Thermaltake Urban SD1 MicroATX Case Review


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Urban SD1 Overview

The Urban design has been very kind to Thermaltake’s Lanbox Lite.  A cursory glance at the layout, and it becomes obvious the Urban SD1 is an updated version of a small form-factor case that has been on the market for some time.  There are a few changes though, so let’s start with the outside of the case.


Remember to remove the protective plastic wrap to display the beautiful brushed aluminum panels.  It’s just the front face, and the panel is still primarily plastic – but it is a very nice touch that drastically enhances the aesthetic in my very own humble opinion.  While there’s a special place in my heart for unique and aggressive designs like the Armor A30i, I feel that the Urban design approach is a better decision for this type of case.


The back of the Urban SD1 helps illustrate the internal layout.  An ATX PSU fits above the motherboard so tall CPU coolers won’t be compatible (the SD1 states a CPU cooler height limitation of 90mm).  Four PCI slots restrict Crossfire/SLI configurations to specific motherboards, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this chassis isn’t quite designed for “hot and loud” components.  I’m sure blower-style graphics cards would be the better choice for such a setup.

If you look closely, you can make out the different sections that make up the “modular” design.  While not entirely modular (you can’t rearrange any of these sections), they can be removed individually – you’ll just need to work through the eleven (!!!) thumbscrews on the back panel to do so.  While it’s a bit more than the typical four thumbscrews for side panels, it should make assembling a system in the Urban SD1 a little easier.


The right side of the Urban SD1 showcases the round holes for cooling the motherboard and drives, as well as a cutout for opening the front door.


The left side is almost identical to the right, with the round holes (this time for GPU ventilation) running the entire length of the panel.  You’ll probably want to select your graphics cards carefully for this enclosure, since that mesh won’t be able to redirect or muffle any noise from your card’s fans.


Another series of round hole ventilation covers the top panel, separated into two sections for drives and the power supply intake.  The forward section hides an optional fan mount for 120/140mm fans or radiators, when the included additional drive tray (radiator bracket) is used.


There isn’t much to see on underneath the Urban SD1, although sharp eyes will pick up on a few details.  The front dust filter slides out from the bottom, which means you’ll need lift up the front of the case to remove it for cleaning.  A series of intake vents in front of the filter supply fresh air to the rest of the case via a 90mm fan, and the attachment points for the 3.5″ removable drive cage are visible too (along with the sliding portions of the removable motherboard tray).


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1 comment

  1. David Ramsey

    After building a lot of small form factor systems in the last couple of years, I’ve become a big fan of SFX power supplies. One, specifically: the Silverstone ST45SF-G. With short, modular cables it’s much easier to fit into a mITX or mATX case than a standard power supply, and at 450W it’s enough for a relatively beefy system, although a high-end SLI or CrossFireX system will probably require something larger.

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