Features, unpacking and exterior design
This box model is sold in black, although there are some others in the series that are both black and white. It is a really large box, with 461 mm × 233 mm × 507 mm (al. × an. × pr.), And the glass side panel and the front grille, which carries two fans behind it, are striking. 200 mm pre-installed -800 RPM and 29.2 dB- . It arrives duly protected in the box, with plastics protecting the glass panel.
|Commander C32 from Thermaltake|
|Size||461 mm × 233 mm × 507 mm (al. × an. × pr.)|
|Motherboards||ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX|
|Ports||2 × USB 3.0, 2 × with. 3.5 mm|
|Fans included||two 200 mm with ARGB, one with 120 mm rear|
|Ventilation positions||three front of 120 or two of 140 mm or two of 200 mm, two superiors of 120/140 mm, one rear of 120/140 mm|
|Adapted for liquid cooling||Yes|
|Units||3 × 3.5 inches, 2 × 2.5 inches
Trays included for all
|Filters||magnetic upper, removable bottom filter|
|Long. Graphic card||310 mm, up to 410 mm with water reservoir|
|CPU heatsink height||180 mm|
|PVP||99 euros (April 2019)|
The panel is removed by removing two knurled screws on the back, having a thickness of 5 mm. The first thing you will see after that is the bag with all the hardware and accessories that are provided with the box. There are two front fans of 200 mm pre-installed with an addressable RGB lighting (ARGB) and a rear 120 mm without lighting -1000 RPM and 16 dBA- .
The interior is clear, with a compartment for the power supply in the lower part. Unlike other boxes, the three 3.5-inch units that can be installed have their own trays but two are screwed with a knurled screw to the plate holding the motherboard and the other to the bottom of the box. Therefore, the area of the power supply is completely clear.
To install the power supply a piece of rectangular metal is screwed to the source with four screws, and inserted from the back into the box. Once in its position, it can be screwed with four other knurled or normal screws, whichever is preferred. This facilitates the management of the wiring of the source, although for the type of equipment to which it is oriented and that this compartment will not have storage in it, it may seem unnecessary, but it is well received.
Trays for 3.5-inch units can be used for 2.5-inch units, and there are two additional trays for 2.5-inch units. The included hardware allows to fix the five units, and also provides as accessories several flanges, screws to hold the motherboard -which can be ATX, micro-ATX and mini-ITX- , a small speaker for the whistles of the motherboard, and two RGB cables to motherboard from the included RGB connection hub.
That hub is connected to the three pre-installed fans, and you can control its color from a button on the front panel. On the panel there are also two USB 3.0 ports, two 3.5 mm ports, reset button and boot. A USB 3.0 cable is included to the motherboard plus the buttons and LEDs to indicate hard disk status and power on.
The upper filter is magnetic to facilitate removal, but due to the size of that area for fans and liquid cooling causes the source noise to come out almost entirely at the top, but in turn also serves to improve the output of hot air . The bottom filter is a mere grid, not even a tray, that is easily removed and put.
The interior is very wide and I want to emphasize that it is a box for liquid cooling systems, and especially customized that can be used with water reserves. Note because, as you will see below, when installing a simple ATX motherboard with a heatsink and a normal graphics card, there is a lot of free space inside.
You can install heatsinks up to 180 mm in height, so enter any current model, as well as graphic cards of up to 310 mm or 410 mm if a water reservoir is not installed. The passage of the cables is done through two openings located at 45º, which makes it easy to put the SATA or ATX power cables. However, they are not protected by rubber bands as would be desirable in a box of this price, although they act more like concealers of the back, leaving only to see the output of the cables.
As I have said, the power supply compartment will in most cases be completely clear, a modular source being desirable so as not to leave visible cables that may be unsightly. That coverage of the compartment has a grid, and therefore you will be able to see what is in it. A very positive detail is that you can put a graphics card horizontally, with the appropriate clip above the compartment, although the PCIe extender on the motherboard is not provided to the graphics card in this position.
The wiring management area is very basic. There are no pipelines and only provide several areas to secure cables with bridles, and it is not something that is going to be aesthetic, although it will not be seen. The cables in that back part will remain practically as they are, and it does not seem that Thermaltake wants that the positioning of these cables is better managed. But it does so because the management area is very wide, and therefore there will be no problems that the ATX power cable will pass over others, and in general it is a good, if simple, management area.
An ARGB connection concentrator is included, providing two RGB cables for the motherboard, although by default it is connected to the button on the front panel. RGB has to manage four fans, two of them being occupied -the rear plate is connected to the base- . Therefore it could be used for two fans of the upper part or those of a liquid cooling radiator.
The assembly of this team has little to say since it has been a positive process and without setbacks. It is such a large box that no problems when putting the motherboard, the back plate of the connections, mounting the storage units, or the other components. Maybe at the top they could have left a little more room to ensure that there will be no problems with any radiator, but in principle it does not look like there should be problems.
The Commander C32 box is a model that I liked a lot when it comes to mounting a computer in it, but as I said several times is not for a normal computer. The possibility of putting two 200 mm fans on the front, which is not usual, will attract the attention of those who want a device with high cooling capacity, although it is mainly aimed at customized liquid cooling equipment.
It can be used in normal equipment, but I am more than adjusting the size of the tower to the maximum for the equipment that you want to mount. And I certainly prefer today mini-PC or silent boxes, and therefore would not be the target consumer of this box. But the truth is that I really liked the trays for the storage units, the 45º location of the cable grommet, the way to insert the source in the box, the large frontal space, and the appearance of the front with the 200mm fans. assets.
Going to assess the price, which I fear that in this type of product is inevitable, we must take into account precisely that includes two 200 mm ARGB fans and the hub of connections with the cables. This type of kit can increase the price of a box by 40 or 50 euros if you have to buy it separately, and hence lack “quality details” as I like to say. It has no guards in the cable glands, and no cable guidance in the cable management area.
Therefore, although its sale price to the public (RRP) should fall somewhat, it can be considered that it has a recommended retail price (RRPP) or at least not crazy. But you have to take into account when comparing with other boxes that in that price the one of the two fans of 200 mm is included – very rare to see preinstalled in equipment – with the concentrator and the side panel of tempered glass of quality if it is wanted to do a good comparison
In general I find an attractive box, with a good glass panel, wide and with good capacity of maximum cooling, being highly recommended for high performance equipment and liquid cooling.