Gamers tend to take a lot of pride in building their own rigs, but it's generally not enough to have top-notch performance without the looks to match. For those who wade deep into the enthusiast side of things, part of the fun of assembling a new machine is coordinating components so everything is pleasing to the eye. It's easy to get sucked into the aesthetics of a new system, and not just with external parts.[wide]
Motherboards, for instance, have transformed from generic green slabs to works of art. Interestingly, it seems increasingly common to find aggressive military styling among high-end motherboards, with some examples including Asus' Sabertooth series as well as Gigabyte's G1.Sniper2. Despite the prevalence of military-themed motherboards, enthusiasts haven't had a whole lot of stock options for matching cases.
Hoping to fill that void, Corsair and Thermaltake have recently released two new chassis. The former updated its Vengeance gaming lineup earlier this year with the C70 case series, which comes in three colors: Arctic White, Gunmetal Black and Military Green.
Around the same time, the latter launched Level 10 GT's "Battle Edition" with the same olive drab paint job that Corsair offered for the Vengeance C70.
Although this'll be our first hands-on with the Vengeance C70, we've spent plenty of quality time with the Level 10 and its smaller sibling, the Level 10 GT. We don't care for the GT very much — partly because it feels like a cheap mockup of its elder and partly because we think it's ugly — but we admire some of its core concepts and features, such as its pre-installed cables and its hot-swappable HDD bays.
Granted, we recognize our opinion for what it is and the Level 10 GT's garish looks have earned it a place in the hearts of many enthusiasts, so we figure it's worth examining the newest version.
Meanwhile, those of you seeking something a bit tamer but still military-themed may be drawn to the C70, which we find more attractive both aesthetically and monetarily, as it costs about half as much as Thermaltake's offering.
The Vengeance C70 is a mid-sized tower measuring 20.1" long, 9.1" wide and 19.7" tall and weighing 19lbs (8.6kg), much of which can be attributed to the case's use of steel rather than aluminum, though its façade is constructed from plastic, so that helps keep the overall weight pretty manageable.
Although the design appears very simple, it's far from boring. The matte paint job gives it a very stealthy look that will appeal to those after a more subtle design, while the case window that comes with all the models (white, black and green) could be outfitted with aftermarket lighting for a bolder look.
The front bezel is both slick as well as intentionally crude, as the I/O panel has been left exposed at the top of the case and Corsair has used pop rivets as part of the design. The custom power button has been pop riveted to the case, giving it a very industrial look and keeping with the military theme.
Alongside the power button is a military-like reset switch that has a cover plate to avoid accidental resets. There is also a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks for mic and headphones along with a drive activity light. The only feature missing here is eSATA, which we are a little disappointed to learn.
Moving to the top of the Vengeance C70, we find a pair of wire handles with hard plastic covers to protect your hands. These handles are very comfortable to use and we believe they will allow the case to be safely lifted once it's fully loaded. Four smaller handles are used to secure the C70's doors.
The top of the case is largely dominated by a massive honeycomb grill that can accommodate a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans, likely configured as exhaust units.
The left side case door comes with a nice little tinted window so you can display your hardware. The window supports another two 120mm or 140mm fans which would likely be configured as intakes. Both doors have two nifty little latches that release the panel for quick, easy, tool-less entry into the C70.
Turning the Vengeance C70 on its side reveals two large dust filters designed to stop the power supply from collecting dust off the floor while also preventing any dust from slipping into the case. Corsair has also included two large feet that raise the C70 an inch from the ground, allowing for plenty of airflow.
Around the back, the C70 looks much like any other mid-tower case, though we should point out that the military green paint job is continued around to the rear. At the top, we have the motherboard I/O panel and opposite that is a preinstalled 120mm fan behind yet another honeycomb grill.
The C70 sports eight expansion slots and two-inch holes for water-cooling hoses. The power supply bracket are at the bottom of the case, which has become the norm these days. Overall, we found the external design and features of the Vengeance C70 to be excellent, so let's get a look at the internals.
- Vengeance C70 Internals
- Level 10 GT Battle External
- Level 10 GT Battle Internals
- Operating Volume & Temperatures
- Final Thoughts
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Steven Walton is a writer at TechSpot. TechSpot is a computer technology publication serving PC enthusiasts, gamers and IT pros since 1998.