Thermaltake Core X1 Review

Written by Antony Leather

February 5, 2015 | 13:19

Tags: #best-mini-itx-case #mini-itx #mini-itx-review #small-mini-itx-case

Companies: #thermaltake

Interior

Something else we like about the Core X1 is the fact that you can dismantle it right down to the bare shell. The motherboard tray is removable, as is the optical drive mount and both the top panel and front panel can be removed in a matter of seconds providing easy access to the fan mounts.

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While there aren't too many luxuries all of the drive bays are either fully or semi tool-free, with the 3.5in and 2.5in mounts just requiring a couple of screws to secure the drives to their respective trays. Cable routing, though, does leave a lot to be desired. There's plenty of space, but you're essentially left with a large gap above the PSU to stow everything out of sight. This is part of the issue with cases with this internal layout - the Prodigy has the same problem although it's slightly more effective at hiding the cables from view.

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There's also a mass of fan filters too with large magnetic affairs in the far side panel and smaller slot-in types everywhere else. If you're not interested in the water cooling side of things, then there's a mammoth 200mm of clearance above the CPU, 280mm for graphics cards (up tp 400mm if you remove the 5.25in cage) and 220mm of clearance for PSUs.

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The exterior is pretty spartan save for the front panel connectors, which are actually located on the Windowed side of the case, sporting the usual two USB 3 ports, audio jacks and power and reset buttons.

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Part of the reason the Core X1 is a tad bland on the outside is that every inch of the surfaces has been made into a slatted mesh to boost cooling. In any event, we wouldn't imagine even dual exhausting radiators creating too much negative air pressure as the case is incredibly porous.

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Despite its size, the Core X1 doesn't offer that many storage bays. There are three 3.5in/2.5in mounts in a drive cage on the window side and a further 2.5in drive mount underneath the motherboard tray. There are two external 5.25in bays too and these can be respositioned one slot further up as well to make room for the larger-sized radiators in the front section (or removed completely), although moving them up can obstruct the front roof fan mount, in turn limiting radiator size in that position.

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The front panel is also deep enough to allow most 180/200mm fans to be installed between it and the chassis, so you could mount the corresponding radiator on the inside of the case to save space.

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It's a very flexible chassis and for the most part it's well made but it's not quite as solid-feeling as you might expect. There's a fair amount of plastic and rattles and the rear plastic expansion slot cover feels a little flimsy.

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That said, we have no concerns about the case supporting several kilos of water-cooling gear. It just doesn't feel as well-finished as something from Phanteks or Fractal Design.
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