Fractal Design Core 1000 review
The Core 1000 is an entry-level case that’s designed for small systems using a microATX motherboard, but that shouldn’t put off anyone looking to build a high-end system because its sensible interior layout means you can still fit a full-length graphics card in it.
Having been fashioned from thin steel, there’s not a lot of weight to the Core 1000 and there’s plenty of flex in the side panels. However, the main chassis is still fairly solid and well equipped to hold your components. A minimal I/O panel at the side of the case includes two USB ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks, and to continue the minimalist theme you only get two external 5.25in drive bays.
Inside, there are no cable management holes and the PSU roof mount can make it difficult for larger hands to fit components. However, a cleverly designed hard disk cage means you can install two 3.5in disks (or three 2.5in ones) without encroaching on any installed expansion cards.
Cooling isn’t the Core’s strong point. The only included fan is a 120mm front intake fan; the rest are optional, and the rear exhaust mount can only hold a 92mm fan, but at least there’s room for a 120mm fan on the side panel to cool the CPU and graphics card.
It doesn’t look like a budget case, but the Core 1000 costs a very reasonable £30. If you’re planning to build a PC that uses a microATX motherboard you’ll be hard pushed to find anything cheaper. For larger systems, however, it’s worth spending more on a bigger case that supports ATX motherboards, such as the Sharkoon T9 Value.