By DPD On 31st May 2017
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The Core 500 is the perfect PC case for those looking for a small, compact chassis that lets you build your computer without compromising on component selection.
The case comes with one Silent Series R3 140mm fan which offers great cooling from the get go. For those who wish to expand their cooling ability there is room for an additional two 140 mm fans, water cooling radiators up to 280mm or air coolers up to 170 mm in height.
Additionally, with minimal compromise, the Core 500 can fit one ODD bay, three 3.5"drives and three 2.5" drives, allowing you to use every last square millimeter of this compact, 19.5 liter case. Features
• Brushed aluminum-look front panel with a sleek, three-dimensional textured finish • Very compact case with a volume of only 19.5 liters • Extremely good water cooling support for its size, supporting radiators up to 280mm long • Smart drive bay placement allows you to fit up to three 3.5"drives, three 2.5" and one 5.25" drive simultaneously • Supports Mini-ITX motherboards, ATX power supplies and graphics cards up to 310mm in length • Supports tall CPU cooler towers, up to 170mm in height • Featuring a Fractal Design Silent Series R3 140mm rear exhaust fan for great cooling • Big magnetic filters for the side and top air intake together with a PSU filter ensures a dust free interior
• Water cooling compatibility: Top – 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators. (Thickness limitation of 100 mm for both radiator + fan) (240 and 280 mm radiators require removal of the ODD bay) (280mm radiator can be maximum 325mm in length) Rear – 120 mm radiator (not compatible with the rear 3.5" HDD position)
Case Form Factor
Motherboard Form Factor
Front/ Side/ Top Panel
1 x HDD Activity LED
1 x Headphone/Mic Combo
1 x Power Button with LED
1 x Reset
2 x USB 3.0
3 x 2.5" Internal
2 x 3.5" Internal
1 x 5.25"
3 x 120/140mm
1 x 140mm
Front Radiator Compatibility
Top Radiator Compatibility
Bottom Radiator Compatibility
Rear Radiator Compatibility
Side Radiator Compatibility
Power Supply Form Factor
Max PSU Length
Max CPU Cooler Height
Max VGA Card Length
250 x 203 x 367 (WxHxD mm)
4.4 kg (Approx)
Please note your statutory rights are not affected.
The modern PC is potentially a mass of heat output and heat production hot spots. With CPUs rated at more than 100W of heat output, single graphics boards carrying similar ratings (and people want to run two!), multiple hard drives the norm, lots of memory and mainboards covered in heatpipes to combat toasty core logic and PWM circuits, a PC appreciably warming up a room when it’s working hard is no joke.
Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Cube Case with ATX PSU Support, Black, 1x Silent Series R3 140mm Fan Inc is rated
5.0 out of
Rated 5 out of
There's a lot going on in this caseNote: If you don't want to read too much, please scroll to the bottom of my review for condensed pros and cons of this case.
In my opinion, this has to be the best Mini-ITX case I've worked with so far, even though there are a few obvious drawbacks. I was able to install all my components from my Bitfenix Prodigy over onto this case, which is about half the overall height of the Prodigy!!! This case is able to make much better use of the space it has avaiable to it, as the PSU is positioned in front of the motherboard, instead of below it (like in the Prodigy).
The exterior of the case has a very minimalist look, with grilles for the GPU to the left, PSU exhaust on the right, as well as a grille along the top. The front panel is made from plastic and made to look like brushed aluminium, which I am a big fan of. There is a spot for a 5.25" drive, but it would have been nice if there was the option to completely remove it. For front (top) panel, there's a power button with an integrated power LED, a reset button, a HDD activity LED, a pair of 3.5mm jacks, as well as 2 USB 3.0 ports.
The PSU isthe first thing to be installed in the case. I found that the installation of the PSU was rather tedious, as the 3 holes on the internal mounting bracket didn't line up with my Corsair AX750. I ended up removing the bracket and attaching the PSU to it, before re-installing the PSU/bracket combo back in the case. Once it was installed, it was no longer a concern for me.
Like the Bitfenix Prodigy I had before, there is no opening to allow for easy installtion of a CPU cooler backplate. This means that CPU coolers have to be installed before the motherboard is installed. I had no issues installing my Corsair H100i V2 AiO liquid cooler on the top mounting rails of the case, but I highly doubt that push-pull configurations would be able to fit in between the top rail and the top of the PSU.
My GTX 680 (yes, I'm a few years behind now... :'( ) was able to fit into the case with extra room to spare for length. However, it's important to ensure that you have got a PSU that's not going to be too long for you to fit a full length GPU, as the PSU cables could potentially interfere with the installation of the GPU.
With the way I have personally configured my system, I have got 2 SSDs and 1 HDD installed in my case. There are a total of 3 2.5" and 3 3.5" drive mounting positions. As I installed a 240mm AiO liquid cooler, one of these had to be sacrificed along with the 5.25" bay. To the right of the case, there is a rail that allows for easy installation of 2 2.5" and 2 3.5" drives. However, due to the positioning of the cable cutouts, you may potentially face some issues when it comes to cable management. I chose to install 1 of my SSDs behind the front panel to make cable management of my drives easier.
Cable management in this case is much trickier than the Bitfenix Prodigy I had before. With the Bitfenix Prodigy, it was possible to stash any excess cables in the area next to the PSU. As there is no such thing in this case, it's impossible to manage cables that way. There are a few areas where you can mount zip ties to help cable management, but I found that the best way to manage my cables was to improvise my cable management in order to allow for the best airflow throughout the case. This meant stashing cables at the end of the GPU, behind the PSU, behind the front panel, above the PSU, between the drives on the drive mounting rail, as well as in the gap between the PSU and motherboard. If you want to reduce the amount of time required for cable management, I would highly recommend users purchase shorter PSU cables for this case.
The GPU intake, top grille, and PSU have got dust filters with them, which is a very good thing. The GPU intake and top grille filters are magnetic and stick to the inside of the single top/side panel, so access to those filters requires the removal of that panel. That's not too bad imo. On the other hand, the PSU fan filter is a bit of a pain in the backside. The filter for the PSU is not magnetic and is very awkward to use. From the front, you could have to push the filter towards to back to take the filter out. The part that's really annoying is the re-installation of the PSU fan filter, as you have to precisely line up all the notches on the filter with the case, then slide it towards the front of the case. Why couldn't they just make it slide in and out directly from the front?! Fractal?!
All in all, this case serves its purpose very well. It's capable of housing high end hardware inside without being anywhere near as big as a standard ATX case. If you're looking for a relatively small case which doesn't have many compromises, then I would highly recommend you to take a look at this case.
For those who didn't want to read a long review... Here are the main bits to look at:
- Beatiful minimalist design
- Air filters for GPU, top grille and PSU
- Capable of fitting a full length GPU and 240mm AiO liquid cooler
- Can install up to 3 2.5" and 3 3.5" drives
- Top mounting rail can be easily removed to expose innards of your computer. Especially useful if you have an AiO liquid cooler
- Room for 3x 120/140mm fans to be installed
- Front panel I/O is on top, which can be useful if bigger items need to be connected to it (e.g. external HDDs)
- Limited cable management in case
- Interference between cables for drives mounted on side rail
- PSU dust filter really awkward to use
- Access to side and top filters require the removal of single panel
- Potential issues with PSU installation (in my case)
Date published: 2016-09-11
Rated 5 out of
Complicated Build but worth itThis case is small. You need to plan ahead and not have many drives to fit. Would not recommend if you want an optical drive as well. That aside, is the perfect small case if you have the patience and a lot of cable ties. I love it, have scaled down from a bitfenix prodigy to this and am happy to finally have a small pc that has all the kit I want in it
Date published: 2016-08-31
Rated 5 out of
Excellent Overall, a few nigglesAs to be expected from Fractral, this is a really solid, well made case. I don't have any huge gripes about the case at all. The power cable has to route through the case (A cable is provided) and hence the positioning of the power suplly is slightly unorthodox. I would recommend a at least semi-modular power supply (I used a Corsair 430W, and the mobo fit in nicely, albeit with no more than 2mm each side)
The case is rigid and doesn't rattle. It doesn't feel *quite* as solid as my Fractral Design R5, but what do you expect for this value!
With some cable management and the case fan, temps are very good. Full size graphics cards would fit in this case quite well.