System Build and Conclusion
System Build Overview
The Core X9 supports motherboards ranging from the small-statured mini-ITX form factor board to the massive E-ATX form factor board.
***Editor's Note*** – We are simply introducing the capabilities of the Core X9 in this review. A deeper look into the advanced capabilities of this monstrous case will be explored in a soon to be released follow-up article. Stay tuned to PC Perspective.
Installing an E-ATX board into the Core x9 shows illustrates just how much space is available on the motherboard tray and the truly immense dimensions of the case. Even with such a large board installed, there remains plenty of room along the front and both sides of the tray. All three grommeted pass-through holes remove uncovered and fully usable.
The case's true strength becomes apparent with a double radiator and fans installed in one of the slots above the motherboard. With the double-width XSPC 360mm radiator and fans installed above the motherboard, there remains more than sufficient room for most CPU coolers as well as PCIe cards and any associated tubing for liquid cooling with plenty of room to spare. Space constraints begin to become apparent with the front device bays, requiring the upper bay to be removed to make room for the top mounted radiator. However, the remaining two 5.25" device bays remain unblocked and full usable.
Installing a larger PSU in its default placement to the lower right of the case's rear section (an EVGA 1000 P2 PSU in this case), the lower grommeted pass-through hole is mostly blocked with only the upper pass-through usable. However, there is more than enough room provided even with the use of only a single pass-through.
As of February 06, the Thermaltake Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis was available at Amazon.com for $141.11 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $157.99 and from B&H for $156.99 with free shipping.
Thermaltake did an amazing job in designing and implementing the Core X9 E-ATX Cube Chassis. The case is large enough to house any assortment of components necessary for even the boldest liquid cooling apparatus while remaining extensible enough to appeal to the hard-core of the modding community. Thermaltake thought of almost everything with this case, making the entire thing destructible down to its frame with a powder-coating on all metal surfaces forgiving enough to take a beating. Further, you can put fans and / or liquid cooling radiators on almost every surface of the frame using the included mounts giving the case unparalleled cooling potential. Now we've seen the same reports that everyone else has concerning the design of the Core X9 mimicking that of a Case Labs style case design. While that may be true, I have not had the opportunity nor the financial wherewithal to actually obtain a Case Labs case (those things are expensive). Thermaltake's offering is much more amenable to my price range, and brings "Case Labs style" features to the mainstream enthusiast and modding community.
While the case does have a immense amount of both cooling and modding potential, the one challenge you may face is with obtaining enhancement and/or replacement parts for the case. Currently, Thermaltake offers a few enhancement parts through their online store, such as additional bottom/side fan brackets, replacement side panels with full, half, and no windows, as well as hd bays and the like. Other enhancement parts have been promised in the near future as well. In my experience with the mainstream case vendors, such case enhancements are available only as long as the case remains a hot commodity. That could be death for a highly configurable case like the Core X9, built with the expectations to be able to reconfigure it several times over several years worth of builds. The more niche style case manufactures, such as Case Labs, understand this and build there offerings to take this into account. But that also comes with the higher price-tag associated with these niche-type designs. Just something to think about and be aware of.
- Size and physical amount of space
- Layout and Design
- Intuitive, tool-less construction
- Aesthetics, build quality, and finishing on metal parts
- Support for multiple water cooling radiators and custom water loops
- Configuration and modding possibilities
- Lack of in-depth details on more esoteric build capabilities and radiator placement
- Possible dry-up of enhancement parts channels