Pros: Inexpensive, Front Fan Filter Foam, USB 3.0 port built in
Cons: Top Mount Power Supply, Slightly Flimsy, Awkward Fan Mounting Positions
Before we take a look inside the box, we look at the box itself. They decided to go with the bare minimum and use a plain cardboard box with the only colors being the light blue and black ink on the box. You’ll notice that Fractal Design decided to take the simple route once again by packing the case inside with a clear plastic bag and two pieces of styrofoam to protect the case. By keeping everything down to the bare minimum, Fractal Design is able to save some money which in turn passes the savings onto the customer.
Taking a look inside the box you’ll find a list of what hardware is included in this box:
9x Motherboard Standoffs
10x FDD Screws
8x Anti vibration HDD Screws
12x SSD Screws
1x Case Speaker
1x 5.25″ to 3.25″ Mesh Bay adapter
Simple yet elegant mesh front panel allowing for increased airflow through the case
Optimized for performance in a compact, Micro-ATX form factor with multiple cooling options
NEW: 1 x USB 3.0 with internal connector, 1 x USB 2.0
One Silent Series R2 fan included: 1 x 120mm in front
A total of 3 fan slots (1 x 120mm in front, 1 x 92mm in rear, 1 x 120mm in side panel)
Innovative HDD positioning which mounts the HDD or SSDs vertically on the mounting bracket with anti-vibration silicone grommets
Supports long graphics cards up to 350mm in length
Supports various combinations of drive sets ups: 3 x 2.5″ SSD, 2 x 3.5″ HDD or 1 x 2.5″ SSD + 1 x 3.5″ HDD
Dust filter for front fan position
Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, DTX motherboard compatibility
Drive bay capacity: 2 – 3.5″ HDD or 3 – 2.5″ SSD or 1 – 3.5″ HDD + 1 – 2.5″ SSD
2 – ODD slots
1 – FDD slot, using convertor in ODD slot (convertor included)
4 expansion slots with sleek white painted brackets
Supports GPUs to 350mm in length with one HDD mounted
Supports GPUs up to 210mm in length with two/three HDD mounted
Supports CPU coolers up to148mm in height
Supports full size ATX PSU, maximum length about 185 mm if an optical drive is mounted
Case dimensions (WxHxD): 175 x 355 x 420mm
Net weight: 4.1 kg
Package dimensions (WxHxD): 225 x 415 x 475mm
Package weight: 5 kg
Front: 1 – 120mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 120mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1200 RPM speed)
Rear: 1 – 92mm fan (not included)
Side: 1 – 120mm fan (not included)
After removing the Core 1000 from the box and giving it a once over you start to realize that there is not very much to it, which can be a great feature for those who love the minimalist design. The case has a very nice satin black paint job. It also has a dull plastic front cover frame and a filtered black mesh material allowing for air to intake through the entire front on the case. There are two 5.25″ drive bays available in the front of the case which are covered by two inserts that are the same mesh as the rest of the front and includes the same filter material.
The power and reset buttons are located on the side of the front panel along with: USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm headphone port, microphone port, and power and HDD activity lights. The buttons themselves are flush with the side of the case and are easy to distinguish from each other do to size. The HDD activity light is a common red color and the power light is a very bright blue. This may be a slight downside to those who wish to use this case on top of a desk due to its overpowering brightness. This can be solved by not leaving the power LED plugged in if it becomes a problem.
The rest of the case remains nice and simple with the side panels being very plain and only having a cutout for a 120mm fan on one of them. The back of the case includes a cutout for the top mounted power supply, there is a cutout for either a 92mm or 80 mm fan, the standard rear I/O panel cutout, and four expansion slots which all have white-painted removable covers.
Just like the outside of the case, the inside of the Core 1000 remains simple and accessible. You will notice is that the entire chassis is painted black, unlike other budget cases where the inside is a bare grey color. The one thing you will notice about the inside of the case is that it is not tool-less, however the expansion bays and the hard drive mounting plate all have thumb screws. These thumbscrews still make working with the inside of this case a nice experience.
The storage drive mounting plate includes eight anti-vibration rubber washers for mounting two 3.5″ hard drives. These rubber washers help to cut the noise that hard drives can make and help to extend the life of the drives. Instead of using two 3.5″ hard drives, there is twelve mounting holes for three 2.5″ hard drives or 2.5″ solid state drives. This mounting plate can be removed simply by unscrewing two thumbscrews and sliding backwards. This will allow for adding larger graphics cards and or adding a 120mm radiator to the front of the case for water cooling. If you decide to remove this mounting plate, Fractal Design has included a 5.25″ to 3.25″ adapter which is secured by 4 thumbscrews and allows a hard drive to be installed in one of the two available bays.
You will need to remove the front panel of the case to get a better look at the included 120mm Fractal Design fan. The fan is secured by 4 plastic clips that allow for the fan to be easily swapped out if necessary. You will also be able to get a better look at the filter media. While it is not the best material available it is still a nice feature that is not often seen in other cases in this price category. This is where the feature list starts to wind down however. The inside of the case lacks some major features such as a motherboard cutout to aid in the installation of aftermarket CPU coolers and cutouts for wire management, but once again Fractal Design had to cut a few corners to be able to keep the price of this case down. The lack of the wire routing cutouts unfortunately allows for the front I/O cables to stay exposed. The audio connector, internal USB 2.0 connector, and internal USB 3.0 cable are black, but the other I/O cable colors are various colors and stand out in a bad way.
The Core 1000 is very nice to work in for its small size. If the storage drive mounting plate is removed while assembling, the case has a ton of room to be able to reach everything with ease. A suggestion that will make your life easy is to install your motherboard and power supply into the case and then plug all of your front panel connectors in. This will make your life a lot easier because when the graphics card is installed, there will be very little room between the card and the bottom of the case. Another thing that can be suggested for use in this build is a modular power supply. Cable management in this case will need some creativity, but a modular power supply definitely comes in handy by reducing the amount of cables that need to be hidden.
Overall this case is a really great budget case with some nice features. It will also be perfect for those looking to build a compact computer to keep tucked away or who just don’t want a huge tower near their desk. With its minimal looks and fairly sturdy construction, the Core 1000 is hard to pass up at just $40(USD). This particular case will be used in the future as we begin work on our dedicated benchmark rig. With the amount of room available after removing the storage drive panel and the ability to mount an 120mm closed loop water cooler, this case will be a nice alternative to a real test bench. Fractal Design really did a nice job combining a lot of necessary features and their signature elegant designs into this case and for the price, it will be hard to disappointed by choosing this computer case for your next build.