Thermaltake M9 Mid-tower Case
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 03-12-2008
Provided by: Thermaltake
Discuss: View Comments

The side panel uses typical sliding catches to secure it in place. Inside we see the unpainted, gray steel interior. The back side of the panel has a plastic duct attached for the CPU vent hole. The case feels very solidly constructed and there is not much flex from the panels or frame.

The bundled accessories include an extension piece for the side duct, a user manual, motherboard speaker, mounting hardware, blank riser plate, adhesive cable management and a 5" to 3 floppy bay adapter made of the same mesh as the rest of the front covers. The manual is very detailed and includes black and white photos of the various stages of component installation.

The rear of the case comes with a Thermaltake orange/black case fan pre-installed. Both this one and the included front mounted fan are rated for 1300rpm at only 17dBA, and have pass-through 4-pin molex connectors for power leads. There is a tool-less mechanism for holding down cards in the PCI riser slots, however the ratcheting slide does not operate easily and provides very little pressure against the top plate. Even the blank filler kept wanting to pop loose, so most users will probably want to pull the tool-less part out and just put in standard screws to securely hold any add-in cards.

There are nine 5" drive bays up front, each with a tool-less locking catch on the side rail. Counter to the poor tool-less riser slot mechanism, these locking clasps are very easy to operate and hold securely in place. The M9 comes with a 5" to 3" drive adapter for a floppy in the top position, and a three-bay hard drive cage with intake fan at the bottom. Cabling for the front panel I/O drapes down from the top and is long enough to reach the bottom corner of the case. The back side of the motherboard tray is fairly featureless, and we see there are no tool-less clasps on this side of the rail, although there are screw holes if you prefer to attach your drives more securely.

The plastic front panel snaps off easily with a light tug at the bottom and as the switches and ports are mounted into the front of the case, there is no wiring connecting the panel to the frame. The back side of each mesh cover contains a strip of open cell foam for air filtration, and each piece can be individually removed for cleaning. The front of the frame has perforated steel plates left in the center five positions which must be knocked out prior to installing any devices in those bays, although they also contain screw holes and can be reattached if desired. The floppy bay adapter and hard drive cage both slide out for easy installation and can be moved to any position in the nine slots available.

Now let's install some hardware into the M9.

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