The Element V is a very ominous, formidable looking case. Its black matte exterior and pervasive grills give it an aura which feels like a fortress of an unknown power within.
The port panel on the top yields quadruple USB ports, standard in/out audio jacks, and a single eSATA port in the middle. The power and HDD activity LEDs are on the upper corners of the panel, while the fan controller knob/button combo is in the middle. Towards the rear of the top, there are two spots for 200 mm exhaust fans, one of which is populated with a color-changing fan.
The device bays are covered using grilled bezels which are easily removed by unsnapping them from the also easily removed front bezel (don’t even try to pick up the case by the front bezel!). A pair of 120 mm intake fans (one color changing) sit behind the front bezel, and the ThermalTake logo is printed outwardly facing at the top of the bezel.
The maintenance side of the chassis sports a 230 mm color changing intake fan for cooling the motherboard and video card directly. There’s also a small window for viewing at the top of the panel. A simple lock strives to keep the contents within, and that lock affects one of the two slide fasteners which restrain the side panel.
The opposite side panel is featureless, but it is still worth mentioning. One must remove it to position the front panel port connectors, and there’s also a neat hole in the motherboard tray for dealing with high-end cooling devices without having to remove the motherboard from the chassis. More on that in the next section.
The bottom has rubber feat for gripping on potentially slippery surfaces.
The rear has a 120 mm exhaust fan, plus plenty of honeycomb grating for airflow. There’s sufficient area for two 50 mm fans, too. Each unused expansion bay cover is holed for airflow, too. Two ports for external water-cooling are near the bottom, as is potentially sufficient room for an internal water tank. The PSU is mounted at the bottom of the case, an increasingly common way to keep it cool by sequestering it in its own airflow environment.
All external panels are held on using thumbscrews.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.