Exterior Case Overview
The Thermaltake Core X9 case is of a steel and plastic construction coming in at a hefty 35 lbs empty and closer to 40-50 lbs fully configured, especially if you choose to build a multi-radiator custom cooling array in this beast. In it stock configuration, the case comes with a full sized acrylic window on its left side and a dual-vented panel on its right. It supports three 5.25" devices up front with integrated USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone input ports, as well as power and reset buttons in its front panel assembly. In keeping with its enthusiast-friendly configurable theme, Thermaltake decided against including any type of LED internal or fan lighting, leaving those decisions to the imagination of the case builder.
The Core X9 case itself is constructed on a massive scale with a height of 18.375", and external width of 15.125" and a depth of almost 25.50". Just for some scale, a typical E-ATX motherboard is about 12" in width, so the case could easily fit two E-ATX motherboards with some room to spare. The height and depth of the case illustrate how Thermaltake was able to certify the case for use of up to four 480mm radiators in its top panel and lower side panels.
The case front panel is a vented plastic cover in black with Thermaltake's corporate logo in silver and centered along the bottom half. Sitting behind the logo is the 200mm intake fan. In the center of the top half are the three 5.25" device bays, also vented should you choose to use the space for additional fans or even a 280mm (2×140) or a 360mm (3×120) radiator.
The Core X9's left side panel is steel with a full sized embedded acrylic window, held in place with two thumbscrews. The plastic remained on the window in the picture to prevent scratching and other damage while I was building out the case. The window itself is crystal clear and held in place with metal hold-downs on the rear side of the panel. Thermaltake made an interesting design decisions with the case control panel assembly, choosing to mount it to the side of the case rather than the traditional front or top panel placement.
The case control panel assembly is mounted to the front upper portion of the left side of the case. Notice that the panel itself is a separate piece from the left side panel and the front panel, allowing it to be removed and swapped between its default position on the left side of the case to the right side of the case. The case control panel supports four USB 3.0 ports, a headphone output port, a microphone input port, power and reset buttons, as well as power and hard drive activity LEDS. The power LED glows blue, while the hd activity LED intermittently glows red when powered.
The case's right side panel is steel with vented upper and lower windows that stretch the full width of the panel held in place with two thumbscrews. The lower vented area can be used as an intake if you choose to mount fans or a radiator to the lower right side of the case. The blank panel in the upper right corner of the side can be used as an alternate mounting location for the case control panel assembly.
The rear panel of the case is a solid steel assembly housing the included 120mm outlet fan and motherboard rear panel assembly and PCIe card slots below it. The upper fan slot supports up to a 140mm fan. There are also rubber ports located above the PCIe hold down slots for use with routing cables or liquid coolant tubing. The lower portion of the rear panel can be configured to house the system PSU on one side and an additional 120mm fan on the other by simply moving the the fan mounting bracket located on the lower left side. The fan bracket is held in place with four thumbscrews.
The top panel contains dual vented sections that stretch the length of the panel, similar in design to the case's right panel. Underneath the vents sit two vertical mount points for up to eight 120mm fans or two 480mm radiators. The top panel is held in place with two thumbscrews at the rear side of the panel.
The bottom of the case contains dual vented sections running its length, similar to the top panel. Both vented sections are covered by removable filters that cover 3/4 of the vented area. Similar to the top panel, the lower panel of the case supports placement of up to eight 120mm fans or dual 480mm radiators if you choose to forgo mounting of the included hard drive bays or a PSU. Use of both or either will limit the amount of space available along the case bottom. The front of the bottom panel is removable should you choose to stack multiple Core X9 cases on top of each other, making of a nice pass-through for cables and liquid cooling tubing.
The four included case feet are molded steel assemblies held in place with Phillips head screws. The feet are cover with non-slip rubber to keep the case from sliding along slick surfaces as well.