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Thermaltake Core V1 Chassis Review

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Introduction

Today we are taking a look at Thermaltake’s newest take on the Mini-ITX form factor, the Core V1. Thermaltake says

“The new Core V1 represented by Thermaltake is a small and cute ITX based chassis with a 200mm fan in the front panel. Smart interchangeable side panels allow users to flip it accordingly to showcase either for superior liquid cooling or superb airflow, which allows you to make your own personal setup. You not only grant to have a really powerful mini system, it also has the ability to house various overclocking components to keep it really cool!”

So let’s see what Thermaltake’s Core V1 has in store for us.

Packaging and Specifications

The Core V1 comes in a brown cardboard box with black graphics and lettering. The front shows the case itself.

The right side calls out a few bullet points in multiple languages.

The back has an exploded view of the case.

Finally, the left side has a list of specifications.

Top and bottom Styrofoam bumpers and a plastic bag protect the Core V1 during shipping.

Specifications

Model

Core V1

P/N

CA-1B8-00S1WN-00

Case Type

Mini Case

Dimension (H x W x D)

276 x 260 x 316 mm

(10.9 x 10.2 x 12.4 inch)

Side Panel

Transparent Window (Interchangeable)

Color

Exterior & Interior : Black

Material

SPCC

Cooling System

Front (intake) :

200 x 200 x 30 mm fan (800rpm, 13dBA)

Drive Bays

Hidden: 2 x 3.5” or 2 x 2.5” or 1 x 3.5”, 1 x 2.5”

Expansion Slots

2

Motherboards

6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX)

I/O Ports

USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1

PSU

Standard PS2 PSU (optional)

 

 

Fan Support

Front:

1 x 120mm or

1 x 140mm or

1 x 200mm

Rear:
2 x 80mm

 

Radiator Support

Front:

1 x 120mm or

1 x 140mm

Clearance

CPU cooler height limitation: 140mm
VGA length limitation:
255mm (Inner chassis)
285mm (Outer chassis)
PSU length limitation: 200mm

 

Closer Look

The case is painted black from front to back, and combined with the minimalist lines, it gives the case an understated look. The front of the case is a metal mesh that is curved at the top, and bottom, with the Thermaltake name and logo. The left side of the front panel is where the Power, reset, mic, and headphone jack are located along with 2 USB 3.0 ports. The upper 2/3 of the left side panel is vented.

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The right side is a mirror of the left, and the top is windowed. These three panels are dimensionally the same, and can be interchanged as you wish.

Moving around back, we see the openings for 2 80mm fans, 2 expansion slots, motherboard I/O, and PSU. All of the panels have thumb screws for easy removal.

Here we see the Core V1 opened up a bit with the top, and side panels removed. The drive bays are on the right. They can mount either 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives.

The bottom panel has a removable dust filter for the PSU, and the plastic feet provide 3/4″ clearance for airflow. It would have been nice if the bottom of the feet had rubber pads to help keep the case in place. This panel is removable too.

The front panel pulls off with a firm tug to reveal the included 200mm fan. To the side of the fan is an opening that can be used to accommodate some longer GPUs that extend past the frame.

Here we see the USB 3.0, fan, and audio headers along with the front panel leads. We like that the fan cable is nicely sleeved, and that the front panel leads are a flat ribbon cable instead of the usual rat’s nest of twisted wires.

Also included are a bag of screws, install guide, and 4 zip ties.

With the panels removed, we can take a look inside at the motherboard tray top and bottom. The motherboard standoffs are built in, and holes are provided for cable management.

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The Build

System components used:

  • Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI motherboard
  • AMD A10-7850 APU
  • Gskill Ripjaws X 8GB DDR3 2133 ram
  • HIS R7 240 2GB PCIe video card
  • Corsair CX 430M ATX semi modular PSU
  • WD Black 1TB Hdd

The I/O shield and motherboard installation was no problem with plenty of room to maneuver.

The motherboard tray opening didn’t line up with our motherboard’s APU location. However, this is a fairly common problem, given AMD’s large backplate. Most Intel backplates should clear without issue and should not in any way reflect against the V1’s design. 

Flip the case over to mount the PSU.

After removing one screw the drive bays come right out. Insert the included rubber dampening rings before mounting 3.5″ drives.

Here we see our Hdd in place, and motherboard connections made. There is room behind the drive trays to snake the cables through, which aids cable management.

Top and bottom views of the finished cabling.

In this view we get a good look at our GPU. Mounting the GPU was no problem given its shorter length. GPUs up to 255mm will fit within the frame rails, and GPUs up to 285mm may if they can pass the opening into the front panel area. We tried to fit a MSI GTX 780 Lightning, and a Power Color Turbo Duo R9 290x, but they wouldn’t pass through. Thermaltake’s web site shows what looks like a reference GTX 780 or Titan fitting, so you’ll just have to see.

The view from above of our completed build.

After the build was completed, I was able to get my hands on a new MSI R9 285 and was very surprised that the 285 actually fit in the Core V1. Taking a closer look, we can see that the R9 285 extends just a wee bit into the front panel. It is a tight fit, but doable. It sits close to the side panel, so make sure to use the vented panel instead of the window so it can breathe.

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Let’s wrap this review up on the next page.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Thermaltake’s Core V1 is a very well constructed case, and with the exceptions of the front panel sides, and bottom feet, is made completely of metal. The chassis is flex free and has no sharp edges. I like the clean understated look.

Building inside the Core V1 is simple and straight forward, and should be a pleasure for both novice and accomplished builders alike. The holes in the motherboard tray provide for convenient cable management. The 200mm fan pushes quite a bit of air while remaining nearly silent, and there is plenty of ventilation. The side and top panels being interchangeable is a pretty cool idea allowing you to place the window where it will best show off your system. Plus you can use a full sized PSU, and it has support for 120mm or 140mm AIO radiators.

The Thermaltake Core V1 is a very nice addition to the Mini-ITX world, and would do very well in any living room or dorm. Currently selling online for $49.99 at Amazon, it’s a steal. Special thanks to MSI and AMD for the R9 285 graphics card used in this review.

Likes

  • Solid construction
  • Good looks
  • Interchangeable panels
  • Great ventilation
  • Support for AIO liquid cooling
  • Easy to build in

Dislikes

  • No rubber pads on feet

     

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