Review: Deepcool Tesseract ATX Computer Case

9 months ago comradetao Comments Off on Review: Deepcool Tesseract ATX Computer Case

This is a budget case, no doubt about it. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s actually quite good.

Overview

The Deepcool Tesseract case that I reviewed is the blue windowed model.

Here are the specs direct from Deepcool:

  • ATX, mATX, mITX motherboard support
  • SPCC Steel, Plastic, & Rubber Coating construction (0.7mm steel)
  • 472 x 210 x 454mm (LxWxH) or 18.6″ x 8.3″ x 17.9″
  • 5.1kg or 11.22 lbs
  • 2x 5.25″ bays (looks like more, I’ll explain)
  • 4x 3.5″ bays
  • 3x 2.5″ bays
  • 1x extra
  • 1x USB 3.0 & 1x USB 2.0 front panel ports
  • Front panel HD audio
  • 7 expansion slots
  • 1 front and 1 rear LED fan included
  • Space for 2x top and 2x side fans.
  • CPU cooler height capacity: 165mm
  • VGA card length capacity 310mm
  • Support for ATX PSUs

Generally, a pretty stasndard case as the specs go. There’s a lot of ventilation and the materials aren’t the best, but we’re talking about a box to put computer parts in. You do not NEED a $200 case. People have built PCs in cardboard boxes before.

Build Quality

You already saw the materials and makeup of the case, but here are some specific things I noticed:

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The front panel mesh is pretty standard, but it’s thin. You’ll have to be careful of denting or bending it; which is easy to do by accident.

Also, take a look at those 5.25″ drive bays. Does that look like 2? No, it’s 4. Why do they only list two then? This case has the internal space for 4 bays, but they only put the tool-less hardware for mounting drives in the top three bays. The bottom bay has space for either a 3.5″ or 5.25″ drive, but it’s not listed in the specs.

Also, the top bay has a cutout, but they didn’t really leave appropriate room up there. The top panel audio and USB cables run right through that area. I wouldn’t even want to try putting an actual optical drive in the top slot. Still, it might be possible to sneak a fan controller or some other device into the area.

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The side window is nice and big. It makes showing off your components easy. That is to say, it would if there were not two cutouts for fans occupying nearly 50% of the acrylic area. Strange also is the fact that they went with two different designs for the ventilation patterns. I think a unified design would have been more aesthetically pleasing. It’s weird, but you still get to see your parts and have good options for ventilating air around your CPU or GPU. Function over form in this case.

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The back and right side panels are pretty basic. The side panel has a bulging section to make cable management less of a chore. It also matches the shape of the window bulge to give the case some symmetry.

You can see one of the included 120mm blue LED fans here along with extra ventilation near the expansion slots. The expansion slots, by the way, have stamped covers that are not replaceable once removed. You’ll have to buy new ones if you want to re-cover previously removed slots.

Notice also the thumb screws on the case. They are the plastic sleeved type sometimes found in cheap cases. I’m not surprised to find them here. While I prefer the solid steel ones, these are fully functional.

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Inside you can see that the cables for the fans and other parts are not sleeved. Most people on a budget are not going to cry about minor color mismatches. I think this is a non-issue in general. After all, this case actually costs less than many sleeved PSU extension cable kits!

Also, you can see in that picture that there are numerous cable tie-down points and holes for routing cables. Depending on your motherboard size, some of those holes will be covered, but it’s handy to have them.

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Deepcool left a large cutout for accessing the rear of your motherboard during heatsink installation. This feature is becoming standard across nearly all case manufacturers and it can be helpful. To me, it is not essential.

While you’re looking at that picture, take a look up in the top left corner of the motherboard tray. What do you see? That’s right! NOTHING! Budget cases, as well as other more compact ATX cases often omit a cable routing hole for the EPS 4-pin or 8-pin motherboard power cable. That means you’ll have to find creative ways to route that one over the top of your motherboard.

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Here’s the PSU area. Rubber pads to dampen vibration team up with a dust filter (the only one NOT on the front of the case) and some cable routing holes to make this an above average home for your PSU.

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Lastly, the 2.5″ and 3.5″ storage area. All of these drives have plastic trays for mounting. They’re all tool-less and that makes building somewhat convenient.

My gripe with trays is that they just add another vibrating part to your case; a potential source of noise. Also, how much time and effort do they really save?

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These particular trays are not terribly flexible and can be a bear to force around a hard drive. Once they’re on, they grip firmly.

Ease of Installation

I had virtually no trouble installing anything in this case. It helps to forget trying to make the prettiest build in the world. It will be tough to win any awards for pretty cable routing in a case like this, but the available features of the case at least stave off frustration during the build.

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I packed in a Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 5 motherboard, a Cryorig H7 CPU cooler, Radeon RX 480, EVGA 650w P2 PSU, and a single 1TB hard drive. Without spending too much time on cable routing, the case didn’t look too bad and I was able to keep cables from significantly impeding airflow. Also, take a look at that 8-pin motherboard power cable. I had to just tuck it in over the top of the heat sink. It’s a shame, and the cable almost wasn’t long enough, but it worked.

Case in Use

This case is pretty solid in use. I didn’t have any strange problems or weird issues. Once it was closed up, I could ignore most of the cheapness and focus on using the PC. That’s the key. If you can get to work without your case annoying you, you’re golden.

However, there were some annoyances. Like I said, I could ignore most of the cheapness. For one, the hard drive I have isn’t very new and does vibrate. This vibration was converted to noise by the necessary clearance between the HDD slots and the drive tray. The hard plastic and hard metal mating surfaces did not dampen the thousands of tiny impacts between them; resulting in a sometimes audible hum. I’ve had this same phenomenon in cases like the Corsair Air 540 as well. That’s around $140 normally. This is an issue with trays, not just with Deepcool or the Tesseract alone.

The top panel ports are what I mostly interacted with. The soft texture of that area is nice. The audio ports worked well, but were actually a bit tight. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Time would tell.

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The closeness of the USB and audio ports was a minor issue for me. Normal sized USB cables and devices fit fine, but my SD card reader could not occupy a front panel USB port while I had my mic and headphones plugged in.

My motherboard controlled the fans and they were pretty quiet. The blue glow was also pleasing and not harsh. On the other hand, the power and activity LEDs are very bright. I found the brightness jarring at times.

Overall, I had a good experience with this case.

Conclusions

For between $30 and $50 depending on the sale, color choice, and availability, I think this is a really decent choice for an inexpensive computer case. The good and bad points I listed throughout this review appear in cases double and triple the price. Minor bells and whistles found in very expensive cases often don’t really add anything to the function of the computer and serve more to inflate the ego or please the senses of the builder. For the more practical of us, this case will do nicely.

The main downsides are the use of trays without any sound dampening for the hard drives, the lack of replaceable expansion slot covers, and the EPS power cable routing. These are probably not deal breakers for everyone, but could potentially be for some.

I recommend this case to anyone that wants to stretch their PC build budget a little for improvement in some of the more important parts, or just wants to keep it as cheap as possible. Comparing this to inexpensive cases from some of the more well known brands, this one offers slightly better drive capacity and component clearance than many.

You can purchase one of these by following the link below. I also mentioned a Corsair Air 540, which you can look at for reference.

Below that, you can see a full gallery of images of the case.

 

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