Review: Beat that at €55
Cooltek recently launched its midi-tower Timaios computer case. Judging by the obvious quality, Timaios is surely one of the best cases that came out of Cooltek so far.
Timaios boasts series of accessories that are rarely seen in the sub-€60 segment. Among other things, there are two USB 3.0 connectors, four silent fans, two fans speed regulators, etc.
The pictures clearly show that Timaios offers excellent cooling and has plenty of room for hardware.
Cooltek made sure to ship all the needed material that users may need while setting up their pet. There is also a very detailed manual on C.A.M.V.C (Cooltek Advanced Modular Ventilation Concept). Unfortunately, we did not receive that but Cooltek claims that the packaging also holds a 30cm extension cord for 4-pin CPU power cables.
Timaios looks a bit more modern than Cooltek’s K3 Evolution case, which we reviewed here. Still, you could say that Timaios is more of a classic design that will fit in just about anywhere.
The front mask is the most interesting part as far as the looks go. Cooltek used a mesh grill, something which most users find attractive. When the computer is running, a few white LEDs glow in the bottom part. Namely, the LEDs are found in the fan and underneath the power/reset keys.
In order to make room for the fourth 5.25’’ bay on the front, the control panel was moved to the top panel. Note that the control panel holds two USB 3.0 connectors.
It’s interesting to see that Cooltek decided on two fan speed regulators but the concept of two separately regulated channels is the advantage of C.A.M.V.C. (Cooltek Advanced Modular Ventilation Concept). The manual we received speaks of C.A.M.V.C. in more detail.
Default configuration of C.A.M.V.C. offers quality cooling but users have the freedom to tailor the cooling to their own needs by independently controlling the two channel fan speed controller. Note that one channel can run two fans.
The top panel’s mask is split in two parts. Behind the control panel is the shroud/dust filter that hides two fans. Placing the filter here is quite nice as it doesn’t take up room inside the case.
Timaios comes with four fans – two 12cm ones on the top panel, one 12cm fan on the rear and a larger, 14cm fan on the front.
The left side of the case has room for two more fans (92mm or 120mm).
The bottom panel has a large cutout hole strapped with a dust filter. Users can put in an additional fan on the bottom, next to the PSU. The hole closer to the front panel is underneath the 3.5’’ drive cage. Cooltek made the 3.5’’ bays in a way where each will take a 60x60x110mm fan, which should be a godsend to those who like their drives cooled.
The rear panel holds seven expansion card slots, which is standard with midi-tower cases. Next to each of them is a white square, suggesting that there is a toolless mechanism inside.
It’s a pity Timaios does not have a see-through panel, as the company did awesome work when it comes to improving the looks inside. All the fans, and their power cables, are white, as well as the front panel LEDs.
Timaios measures about 476 x 190 x 488 mm and will take standard or ATX motherboards. Most of the standoff screws are already screwed in and you can see that the hole beneath the socket is large enough, so mounting CPU coolers on an already mounted motherboard will not be hard.
Cabling can be routed behind the motherboard tray, but there is very little room there.
The thick black cables you see on the picture below are USB 3.0 cables coming from the control panel. These cables are connected to motherboards’ external USB 3.0 connectors found on I/O panels in the back. The cables can be routed via one expansion slot or watercooling holes. If you don’t have USB 3.0, you can only use the two standard USB 2.0 connectors.
Timaios comes with four fans. You can see the three 12cm fans on the picture above, whereas the third sits in the front panel. Cooltek used thin foam as dust filter on the front panel. Cleaning the front panel filter is not that simple, as you’ll have to take of the mesh grill with Cooltek’s logo as well.
The top 5.25’’ bay has a door on the front panel, in order to keep the mesh grill looks. Mounting optical devices requires removing the front panel – a tug on the bottom of the panel will do.
A closer look at Timaios reveals that it’s made of more parts but is generally a very tough case. We removed the metal covers on 5.25’’ slots and the metal fan bracket in order to show you the 3.5’’ cage. The covers can be reused as they’re fastened/unfastened with screws.
As you probably noticed, the fans do not come connected to the fan speed regulators. Namely, Cooltek left it up to users to decide on how they combine fans, whereas the detailed instructions can be found in the C.A.M.V.C. manual. The fan cables are about 50cm long, so no problems there. Note that one regulator runs two fans.
The fans run at maximum 900rpm so they’re inaudible whether connected to the regulator or not. We must admit that Cooltek could’ve used faster fans, since they offer such control.
The 3.5’’ cage can hold four 3.5’’ drives, whereas the fifth can be placed in the floppy bracket.
Although the 3.5’’ brackets can be removed, the construction itself is fixed in place.
Good thing is that one of these brackets will hold 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ drives. If users need more cooling, Cooltek left an option to mount a 60x60x110mm fan on the bottom of each bracket.
Note that you’ll have to turn the drive around in a way where the connectors face you, because the opposite side is not open (as you can see from the picture below). Larger, 3.5’’ drives are easily mounted and don’t even require screws, whereas the smaller, 2.5’’ drives must be fastened.
You won’t need screws when mounting 5.25’’ drives, as Cooltek used plastic locking mechanisms on all 5.25’’ bays.
Graphics cards, or any other expansion cards, can also be locked without using screws but we somehow didn’t trust this mechanism too much. Namely, coolers of most graphics cards we used prevented the mechanism from fully closing. This may not mean much during operation but if you plan on moving the case elsewhere, we recommend the good old screw fastening or simply taking them out.
As far as graphics card length goes, if you’re placing the card in the second expansion slot, or any of the following five, then it must not exceed 27cm. This is the length of a Radeon HD 6970.
CPU cooler height must not exceed 160mm. We used our Hyper Z600, which is exactly 160mm high. As you can see from the picture, it fit quite well. We had no problems with the cooler touching top panel fans.
Cooltek Timaios really did well in our review. Namely, €55 buys you four quiet fans, two channel fan speed regulator, two USB 3.0 connectors, LEDs on the front panel, tentatively designed interior and more. The case boasts plenty of room inside and will take graphics cards up to 27cm long (such as HD 6970 or GTX 580) or up to 160mm tall CPU coolers.
C.A.M.V.C. (Cooltek Advanced Modular Ventilation Concept) offers quality cooling thanks to the two-channel fan speed regulator.
Timaios is generally quite tough but there’s always room for nitpicking. However, the list of positives is much, much longer. If you’re looking for an affordable yet equipped case, then look no further because beating Timaios in this price range will be difficult, if not impossible.
We’d like to thank PC-Cooling.de who kindly provided us with the testing sample of Timaios case. You can order Timaios here.