Thermaltake Level 20 VT Review

Anyone who likes glass and RGB lighting in and on the PC will not be able to avoid visiting Thermaltake. Even if you weren’t the trendsetter, you are known for glass and lighting-heavy housings. The Thermaltake Level 20 GT RGB Plus has already shown what can be offered. Now an mATX offshoot follows – the Thermaltake Level 20 VT.

Like its big brother, the Level 20 VT is also equipped with all kinds of glass. Thermaltake donated four glass side panels to the case. However, buyers have to do without factory-installed RGB lighting. Our practice test will clarify how the mATX Glass Cube performs. The price for this “cube” is around 100 EUR.

Scope of delivery and technical data

The scope of delivery of the Thermaltake Level 20 VT is very small. In addition to the necessary screws and the extra power supply bracket, there are only cable ties in the accessories box. Due to a large amount of built-in glass, RGB or monochrome LED strips would have been a real option. The fact that no RGB fans or LED strips are installed keeps the price low, but it is a missed opportunity with all the glass.

Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P
Mainboard format (s) Mini-ITX, micro-ATX
designation Level 20 VT
Form factor Cube case
Price housing about 100 €
Manufacturer homepage www.thermaltake.de
Other key data
Drives 2 x 3.5 inches
3 x 2.5 inches
Fan pre-installed
front :optional
front:
lid:
back:
bottom:
1x 200mm fan2x 120mm, 2x 140mm
4x 120mm, 2x 140mm
1x 120mm, 1x 140mm
2x 120mm
Radiator support Front:
Back:
Lid:
1x 120mm, 140mm, 240mm; 180mm
1x 120mm
1x 240mm + 1x 280mm, 2x 240mm
max.CPU cooler height max.185mm
max.GPU length max.350mm
max. power supply length max.200mm with a floor fan
Material housing  SPCC steel, glass, plastic
Weight 8.66kg
Dimensions 430 x 330 x 348 mm (L x W x H)
Others four 4mm glass parts
two-chamber design
modular frame
color black

Impressions outside

If you take a first look at the Level 20 VT you will definitely see one thing – glass as far as the eye can see. Four side parts are provided with glass, which increases the weight of the mATX Cube to a remarkable 8.66kg. The rounded corners draw another parallel to the larger Level 20 GT RGB Plus. So despite the size difference, the design language is retained.

The front is dominated by the glass insert. This is neatly executed and fits in well with the design of the Level 20 series. To prevent the front fan from suffocating, there are relatively large air inlets next to the glass. Also, the glass pane has been separated a good centimeter from the housing frame by spacers. The front is interrupted on the sides by the silver, rounded corners, and the Thermaltake TT logo.

Of course, the cover can also be removed. This opens up a view of the built-in 200mm case fan. Other fan mounting points for 120mm or 140mm fans can also be seen. To the left and right of the fan, large cable glands can be seen, whereby the cables of the front connection panel are led through a 5.25 “recess above the fan. With a corresponding frame, even a DVD drive could theoretically be installed. How to do this with the But if the front wants to open it remains a mystery.

The built-in 200mm front fan has to do its work in level 20 VT as a loner ex works. In contrast to the Thermaltake Level 20 GT RGB Plus, it has no RGB lighting. The TT-2030 fan did not even have monochrome lighting. In earlier housings, this model was available as a variant with blue lighting and the mounting points for LEDs are still available in the completely black frame. In such a glass-heavy housing and the current age of RGB everything, that is wasted potential.

But back to the case. If we hike from the front further up towards the top, we make a small stop at the front connection panel at the beginning of the top. This is equipped with the usual suspects. From left to right – headphone and microphone connection, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, reset button, hard drive LED, and illuminated power switch. A USB Type-C port in the front would be a welcome addition to the connection panel. However, the USB ports are spaced a healthy distance apart so that even thick USB sticks or devices can be connected. Problems can arise with other housings.

In contrast to the front, the entire top is made of glass and is not framed. However, the top is also raised just under an inch by the spacers. The top can also be removed, revealing four fan rails. This allows a variety of fan positions and different radiator sizes for water cooling can be installed. More on this in the practical test.

At the latest on the back of the case, you can see how the mainboard is built into the Level 20 VT. Compared to the normal tower case, the circuit board in this cube case is installed horizontally. Of course, this has consequences. All recesses for the mainboard connections and the PCIe slots are rotated by 90 degrees. The power supply is below the underlying built motherboard tray, so it prevails a bicameral system, as well as the Corsair Crystal Series 280X RGB, was the case. There, however, the structure was more in the tower design and not lying flat like here. On the back, all the thumbscrews secure the respective side panels and which must be removed to loosen the side panels.

On the underside of the case, we find a dust filter for the power supply unit installed there. The perforated grille further towards the front is unfortunately not provided with a dust filter, as the main airflow should be through the front. So that a fresh breeze can still take place, even when the housing is on a carpet, four feet, which are provided with foam, are of course built-in.

The right side of the Level 20 VT is again shaped by the glass. In contrast to the top, however, it is inserted into a type of socket again, which is a great advantage, especially when removing the side panels. A first look into the interior can be thrown through the glass, whereby three 2.5 “hard disk slots become visible. Anyone who wants to present their SSDs can do this wonderfully here.

The same glass side panel can be found on the left-hand side and allows a slight insight into the interior as well. From here, the hardware can be viewed very well when it is installed. However, it also becomes clear that despite the two-chamber system, the cable management has to be tidy, as the cables are visible through the many glasses.

Impressions inside

The way into the interior of the Level 20 VT can be done in several ways because, in addition to the two side parts and the upper part, the lower part can also be removed. All are secured with two thumbscrews each from the back of the case. If you remove the left side part as with normal towers, you will be greeted by the lying mainboard tray and the 3.5 “hard disk cage in the lower-left corner. Next to the cage is a lot of space for the cables coming from the front panel. The elevation of the top by the spacers is once again very clear from here.

To get a better view of the mainboard tray, the top has to be removed and the case put on its side. So it can be seen very well that a large recess for CPU cooler and a recess for cables or front radiators are left in the tray. In addition to the fact that the mainboard tray is located, it has another, smaller specialty. No extra spacers are screwed on with the Level 20 VT because these are virtually pre-installed. Such an implementation is more familiar from cheaper housings. That the manufacturer uses them here is more surprising, because spacers for screwing have long been standard.

On the other side of the case, the interior looks very similar. Here, however, there are three 2.5 “hard disk frames that are mounted in such a way that the hard disk can be shown to its best advantage through the glass. The frames themselves are each secured with a thumb screw at the upper end and their position can be varied.

After both side parts and the top have been removed, it is now the turn of the bottom. This opens up a view of the second or lower chamber of Level 20 VT. It turns out that there is a lot of space for cable management, even if part of the space, next to the 3.5 “hard drive cage, is used by the power supply.

If the front cover is now removed, only the bare basic structure of the housing remains. This consists of a uniform aluminum cube, which enables the orientation of the housing and the covers to be changed. The Level 20 VT can also be aligned like a normal tower and rotated 90 °, 180 °, or 270 °. The covers and glass parts can easily be mounted on the corresponding sides. Even if these options are hard of importance for the normal buyer, it is a blessing especially for the modder scene, and makes editing and modifying much easier.

Hardware installation

The installation of the test system went without any major problems. Only the installation of the power supply has become unnecessarily complicated and consists of several steps. Of course, we will show you exactly how the installation works step by step.

To install the power supply unit, the bottom must first be removed. Also, two metal bars, screws, and rubber decouplers from the accessories are required. In the finished state, the rails form a holding frame for the power supply unit, since it would otherwise have no holder without the underside. The two decouplers are attached to the perforated metal rail so that the power supply unit does not transmit any vibrations.

In the next step, the prepared metal rail is attached from the right side of the housing, between the middle and the last SSD frame. So that the rail does not hang loosely in the air, it is screwed to the second rail, which then snaps into a smallholder below the 3.5 “cage.

Now theoretically only the power supply unit with the fan has to be pushed upwards under the bracket created in this way. However, the decoupling stands in the way and can only be pushed aside by force. However, they can no longer do their work, which means that you have to disassemble the awkwardly screwed together bracket so that the power supply can first be put into place. The bracket can then be reassembled. The last step, the locking of the second rail, is made much more difficult by the power supply. But when this is finally done, the power supply unit is bombproof and does not even screw up by a millimeter. But why the whole thing had to be made so complicated remains a mystery. With these steps, the hardware installation dragged on by almost 10 minutes, as the instructions were not much help either. Trying and testing were the tools of choice here.

The assembly of the power supply is not the only surprise. Even when installing the hard drives, more precisely when installing a 2.5 “SSD, Thermaltake acts outside of the norm. If you take a closer look at the frames, you only see two openings for screws in the 2.5” frame. SSDs are usually also attached with all four screws. Screwing with only two screws is not a problem, at least with SSDs. However, if you want to build in 2.5 “HDDs, you should think twice about it. 3.5” HDDs are again simply pushed into their frame as expected and secured with the help of the small plastic noses.

When installing the rest of the hardware, everything went completely smoothly, which is largely due to the generous space of the Level 20 VT. However, those who hoped that all cables could be hidden will be disappointed. Even if the glass side panels are tinted, the cables are still clearly visible. If illuminated hardware is then installed, this effect is even stronger.

The glass side panels were particularly noticeable in the assembled Level 20 VT. Unlike many other cases, these do not protrude a few millimeters from the case frame or the front but lie completely flat. Only the frame of the glass prevents a continuously flat side. Noise and dust are thus successfully eliminated.

Installation of water cooling

In times when AiO water cooling systems are more popular than ever, the compatibility of water cooling systems and radiators must of course not be forgotten in a housing test. For this, we tried to mount different radiator sizes and thicknesses in the housing.

Since there is almost no thickness limit for radiators in the front and rear of the Level 20 VT and even a 60mm radiator can be installed in push/pull, we limit ourselves to installing heat exchangers in the cover or, more precisely, on the dedicated rails. These can simply be removed from the lid for installation or optics.

Two 120 / 240mm radiators or a 240 and a 280mm radiator can be installed together. Unfortunately, two 280mm radiators are not possible. If you would like it to be bigger, you can do without the two middle rails and thus make space for a 200mm single radiator which, together with a 200mm fan, is installed in the front. The appropriate mounting points would also be available in the front. The rails simplify the sometimes annoying installation in pull configurations and the radiators can be brought to their destination quickly and easily.

But if you take a closer look at the built-in heat exchangers, you will notice gaps between the rail and the housing frame. The rails do not sit straight but had to be bent a little during installation so that the radiators fit. Unfortunately, we could not clarify whether this is a general problem, or simply due to the Alphacool NexXxoS radiators.

Test system presented

Our case tests are carried out according to a standardized principle. As usual, how we test can be found in our articles,  How We Test. In this way, it is possible to compare all test reports in the area of ​​housings.

AMD AM4 µATX case setup

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1400 (Retail) – Turbo off
Mainboard: MSI B350M Mortar
Storage: Corsair MP500 240GB M.2 NVMe
Cooling: be quiet! Shadow Rock TF2
RAM : 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX @ 2666MHz
Power supply : be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W
Graphics card : MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X
Operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64
Graphics driver:

Overall rating

The overall rating is a summary of all temperatures and measured values. In total, this results in a performance indicator about the cooling capacity of each housing. We are currently endeavoring to fill in the basis of comparison so that all values ​​determined are also about one another.

Volume measurement

A “PCE 318” sound level meter is used for measurement. This is screwed onto a tripod and records the volume 50cm away from the front of the housing. The measuring room we use has a basic volume of approx. 32 decibels and is subjectively judged and can be described as absolute silence.

The volume of the Thermaltake Level 20 VT is definitely not its strong point. Even if only a single fan is installed, it is still relatively loud. The decisive point for the high volume, however, is the graphics card, although its fans are fixed to the same rotation speed in all cases. It seems as if the vertical alignment in connection with the glass on the sides deliberately moves the volume upwards, which can lead to the high readings.

 

Temperature measurement

The tools NZXT Cam (3.5.80), FurMark (1.20.0), and Prime95 (29.4b8) are used to bring our test system up to temperature. Prime95 runs in the “maximum heat test”, while our R5 1400 is set to a clock rate of 3.4 GHz at a voltage of 1.25V. With these settings we would like to increase the heat dissipation somewhat, but not with an extreme overclocking, far from the reality. FurMark is operated in custom mode (1280×720 – nonfullscreen), while our RX 580 Gaming X is set to a clock rate of 1300MHz and a maximum power target. Both load tools run in parallel for 30 minutes. After a short cool-down phase, the measurements for the various fan voltages are carried out again. As a basis for comparison, the open structure is measured and included in the diagrams.

Temperature measurement 7V

Of course, such a volume of data is not immune to measurement tolerances, so fluctuations in the range of 0.5 degrees Celsius are possible in the measured temperatures. We also used this temperature measurement for an open structure to be able to compare the cooling performance with that of the installed state.

Brief evaluation

Due to the 200mm fan in the front, the temperatures are much better with other cases, but as one page before, the volume is at the expense. The CPU temperature in particular is significantly better than the similarly constructed Corsair Crystal 280X RGB. However, the tide turned with the graphics card and SSD temperature values. The waste heat from the GPU does not seem to be able to be transported away properly and it also warms up the SSD.

Temperature measurement: 12V

Of course, such a volume of data is not immune to measurement tolerances, so fluctuations in the range of 0.5 degrees Celsius are possible in the measured temperatures. We also used this temperature measurement for an open structure to be able to compare the cooling performance with that of the installed state.

Brief evaluation

The CPU temperature remains the best temperature measured at Level 20 VT in comparison with the other cases. The temperature of the graphics card and the SSD remain the worst values ​​so far (measured in comparison). A second fan, in the rear or the lid, could be of great help here, no, it will – and should be possible without major costs. A small surcharge wouldn’t put off buyers either, but the comparatively “bad” temperatures would be more likely.

Conclusion

All that glitters is not gold. This sentence applies very well to the Thermaltake Level 20 VT. Here and there there are minor and major problems that Thermaltake could fix with just a few changes. But there are also some positive things.

If you are looking for a spacious cube case and glass parts, you will be served with the Level 20 VT at a very fair price. Hardly any other case offers so much optically and with as much glass as is the case here. Also, the two side parts are built into the housing frame without any gaps, which can reduce noise and prevent dust. The small gap at the top and front, on the other hand, allows the case to “breathe”. If these were not available, the measured temperature values ​​would be far worse.

Another positive aspect is the modular basic structure of the Level 20 VT. If all parts are removed, they can be reattached to the housing frame in different orientations. This means that the interior can be rotated by 90 °, 180 °, or even 270 °. This aspect should be a big plus point, especially for modding enthusiasts.

Due to the generous dimensions, the housing also offers sufficient space for large components and also a complete water cooling system with several radiators and an expansion tank. All of this can be installed without changing the housing or interior. The assembly of the radiators is child’s play, because thanks to the individual rails, they can be mounted outside the housing and only have to be clicked into place. Here, however, the first point of criticism is looming, because the rails of our Alphacool NexXxoS radiators had to be visibly bent to click into place.

There are also criticisms when installing the other hardware. The biggest negative is the incredibly complicated assembly of the power supply. The steps are basically simple, but to get there it takes a lot of trial and error because the instructions are not much help in this case. The fact that the power supply cannot be pushed in, but the painstakingly built bracket has to be removed, is only the tip of the iceberg. A bracket cannot be attached to the floor due to the modular system, but this step could certainly have been made much easier.

If the system is then installed and really pressurized, it unfortunately also becomes relatively loud. There is only one fan installed, but it can get a little louder. The main problem, however, was the graphics card, which, due to the vertical installation in connection with the glass side panels, emits the noises bundled upwards. Silent enthusiasts will not be satisfied with level 20 even with 7V voltage on the fan.

Due to the individual fan, the temperature values ​​are not particularly good either. While the CPU temperature is still one of the better-measured values, the graphics card and the M.2 SSD installed next to it suffer particularly from the lack of fans. Without a second fan in the rear or the cover, a kind of heat build-up occurs in the housing, which can only be slowly dissipated through the gap on the top. Thermaltake should seriously consider adding a second factory-installed fan. A small surcharge would be justified and is less of a deterrent to buyers than poor temperature values.

Due to the good price, however, there is still some room in the budget of most buyers, which is why a second fan should not be a major hurdle. In conclusion, the following can be said about the Thermaltake Level 20 VT. If you are looking for a case with a lot of space and a lot of glass, do not want to spend a lot, and can accept higher temperature and volume values, you will be happy with the Level 20 VT. In this case, the price-performance ratio is simply too good not to hit. The case is also available from Amazon at the price of around EUR 99.

Thermaltake TT Level 20 VT
Modular Cube Case with lots of space and four glass parts at a fair price, 05.12.2018
Housing reviews Manufacturer homepage
Per Contra

+ good price-performance ratio
+ four glass parts
+ modular framework
+ easy installation of radiators
+ lots of space
– Waste heat build-up causes high temperatures
– Installation of the power supply unit
– Only one fan ex-works

Thermaltake Level General Summary

Thermaltake Level To summarize, we see that it has very good features in terms of design, price and performance. Thermaltake Level, which has given a successful performance compared to its competitors in this segment, has not received any serious complaints from its users until now and has given its users confidence with maximum positive feedback. With the Thermaltake Level 2-year warranty, it continues to support any problem after the sale and does not suffer the user.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Installation of the Product is Extremely Simple. You can set it up easily with the included Guide.

Has no known chronic problems.

Yes, they say they are generally satisfied.

The minimum warranty period is 2 years.

You can buy it from sites like amazon, ebay.