It’s not every day that affordable – or even cheap – goes hand in hand with good quality when it comes to computer cases, but the Thermaltake Mambo manages to pull it off quite well. The design of this case is what drew my attention to it, as it looks rather smart in a simple sort of way.
The front of the case has taken some design cues from other Thermaltake models but it’s not as overly complicated as some of the more expensive models. The silver 50s car logo also adds to the overall feel of the case. Sadly the front is made from quite cheap plastic, something that lets down the looks. But considering the stuff other budget cases are made from this isn’t too bad.
The door can easily be removed if you prefer easy access to your drive bays. However, this spoils the sleek look of the case and so my suggestion would be to keep the door in place. The door is also useful if you have drives that don’t match the black case finish as it’ll hide them when they’re not in use.
The left side of the case has a vent that’s ready to take an 80mm case fan or an air duct that would end up just above the CPU. There is an additional air vent further down on the same side to allow for cool air to be drawn in were the graphics card is situated. There are no fancy thumb screws, but you can always get a set of these for a couple of quid as an upgrade.
Opening the Mambo reveals an unhindered interior with plenty of room for everything but the biggest of motherboards. Interestingly, Thermaltake has done away with most of the brass motherboard stands. Instead the Mambo case is relying on small cones that are made out of mild steel and soldered to the motherboard back plate. This works just as well as the brass stands, although for larger motherboards you’d need to use three of these, all of which are supplied. The motherboard tray is not removable, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to slide a board in there.
The Mambo comes pre-fitted with a rear 120mm Thermaltake case fan. However, this is of the type that you have to connect to a four-pin Molex connector rather than to a motherboard header, which means some extra wires in the case. On the upside, it does have a sensor that can be connected to one of the motherboard headers so you can see if it is working in a suitable utility.