Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Case Review

Thermaltake has been making cases for several years but they also have many different product lines such as power supplies, CPU coolers, fans, keyboards and mice.  Today we have the opportunity to review one of their new full tower cases.  The case we are going to examine is the Thermaltake Overseer RX-I VN700M series chassis.
The Overseer features USB 3.0 and a BlacX hot swap drive caddy that supports 2.5″ SSD and 3.5″ SATA on the top panel. Thermaltake include a single 120mm fan along with dual 200mm fans to handle the cooling and if they are using good quality fans, then the noise levels should be impressive.



Key Features:
  • Pulsating lighting effect.
  • E-sports gaming style front bezel.
  • USB 3.0 SuperSpeed via internal 20 pin connector.
  • Top-mounted HDD Docking Station enables blazing fast file transfer and effortless hot-swap capability.
  • Black coating makes stylish inside look.
  • Bottom-placed PSU design for better and easier installation.
  • Supports most advanced AMD & NVIDIA® graphic cards up to 12.5″/32cm.
Specifications:
Case Type Full Tower
Material SECC
Front Bezel Material Combination of plastic and high air flow mesh
Color Interior: Black Exterior: Black
Side Panel Solid with Tranparent Window
Motherboard Support 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX) 12” x 9.6” (ATX)
12” x 13” (Extend ATX)
Motherboard Tray No
5.25″ Drive Bay 3
Ext. 3.5″ Drive Bay By using 5.25″ to 3.5″ Converter
Int. 3.5″ Drive Bay 5
Expansion Slots 8
Front I/O Ports USB 3.0 x 2 (via internal header) USB 2.0 x 2
eSATA connector x 1
Mic & Speaker (support AC’97 & HD Audio)
Cooling System - Front (intake) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED (600~800 RPM, 12~14 dBA) - Rear (exhaust) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1000rpm, 16dBA
- Top(exhaust) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan x 1 (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA)
2 x  200 x 200 x 30 mm (optional)
- Bottom(intake) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm x 1 (optional)
- Side(intake) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm x 1 (optional)
Liquid Cooling Capable Yes
Liquid Cooling Embedded No
Power Supply Supported Standard ATX PSII Power Supply
Power Supply Included No
Dimension (H*W*D) 535 x 220 x 580 mm 21.1 x 8.7 x 22.8 inch
Net Weight 10.3 kg 22.7 lb
Security Lock For Peripherals Only
Application Suitable for gaming, enthusiast, DIY and modding

The Thermaltake Overseer RX-I is packaged in a sturdy, predominantly black, cardboard box that features an image of the case on the front with what appears to be a Transformer standing beside it.  The Overseer RX-I does somewhat resemble a Transformer with the rugged industrial type design, so there could be potential sales from fans of the franchise.

The opposite side of the box is dedicated to the features that come with the Overseer RX-I. They provide details about both Air and Liquid cooling configurations as well as images of some of the key internal features.

The Thermaltake Overseer RX-I ships with the standard protection used with most cases. They place the case in a large plastic bag first and then add two fitted pieces of sturdy Styrofoam before inserting it into the cardboard shell.

The image above is a complete breakdown of the parts included in the hardware package that comes with the case.

The side panel on the right side of the Overseer RX-I has a plexiglass window cutout that allows us to view the components that are installed inside and there is also room to add an additional 200mm side intake fan if the factory cooling doesn’t fulfill your needs. The panel also extrudes slightly, providing better clearance if you need to add a side fan.

The panel on the opposite side is one solid piece with no ventilation of any sort.  The panel features the same extruded portion as the main panel which should help when it comes time to deal with cable management.

The front portion of the top panel is loaded with features.  There are 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 eSATA port, 2 audio inputs, the Power/Reset buttons and a pulsating blue icon located between the 2 buttons.  If that is not enough, to top it all off,  Thermaltake has added a BlacX docking station that supports 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA hard drives.

Both the top and front panels are easily removed from the Overseer RX-I.  The are made of ABS plastic with mesh grills for ventilation purposes.

With the front panel removed we get a good view of the 200mm blue LED intake fan chosen by Thermaltake to handle the cooling.  There is a second identical 200mm top mounted exhaust fan that will remove unwanted heat from inside the chassis.

Looking at the back panel of the Overseer RX-I we start with the bottom mount position for the power supply. Located directly above to the right are 2 water cooling cutouts protected by rubber grommets.  Adjacent to that we have a total of 8 expansion slots available for any additional cards  we use in our system build.  Moving up the panel we have the cutout that holds the I/O shield and a single 120mm rear mounted exhaust fan.

The bottom of the Overseer RX-I has 4 large plastic feet that raise the case off the ground to allow better airflow into the chassis.  There are 2 ventilated areas, one that provides air to be drawn into the power supply and the 2nd one is where an optional 120mm fan can be positioned.  Thermaltake have included a removable filter that covers these 2 areas to block dust intake.

The interior of the Overseer RX-I is all black except for the blue on the 5.25″ drive locking mechanisms.  There are several cable management cutouts most of which have rubber grommets included.

The power supply mounts in the bottom of the case which is the most commonly used design today.  This bottom placement aids us with cable management thanks to the numerous cutouts along the bottom portion of the motherboard tray.

The 5.25″ drive bays are designed for a tool free installation.  This makes swapping out or adding optical drives a simple procedure.

There are 5 removable drive trays in the Overseer RX-I.  The trays are able to support 2.5″ SSD or 3.5″ SATA drives which is very convenient.

If you have a large graphics card the Overseer RX-I can support cards up to 344mm long.  We used the HD6950 and there was plenty of space still available.  The Overseer RX- I should able to accommodate pretty much any card available today.

Here is our system fully installed inside the Thermaltake Overseer RX-I chassis.  As we can see there is plenty of space to work inside the Overseer RX-I as the chassis easily accommodates our reference design HD6950 graphics cards.  Hiding left over cables is an art of it’s own, and one that I struggle with at the best of times.  As we can see from the image above the Overseer RX-I offers plenty of places to tie down and secure excess cables.
To test the Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Full Tower we will be using the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T  CPU matched with the MSI 970A-G46 motherboard. We are going to be using the Xigmatek Venus XP-SD1266 cooler to cool the CPU.
Test System
Chassis: Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Full Tower
Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46
Cooler: Xigmatek Venus XP-SD1266
Memory: 8GB DDR III
Storage: WD Caviar Black 750GB SATA 6 Gb/s
Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Plus 850w
Graphics Card: Sapphire HD6950 2GB reference model
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
Everest Ultimate Edition
Prime 95
Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2
To get started lets look at the out of the box air flow pattern.

For our temperature tests, we used Prime95 to load the system for 15 minutes and then recorded our results. We then let the system remain idle at the desktop for 15 minutes before recording the temperature for our idle results. The fans in the Thermaltake Overseer RX-I and the CPU fan are running at full speed for this test. The ambient temperature was lower then normal today, remaining at a cool but comfortable 18c for the duration of the tests.

The cooling provided by the Overseer RX-I is very good considering there are only three fans carrying the load.  The processor peaked at 45c running Prime 95 which is a very good result.  The hard drive and motherboard temperatures were also impressive.
We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built our test system to be as quiet as possible. We can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate specifically on the individual components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
Today to test the chassis we have taken it into our acoustics room and have set our Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2 one meter away from the case and roughly 4 feet off the ground. This represents a real world situation and gives us an accurate reading of the noise level produced by the fans inside the Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Full Tower.
As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBA ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise levels are excellent maxing out at 33.5 dBA.  When we ran this test the CPU fan had the Smart Fan option enabled in the system BIOS reducing it to 25% of the maximum speed.
The Thermaltake Overseer RX-I proved to be an excellent chassis design, offering good cooling performance at a very respectable noise level.  The design has an industrial and rugged look thanks to the aggressive edges on the top and front panels.
The case has 2 x 200mm blue LED fans that are extremely quiet and a single 120mm rear exhaust added to the mix for extra cooling proficiency.  There are additional cooling options available, either by adding to the number of fans or by using a top mounted radiator if water cooling is preferred.  Thermaltake have included a BlacX hot swap docking station capable of hosting 2.5″ SSD drives as well as 3.5″ SATA on the top panel along with USB 3.0 and eSATA support.
Overall the Overseer RX- I is a very complete chassis, finding the sweet spot between value and performance.
You can find the Overseer RX- I for £109.99 inc VAT at Overclockers UK.  This price point makes the Overseer a very interesting product and one that we consider definitely worth buying.
Pros:
  • spacious interior.
  • BlacX hot swap docking station.
  • decent cable management options.
  • low noise levels.
  • strong price point.
Cons:
  • looks may not appeal to everyone.
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