The range of picking PC cases ranges from mini-ITX to some monstrous gaming PC cases. Thermaltake is one of the leading companies in this regard, having put out loads of cases. It is Thermaltake’s series called Commander, that is branded as being flashy, affordable and perfect for all needs. The case that we’ll be looking over today is none other than Commander C36 RG ARGB edition. Along with a rather complex name for a case, it comes with tempered see through glass, vertical GPU mounts, built-in RGB lights and much more.
Commander C36 TG ARGB
The Front Mesh Offers Great Airflow
- Comes with two 200mm fans with RGB
- 4 HDD/SSD bays
- Maximum airflow with its crafty design
- Dual vertical GPU mounts
- The plastic tray of the dust filter is somewhat fragile
Material: Aluminum chassis with a tempered glass panel | Size: 18.2 x 9.2 x 20 inches | Weight: 21 lb | RGB Support: Yes | Form Factor Supported: Mini-ITX, Micro-ITX, ATX
VERDICT:One of Commander series' the C36 is a very worthy buy. It crosses all the T's and dots all the I's with what it houses and offers. Needless to say, you only need to overlook some very minor cons to feel very satisfied with the C36 case.
The Commander C36, at first glance with the lights turned off, looks nothing too out of the box. In fact, it might look like just about any “gaming” case that is sitting on the shelf in your local store. But there is so much more to this amazing case than meets the eye. From cable management to effective airflow, everything has been carefully analyzed and then executed. This is a mid-tower motherboard for ATX form factor motherboards, so it will stand tall on your desk. But it surely will look cool while doing so. The build quality, the matte black finishing and the RGB flair is just what you’d expect from Thermaltake. And the dual vertical mounts are almost a must buy for the folks who are looking to rock dual GPUs.
There is very little to complain about the Commander C36. However, there were some encounters where this case seemed to have some sort of design fault. Primarily it is linked to the tempered glass panel being not very stable in its place as compared to the right panel. And along with that, we will advise the users to exercise caution when removing the dust filter. The plastic on the filter seemed rather flimsy compared to how well this case is overall designed.
But we must dig deeper in and discuss everything in depth so you can decide if Commander C36 is the one for you. So go ahead and keep on reading down to find out if the C36 is worth your money or not.
Design, Build and I/O Ports
The C36 takes on the trademark Commander series design, having used aluminum chassis with a tempered glass side panel. These panels are almost always demanded out of any case, thus Commander took that on as well. It really helps show the enriched guts of your PC once you have the components and the lights set in. Some blackened out edges on the glass panel add on to that sleek design of it all, giving it quite an eerie vibe under the correct lighting. Both the panels on the right and left are attached on to the case using thumbscrews. There is no magnetic attraction among the edges and screwing must be done solely via the thumbscrews. They’re obviously easy and rather quick to do.
The front panel of the C36 is entirely protected by metallic grilles. The large air filter design is quite useful for cooling purposes by maximizing air circulation and protection. The grille is divided into sections and has two hidden 200mm fans behind it. All of these are very crucial in maintaining good GPU and CPU temperatures and fortunately, Commander does that well with the C36. And the RGB fanatics can rest easy as the grilles, along with the 200mm fans, also have 5V ARGE lighting behind them. So far, Commander has simply done a great job in not just keeping the aesthetics as well as cooling over the top.
Moving on to the back panel, you’ll notice the 120mm fan all the way to the top. This fan comes attached to the case when you have it shipped out to you. The C36 has 7 expansion slots placed horizontally and 2 expansion slots, on the side, placed vertically. These vertical mounts for GPU are really helpful and comes in to save the day when you run out of space inside this case. A number of users have found that they were able to put the vertical slots to good use when they had to.
And now remains the top side of the C36. Along with some I/O ports, which we’ll get into in just a bit, almost 90% of the top is comprised of a large dust filter. This filter is magnetic, meaning it can be detached easily for cleaning purposes. And underneath this filter are fan mounts so that you can have even more protection. When fans are attached on these mounts, they’ll essentially suck out the dust from inside the case and into the dust filter. Along with that, this will also help maximize airflow inside the case. And as for the I/O ports, on the top are two USB 3.0 ports, standard audio and microphone jacks, power and reset buttons. Along with these, there is a dedicated button for switching between different RGB lighting modes, placed right alongside the USB ports.
Just like the outside shell of this beast, the interior of the Commander C36 is also very sleek and pleasant to look at. The metal inside has matte black finishes with neat cutouts for all the mounts as well as cable holes. At the bottom of the chassis is a PSU shroud that covers the entire base of the bottom. This keeps all the PSU cables neatly tucked under the shroud, leaving more real estate for other components. The bottom also has grilles so that you can still show it off and, perhaps get some RGB flair going in there. The two pre-installed fans can also be seen from the inside that feature hydraulic bearings and 9 addressable LEDs. These lights are controlled via the RGB button on the top of the C36.
Thermaltake take pride in their cases being able to handle heat very well. The Commander C36 does not shy away from that challenge either. Along with the two 200mm fans at the front and one 140mm fan at the rear, you can also have 2x 200mm fans, 2x 140mm fans or 3x 120mm fans on the top. All of these can be hooked up to the built-in 5V RGB switchboard. The RGB button in the top I/O port cycles through 7 different lighting modes with 16.8 million color illumination possibilities. This switchboard can be synced with Asus Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASRock Polychrome sync and Gigabyte RGB Fusion. Therefore any ATX sized motherboard that you get from these proprietors can be connected to the RGB switchboard of the C36.
Another thing that we absolutely loved that Commander so graciously installed in the C36 are the dual vertical GPU mounts. These mounts were specifically crafted for the dual GPU needs that some gamers look for. However, with that craze comes the factor of weight on the motherboard. The vertical slots feature dual PCI-E slots that are placed very carefully in a manner that minimizes weight displaced on the motherboard. And upon removing the right metallic panel, you’ll find that there is plenty of neat cutouts for best cable management you can think of. Of course, Commander provides you with the needed cable ties, etc which are in a box put in one of the HDD mounts. You’ll have two HDD mounts and two SSD mounds in the rear side. Additionally, the small RGB switchboard PCB is also placed on the right side.
The Commander C36 case by Thermaltake is, in terms of basic design, similar to the standard gaming PC case style. But it’s quite an amazing case that we do highly recommend. The huge airflow design certainly appeals to the larger audience as proper heat management is of utmost priority. Moreover, the ARGB fans on the front come pre-installed. That means that you get to fulfill your basic RGB demands without spending extra cash on the lights. However, should you choose to do so then the 5V RGB switchboard can entertain just about any major RGB enabled motherboard.
Price at the time of review: $110
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.