- Brand: Thermaltake
- Model: Core V1 M-ITX
- Price: £37-40 (at time of review)
Thermaltake are a company who need no introduction, founded in 1999 they have been evolving their brand over the past decade and beyond. With multiple brands including their latest Tt eSPORTS brand focusing on gaming peripherals such as keyboards, mice and headsets which they recently flooded the gaming market with. LUXA2 is another to name and focus on the more refined tech user with items such as stylish phone cases, carry bags and laptop coolers.
We have seen many products over the past year from all 3 of these companies and it’s now turn of the master company itself with their latest M-ITX case offering, the Core V1. The Core V1 is designed to be compact but combine excellent expansion capabilities with fantastic cooling performance. This includes CPU cooling support up to 140mm in height, modular side panels allowing you to have the window on whatever side you wish (fantastic) and of course some water cooling support.
The main question is, will all this come at a price of quality and price? Let’s find out, starting with the specifications…
What Thermaltake has to say about the Core V1 M-ITX Chassis:
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!
|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|
|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”|
|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)|
1 x 120mm or
1 x 140mm or
1 x 200mm
2 x 80mm
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
Starting out with the packaging, the Core V1 comes in a relatively small and compact box; for a PC case of course. It has an illustration of the Core V1 shape and features relevant information such as the brand (Thermaltake), the model number (Core V1) and Thermaltake’s web address in the form of a URL; www.thermaltake.com
Inside the box protecting the Thermaltake Core V1 case are a couple of polystyrene inserts and of course the obligatory plastic bag; pretty standard stuff and if you are like me, prepare for static shock!
Taking a first look at the Thermaltake Core V1 M-ITX chassis right out of the box, we have a protective film covering the windowed panel; for protection. The interesting thing about the Core V1 is all 3 removable side panels (also the top) are the same size and you can effectively have the window on which side you want; this is fantastic in my opinion and should please many. The Core V1 is also on the smaller side of the M-ITX spectrum; dimensions are 27.6cm x 26cm x 31.6cm (H x W x D) which in turn makes this much smaller than another M-ITX chassis such as the BitFenix Prodigy.
The Core V1 also features an all-black finish which also extends to the interior so for those not a fan of bare silver interior will certainly be satisfied with this one.
Here we have the I/O included on the Core V1 which is situated at the side towards the front. This features 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x 3.5mm front panel audio (headphones & mic) and of course a power/reset button. One thing I also admire is how neat and tidy the front I/O is; it doesn’t seem intrusive at all.
On the front, Thermaltake have done with a plastic honeycombed design which allows for huge airflow; helped along by the included 200mm cooling intake fan. The Tt logo is also presented- towards the bottom and has a nice silver/black contrast.
As it comes, the windowed panel sits on the top and allows you to look down at the insides. As previously mentioned, the panel is interchangeable with the other side panels allowing you to have the window on which side you desire.
The side panels also feature a honeycomb mesh design but the main difference from the front is of course the material; the side panels are made from steel which is of course a lot stronger than plastic. These are held in place via 2 x thumbscrews with a plastic grip coating.
On the rear panel of the Thermaltake Core V1, we have space for 2 x 80mm rear fans which are not ideal, but given the small stature of this case it is more than acceptable. Aside from the 2 x PCI slots which are subtly held in place via a plastic clip, you can see all the thumb screws which hold all 4 main panels in place.
Lastly we have the bottom panel of the case which features a removable dust filter to protect the power supply from dust, in addition to this there are 4 x plastic feet which elevate the case off the desk/floor to provide sufficient air flow; something this case is geared for.
Taking a first look at the Thermaltake Core V1 internally, here we have 2 x HDD cases which also have support for 2.5” SSDs; these are hidden and in my opinion, I like the robust solid mounting system Thermaltake have implemented here.
In terms of installation, the Thermaltake Core V1 is designed to mount the motherboard horizontally instead of the traditional vertical stance and this is due to size constraints of the case; the Core V1 supports M-ITX factor motherboards.
After removing all of the panels, we are left with an empty shell of a Core V1 but here you can see the space we have inside. Now the case itself does have support for full size graphics cards and even CPU coolers up to 140mm and although this doesn’t include tower coolers such as the Noctua NH-D15, there are plenty of options on the market that will fit inside.
As previously mentioned, Thermaltake have included 1 x 200mm cooling fan which acts as an intake and is found at the front of the case. When removed, this allows water cooling support in the way of a 120mm or 140mm radiator; personally an AIO CPU cooler would be more suited than a custom loop due to space being limited inside the main chassis.
Installation into the Thermaltake Core V1 was easy to say the least; probably one of the easiest M-ITX cases I have built into thus far. The first thing I installed into the case itself was the test system SSD (Corsair 256GB LX) which as you can see, is installed onto a steel HDD mounting plate via screws which is then in turn screwed into the chassis; top build quality.
The front panel also comes off in addition to the 4 main panels and allows access into the front bay, front I/O cables and of course that massive 200mm cooling fan.
In terms of graphic card support, the Core V1 has maximum support for graphics cards 28.5cm in length (outer chassis) and 25.5cm (inner chassis). As you can see here, there is a space between the main internal chamber and the front panel which allows longer graphics cards to fit inside; genius use of space and something which makes this case stand out for me.
Cable management inside of the Core V1 is fairly easy to get to grips with as the PSU is mounted under the shelf at the bottom of the case. This allows ample space for cables and as the PSU is mounted below, the cables extend over the edges of the motherboard shelf; a pretty nice design for those with non-modular power supplies.
Here we have the main chamber of the Thermaltake Core V1 with a system fully installed. As previously mentioned coolers up to 140mm are support but we felt it fitting to use the fantastic Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler; cable management might not be this cases strong point but it has enough to satisfy me.
Here is a shot of the system from an aerial view (well above the case at least!) without the top panel on; see what I mean about plenty of space? Thermaltake haven’t exactly made the most of all that space but with the 200mm intake fan on the front, it will certainly prove good for pumping as much air into the case as possible….right?
A couple of shots with the ventilated side panel installed; look at the Noctua NH-L9i in all its glory.
Finally the window panel is fitted (on the top) and you can see what your system could look like with a full PC installed; would have been nice for the Core V1 to come with a couple of 80mm fans to finish it off though!
The Thermaltake Core V1 chassis comes pre-installed with 1 x 200mm fan acting as an intake but doesn’t come pre-installed with any exhaust; has support for 2 x 80mm fans on the rear. Due to this, I opted out of installing the Corsair H80i inside as there would be no stock fans whatsoever in the case and I didn’t feel that would be a fair comparison; the graphs below are compared to other cases we have tested with the Noctua variant.
The Thermaltake Core V1 M-ITX case is pretty dinky right? I mean it’s an actual M-ITX chassis with a true M-ITX size; well compared to cases like the BitFenix Prodigy and Phenom but the main question here is, have Thermaltake done enough with the Core V1 to make it a worthwhile option? Yes it has a 200mm intake fan (plaudits) and has support for full size graphics cards but with M-ITX becoming ever popular, is it deserving of your hard earned money?
Well starting off with the performance, you get a fair bit of that with the Core V1 and it certainly punches above its weight. I do feel however that with exhaust fans fitted, the Core V1 would perform even better; as it stands the Core V1 has an intake which brings air in but has no exhausts to dump it back out again. As we test cases on stock value I was a tad disappointed and would expect at least 1 x 80mm exhaust fan to be included; it’s not exactly the kind of fan everyone is going to have lying around spare like many do with 120mm fans. Aside from that, the Core V1 has potential; it could be better but if you do have an 80mm fan or so spare and are building an M-ITX system, this case would be perfect.
The design of the Core V1 is probably its strongest point and shines above other M-ITX cases I have previously seen. The support for full size graphics cards given and the little cubby hole sized gap which allows the graphics card to go into the front panel is a particular highlight; Thermaltake obviously have a knack for cramming large things into tight places! The 200mm intake also does a good job and Thermaltake have added support for 1 x 120mm/140mm radiator in the front; this requires removal of the 200mm fan of course. Now taking that into consideration, the Core V1 does stand out but they really should include at least 1 x 80mm exhaust as the air is just going to circulate inside of the case and the last thing you want is all the air going through your graphics card then out; will certainly make a difference on temperatures. That being said, the build quality is good, the interchangeable panels are a huge bonus and overall, the Core V1 looks fantastic.
Coming in at around £37 (depending where you shop), this case screams BARGAIN! When you consider what you get for the money, the build quality, the component support and did I mention the sweet looking body on this thing? You get one hell of a deal and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the go to case for M-ITX builders over the next 12 months.
The BitFenix Prodigy has a new rival and coming in at nearly half its current price, Thermaltake have a clear winner here. Overall the Core V1 provides excellent value for money, good performance and very desirable flexibility in terms of supported component sizes; a must have for the ITX builder on a budget!
Huge thanks to Thermaltake for sending in the Core V1 for review and I look forward to seeing more in the future!
– Compact M-ITX chassis
– Great support for graphics cards
– Supports coolers up to 140mm in height
– Bargain price
– Decent build quality
– No exhaust fans pre-installed (80mm)
– Only has native support for 2 x HDDs/SSDs
User Review( votes)
Thanks, these reviews always seem to omit max graphics card width, 2 or 3 slots etc.