Thermaltake Core V71 TG Case Review

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thermaltake core71 featured image

Introduction & Specification

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Ooh they must have liked my first case review, the Mrs is giving me that look again as a very large box sits filling up the living room floor. Hey everyone I am back with another full size case review, this time Thermaltake have sent me one of their higher end models in the form of the Core V71.

Thermaltake have been making cases for well, decades. Some of their big hits from the past include the Armour and Soprano enclosures, which I built in many years ago for friends who were wanting something sturdy and spacious. TT have since branched out into just about every component marketplace with some big successes, be it keyboards or power supplies they have lots to offer.

The Core V71 is an HEDT build capable case offering quite a few features. Lets see the specifications.

P/N CA-1B6-00F1WN-04
Case Type Full Tower
Dimension (H x W x D) 583 x 230 x 560 mm
(23 x 9.1 x 22 inch)
Net Weight 14.7 kg
Side Panel Tempered Glass
Color Exterior & Interior : Black
Material SPCC
Cooling System Front (intake) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA) x 2
Rear (exhaust) :
140 x 140 x 25 mm Turbo fan (1000rpm, 16dBA)
Top (exhaust) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA)
Drive Bays -Accessible
2 x 5.25’’
-Hidden
8 x 3.5’’ or 8 x 2.5’’
Expansion Slots 8
Motherboards 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX), 12” x 13” (Extend ATX)
I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2,USB 2.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
PSU Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
LCS Upgradable Supports 1/2”、3/8”、1/4” water tube
Fan Support Front:
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 3 x 120mm
1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm
1 x 200mm or 2 x 200mm
Top:
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 3 x 120mm
1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm
1 x 200mm or 2 x 200mm
Rear:
1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm
Bottom:
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm
Radiator Support Front:
1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 360mm
1 x 140mm or 1 x 280mm or 1 x 420mm
Top:
1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 360mm
1 x 140mm or 1 x 280mm or 1 x 420mm
Rear:
1 x 120mm
Bottom:
1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm
Other CPU cooler height limitation: 185mm
VGA length limitation:
310mm(with HDD rack)
480mm(without HDD rack)
PSU length limitation:
220mm (With Bottom Fan)

 

A Closer Look

thermaltake core 71 boxed

For delivery there was no extra outer boxing, the packaging arrives like this, with a nice exploded picture of the case down to it’s component levels decorating the outside.

thermaltake core 71

The Thermaltake Core V71 itself, reminds me ever so slightly of the old Mac Pro cases, without the handles. That is one big stack of drive bays, 8 in total and all visible in the main chamber. I think I would have like the 5.25 panels on the front to sit more flush with the front panelling but that is just a preference for me. It is not initially obvious but the grille parts of this case are actually metal with plastic sides clipped on. This does give the case a quality feel in those areas.

thermaltake core 71 window side

There he is, oh and a side view of the case, tempered glass loves to reflect all the things. There is definitely a chunky look to this case.

thermaltake core 71 front

Here we get to see the front which is the metal material I spoke of earlier. The Thermaltake Core V71 has made the whole thing a mesh to help airflow, rather than having a solid panel of glass or perspex as happens with many cases with the current trend for being able to see all of the insides of a build.

thermaltake core 71 back side

No window on the cabling side, this is actually preferable for me, as even tidied cables don’t always look great, custom cables can look fantastic but many of us use the supplied parts with our power supplies and these don’t lend well to an attractive offside board panel.

thermaltake core 71 rear

The rear of the Core V71 shows off, starting at the top, a large slide out device for removing the top filter without taking away the whole panel, nice and useful that. Next we have three watercooling rubber grommets useful for taking tubing in and out of the case if necessary, for a rear mounted radiator for example. Under those next to the rear IO panel gap, there is a nice 140mm fan, ready to exhaust. The PCI slots of which there are eight, are accompanied by two vertical slots, this is to enable a PCI-E card (usually a graphics card) to be mounted vertically showing off what is normally hidden facing downwards in an ATX build, all that fancy RGB and fan shrouds or even waterblocks can be shown off to great effect.

thermaltake core 71 bottom

The bottom of the case features four very sturdy feet which are adorned with thick rubber strips to prevent sliding. The case also features both a front and rear removable filter, all which can be done by simply pulling on the tabs at either end, no case disassembly required to get the dust out.

thermaltake core 71 buttons

The top of the case continues with the pleasant metal mesh, along with ports and buttons, on the left we have a reset switch, an HDD LED, two fan speed buttons with LED’s and an LED on/off button for the fan lighting. in the middle we have a nicely machined round power button and on the right we have 2x USB2, 2x USB3 and Headphone/Mic connections.

thermaltake core 71 cable management area

Removing the offside board panel, reveals the cable management area of the case. It is also possible to vertically mount up to three hard disks on the rear side, avoiding the use of the main caddies, two drives can sit vertically down the left hand column at the back of the caddy cages and one in between the three lower wiring grommets. There does seem to be ample space here to create a clean cabling and drive setup.

thermaltake core 71 main chamber

Inside the main chamber we can see quite a few features and possibilities, enabled by the modular nature of the case. The 8 hdd caddies are split into two threes and a two, these can be swapped around in any vertical configuration, so if one is used, the others an be removed for space to fit a tube reservoir for example. The caddies sit around 40mm out from the front fans, allowing for some decent radiator space.

thermaltake core 71 vertical gpu mount

Zooming in to the PCI area, we can see the vertical card mounting bracket, readily installed to take a GPU sideways. While it is nice this is pre-installed ready to go, the absence of a PCI-E riser cable with the case, means this will be useless without spending extra. I would encourage Thermaltake to include a cable with any of their cases that include such a bracket, especially at the mid to premium price bracket these cases tend to sit in.

top rear area 40mm to mobo

Angling upwards, we can see the mounting framework for fans and radiators in the top of the case, there is approximately 40mm from the bracket to the top of a motherboard, so normally this would restrict radiators to 30mm thickness, however Thermaltake have cleverly offset the bracket mount points away from the motherboard, allowing greater radiator compatibility, along with the ability to create push/pull configurations.

top front 380mm before drive bay

Panning to the front, we get a good 380mm+ before getting to the back of the lower front drive bay, this can of course be removed for that 420mm radiator length. Serious watercooling can be fitted to this case with the possibility of two very large radiators in the front and top of the case. Smaller radiators can also be mounted in the bottom.

off center fan and rad mounts

Here is a clearer shot of the radiator mounting framework, showing how it takes the radiator away from interfering with the motherboard.

120mm fan for scale

The 200mm fans included with the case dwarf a 120mm fan. While three 200mm fans are included I would have liked to see 4 so that the top and front were filled without having to move them around or substitute them.

thermaltake core 71 top panel removed

To get the previous shots, the top panel was quite easily removed by pinching the clips underneath, here we can see that the buttons are not wired through but sit on top of connectors, this makes taking the panels away for work much easier, the filter is also on show here to help with handling dust at the top fans/radiator.

thermaltake core 71 front panel removed

The front panel also comes away easily, not only do we see another mesh filter for the front fans, but there is also foam for dust/noise dampening on the drive bay covers. Again the lack of attached wires for LED’s etc here is very welcome.

200mm fans

Those 200mm fans really are huge, the ones supplied with this case are only blue LED fans, so if you want more colour replacements will be needed, however this does present a problem

top controls and wiring

Here we have the buttons including fan LED and power connections for the three 200mm fans. The problem here is a warning within the manual, to only use compatible Thermaltake fans with this panel. The manual states the circuit board could be damaged if other fans were connected. This kind of restriction is unacceptable and will be scored against, there is simply no need for it.

adjustable psu mount

Back in the main chamber there is a PSU mounting bracket that is adjustable to the length of the power supply. This secures the front of the PSU for a more sturdy mounting.

removable drive bay cage

Removing four screws brings out the individual HDD caddy cages.

hdd caddy

The caddies themselves are the hot-swap server type clip in bays, making the case a good option for those who change drives on a frequent basis.

Building & Testing

The Thermaltake Core V71 offers oodles of space to build in and I found initial motherboard installation a piece of cake. Mounting the PSU was a tight fit and a little tricky with the vertical GPU mount in place, luckily this is removed easily with three screws at the back so getting more room to work is easy. The PSU front bracket needs to be adjusted for the size of the unit, the screw nearest the backplane proved to be a little fiddly to work with but once in place the PSU sits on a slightly raised platform which provides an air gap between the bottom filter and the fan, which is good for airflow.

thermaltake core 71 build vertical gpu

Here we have the PC assembled with the vertical GPU mount in use showing off the top of the graphics card, I really do like this configuration especially if the fan shroud or waterblock is attractive and lit up. Unfortunately since Thermaltake decided not to include a PCI-E cable with this case I had to use my own, which is a rather cheap affair and unfortunately too short for use in this case.

thermaltake core 71 build windo

Popping the side panel on we get those reflections off the glass again, but it does look very good with a very mild tint so the build doesn’t look discoloured or too dark. I can’t help but feel that a PSU shroud up to the drive cages would improve the aesthetics of this case especially considering the competition at this price point.

hdd caddy mounted drive

Mounting a hard disk in a caddy is incredibly easy and convenient, this case really is designed for people who like to change drives.

thermaltake core 71 build normal gpu

A quick rejig and the GPU is plugged into the motherboard. The build is quite easy to tidy up with plenty of routes for cables and it even looks ok with old school cables from an old style power supply. It would certainly suit some fancy custom braided cables. Overall the build experience was fairly easy and stress free.

thermaltake core 71 managed cabling

Cable management around the back of the motherboard in the Core V71 is not bad however I do miss those little cut out hoops to thread cable ties through, there is one on this case in the lower right area but none for the central cabling. Even with cabling bunched up in this manner there was no difficulty attaching the side panel which provides some extra space for cables with it’s indentation. The power supply I used has a cable just long enough to reach the CPU 12v connectors, but if the available cable is too short Thermaltake have provided an extension due to case height. The bunch of cables on the left are as supplied they hook up the three fans to the controller in the top which is then powered by a Molex connector in the main central cabling area. There are a few options for mounting hard drives on the back of the motherboard and vertically on the back of the hard disk cages however these would interfere with cabling so planning is essential.

Conclusion

Performance & Quality

Thermaltake have provided a very solidly built case with the Core V71. Built from steel with the unexpected bonus of metal grilles on top and at the front, the case has a feeling of high quality. It doesn’t flex with the side panels off and can cope with some big hardware.

Building into the case is easy, plenty of space to play around with, while not completely necessary it is recommended to remove the vertical GPU mounting bracket when installing a power supply as it is a very tight squeeze otherwise.

The case includes three 200mm fans which are great for pushing volumes of air, however if you want to play around with case air pressure you can mount 140mm and 120mm fans easily, you cannot however connect them to the fan controller in the top of the case, as per the warning in the manual, this seems very restrictive.

Design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the imposing styling of the Thermaltake Core V71 may not be for everyone but I think it is a chunky yet functional affair with lots of room for big components including large radiators, support for which is often lacking in many modern cases that focus on AIO compatibility. The modular nature of the drive bays allows for some creative watercooling opportunities and the vertical GPU mounting support, while lacking a cable, allows you to show off the best view of your graphics card.

The off center radiator and fan mounting in the top allows for really thick radiators and push/pull installation without interfering with the motherboard, so plenty of thought has gone into that area of the design.

Lacking a PSU shroud is a little disappointing along with the lack of cutouts for cable ties on the backplane.

Value

At the time of writing the Thermaltake Core V71 TG is available for around £155, considering the cases it is competing against including Thermaltake’s own View series it will struggle to be as popular. Personally I feel this case with its good build quality and large capacity should sit more around the £100 mark. If Thermaltake included a PCI-E cable and didn’t limit the fan controller to the included 200mm fans then this case would have more appeal.

Final Thoughts

The Thermaltake Core V71 TG is a well built, sturdy capable E-ATX compatible case with quite a lot to offer. Custom water loops, multiple hard drive configurations and excellent ventilation just a few of the positive points. I did however have a problem with the fan controller limitation warning in the manual, I think more information should be provided along with options for hooking up other fans. The lack of a PCI-E riser cable is a big loss for this case considering the vertical GPU mounting bracket is included, to the manufacturer these cables are inexpensive and would add greatly to the value of the overall case.

With the limitations in mind I am going to award the case a Bronze Award, mainly due to how well built it is, this is one seriously sturdy case. The thoughtful design for mounting radiators is also a big plus.

 Awards image 12

 

 

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros
- Sturdy Build Quality
- Big Component Compatibility
- Thoughtful Radiator Mounts

Cons
- No PCI Cable Included
- No PSU Shroud
- Expensive Compared to Competition

3.3

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