There’s a space in the front of the case for a second 120mm fan - this would be cooling the hard drives. The Mambo can accommodate five hard drives, although these have to be screwed in place. In its defence the front accessible 3.5 in and 5.25 in drive bays all use screw less drive mountings. These are different to any mounts I’ve seen before, but they’re very easy to use. What you have is something that looks like a rather oversized push pin that slots into one of a selection of holes along the side of the drive.
Before you slot the drive into its drive bay you simply pull the two push pins out, slot the drive in, and push the pins back into position to lock the drive in place. A problem that occurs with some screw less mounts of this type is that you can’t use things like fan controllers in the 3.5in drive bays as the screw hole in the brackets are too far forward. Thermaltake has solved this by having a screw hole at the front most part of each of the 3.5 in drive bays.
The Mambo has two side mounted USB 2.0 ports as well as a headphone and microphone socket. Wiring these up to the motherboard is slightly tricky as Thermaltake doesn’t use standard connectors here, but rather relies on single pin headers for the audio. The USB connectors use a set of four plus one plugs, so it’s important to align these the right way around or you could potentially damage your USB devices by reversing the power.
For those unfamiliar with building their own PC Thermaltake supplies a fairly detailed instruction book – this is pretty good considering that most budget cases don’t ship with a manual at all. It’s a step by step guide that shows how to install most of the components, but sadly it’s not in colour.
There is one small problem with the Mambo - you can’t currently buy it in the UK. However, when it does become available to purchase it should cost in the region of £35 inc VAT, which is a lot more expensive than some budget cases, but the Mambo is much better quality than most budget cases. Having worked in a computer shop some years ago I know by experience how bad some cheap cases can be – I even have scars on my hands to prove it.
The Thermaltake Mambo is a good budget case; it’s easy to build and looks far better than most low cost alternatives.