Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro Review

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Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro Feature

We’ve been reviewing Thermaltake cases for almost a decade and have seen everything from budget rectangular boxes, small form factor marvels and a number of their premium Core offerings, and it’s another Core case that we’re here to review today… and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
The Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro is being marketed toward those who like to experiment with the layout of their computer, and that’s because it arrives flat-packed and almost every component aside from the panels, base and iconic metal rods that hold the tempered glass pane to attention can be installed in multiple ways for various effects or not installed at all. We’ve all heard marketing lingo such as “Do it your way”, or “Make it truly yours” and usually that means you get a choice of colours or sizes. The Core P3 TG Pro however delivers on those promises and then some.

Before I get totally carried away though, let’s take a wander through the specs and have a look at the unboxing gallery.

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro: Specifications

Taken from Thermaltake’s Core P3 TG Pro product page.

More Information
P/N CA-1G4-00M1WN-09
CASE TYPE Mid Tower
DIMENSION (H X W X D) 535 x 268 x 500 mm
(21.06 x 10.55 x 19.69 inch)
NET WEIGHT 12.5 kg / 27.6 lbs.
SIDE PANEL 4mm Tempered Glass x 1
COLOR Black
MATERIAL SPCC
DRIVE BAYS 2 x 3.5” or 3 x 2.5”
4 x 3.5” or 5 x 2.5” (With HDD bracket)
EXPANSION SLOTS 8
MOTHERBOARDS 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX),
12” x 9.6” (ATX), 12” x 10.5” (E-ATX)
I/O PORT USB 3.2 (Gen 2) Type-C x 1, USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
PSU Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
FAN SUPPORT Right (M/B Side):
3 x 120mm, 2 x 120mm, 1 x 120mm
3 x 140mm, 2 x 140mm, 1 x 140mm
Bracket (front or top):
3 x 120mm, 2 x 120mm, 1 x 120mm
3 x 140mm, 2 x 140mm, 1 x 140mm
RADIATOR SUPPORT Right (M/B Side):
1 x 360mm, 1 x 240mm, 1 x 120mm
1 x 420mm, 1 x 280mm, 1 x 140mm
Bracket (front or top):
1 x 360mm, 1 x 240mm, 1 x 120mm
1 x 420mm, 1 x 280mm, 1 x 140mm
CLEARANCE CPU cooler height limitation:
180mm
VGA length limitation:
330mm(With reservoir)
450mm(Without reservoir)
PSU length limitation:
200mm

 

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro: Unboxing Gallery

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro: Our Thoughts

Unfortunately, I only had a whirlwind tour with the Core P3 TG Pro and there wasn’t enough time to allow for a full build and photography, I’m hoping to get another go with it shortly and will be able to show off the chassis in all its glory with a fully functional computer inside. So, while there are no full RGB glory images, I had plenty enough time to play with the chassis and understand its quirks and capabilities. Some modern conveniences have been included such as the Type-C port on the front panel IO in addition to 2 Type-A 3.0 ports and the usual 3.5mm audio ports.

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro Unboxing 5.2. Front IOjpg

As we already showed, it’s flat packed and you’ll need to identify which components are which as well as pre-plan your build so you can work out which of those components you will need to use. As I mentioned earlier, there are so many options regarding layout with the most obvious being either standard or vertical positioning of the PCIe and you will need to know which parts are associated with each layout option. Usually, we’d have a simple, straightforward and comprehensive guide to take us through those different options along with identifiers to easily work out what we need to install and how it fits together. Usually, but not here. The installation guide for the Core P3 TG Pro is, to put it kindly, basic. I can’t even say it’s functional since it will cause you a lot of frustration guessing which screws are expected to be used almost every step of the way. Even the very first screws it tells you to use to connect the stand to the body look nothing like the image Thermaltake has used and it just keeps going from there. I appreciate that it would take a lot of paper to include every possible combination of layouts, but just a simple breakdown of the screws used, their sizes and a label to identify them easily as you progress would save a whole lot of heartache.

Another disappointment that you might have already picked up on from the unboxing is the curious lack of any fans, as well as no PCIe riser cable in a chassis that makes so much effort to guide you into a vertical layout as you’re building it. It going to be rather frustrating to have to backtrack, not to mention the disappointment as reality takes over from the expectation of a trendy vertical layout that shows the GPU you have finally been able to afford. I appreciate that a quality PCIe riser, especially one that is PCIe 4.0 standard, could cost £40 and more taking this chassis over the arbitrary £200 barrier but the benefits are not just for the consumer, of course, they get a cable that can be relied upon instead of hoping that the Amazon marketing is accurate, but also Tt can get customers used to their cables and get a head start against their competition when it comes time to replace it. And, if that riser cable was white instead of black or black and red it would be a very nice addition to this Snow Edition since white cables are almost impossible to find in the wild.

Although the guide booklet is inexcusable in my opinion, I can at least see that there is an argument against including a riser cable. Thermaltake is hoping to catch the attention of previous Core customers and in that sense, someone wanting to upgrade the chassis might be expected to already have a riser if they wanted to have a vertical layout at all. There is one other problem that needs to be addressed, and it’s not unique to the Core P3 Pro or even to Thermaltake but has infested products all over the world – unnecessary plastic packaging. Every Single Piece of the Core P3 that I unboxed was sheathed in its own plastic bag, and that was all wrapped up in a giant clamshell of polystyrene. With plastic film identified as one of the main causes of microplastics entering the environment and the food chain, and expanded polystyrene being non-recyclable it is inexcusable not to make the change to other forms of protective packaging. If the reasoning was to protect the exceptional paint job on even the smallest of the Core’s components then this could have been done easily, and more effectively by using moulded cardboard trays for each part. Overall since the only part of the Core P3 TG Pro that actually needs to be protected during transport is the glass panel and to a lesser extent the large, heavy body/back panel I can’t see why the whole thing was encased in polystyrene. For a while now we have been pointing out good practices when it comes to packaging and the environment and occasionally that also means pointing out where companies are getting it wrong. Thermaltake, you got it wrong here and it needs to change urgently.

 

By now you probably think I hated my brief time with the Core P3 TG Pro since all I’ve done is complain, but honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, there are problems with it, but there’s also so much that has been done right. Just take the flexibility, for example, Thermaltake has included the entire vertical mounting assembly on the off chance that you want to use it that way. The rear of the case has VESA mounting ports that cover multiple sizes to ensure that if you want to have the PC mounted to a wall or desk that it’s easier for you to find a mount that works for you, not just one that works for the case.
Then there are the materials, workmanship and finish which are all exceptional. The pristine white paintwork is thick and durable, you get a couple of inevitable chips that are noticed when bolts are undone, but those chips are fully hidden again when the bolts are done up again and there’s no blemish at all visible on the completed build.

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro Unboxing 6.3

There’s an included anti-sag GPU support. You can install multiple drives of various sizes and have those on display or hidden away for a more minimalistic computer layout. Stability is one of the areas where the original Core P3  was improved and the new design is about as solid as you could expect for a box with no sides. Those incredibly heavy metal rods that connect the glass to the chassis also contribute to a remarkable amount of rigidity. All in all, I fully expect to find even more things to love (and potentially hate) about the case, but from my brief experience, I can tell you that I was reluctant and disappointed to let it continue its travels during the review tour.

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro: The Verdict

The Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro is available at Scan in the UK for £169.99. It’s a lot to pay for a chassis but you are getting a lot of chassis for your money. If it was any cheaper then you would have to sacrifice some of its functionality and therefore some of its charm, but not only that, it might end up as an impulse buy for someone who doesn’t realise just how much building is involved before you actually get to building your PC in it.

The most important aspect of a case is whether it functions to protect and enhance the components that are in it. To this end sometimes the cheapest box on the market can outperform the most expensive, but with the Core P3 TG Pro you absolutely get what you pay for. It’s a glorious, multi-functional, rock-solid display stand for you to proudly show off your computer. Frankly, if it was easier to build and there wasn’t so much wasteful, single-use plastic then it would probably be one of my top recommended chassis but it’s not without those issues and so I think it’s fair to award the P3 Pro with Play3r’s Gold Award, and because the finished article is stunning and it’s designed in a way that everyone can show their individuality it would be unfair if the case didn’t also receive Play3r’s Design Award.

Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro Design Award Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro Gold Award

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thermaltake-core-p3-tg-pro-reviewThe Thermaltake Core P3 TG Pro is a stunning option for someone who wants to display their computer components offering a range of flexibility that is rarely seen. The materials and build quality are exceptional and the pint has a pristine finish that will surely last the test of time. It's somewhat let down by an inferior and confusing install guide as well as a wasteful and unnecessary abundance of single-use plastics and polystyrene foam.

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