Now on to the internal components and features. The insides of the case were constructed from aluminum. The overall feel and quality of the aluminum, however, was not up to par with the quality of the aluminum found on the front panel. The aluminum also seemed to be quite a bit thinner than that of the Antec P160 or Lian Li V1000. Thinner aluminum can be good for making the case lighter, but will result in the case being more prone to vibrations and thus will generally be noisier.
The layout of the case is pretty standard. In the front there are five external 5.25” drive bays, two external 3.5” drive bays, and five internal 3.5” hard drive bays. This should be more than enough room for most users. On the back of the case one 120mm blue LED fan is rated to run at 1400RPM and produce 21dBA of noise. There are seven expansion slots for any add-on cards. Something worth mentioning here is the retention mechanism that Thermaltake has provided. Instead of using screws to secure the cards, Thermaltake has a tool-less retention bracket mechanism. The bracket can be removed by pulling the clip outwards and up and then unhooked from the case. After all the cards are positioned, then the retention bar can be placed back in.
To the left of the PCI slots there are four holes through which tubing would pass for a water cooling system. The Shark, like many high-end cases these days, also features a removable motherboard tray. Unscrewing two thumbscrews, one toward the top of the case and one towards the bottom of the case can remove the tray. Then the tray can be slid towards the front of the case and then removed. This is a very handy feature, but the tray was not as removable as some other trays, as in some cases, the removable tray includes the I/O panel and even the PCI slots. This, however, is simply the motherboard, so all components must be removed from the motherboard before the motherboard tray can be taken out. The PSU mounting space is pretty standard. It accepts any standard sized PSU’s and there is sufficient space for any larger than normal supplies.
The 5.25” bays feature sliding drive rails. The rails are conveniently stored behind the faceplates of the 5.25” drive bays. The internal 3.5” drive bays feature a bottom mount drive rail, which is almost exactly like the ones found in the Antec P160. The mounts are cushioned to help dampen hard drive vibrations. A 120mm fan also cools the drives, which is located between the chassis and the front bezel. This should keep the drives nice and cool while bringing fresh air into the system. We suspected, however, that the heavy front door would restrict the fan airflow. Lastly, the 3.5” external drive bays run on a permanent drive rail. The two bays slide out together and a floppy drive or hard drive can be installed in it. Unfortunately there is no tool-less installation system so the drives will need to be screwed in. There are two bundles of wires found in the case. In one bundle we found the three connectors for the front ports. They’re clearly labeled AUDIO, USB, and 1394 for Firewire. The second bundle of wires includes the cables for powering the front bezel and the front fan and also the Front Panel I/O connectors for the power, reset switches, etc... All of them are very clearly labeled.
Overall we found the features to be pretty good and the construction quality was acceptable. We would have preferred thicker, sturdier aluminum inside the case, but the front door was exceptionally well built.