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Thermaltake Commander G42 Case Review

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Introduction

Today we are looking at the Thermaltake Commander G42, a mid-tower ATX case with a nice black finish. With a solid reputation for quality cases, this should be an exciting experience. It has support for 3 external 5.25” Drives, and 6 internal 3.5 or 2.5” drives. It is being marketed as a budget gaming case capable of handling high-end hardware.

Thermaltake’s take on the Commander G42

Thermaltake Commander G42 Mid-Tower Chassis

Commander G series is the new gaming budget case series, designed for users who need a large interior space for high-end hardware and expansion while having a conservative budget. Like all Thermaltake gaming cases, Commander G42 is designed to ease system builds, it comes with standard features like the tool-free drive bay design, removable drive cage, multiple fans mounting options and the support for internal and external liquid cooling solution and advance cable management.

Extreme Space Design

eSPORTS look front bezel along with the spirit “Space is of the Essence” in mind by incorporating an outsize body structure with full black convex and perforated panel design to provide a vast interior space for the ultimate aeration and extreme high-end hardware components compatibility.

Tool-free Installation

Standard 3 x 5.25” and 6 x 3.5”/2.5” with innovative tool-free drive bay design minimized the hassles of installing and removing accessories and storage devices .

Expandability

G42 delivers the most scalable graphics platform in a mid-tower category, with 8 + 1 PCI-E expansion slots which support for both Native 4-way ATI CrossFireX™ and Nvidia SLI™. Additionally, the removable drive cage can support VGA card up to 410mm.

Optimized Ventilation

Beside the preinstalled one 120mm rear exhaust fan, G42 has six more optional 120mm fans mounting areas to optimize system ventilation with intake dust filters.

Convenient Build Support

Beside the mounting holes for cooling solutions, the backplate has a large CPU cut-out and pre-mounting holes that support motherboards size up to standard ATX and CPU cooler installation, with the aid of extra convex side panel G42 has the space for Advanced Cable Management up to 38mm.

High-end Complete System on the go

Enables user to build a complete high-end solution including a 240mm radiator liquid cooling system with long graphic card. It protects user’s hardware and increase CPU’s overclocking potential, mostly importantly delivers outstanding cooling efficiency in the entire case.

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Packing & Specifications

The Commander G42 comes in a brown cardboard box with a clear picture of the case, while proudly also declaring its name.

Meanwhile the sides have some details of the case inside.

Specifications

  • Model: Commander G42
  • Part Number: CA-1B5-00M1NN-00
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 487 x 244 x 493mm
  • Net Weight: 7.1kg
  • Side Panel: Window
  • Color: Black
  • Material: SPCC Steel

Cooling Options:

  • Front: 1 x 120mm
  • Rear: 1 x 120mm
  • Top (Optional): 2 x 120mm, or 1 x 200mm, or 1 x 140mm
  • Side (Optional): 1 x 120mm
  • Bottom (Optional): 1 x 120mm

Radiator Support:

  • Top: 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm
  • Rear: 1 x 120mm

Expansion Slots: 8 + 1

Motherboards: ATX & Micro ATX support

Front Panel: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Audio

LCS Upgradable: Supports ½, 3/8th, 1/4th water tube

Other:

  • CPU Cooler Limitation: 185mm height
  • VGA Limitation: 270mm or 410mm *With removing HDD Cage

Closer Look

With the case out of the packaging and all protective plastic removed, we can see it has a nice finish. The side window is full-sized, and shows off a lot of hardware.

Moving to the front of the case we see the USB 3.0 ports and the audio on the front, as well as the 3 external 5.25” drive bays, and a nice Thermaltake logo.

The right panel is much like the left, minus the window – but still keeps the bulge, which is perfect for adding extra room for cable management. Both sides mount with thumbscrews.

Moving to the back of the case we see the 8 + 1 expansion slots, a bottom mount power supply, and the rear 120mm exhaust fan.

With the case come a few accessories, fan mount adapter, 5.25” to 3.5” drive adapter, screws, and some zip ties which are always handy to have around. 3 spare motherboard standoffs are included as well.

Here we can see just how large the window really is, which is perfect when you want to show off all of your hard work.

Here we have a close up of the buttons and ports on the front. The power button has a very solid ‘click’ to it that feels satisfying to press.

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On the front is the logo, and a nice mesh panel that will look good in any setup.

Closer Look Continued

The top has multiple cooling options, with 2 x 120mm, 1 x 140mm, and 1 x 200mm available.

Opening up the side we are greeted with a better view of the internals of the case. Even with the side panels off the case feels very solid, and it feels rather roomy, despite not having much extra room on the side of a full ATX board. The extra space at the back of the case really helps with this feel.

Pulling off the front bezel we get a better look at the intake fan, and the front ports. The panel itself came off very easy, and felt solid still; I would have no concern with removing it too forcibly. This also provided easy access to replace the fan if we were so inclined.

Moving to the back we see there are quite a few places for routing cables, and the drive bays are easily accessed. The motherboard tray has a rather large CPU cutout as well.

Getting up at an angle we can see just how much room there is for cable management back here – 38mm to be exact; even without the bulge they have given ample room for any cable management.

Moving back around to the front we see the filter for the power supply intake, as well as an optional intake fan on the bottom of the case.

At the upper left corner we are greeted with a few cable routing holes, which were large enough for me to snake my 4+4 pin CPU power through, as well as a few fan cables.

In these two photos we see the exhaust fan up close, as well as the 8 + 1 expansion slots.

To the right we get a better close up of the external optical drive bays, and their locking mechanism.

Below that are the 6 internal HDD bays. The top cage was easily removed by putting pressure on a clip on the top and bottom, and pulling with some extra force. The bottom cage however is riveted to the base of the case. Removing the top cage allows for graphics cards up to 410mm in length to fit.

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Pulling one of the HDD caddy’s out is as easy as applying pressure to both sides of the front, and gently pulling it out. Without a HDD mounted it feels somewhat flimsy, however that is very natural with this kind of thing, and isn’t a fault of Thermaltake. With a drive installed the caddy feels very secure, and snaps easily back into place.

System Build

Components:

  • MSI Z87-GD65 Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-4770K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB 1866MHz Memory
  • EVGA GTX 760 Graphics Card
  • Corsair AX750 Gold Power Supply
  • Samsung 840 Pro 250GB Solid State Drive
  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB Hard Drive

 

With 38mm of cable management space, it was rather simple to deal with the 24 pin and the PCI-e cables overlapping. There were no issues with getting the back panel on.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The Thermaltake Commander G42 is a looker right out of the box, with its mesh front, angled lines, and large convex panels. The build went very quick, and was easy to install all major components in the case. The HDD caddies were a huge plus when it came down to ease of use. Cable management was a huge success primarily due to the shape of the back panel, and making use of the features Thermaltake put into the case. The primarily tool-less design of the case makes installing most everything a breeze.

One thing we would have liked was more than 1 intake fan on the front, and the possibility for a 240mm radiator on the top would have added some extra cooling options. The expansion slots also required a screwdriver to gain access to, and that would have been a nice touch to make tool-less as well.

Coming in at $66.99 on Amazon and Newegg right now, it is a solid option available out there for those who want to show off their components with style.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Good looks
  • Easy & quick installation of hardware
  • Excellent cable management

Cons

  • Lack of cooling options for intake
  • Expansion slots require screwdriver

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. RealNeil

    February 1, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Good review Aaron
    Nice case for the money!

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