Case Deconstructed – Component Parts
When removed from the case, the motherboard tray's design elegance becomes much more apparent. Not only does the tray support any sized motherboard available, but Thermaltake included a recessed hard drive mounting tray for mounting traditional hard disks or SSDs to the underside of the tray. All of the tray parts (metal, plastic, and rubber) are black colored to match the case aesthetics. The motherboard tray is powder coated to give the metal some degree of durability and scratch resistance as well. From the bottom view of the motherboard tray, the hard disk tray mount points become visible. The tray mounts to the underside, held in place by two thumbscrews just behind the tray pass-through holes.
The motherboard tray contains surface etched markings and a guide to aid in knowing which mount holes to use for what motherboard type. The mount holes marked with an "A" are used for mounting an ATX-type motherboard (including both standard ATX and E-ATX-style motherboards). The "M" marked holes are used for micro-ATX and mini-ITX type boards.
The recessed hard drive tray mounts to the motherboard tray using lips built into the front and back support brackets on the motherboard tray, which frame the CPU socket cutout on the tray. The support brackets also contain horizontal grooves which act as receptors for lips on the hard disk tray to help secure the tray in place (aside from the thumbscrews that is). It becomes apparent just how much space Thermaltake allowed for the CPU cutout in the motherboard tray after removing the hard disk tray.
The hard disk tray is a solid metal construct, powder coated similar to all the other metal parts in the case. By default, a plastic 3.5" hard disk cage is fixed to the bottom side of the tray, held in place by a slot and groove on the top and a snap-in connector at the bottom. With the plastic tray installed, only a single hard disk can be mounted to the hard disk tray.
Things get more interesting once you remove the plastic drive tray from the hard disk tray surface. With the plastic drive tray removed, the hard disk tray supports mounting of up to three drives as follows: two 3.5" drives or two 2.5" SSDs and one 3.5" drive. In this configuration, the tray must be flipped so that the indented portions of the tray face down. The drives are mounted directly to the tray using screws through the tray, that flush mount to the surface. The tray itself contained surface etched markings and a legend for direct mounting disks in this fashion. The holes marked "A" are used for mounting 3.5" disks with the holes marked "B" used for 2.5" disk mounting. Note that 3.5" disks mount horizontally on the tray, while 2.5" SSDs mount in a vertical orientation.
The plastic drive tray supports both a single disk, either 3.5" or 2.5". The 3.5" disk is held by the side pins (no screws required), while a 2.5" disk must be direct mounted to the tray via mount holes in the top of the tray.
The device cover located in the back left corner of the case mounts to the case via screws through the back panel and the side support rail. It offers protection for either a hard disk bay or a PSU mounted under it with enough clearance provided in either case. The cover contains dual grommeted pass-through ports big enough for any drive or PSU wiring required. However, the lower hole is very easily blocked by bottom mounted devices, such as radiators or a PSU. Note that the device cover also supports mounting of the plastic drive tray (from the hard disk tray) to is underside for even more drive space if required.
The case includes two hard disk bays, supporting three mount trays each. The body of the bay is black power coated metal with the trays being of a plastic construction. Each locks into the bay with side latches, you simple squeeze inward to unlock and slide forward to remove. You can mount a single drive in each tray with 3.5" disks locked in place with the side pin assembly and 2.5" disks being direct mounted to the tray via screws through the underside.
For fan/radiator or hard disk bay mounting, Thermaltake includes three mount plates. In its factory default configuration, the Core x9 includes two mount plates mounted to the right case bottom and a single mount plate mounted to the front right side rail. Each mount supports mounting of two 120mm fans or 1.5 140mm fans (up to three 140 mm fans when using two mount plates in the bottom or side configuration). The plates have slide mount holes for both 120mm and 140mm fan or radiator configuration. The inside set of holes are for 120mm-style devices and the outer set are for the 140mm variety. The mount plates themselves are constructed of black powder coated steel to match the other case components.
The top mount plates fit into the the top front and back rails of the case using a series of slots and grooves, fixed in place with thumbscrews. The plates can be mounted side by side as shown or center mounted in a single plate configuration. Both plates are powder coated steel to match the other case component with four cutouts for fans. The plates support mounting of 120mm, 140mm, or 200mm-style fans or radiators – the inner holes are for 120mm devices, the middle holes for 140mm, and the outer for 200mm devices. Each plate supports mounting of up to 4 x 120mm fans or up to a 480mm radiator, 3 x 140mm fans or up to a 420mm radiator, or 2 x 200mm fans or a 400mm radiator. Note that for 200mm-style devices, only a single plate can be used in the center mount configuration.