Thermaltake Core G21 TG Case Review

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Thermaltake Core G21 TG feature

Introduction

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After taking a look at the premium priced View 31 from Thermaltake last week, this time we have something pitched at the much more budget conscious buyer, in the form of the Core G21 TG.

Given that the Core G21 retails at almost half the price of the View 31, can we expect half the features & quality? Read on to find out!

Thermaltake Core G21 TG box

Specifications

P/N CA-1I4-00M1WN-00
Case Type Mid Tower
Dimension (H x W x D) 476 x 208 x 471 mm
(18.7 x 8.2 x 18.5 inch)
Net Weight 8.05 kg / 17.74 lb
Side Panel 4mm Tempered Glass x 2 (Left & Right)
Color Exterior & Interior : Black
Material SPCC
Cooling System Rear (exhaust) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm fan (1000rpm, 16dBA)
Drive Bays -Accessible
-Hidden
-2 x 2.5’’ ; 2 x 3.5’’ or 2 x 2.5’’
Expansion Slots 7
Motherboards 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX)
I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
PSU Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
Fan Support Front:
3 x 120mm,
2 x 140mm
Top:
1 x 120mm,
1 x 140mm
Rear:
1 x 120mm
Bottom:
1x 120mm
Radiator Support Front:
1 x 360mm,
1 x 280mm
Rear:
1 x 120mm
Clearance CPU cooler height limitation: 160mm
VGA length limitation: 410mm
PSU length limitation: 220mm

Closer Look – Exterior

Thermaltake Core G21 TG front side

As you may have guessed from the “TG” in the product name, we again find ourselves with tempered glass side panels with this offering from Thermaltake.

The whole of the front panel of the chassis features a vented design, which is fairly unusual these days, as most manufacturers seem to be going down the route of smooth, solid panels. Whilst this may look sleeker, it can have an impact on the amount of air the case can intake, so we should have no such problems here.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG rear side

At the price point of sub £70, you could be forgiven for expecting just one glass panel, but here we have both front and rear. The rear is quite heavily smoked though, which will hide any unsightly cables around the back of the motherboard tray.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG roof

Up on the roof of the Core G21 we perhaps find the first evidence of where corners have had to be cut, to ensure the price point is kept as low as possible. Up front (but not exactly centre) we have the IO panel. The usual affair here really, with dual USB 3.0 inputs joined by mic and headphone jacks, and led indicators for HDD & power. Finally, a rather cheap looking rocker switch for power & reset. Whilst I admit that there is little you can really do design wise with front IO panels, there seems to have been no real thought put in here, especially as the whole row isn’t even centred within the dimensions of the case.

Towards the back we have a mounting point for a single 120 or 140mm fan. Given the clearance from the top of the motherboard, to the roof of the Core G21, this can only be a fan too, as there will be no room for a radiator as well as a fan. There is also no dust filter, so expect dust to fall directly down through this vent, especially if you aren’t using it as an exhaust.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG underside

Finally before we take a look at the interior, a quick look at the underside shows us two air vents, sandwiched between four fairly substantial case feet. Each of the vents is covered by a dust filter, but of a fairly thin, cheap variety, that fit into little clips around the vents.

Closer Look – Interior

Removing the front panel, exposes a double helping of intake dust filters; one full length that attaches to the chassis magnetically, and another fitted inside the front panel itself. Disappointingly, there are no intake fans fitted as standard.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG interior front

The main chamber is pretty spacious, as there are no drive cages pre-installed. For me, this isn’t an issue, as I tend to remove these anyway. The notable feature that was surprisingly missing from the last Thermaltake case, is thankfully present here however, in the shape of a PSU shroud. On top of this sits 2 mounting points for dual 2.5” drives, as well as a couple cable access points. A large cut out towards the front of the shroud is included should you wish to mount a 360mm radiator at the front.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG interior

Rather than individual cable management cut-outs, the motherboard tray features a single open slot, than runs the length of the interior chamber. The one single fan included with the Core G21 is situated in the exhaust position, and 120mm in size.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG interior rear

Before we take a look at our final build, a quick peek around the rear of the motherboard tray. Here we see why no 3.5” drive cages were included in the main chamber, with two vertical mounting points situated towards the front.

Closer Look – The Build

Thermaltake Core G21 TG build 1Thermaltake Core G21 TG build cables

Conclusion

Performance

Much like the View 31, this offering from Thermaltake also offers a pretty hassle-free building experience. Dual tempered glass panels make a welcome return, which not only offer good noise dampening, but give the overall aesthetic a more premium look & feel.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG build 2

One of my biggest criticisms of the View 31 was the lack of PSU shroud, but the Core G21 delivers here, and therefore scores extra points from me on that front.

It’s also a shame that there are no front intake fans included as standard. Whilst this isn’t a case with a premium price tag, at a price of £70 I would have expected at least one included as standard.

Design

The Core G21 has a nice clean look, which I actually quite like. It also has some nice little design features, such as the tabs that extend out from the feet, so that the glass panels sit securely onto them, to make removing & replacing them easier.

Thermaltake Core G21 TG foot

One thing I’m not a fan of, is the single slot for routing cables through from the rear of the motherboard. It certainly makes the build effort easier, but it does make it harder to make the cables look tidy from the front view.

Value

At the time of the review, the Thermaltake Core G21 TG retails for £69.99 in the UK. Whilst that doesn’t represent anything like a premium price tag, it’s also nowhere near the cheapest. The inclusion of dual glass panels, PSU shroud, and good build quality goes some way to justify the price… but then we have things like the lack of any included intake fans, and the cheap dust filters which count against it.

Final Thoughts

The Thermaltake Core G21 TG is a good solid case. It’s biggest problem is that at a price of £70, it’s up against some very stiff competition, that offers as much and sometimes more in terms of performance & design.

However, if you are a Thermaltake fan, want a nice clean looking case, that’s easy to build in, and features tempered glass side panels, the Core G21 TG is certainly worth taking a look at. Therefore, it gets our bronze award.

Buy from Scan Computers: £69.99

 Awards image 12

Huge thanks to Thermaltake for sending the Core G21 TG in for review.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:

- Dual tempered glass panels
- PSU shroud included
- Good build quality

Cons:

- No intake fans included
- Roof doesn't accommodate radiators
- Would prefer separate cable management access points, thank the single slot

3.3

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