A Closer Look - Outside
Many of you may remember the first cases from Thermaltake. Those were built extremely well, with the use of thick metal and sturdy front doors or designs. In recent years their cases felt somewhat cheap in terms of build quality. I am positively surprised with the MK-1, as the elaborately designed plastic front and top are of excellent quality and can be considered the best plastic can offer in terms of strength. The metal mesh pieces are reinforced nicely as well. If this is a sigh of things to come, Thermaltake seems to be getting their act together. That said, the futuristic design is not for everyone, but even though it comes with a lot of details, it doesn't "jump in your face" - which is a good thing.
Taking a look at the front, the blue accents are great and really make the case pop out and draw your attention to it when lined up next to other enclosures. A quick look at the rear confirms that the entire chassis is black with a bottom mounted PSU.
Thermaltake has also added a lot of design elements to both side panels. The main one comes with a partial window and includes a large 200 mm opening for an optional fan, while the other is completely solid, but still has quite detailed elements, so that it fits perfectly with the rest of the case design.
In the front, the bottom area consists of a sturdy metal mesh air vent with the Thermaltake logo. Behind it is a large intake fan. Above that are the four 5.25" drive bays. These are covered by blue/black metal mesh pieces, which may easily be removed by hand without having to pull the entire front off the chassis. While these have a bit of play, I did not experience any vibrations being passed on from these. If Thermaltake could add a bit of foam padding to the sides, these pieces would fit perfectly and this possible issue is eliminated.
In the rear, the PSU bay is located in the bottom. You may install the unit with the fan facing onward or to draw air in from the bottom of the chassis. Above that are eight mainboard expansion slots, so you could install up to four dual-height graphics cards if you choose to do so. In the very top you will find a 120 mm exhaust fan along with three openings to route water cooling tubing through - yes three, which is an uneven number.
As mentioned before, the top of the chassis is designed just as detailed as the rest of the case. In the front area you will find four USB plugs, two of which are USB 3.0, one eSATA connector, an SATA HDD dock for both 2.5 or 3.5" drives, audio connectivity, two switches for high/low fan settings and a button to switch through the LED colors of the preinstalled cooling units. In the rear there is a large metal mesh air vent. The case can hold up to two 200 mm fans in the top, but Thermaltake only includes one.
In terms of build quality, the only gripe I have is the headset hook, or "Combat Headset Holder" as Thermaltake calls it. While the idea is great and the company has used this feature in other cases already, I would have liked to see a sturdier implementation.
There are also four feet, which can be turned to face the outside thus giving the case a larger footprint. Blue color accents would make it a shame not to do so.