The side panel can be removed by taking two thumbscrews out of the rear and lifting it out at an angle. A security loop is stamped out of the rear edge to install a lock if you so choose. The back side of the panel is featureless other than the stamped opening for a fan which is not included, however Thermaltake has made provisions for the mounting of either a 230mm or 120mm fan here. Inside we find a sheet of corrosion inhibiting paper, user manual and a plastic bag containing various mounting hardware including a large number of thumbscrews.
The power supply opening includes a movable support bracket that also functions as a hold-down for the rear edge of your PSU, although the raised lip could easily mar the finish if not careful during installation/removal or transportation. Riser slot filler blanks are vented, replaceable plates that although seem snugly clipped in place, could possibly come loose if jarred in transit. Unfortunately due to their design, they can't be more firmly attached with screws. The rear exhaust fan is a tapered-cone "turbo" unit rated for low speed and nearly silent 17dBA operation. The power cord for the fan has been sleeved in black nylon and includes a matching black 4-pin Molex connector.
At the front of the case we find the wiring for the front I/O panel routed behind the external 5¼" drive bay cage and the 3½" rails. Tool-less latches are included for the very first 5¼" and 3½" drive positions, however there are no provisions for such luxuries for the remaining locations. The 3½" rails are mounted offset from center, requiring an access slot for the single floppy drive location, but which leaves an excess of space available on the opposite side for cable management. As mentioned previously, a single 2½" drive can be mounted to the bottom panel between the drive rails using the holes provided.
The supplied top-mounted exhaust fan is a clear red LED unit rated at an extremely quiet 14dBA. The power cable for this fan is also sleeved in black with matching Molex connector. The plastic front bezel is easily removed with a quick tug at the bottom, and as the jacks and switches utilize a pass-through design they remain attached to the top of the chassis and there are no wires to contend with. A rectangular inset section has provisions for mounting intake fans although none are included. Either two 120mm, two 140mm or a single 200mm fan can be installed here, however choosing a 140mm fan for the top position will preclude using the external 3½" bay. If selecting a 200mm fan be aware that only 25mm of depth can be accommodated.
Now let's get some hardware installed in the Thermaltake Element T.