Thermaltake Sword M Super Tower Case w/Liquid Cooling Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     February 3, 2008

Thermaltake Sword M Super Tower Case w/Liquid Cooling Review

Product Number:
VD500LBNA (w/water cooling)
VD5000BNA (w/o water cooling)

$700CAD (w/water cooling)
$600CAD (w/o water cooling)

Manufacturerís product page:
Thermaltake SwordM

More than a year ago, (before I got into hardware reviewing) my eyes caught sight of a Thermaltake press announcement from CES detailing the imminent release of their Sword M case. To someone not jaded by countless reviews, it looked like an enclosure that dreams were made out of and I was determined to get one at any cost. It was the flagship case from a manufacturer I had always respected and it looked like it came with all the bangs and whistles anyone could ever ask for. I was officially enthralled.

Fast forward about 14 months and I find myself on the receiving end of this seemingly magnificent case albeit now I am a bit more jaded regarding what I do and donít like to see in a case. However, Thermaltake has waved the Sword M in front of my face and from where I am standing, it looks damn hard to resist. Not only does it boast all-aluminum construction, massive amounts of interior space, built-in hydraulics and more features than you can shake a ram module at but it is also completely hand-built. The all-aluminum extrusions are assembled with care and they all come together to build one of the largest PC cases in the enthusiast market. Indeed, as you will see later the Sword M cuts an imposing figure in any room you put it into, especially if it is equipped with the optional LCD monitor. Thermaltake even gives you the option to order this chassis in custom colors (red and yellow) as well.

With all of this, you are probably wondering how many of these cases are actually being made but all we could get out of Thermaltake was that the Sword M is a ďlimited editionĒ case so when the stock of it runs out, thatís all she wrote. Supposedly, the total run was in the low thousands of units but donít quote me on that. Even with the limited number, Thermaltake offers this case in the same flavors that they offer all of their high-end cases: in water cooled and non-water cooled versions. In this review we will be looking at the Sword M with the built-in water cooling system which consists of the usual radiator, pump, reservoir and CPU block but we will also detail the various air cooling features of the non-watercooled version.

Now we have come to the part of this intro you have probably all been waiting for: priceÖ.and hold onto your hats because it ainít pretty. The standard Sword M without any water cooling installed will run you a jaw-dropping $500 to $600 CAD while the built in water cooling will add about $100 to the price brining the total to a stratospheric $600 to $700 CAD. Even if you can find it listed here in Canada, retailers donít usually carry stock so expect a wait time of two to three weeks before you get your hands on the Sword M. Exclusivity doesnít come cheap folks and at this price, this better be one of the best computer cases we have seen up to now.

Is the Sword-M really the last word in the world of cases or are all of those seemingly convenient components only window dressing for a case that is merely ok? Considering its unbelievable price and its bold claims, we are going to have MUCH higher expectations for this Thermaltake enclosure than we have had for past cases so letís hope my 14 month wait has been worth it.


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