As of March 18, 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 $169.99 and from B&H for $169.99 with free shipping.
As stated in the original review of the Core X9, Thermaltake did an amazing job in designing and implementing the this case. The case gives the user the ability to mount radiator(s) in virtually any orientation possible along almost all sides of the case. Even with all of the equipment we forced into our build-out, their was plenty of space left for further components. The opportunity that the Core X9 presents with its massive surface area is with the ability to create a clean and innovative design. The Core X9 provides the room for the user to integrate as much cooling and system components as they wish into the system while maintaining room for cleanup and cable routing / hiding. After going through the configuration and build out of the system design, I am comfortable stating that Thermaltake brought "Case Labs style" features to the mainstream enthusiast and modding community at an approachable price.
Aside from the concerns with the enhancement channel (to be addressed in depth later), the one major challenge with this case is in its size and weight when fully built out. The size and dimensions make it challenging to carry, while the amount of components that it can hold makes it heavy. The system build-out walked through in this article ended up weighing in at 40+ lbs, making it a challenge to use as a LAN gaming system (but when has that ever stopped me).
The other challenge with this case comes with modding and enhancements, specifically sourcing enhancement and/or replacement parts for the Core X9. Currently, Thermaltake offers a few enhancement parts through their on-line store, such as additional bottom/side fan brackets, replacement side panels with full, half, and no windows, as well as hard drive 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 this 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
- Dimensions and weight of fully configured case can make for a challenging move