on 30 September 2011
Fractal Design make some good kit and this is no exception.
The case is well finished - even black on the inside! The removable front panel has a grille and filter the whole height of the case. A 120mm Fractal Design fan is included - not excessively noisy but I used a Zalman fan mate to slow / quieten the fan down. There is a space for a side mounted inlet fan (120mm) and rear exhaust fan (80/92mm).
The power buttons, 2x usb 2.0 and audio I/O are located on the right hand side of the front panel. Unusual choice but it does keep the front very clean and minimal.
The case will take a uATX or (as in my case) an ITX board. All the stand-offs and screws are included.
My favourite feature is the HD mounting bracket which is quite novel and includes rubber grommets to reduce vibration. This had made a huge difference from my old case and HD noise is greatly reduced.
Overall, a good case for not much more than some cheapo generic pap. Definitely recommended.
on 19 February 2013
For a budget, smaller form case this HAS to be the one to buy. I used it for a budget build and have acheived a reasonably powerful machine with this case. The case is held back from larger / multiple parts by its size, but if your spending the cash on multiple graphics cards and a ginormous air cooler then you'll probably be after a more expensive case! I'd recommend having a few cable ties or zip ties handy to tidy cables up.
Overall for £30 its a bargain.
Things I put inside:
- Fractal 650W PSU
- Gigabyte mATX motherboard with 8gb of RAM
- AMD Phennom II 4 core processor (3.4 ghz), with Corsair H55 closed loop water cooler.
- Club 3D 2gb HD7850 Graphics Card
- 1 OCZ Agility 60gb SSD
- 1 3.5 inch 500gb Hard Drive
- CD drive
- Extra 120mm fan (because I brought the H55 I needed to get a set of screws for the extra fan - £0.50 ish)
About £480 total
Pro's / build notes:
- These aren't the most expensive parts that will fit in this case so with more money you can make it more powerfull than the system above.
- I removed a couple of small knobs and the fan clips in the bezel to allow me to run the screws that come with the H55 through the fan, into the case, and then into the radiator. The screws were just about long enough so use the H55 fan to be sure.
- I really would recommend the H55 for this case as it is compareable to the big aircoolers - Cool Master Hyper 412, Noctua NH D14 - both on price and performance but it takes up a fraction of the space. I moved the fractal fan that comes with the case onto the side vent as I think it looks a bit cooler there. (Excuse the pun).
- It also has a spot for a 92mm exhaust fan.
- The apparently unique vertical mounting hard drive mounts allow you to mount up to 2 HDDs/SSDs without compromising airflow from the front to the motherboard / graphics card. I have seen them mounted on either side, but I think its designed to accept them on the innerside.
- Upper drive mount comes with an adapter for a 3.5 inch device which can accept a hard drive, thus saving space below on the vertical "tray".
- Takes up less space underneath / on a desk than a normal sized case.
- Looks great. - I didn't want something that looks like it got robbed off the set of Batman or ET's face crossed with a mobile disco.
Con's / Cautions:
- The fan that comes with the case is clipped in with no screws. So expect to buy some if your going to move the fan for some reason. I got caught out with this when I was installing the cooler.
- Any CPU aircooler will need to be low profile. (I believe the clearance is about 130mm max)
- Limited to mATX and mITX motherboards.
- Not really any features for cable management. Luckily the PSU came with a great velcro strap to tidy everything up. A couple of good size zip ties can solve this problem too.
- Power LED is incredibly bright!!!
- The 3.5 inch adapter did not come with anti vibration gommits. If your not using all the grommits from the vertical tray, you can make these fit with some clippers.
Corsair Hydro Series H55 All-In-One Liquid Cooler for CPU
on 4 July 2014
I had first bought a Corsair Carbide case, but being for both ATX as well as the micro ATX keyboard I had, was a bit too big so I switched it for the Fractal Design Core 1000. Generally, this is a good case, with a big plus point being 3 areas to mount fans, and with an open mesh system with filters. Other reviewers have liked the hard drive mounting system, but I am not so enamoured of this - it was not intuitive, and fitting 2 hard drives in there was a squeeze. But worse was, because of the way the hard drives are positioned, I had a struggle connecting the power connectors to the bottom drive - something I did not have in both my old case, and the Corsair I had tried. In the end, with a bit of jiggling around, made it work, but didn't like having to force the cable. The Corsair was a delight to install - everything clicked together brilliantly, and there was an ingenious drive mounting system, and by comparison, the Fractal felt a bit more basic. But overall in the end, it works, and looks good, at reasonable value.
on 21 February 2014
I am well pleased with this case. I had no problems in assembling a new computer in it - apart from (as someone else has mentioned) getting the blank out to fit the DVD unit. I've noticed that information on the size of computer cases can be quite wrong. This one is advertised as being 40 x 20 x 45 cm. I've just measured mine and it's 35.5 x 17.5 x 42 cm.
on 19 March 2014
This case has a few nice little touches, the removable vertical mount for drives means that you can have 2 hard drives if one or both is 3.5in, and 3 if they are all 2.5in. No adaptors are required. There are two front-accessible bays, the lower of them has a 5.25>3.5" adaptor which can be removed. There is a spare blanking plate with a cut out for a floppy disk or 3.5" multi-card adaptor. You'll spoil the minimalist look of the front if your optical drive and adaptor/floppy are not black! Other nice touches: You get all the screws etc., you're ever likely to need, supplied with this case.
Space is a bit tight inside, and I had to put my SSD drive at the bottom of the mount as the hard drive would have clashed with the cooling fins on my video card. In the event there is just about enough room to plug in the cables to the SSD drive, though I guess I could have put it in the other way around. This was not meant to be an issue, I was intending to use the on-board graphics on my mobo but ATi isn't supporting Linux on its pre-5000 cards - let's hope they do, and soon. Had the grille for the side fan been higher up, I could have put one in, but the fins on my fanless graphics card don't leave enough space. Had to use a few cable ties here and there to stop wires resting on the fins.
The motherboard plate is not detachable from the computer, which means that I had to install it directly into the box, this can be a pain when you drop screws and stuff. But I only had to shake one out from under the mainboard so not too bad.
I like this case, but it's not for everyone, it certainly looks nice once it's all installed. I'm hoping the dust filtering properties of the case front will work for me! :D
on 18 September 2013
This case was bought to house a new bedroom HTPC. I bought it for its size and looks and in both areas it meets my expectations. Despite its diminutive proportions it is relatively easy to work inside.
The case provides a number of ventilation options in sensible locations which was also good news for a HTPC, allowing for numerous low volume fans whilst still maintaining a solid airflow through the case, this wasn't overly important for me as I only have a SSD and store all files on a separate server yet its good for those who may want to put house a higher quantity of warmer components.
The case looks good, the mesh makes up the mass majority of the front of the unit and this is pretty much the only part I see so a definite plus point. All controls and input ports are on the right side of the front panel so don't interrupt its looks, however this should be considered if you are looking to install this case in a tight spot as access to the power button and possible addition of external USB drives would be very difficult, instead you may need to connect from the rear which is likely to be more difficult. Adding an optical drive would interupt the meshed finish which should be considered however in my case its again a non-issue.
The main point of contention with this case is its rigidity, although the chassis seems firm, when moving the case you get a discernible "popping" from the case side. Generally you PC doesn't get manhandled frequently and whilst this noise would only be noticed when first constructing and future relocation of the unit it is still something that was the first overall impression of the unit, before I'd had chance to investigate inside and work with it. With the improvements in small form factor performance there may be some who'd like a mATX case for its portability, in this scenario I'd definitely choose an alternative with a more rigid construction.
I don't see the point of the white expansion card covers, however as you can't see them day to day this is a small point.
Overall I like this case, the looks won me over however I think this case only works in specific scenarios.
I've already tried a Coolermaster Elite 342 for another HTPC build and whilst its not as attractive as the Fractal it is by no means an ugly case, the build quality is considerably better and the buttons and connections are much more accessible. Unfortunately the front case fan is too noisy for a HTPC and has already been replaced for a Fractal Design Silent Series R2 120mm, perhaps slightly ironic considering the above review but serves its purpose well.
Pros: Price, look, extras included
Cons: Very thin sheet of metal used, HDD tray, cable management, position of on/off switch, 92mm exhaust fan
I bought this case for a recent mATX build.
I love the low price cost of the case, but there has been quite a few things that have annoyed me about it.
First the positives though:
-The price is obviously great, and good for keeping a low budget build
-The look of the case is nice and discrete - not over the top. Basically a nice simplistic look to the case with a touch of class added to it
-The extras included -> this includes the extra screws provided and more than anything the 120mm fan that came with the case (which is fitted at the front, when you buy it)
-The actual material used for the Core 1000 is really a thin sheet of metal. So thin, that it it very light to pick up my whole build with just a hand, whereas my Fractal R4 case requires quite a lot of effort to pick up.
Now the weight might seem like a good thing, an it is - however due to the HDD rack being VERTICALLY mounted, it causes un-needed vibrations throughout the case. This results in the case being quite loud with HDD's mounted. Almost as if the case was build for SSD's only.
-This makes me move unto my next complaint - the HDD vertical mount.
Quite simply put, I'm not a fan of it - having my HDD's in the "air" whilst in this case not only worries me a little, but also creates quite a lot of vibrations (the HDD's were screwed in properly, so was the HDD mount and they had rubber bits on them too)
Long story short - I can see why Fractal chose to use this design, but in my honest opinion, I don't think that was a good idea. With the HDD's mounted vertically and in mid-air, with a sheet of thin metal frame - there's bound to be problems, and in my case there is.
-Cable management: Due to the design again, and the small form factor - doing cable management for a non-modular PSU was close to impossible. I had to shove all the wires behind the HDD rack - which in turn reduces the air flow of my case as the intake is from the front of the case (the wires end up next to the intake fan at the front)
-The on/off button and the USB buttons are on the RIGHT side of the case. Now this isn't convenient for a few reasons. One being them being less accessible, but the other being if you had to put this alongside a wall, the buttons would be on the RIGHT side, and the INTAKE/OUTAKE side panel fan would be on the other. Why didn't fractal think of putting either the buttons to the RIGHT and/or putting the buttons at the top of the case, making it more accessible? I don't know, but I dislike it
-The fan exhaust at the back is only a 92mm fan slot. Why isn't this 120mm, like with the other two slots on the case?
I don't quite understand the logic behind this. There is room for it to be a 120mm, but Fractal chose (possibly tactically) to put a 92mm fan slot.
If I had to liquid cool my system, I would be in quite a dilemma as to where to put the fan and radiator.
Overall, there's more wrong (in my opinion) than right with this case.
Maybe I'm expecting too much from a £30 case, but as with every review, one has to judge it evenly and that's what I have done.
For that reason I can't see myself giving this poorly un-finished designed case more than 4/5 stars.
on 24 February 2013
If you want to spend as little as possible but have a quality case for your system then you can not go wrong with this. The case has a great feel to it, black thumbscrews included for everything, a fully filtered front panel which draws all the air into the case through the included 120mm fan (which i swapped out for a 120mm Noctua)
Inside the case the hard drive mounting points are very good with rubber anti vibration pads and you can fit 2 drives there with a reference graphics card fitted or if you use a long graphics card like i do then you can fit one hard drive and move the other to below the DVD drive with the included adaptor
Cable management has to be done using anything you can get a cable tie round there are no designated points to do stuff.
Rear exhaust hole takes 80 and 92 mm fans, ive used a 92mm enermax, side vent can be fitted with a 120mm but due to the size of my CPUs large aircooler I cant bolt a fan there.
Front dust filter really works as in the week I've had my case you can already see a big grey circle in front of the noctuas blades, ill clean the filter regularly and I'd love to take a look inside the case in 6 months and see how much dust made it inside (obviously the side vent is unfiltered and air may be pulled in there from the vacuum of the exhaust fan or just waft in when power is off)
on 14 July 2014
- Small Form Factor - fits into any environment, small enough to put under desks.
- Ultra Quiet - I have installed two 120mm fans on the side & font panel and cannot even hear them :)
- USB 2.0 ports at the front side panel which is a plus, power button has good tactile feedback.
- Very good looking micro-ATX case, detailed, looks very expensive.
- Dust filter at the front of the case, keeps dust out.
- Rubber HDD mounts already in placed for less noise, I cannot hear the HDD when PC is running (playing games).
- Very Good Air Flow.
- 1X120MM Fan is provided pre-installed :)
- The LED light is very bright (Blue+Red), so if you are mainly using the PC at night or a dark room, it can light up the whole room.
- There is no USB 3.0 ports at the front side panel, (only two USB 2.0 ports).
I highly recommended this case out of all the other micro-Atx cases, this is because this case looks very expensive & stylish yet has all the features that a more expensive case would have such as rubber mounts, dust filter plus an extra 120mm fan. this case is also small enough for a student room, can fit perfectly anywhere, there is enough room on the inside of the case to put all your components in, even a long graphics card. product receives 5 Stars !!! :)
on 5 September 2014
After paying £50 for a case that was bad quality I decided on this one after having problems with the other one. I had never used Fractal Design cases before and have no idea what the brand of the first case was. After receiving this I was amazed at the quality for the price. The edges inside are not sharp enough to cut you like some of the cheap cases and it has been made very sturdy compared to others in the price range.
Reccomended for any pc build!!!