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Fractal Design CORE 500 Mini-ITX Small Form Factor Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Small Form Factor Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jun 27, 2016 5:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Case Build & Finished Product

 

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Without the use of a card reader, fan controller, or an optical drive for our test systems, the front of this CORE 500 stays just as classy as it was when we first saw it. Something to consider here is that the gap behind the front panel, while not sucking in air, can be used to tuck wiring into for a cleaner interior.

 

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We had an inclination that our PSU of choice may cause some issues due to its length, and it did when it comes to the video card. So we took the time to stick in our GeForce GTX 970 AMP from ZOTAC to show that with the right PSU choice, you can get a lot of video horsepower in here.

 

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In reality, this is what we ended up using since our PSU is longer than recommendations state. We still had room for the Mini-ITX board from MSI, and still had room for the PSU and modular connections on our PSU. We also noticed that in the last two images, there is room at the front of the chassis as well as above the card, making various power setups a non-issue with this design.

 

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The rear I/O fills right up with our motherboard in place, and while we do not have the dust shield, we test fitted another and found no issues there. We do still need to replace the gap filler above the video card, but with it out of the way, our card snapped into the motherboard and aligned right with the holes in the back of the case.

 

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With plans to use an AIO, we needed to keep the front bays out of the CORE 500. That is fine for us, as we had no intentions of installing an optical drive, and with the option to hang drives here, our storage needs were met.

 

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After double checking that everything was connected properly, we installed the AIO to the fan supports, and with the fan sucking into the chassis, we keep the flow inside the chassis correct. Standard gear should go in easily, but with thicker setups like this H80i, you do need to be careful of tubing, and where it runs.

 

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Since the outside of the CORE 500 looks the same from this angle, powered or not, we went right to the powered system image. At this point, you can just hear the 140mm fan, but only when behind the chassis. Also, the power icon lights up on the power button, and the white LED that flickers with HDD activity is bright when it is active.

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