panel removed, as usual. We also tested with two 200mm Riing intake fans installed in the front, both with and without the front panel. There’s a decent amount of ventilation on either side of the front panel, but none on the bottom, and obviously none on the top of the case due to the acrylic window.

Clearance between the front panel and stock fans is tight, and it’s even worse with the thicker 200mm Riings we added. Clearance would be much better if the fans were mounted inside the case (which is possible), but doing that with Riings would cover up their LEDs and defeat the whole purpose. Advertisements show the case with 200mm Riings mounted to the outside of the chassis, and that’s what we tested, but that’s not the ideal configuration for large fans with low static pressure. With fans moved inside the chassis, we’d expect the results to fall between the stock and no front panel results.

CPU Torture

thermaltake view 37 cpu only

CPU dT under the torture workload was 54.7C with the stock fan configuration. Removing the front panel resulted in an unusually small improvement, with dT only dropping a couple degrees to 52.3C. The one stock intake fan is at the very bottom of the case as far as possible from the CPU, so more air being supplied to it doesn’t really affect CPU temperatures. Using two 200mm intake fans with the front panel back in place left CPU dT at 54.9C, almost exactly the same as  baseline, but removing the front panel in this configuration lowered dT to 46.9C. The moral is that a sealed front panel can’t hurt airflow if there’s no airflow in the first place, but with a proper number of fans installed it will severely bottleneck performance. As mentioned above, the minimal space for airflow and lack of ventilation doesn’t do any favors for large fans with low static pressure.

thermaltake view 37 cpu all

54.7C CPU dT as a baseline isn’t unreasonable, and it’s much better than we were expecting. It’s the same as the Corsair 270R and the stock View 71, both of which we reviewed highly. The View 71 in particular has an identical stock fan arrangement to the 37, but with more places for air to enter and exit, so we were expecting it to perform better in most tests. Apparently the ventilation around the sides of the front panel combined with the static pressure of the stock 140mm fan was enough to make stock cooling performance equivalent.

GPU Torture

thermaltake view 37 gpu only

GPU dT was 51.2C during the torture test. Although the stock intake fan is aimed directly at the GPU, dT only dropped to 49C with the front panel removed to allow the fan to breathe. Two 200mm Riing intake fans left the GPU at 53.1C dT, warmer than in the stock configuration. Removing the front panel then brought this down to 50.6C dT, slightly below baseline.

thermaltake view 37 gpu all

Those results may sound a little disappointing, but the relatively small changes in temperature are because it’s one of the better GPU cooling cases we’ve tested. In the stock configuration it matches the Corsair 570X or and again the View 71, and even the warmer 53.1C dT from using the two 200mm intake fans is around the performance of the S340 Elite or the Corsair 270R. The lack of a PSU shroud combined with the focus on airflow at the bottom of the case keeps the GPU temperature down, although the HDD cage does obstruct air if it’s installed.

3DMark

thermaltake view 37 3dm

The Firestrike Extreme workload only raised average GPU dT to 52.7C, roughly equal to the H500P Mesh and only beaten by the PM01, RV02, and HAF X. That’s excellent for a case like this, and really surprising given the lack of ventilation. With only one intake fan, aiming it along the bottom of the case is a good choice, as otherwise it’s easy for hot air to stay trapped at the bottom and recirculate into the GPU. Hot air rises passively, but not against the force of a fan.

Blender

thermaltake view 37 blender cpu

Rendering our monkey head test image on the CPU averaged a CPU dT of 37.2C, equivalent to the Thermaltake’s Core P3 and View 71 enclosures. Those aren’t cases with a focus on CPU cooling, but they are well-ventilated, so the View 37 is in good company. Cases with more active airflow towards the top like the RL06 and the H500P Mesh outperform it, but it definitely isn’t leaving hot air trapped around the CPU cooler.

thermaltake view 37 blender gpu

GPU-accelerated rendering averaged 25.9C dT on the GPU, again roughly equivalent to the View 71. There are better-cooled cases on the chart, but again, they’re all cases that we’ve specifically praised for their cooling (Cougar Conquer, RV02, etc), while the View 37 appears to be a sealed acrylic bubble. Performance in all of these thermal tests was beyond what we were expecting.

Noise

thermaltake view 37 noise

The noise level of the stock View 37 is almost exactly the same as the View 71 TG, because it has the same fans in the same layout. The 140mm Riing fans stayed around 1500RPM during testing, so they were pretty noisy.

Conclusion

Thermal performance of the stock View 37 doesn’t break any of our records, but it’s far better than we expected, probably thanks to the power of the fans that ship with it. We were ready for it to fail on the same points so many cases have over the past few years: too many windows, too few air holes. The very features that make it interesting hurt performance; the front panel is an unbroken sheet of acrylic, and so is the combination side/top panel. That said, performance was actually acceptable, and “acceptable” is more than good enough for customers that are considering this case based on appearance. Shipping two strong fans rather than three wimpy ones makes a lot of sense.

Installing front intake fans on the inside of the chassis is a good option to improve cooling for those who don’t care about obstructing their LEDs and aren’t using a front-mounted radiator. The side radiator mount is also nice to have, and it’d work well configured as exhaust. We’d prefer the case to have normal legs rather than plastic skirting that’s nearly flush with the floor, and we’d prefer a bigger vent in the bottom of the front panel (or just mesh). Otherwise, considering that this is a case built around a specific side panel design, Thermaltake has done a pretty good job.

We’ve seen a few “successor” cases lately that haven’t added much to their predecessors, notably the PM02 and the 275R. We never reviewed the View 27, but based on looks alone the View 37 is distinct enough to merit existence. $110 seems a little steep by now for a case that uses no glass, but it’s a unique design--it’s not like there’s a cheaper version to be had. We prefer the single-color base model with two Riing fans to the $170 version with three RGB fans. Blue Riing 14 fans are going for about $16 on Newegg as of this writing, so adding one to the base model would still be $44 cheaper than the RGB model and perform exactly the same.

Editorial, Testing: Patrick Lathan
Host, Test Lead: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman

Last modified on March 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm

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