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Thermaltake’s new Suppressor F51 mid-tower case hits our review bench today and promises massive water cooling options, near silent operation, and a host of other features we’ll take a look at. The Thermaltake Suppressor F51 comes in a windowed and non-windowed version with today’s sample being the windowed offering. In the competitive mid-tower case market, does Thermaltake have something worth your hard earned dollar? Let’s go find out!
Specifications and Features
As you can see by perusing the specifications below (provided by Thermaltake), the Suppressor F51 offers a ton of water cooling options, supports an abundance of HDDs, and can hold motherboards up to E-ATX in size. Video cards up to 12.2 inches long are supported with the HDD racks left in place or up to 18.3 inches with a rack removed. For those who use air cooling, a cooler up to 7.28 inches tall will fit just fine.
|Thermaltake Suppressor F51 Specifications|
|Case Type||Mid Tower|
|Dimension||525 x 230 x 577 mm|
(20.6 x 9.1 x 22.7 inch)
|Net Weight||11.8 kg / 26 lb|
|Color||Exterior & Interior : Black|
|Cooling System||Front (intake) :|
200 x 200 x 30 mm fan (600~800rpm,13~15dBA)
Rear (exhaust) :
140 x 140 x 25 mm Turbo fan (1000rpm, 16dBA)
|Drive Bays||-Accessible : 2 x 5.25’’|
-Hidden : 6 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ (HDD Cage)
|Motherboards||6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX), 12” x 13” (Extend ATX)|
|I/O Ports||USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1|
|PSU||Standard PS2 PSU (optional)|
|LCS Upgradable||Supports 1/2”、3/8”、1/4” water tube|
3 x 120mm
2 x 140mm
1 x 200mm
3 x 120mm
3 x 140mm
2 x 200mm
1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm
1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm
2 x 120mm
1 x 360mm
1 x 420mm
1 x 360mm
1 x 420mm
1 x 120mm
1 x 240mm
|Clearance||CPU cooler height limitation:|
VGA length limitation:
310mm(with HDD rack)
465mm(without HDD rack)
PSU length limitation:
220mm (With Bottom Fan)
Below are the high-level features as provided by the Thermaltake website. Tool-free installation, the modular design, noise dampening, and the ventilation design are the big hitters here. A few other features are listed as well, which are worth your time to look at.
Thermaltake LCS Certified
Tt LCS Certified is a Thermaltake exclusive certification applied to only products that pass the design and hardcore enthusiasts standards that a true LCS chassis should be held to. The Tt LCS certification was created so that we at Thermaltake can designate to all power users which chassis have been tested to be best compatible with extreme liquid cooling configurations to ensure you get the best performance from the best features and fitment.
Innovative 5.25” and 3.5” tool-free drive bay design minimizes installation/removal with hidden drive bays on the back panel to provide a clean look and improved expansion for liquid cooling components. The “2 + 6” drive bay with modular drive racks allows multiple SSD/HDD devices for improved storage capacity.
Fully Modular Design
With removable “2 + 6” drive racks, gain more for custom cooling components to freely interchange SSD/HDD cage sections for maximum interior space. Take advantage to include high-end, maximum capacity, cooling allotment without the reduction of GPU length limitations when incorporating liquid cooling expansion for the ultimate in cooling performance. Hidden drive bay allows expandability for more liquid cooling and still allows data drive mounting for a clean look.
Super fine fan filters with excellent protection and reduction against dirt and dust on the top, inside the front panel, and at the bottom. Magnetic fan filter on the top simply attach the filter for dust filtration.
Handy I/O Ports w/ Fan Control
Design with convenience and cleanness in mind, Suppressor F51 has built in fan speed control that supports up to four fans at the same time on the top-front panel together with dual USB 3.0 and 2.0, a HD audio connector, power, and reset button, grants a direct and easy access for external devices.
Modular Sound-Damping Design
Built-in sound-damping panels incorporated the top, front, and side panels of the Suppressor F51 chassis to reinforce noise reduction for silent operation. Optimizing cooling performance with removable mounted top panels to expand cooling configurations for both air and liquid cooling solutions. Design and build a custom leading-edge silent operation PC with options for 120/140/200mm cooling fans and liquid cooling support for single, dual and triple radiator applications.
The Suppressor F51 delivers advanced cooling performance for DIY/AIO liquid cooling and air cooling systems. With wide top-to-bottom side ventilation grills, air intake is maximized with a single 200mm front fan built-in and includes options for up to (3) 120mm or 140mm front fans with the provided ODD bridge (optional) combined with (2) bottom mount 120mm fan locations for maximum fan space selection. Dissipate heat properly with (1) rear built-in 140mm fan and (3) sectional top mounts to manage proper air flow in and out.
High-End Complete Solution
The Thermaltake Suppressor F51 Window enables users to build a complete high-end system that supports up to triple 120/140mm liquid cooling radiators or up to 200mm case fans. With extended graphic card support (up to 465mm), the Suppressor F51 simultaneously protects the hardware and increases the CPU’s overclocking potential for users looking to get the most out of their hardware. Most importantly, the Suppressor F51 delivers outstanding cooling efficiency, reduced exterior noise and dust signatures for ideal silent operation.
Optimized silent operation and optimized cooling are the last two features Thermaltake would like you to be aware of. They performed in-house testing to provide acoustic performance when using all available sound dampening and when it is all removed. Likewise, they tested cooling performance with and without sound dampening.
The Suppressor F51 comes stock with a 200 mm front intake fan and a 140 mm rear exhaust fan, but plenty more can be added of varying sizes. Those who use water cooling will be pleased with the variety of locations a radiator can be mounted and what sizes can be used. Below is a list of fan and radiator support.
We like that Thermaltake doesn’t add unnecessary cost to the product by using colorful and shiny graphics on the retail box. To that end, what you get is a brown cardboard box with black printing… perfect. The front has a large sketch of the chassis and basic product branding, while the back has an exploded view of the case’s parts. The box sides are dedicated to the specifications and a multilingual blurb describing a few of the features.
Inside the carton, the Suppressor F51 is secured with fitted Styrofoam blocks and wrapped in a plastic bag. The window is protected with a plastic film on both the inside and outside. Under one of the Styrofoam blocks is a plastic bag containing the user’s manual and warranty documentation. The plastic bag holding the accessories is tied to one of the HDD sleds inside the case. The accessories include a speaker, an assortment of screws and hardware, and a few wire ties. Also included is a bracket that allows 360 mm and 420 mm radiators to be installed at the front of the case.
As mentioned, we have the windowed version of the Suppressor F51 today. The window incorporates almost the entire left side panel, giving a virtually unobstructed view of the inside. The right side panel is a solid black panel without any distinguishing features other than perhaps the grab handle at the back. The inside of the right side panel is lined with noise dampening material. Both side panels are held in place with two standard thumbscrews, but the thumbscrews are designed to stay attached to the panel after it’s removed.
At the front of the case, the first thing to notice is the swing door, which opens from the left and swings to the right. It too is lined with noise dampening material. With the door opened, we see a dual filter setup covering the 200 mm front intake fan. Near the top of the case’s front is a pair of 5.25″ drive bay covers, which are easily removed by simply pressing on the arrow and pulling outward. We would have liked to see one of these drive bay covers with a removable center to support a 3.5″ device, such as a card reader, small fan controller, etc. Another nifty feature found on the front door is a rubber strap that can be used to secure the door when closed, which is good to have if you’re moving the chassis about.
At the top of the chassis, we find the I/O area and an easily removable dust filter. The I/O panel consists of a + and – button to adjust up to four fans, headphone and MIC jacks, HDD activity light, power and reset buttons, and two each USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. The filter sits nicely in a groove and is secured magnetically. With the filter removed, you can see the plethora of slotted holes that will support numerous fan and radiator configurations as mentioned above.
At the back of the Suppressor F51, we see a bottom mount PSU opening, eight PCI expansion slots, and a large ventilation area to the right of those slots. Just above that ventilation area is a keyboard/mouse cable lock. The upper area has the opening for the motherboard’s I/O shield, the 140/120 mm exhaust fan grill, and three water cooling pass through holes that are protected with rubber grommets.
At the bottom of the Suppressor F51, you’ll find four round feet that have rubber inserts to protect any surface the case sits on. There are two filters at the bottom – one removes from the front, and the other from the rear. Thermaltake missed an opportunity to make the bottom filter one solid piece that could be removed from the front. Once a system is built and set in place, removing a filter from the rear can often be a cumbersome chore. Another item of concern here is the less than quality paint application. You’ll notice in the pictures a pretty good sized spot where the paint never made it to. That’s something that should have been caught at the factory and remedied before being packaged for sale.
The generous amount of room inside the Suppressor F51 becomes apparent as we look inside the case. The large hole in the motherboard tray will allow for easy access to a CPU cooler’s mounting apparatus, which keeps you from having to remove the motherboard to install or change out a cooler. There are five cable pass-through holes that are relatively well placed to facilitate proper cable management. However, the pass-through hole just below the CPU access cutout will be blocked by an ATX or E-ATX sized motherboard.
The bottom of the case is extremely well ventilated and features rubber pads on the PSU support bracket and a rubber gasket around the PSU opening. The support bracket can be moved forward or back to accommodate PSUs of almost any size, and it’s held in place with two thumbscrews. Any potential vibration from the PSU should be kept well in check with this design. Depending on the size of PSU installed, up to a 240 mm radiator or a pair of 120 mm fans can be installed at this location.
At the back, we can see the ventilated PCI expansion slot covers are attached with thumbscrews. The included 140 MM exhaust fan is the Thermaltake Turbo fan and operates at a maximum of 1000 RPM at 16 dBA. The stock fan can be replaced with a 120 mm fan or even a 120 mm radiator.
Under the top deck, we can see the three noise dampening pads that come installed by default. They are easily removable if you wish to install fans, radiators, or both in this location. We dummied up a 240 mm radiator here that is dwarfed by the amount of room available here.
At the front area, the modular design really comes into play. Both 5.25″ and both 3.5″ cages are removable to accommodate a wide range of water cooling options. We dummied up a 240 mm radiator in the front that was again dwarfed by the available room here. The HDD sleds accept both 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives, and the 5.25″ trays are drilled so they too can accept both size drives. The pre-installed 200 mm fan runs at a maximum speed of 800 RPM at 15 dBA.
The 5.25″ drive bays use a tool-less latch design to secure a ROM drive, but also have a place to further secure the drive with a screws, if desired. The 3.5″ sleds also offer a tool-less installation design with an option to add screws. To remove an HDD sled, simply press the release lever to the right and open the locking arm.
Around the back, we can see the stock cabling is neatly arranged and secured to the chassis. The cables are all black with the fan extension cables being nicely braided. The front panel wires are the flat ribbon style. Of note here is that the fan extension wires used for the the fan controller will only accept 3-pin fans because of the design of the cable ends. Adapters can be used if you need to use fans with 4-pin cables. The controller itself requires a 4-pin Molex connector for power. In this day and age, that power lead should be a SATA connector. You’re likely to have SATA power close by when connecting your HDD/ROM drives, so it makes more sense to use a SATA power connector for powering the fan controller.
A nice feature located at the back is the ability to mount two of the HDD sleds behind the HDD cage area. If you go with a radiator at the front of the case, this feature will come in very handy. There is an adequate amount of room between the back of the motherboard tray and side panel for good cable management, but slightly less than the amount we like to see. The majority of system builds shouldn’t have a problem though, especially if a modular PSU is used.
Putting it all Together
The first step in our assembly process was to install the HDDs and optical drive. You’ll need screws for the 2.5″ drive, but the rest were tool-less. Easy peasy!
Next, we mounted the motherboard, and then installed the Swiftech H220 AIO water cooler.
From that point, we installed the PSU and video card. The video card is an EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified, and it easily fit with the HDD cages left installed. We then went to work connecting all the devices and performed some cable management tasks, which was rather easy as the pass-through holes seemed to be right where needed. Even with the bird’s nest of wires we had behind the motherboard tray, we were able to get the right side panel replaced. It was a bit tight, but we prevailed in the end.
Even with the sound dampening blocks removed from the top panel, the Suppressor F51 was extremely quiet during normal operation. I ramped the radiator fans, GPU fans, and both case fans to their highest RPM value; but the noise level still remained within tolerable levels. The system we assembled draws air in from the top and front intake fans and is then exhausted through the rear of the chassis. We noticed a good amount of flow through the case that was adequate for keeping things cool inside. Both the CPU and GPU temperatures were kept well within the areas we like to see. Every system build is going to display different temperature and noise values, but the system we assembled performed excellent in both instances.
Overall, the Suppressor F51 was easy to assemble a system in and had ample space to work with. Below are some final pictures with the system buttoned up.
Other than the missing paint spot at the bottom of the case, the build quality of the Suppressor F51 is very good. While the case is classified as a mid-tower, you get the feeling of a chassis that’s much bigger while working with it. It has just about as many system configuration possibilities as a full tower offering, that’s for sure. Abundant water cooling options, plenty of storage capabilities, noise dampening, and the modular design give the Suppressor F51 a feature list that most mid-tower cases simply do not offer.
The Suppressor F51 is not without a couple missed opportunities though. A one piece bottom filter that’s removed from the front would have been easy to implement given the design of the case. Given that almost all modern storage devices use SATA power, there is no reason to use a 4-pin Molex connector to power the fan controller. It’s a tad aggravating having to plug an additional cable into your modular PSU just to power the fan controller, especially when a SATA power source is usually close by. Finally, we’d like to have seen a 5.25″ bay cover with a removable center area to support an external 3.5″ device. These are all minor squabbles at best, but things that could have enhanced the ease of use.
The Suppressor F51 is available for $89.99 for the non-windowed version or $119.99 for the windowed version reviewed today. That’s a more than fair price for the features the case offers. If you’re looking for a mid-tower case that has a multitude of configuration options and a very stout set of features, the Thermaltake Suppressor F51 is definitely worth consideration.
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