Thermaltake Soprano Black Widow Case Review
This is a budget mid tower case.
The main part of the case is aluminum, but the front panel is a bright shiny plastic that feels rather light weight.
You open the side panel with the standard thumb screws. The interior of the case is about average size for a mid tower. It was actually relatively easy to work in it.
The motherboard tray was a little different than the ones I have seen before. The only offsets I had to put in were the last three on the front side of the tray. The rest were raised areas on the tray and ready for mobo placement. The only real problem I had with installation of the motherboard was there were not enough screws of the correct length provided. There are plenty of screws, but I was 3 short of the ones that fit. The rest were too short to reach through the motherboard and make contact with the offsets. Fortunatley I had some from another build that I was able to use.
Cable management is not well thought out. There are recessed areas that are accessable behind the drive bays and behind the motherboard tray, but to manage cables all you can do is just shove the loose cables into those areas. That works fine, but it is not the best solution I have seen.
Installation of drives is toolless, but there is only an anchoring mechanism on the side of the case with the access side panel. The drives are not anchored on the opposite side. I suppose you could use screws there, or perhaps cannibalize the toolless clamps from the main access side as long as you didn't need to use all the drive bays.
To install the front panel drives you have to remove the front panel. It pops on and off pretty easily. I am a little worried about the strength of the plastic the front is made of. If you have to do this very often, it could be a problem with breakage.
There is a single rear case fan, but additional places for 2 other fans you can install as options. One is a fan in front of the HDD bay, and the second is on the access side panel. The side panel vent has a funnel that extends far down into the case and is offset to the CPU. You would probably have to remove the funnel if you were to install an aftermarket HSF.
The IO shield fits a little too snuggly. I have the MSI P6N and its IO shield bows out slightly when seated in the opening. All ports are accessible, but it should lie flat. I don't know if this is the fault of the case or the IO shield.
The case is unlighted. The only LEDs are power and HDD on the front. Front panel connectors are only 2 USB and audio. There is no IEEE or eSATA on the front.
I don't want this review to sound too harsh. I paid $89.00 at Best Buy for this case, so I am pretty happy with what I got for the money. It is a very simple case to work with and get yourself situated in.
I'll post pics once I get a few.