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Thermaltake Core V71 Full-Tower Chassis Review

The newest chassis from Thermaltake hits the lab, and we take a tour of the Core V71. Follow on as Chad tells us all about this new full-tower case.

@chad_sebring
Published Mon, Apr 7 2014 5:08 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:00 PM CST
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 40 IMAGES

Thermaltake's cases seem to feature about an even mix of either designs based on older ideas and tooling or a very unique take on the idea of a chassis, or when the aesthetics are a little more subtle, Thermaltake does everything they can with that design to offer anything and everything an enthusiast would want in a chassis. Today, we are going to be discussing the latter with this design, as some of the more recent submissions were more or less tweaked ideas with older chassis components as the base of the design.

As we look into this latest chassis, we find that in no way is this an average submission. Thermaltake has taken the whole idea of a full-tower chassis, stripped it down to the base panels of the frame, and reworked just about every panel and component that is offered inside of this chassis. Optical bays, storage racks, chassis modularity, and an aesthetic that most companies tend to stay away from can all be found in this latest submission. On top of that, the chassis is very well appointed, and in the factory, they take the time to pre-wire the chassis, as well as offering all the bits and pieces needed to add PC components into this chassis and do just about whatever you want inside.

It has been quite a long time--like since the Level 10 days--since we have been this excited about a Thermaltake chassis. Don't take that the wrong way as we did like a lot of their designs; however, once everything unfolds in front of you of what this chassis is capable of, it is really tough not to be excited about the new angles we are seeing manufacturers take with chassis design in just the last few months.

At this point, find a beverage and get comfortable. We have a lot to show you, and after, it will be very easy to see why the Thermaltake Core V71 EATX full-tower chassis is a serious contender for one of the best designs of the year.

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The Core V71 is made mostly of steel that has been painted black throughout, but it also has some components made of ABS plastic. What is aesthetically special about this chassis is that the front bezel and the top of the chassis are both completely covered with steel mesh with tiny round holes as the pattern. The left side of the chassis offers a very large, almost full panel, window, and it is from this side that you can see the extended top added on to this full-tower chassis. Around the back, there are eight expansion slots and a bottom mounted PSU, and the right side of the chassis is a solid steel panel, but it has a large bumped out section to allow for more wiring. Inside of the chassis, there are two 5.25-inch bays; eight drive trays plus two hidden locations for storage; and a motherboard tray that offers grommets and good wire management options, in addition to allowing Micro-ATX, ATX, and Extended-ATX motherboards to be installed.

The cooling inside of this chassis as well as the drive mounting modularity is where this chassis really excels. The chassis shows up with a pair of blue LED 200mm fans in the front of the chassis, as well as another blue LED 200mm fan in the top of the chassis. There is one other fan sent inside of this chassis, and that is the 140mm Turbo fan used in the back as an exhaust. Since the design allows for it, once the storage drive racks and the lower optical drive bay are removed, things get interesting for water cooling. The front will now be able to house up to a 360mm (3 x 120), a 280mm (2 x 140), or even a 400mm (2 x 200) radiator there, and the top of the chassis offers the same options as the front does. The rear of the chassis can hold either a single 120mm or 140mm radiator, and depending on the PSU choice, the floor offers room for a single or dual 120mm radiator.

What is noticeable as we look around at pricing and availability is that we can locate the Core V71 just about everywhere we tried, but pricing is a touch higher than most full-towers that buyers gravitate to. New tooling, research and development, and designing new packaging all have really high costs related to them, and to be honest, it does not seem like they are trying to stab your wallet trying to make that up on each chassis; this pricing says to us that they plan to sell quite a few of these and make just a few dollars here and there to recoup those costs. With what we have had the chance to see already, we do feel that while buyers may get a bit of sticker shock, this chassis is well worth the investment.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Core V71 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Thermaltake Core V71 retails for $151.44 at Amazon.

Packaging

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Packaging is kept simple with the release of the Core V71. Using plain brown cardboard and black screen printing not only saves money, but on this panel, they get the point across for the general shape and look of the chassis along with the naming off to its right.

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As we spin the box to the left, the next panel offers a very short list of features that gets repeated in twelve total languages. Thermaltake covers the front I/O connectivity, the trio of 200mm fans, the 8+2 drive system, as well as support for water cooling and cable management.

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The back of the packaging is a direct copy of the front panel we just saw and is a sure way to help keep the money going into chassis development rather than on a fancy box that goes in the bin shortly after it arrives.

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As we continue around the packaging, we get to our last panel. Thermaltake has used this panel to offer a specifications chart much like the one we just discussed, and it is nice to see it offers everything at a glance so customers don't have to visit a website in the store to see what they are getting.

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Inside of the cardboard, there are two very thick Styrofoam end caps used to center the chassis in the box, and they take any hard hits to protect the chassis inside of them. They have also used a plastic bag to surround the chassis and clingy plastic on both sides of the window to keep minor scrapes and scratches at bay. Even with some scuffs and punctures on the box, the Core V71 inside of it arrived in impeccable condition.

Thermaltake Core V71 Full-Tower Chassis

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With the vast expanse of fine mesh running down the front bezel of the Core V71, it does give it that tall and slender look, with a fair bit of style and very little aggressiveness to it. At the top, there are two mesh and removable bay covers; other than those, only the logo and naming at the bottom denote what this chassis is, or rather who made it.

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As the front makes a gentle curve to the start of the top panel, the Core V71 offers a lot going on in the front I/O. To the left are the reset button, HDD activity LED, the high and low buttons of the fan controller, and a fan LED switch. In the center is a power button with an LED ring, and to the right, we see two USB 2.0 ports, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and the audio jacks.

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Stepping back a bit, the top panel offers the same feel as the front aesthetically and will allow any cooling setup under it ventilation to breathe, and it looks really good while doing it.

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Taking a look at the left side of the chassis, we see the extended top panel used on the Core V71 that affords many more cooling options than just hanging things inside. We also see that the textured steel panel offers a huge window that gives us our first glance at the light blue drive trays inside of this chassis, as well as everything else.

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As we moved around to the back, we noticed that the top section also offers a dust filter that runs the entire length of the top panel.

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Just under the dust filter is a large chunk of the panel cut away to allow a grip to remove it.

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The back of the chassis starts with external water cooling holes with grommets above the rear exhaust fan. To the left of those is the rear I/O followed with eight ventilated expansion slots and more passive mesh to their right. That leave the PSU to be mounted at the bottom, and it also offers a dust filter.

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The right side of the Core V71 is a fair bit plain to look at, but along with the textured paint applied to this steel panel, the majority of the panel has been extended another 5mm in depth to offer additional room for wire management behind the motherboard tray.

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Under the chassis are large plastic feet that have strips of rubber applied to add a bit of grip. It is here we also see the bottom offers two dust filters. There is one under the PSU that goes out the back, and there is one for the front that requires removal of the bezel to access it through the front.

Inside the Core V71

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As we remove the panels, our first view inside shows us a large chassis that has been divided off with the ODD bay and the eight drive tray below sectioning off the front from the main motherboard section. The wiring is tended to next to the bays, and as for the hardware, it was shipped between the motherboard tray and the right side panel.

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Since the first optical bay is under the top cover, this is technically the second bay, and it is completely removable if needed and offers a tool-free mechanism to lock drive in when in use.

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Here we have three cages that have been screwed into the right side framing as well as being tied to a removable support rail that is on the left of all the drive bays in this image. These cages and the support can be removed completely or reassembled to use just the racks you need at the top, in the middle, or all stacked from the bottom.

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Just by removing all of the drive bays and the support rail, we have opened things up for near unlimited potential. While we can see the stock 200mm fans in the front, there are many options for fans and radiators to contemplate now.

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The top of the chassis comes with a third 200mm fan, but by looking at the steel running from front to back, there are all sorts of holes to allow for many fan and radiator types, and with oval holes, they even compensate for various offsets with radiators.

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The motherboard tray will house boards up to EATX, has a large CPU back plate access hole, and also offers five large areas to pass wiring and plenty of tie points stamped into the steel.

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Once the HDD cages are removed, the bottom is also completely open now. The PSU goes in the back and on top of the adjustable PSU support rail, and the rest of the room can be used for fans, a radiator, or the pump and reservoir.

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Inside of the back of the Core V71, we see the Turbo fan is all black, and it does not sport the LED lighting of the front and top. Also, while the 200mm fans are connected to the fan and light controllers, this fan requires power via a 3-pin plug. As for the expansions slots, thumbscrews secure cards and the replaceable covers currently in the slots.

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Behind the motherboard tray, there is a minimum of 25mm of room, and combined with the door bump, that is 30mm of room in most places. The wiring is pre-routed to help with the build, and to the left are two racks that support the blue trays that you will see used later in this review.

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All of the chassis wiring is black or sleeved to be black as well. There is a 4-pin Molex that powers the fan and light controllers, but the 200mm fans are all pre-wired to them. The rest of the wiring, for the switches and LEDs, USB 2.0, native USB 3.0, and the HD Audio connections, is long enough for any build.

Accessories and Documentation

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In the hardware bag, we were given we find four long screws for 30mm thick fans like the 200mm fans already installed, a socket to install the four extra standoffs or to remove some of the nine already installed, and ODD screws. The bottom row offers PSU screws, typical fan screws, motherboard screws, and a handful of 2.5-inch drive screws.

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Since this chassis is so tall, Thermaltake provides us with an 8-pin extension cable that has both 4-pin and 8-pin tails on it. They also ship a motherboard post speaker and five adjustable wire retaining straps.

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The manual, to the left, is very thorough. Things start off with a parts list; it then takes you through all the installation procedures and ends with a bit of the wiring diagram. At the end, it also shows all of the fan and water cooling options that this chassis offers to simplify or guide you through that, too. To the right is the warranty insert covering what can and cannot be done to the chassis to make a claim on the two-year warranty offered.

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When using the blue drive trays for 3.5-inch drives, you simply flex the tray around the drive using the black pins to line up with screw holes. When mounting a 2.5-inch drive, to get the screws to line up, the clip has to be removed to let the drive sit flush to the edge.

Case Build and Finished Product

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The front of the chassis comes off with a bit of a tug and exposes the pair of fans at the front, as well as showing how both ODD bays are set up. Behind the steel mesh of the front bezel, there is a finer mesh for dust protection, and the whole front panel can be removed and washed. This is also when you have access to remove the dust filter at the bottom.

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We just didn't have the heart to break up all of that clean looking mesh by installing the DVD drive, so we didn't. This leaves the chassis with a much cleaner look. We tried it with a drive and just did not like how it broke up the mesh, even if the bays are inset.

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With the chassis pretty much gutted, it is slightly more flexible now, but it is not so flexible that you should be worried. We had plenty of room for our ATX test system, and with 180mm of room for CPU coolers, the NiC C5 has plenty of room, and with the cages gone as we see it, 400mm of VGA room is present.

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There is a full two and a quarter inches of room for fans and radiators, but keep in mind, there is a ton of room under the top panel as well. For those who prefer the metric measurement, this is very near 60mm of room.

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The back offered no resistance to our wishes either. The dust shield, the card, and the PSU all went in without any issues, and we even got our HD7950 to sit level in this chassis, and that is something that seems hard to accomplish in most other designs.

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Behind the tray, we re-wired everything, used some cable extensions, and were able to come up with a very clean build as well as very clean wiring with what is offered. We can also see at the left that the drive trays will lock into the support rail offering that +2 of the storage configuration.

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Bundling things back up as we get ready for testing and such, we really love the exterior styling so far, and the view inside is rivaled by very few cases on the market today.

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As we pushed the power button and played the timing game with the shutter and the HDD activity light, we were able to catch the red light on along with the blue LED showing which mode the fan controller is in. To show chassis power, the ring around the power button is blue and easy to see.

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Once powered and everything set, the front and top offers little glimpses of blue LED through the fine mesh from the 200mm fans. We also found here that the chassis, in the low setting, gives off 28bD of noise levels, and it only moves to 35dB when the controller is set to high mode.

Final Thoughts

With all the customizable options in this larger-than-normal full-tower chassis, Thermaltake has really stepped out of the usual shoes and was sporting new kicks when this design hit the table. This, at first glance, is not the typical thing we would expect from them either, and if it were not for that one last remnant of the light blue trays on the inside, this design is completely new and worthy of a serious amount of contemplation when looking for your next full-tower. I do get that the trays do go with the LED lighting offered by the trio of 200mm fans, but we would have liked to have seen black trays, or maybe red, to go with all their air coolers and company colors, but that is the one and only thing that I can find any issue with in this design.

The build went as expected with no issues to report for fit or final installation. Cooling out of the box is not spectacular, but it still allowed us to get average thermal results inside of the Core V71. With 200mm fans, it is more the sheer amount of air that is being moved rather than actual force of that airflow, but with this design, I can see these fans coming out and going right to the bin with the box on day one. Why? Because this is designed to maximize water cooling options as well. We also like that while NZXT completely eliminated the ODD bays, Thermaltake goes the other way with it and delivers a chassis in which one ODD is removable and the other is outside of the normal frame and can still be used. This in effect offers the best of both world's for those with vast dreams of water cooling that still need room for the ODD.

To hit on the subject, when the drive cages are fully removed, the chassis does lose a bit of structural integrity if left wide open like we showed it off. The support rail, as we called it earlier, is a completely separate entity to the HDD cages and can easily be reinstalled without the cages to give the chassis the rigidity it had when we opened the chassis the first time. So, even if the way we used it showed a slight weakness, Thermaltake has designed it to account for that, so we can't deduct points or anything due to our specific choices.

In the end of it all, there really is no hard factual reason to not like this design. Thermaltake has definitely shown a new and much better direction with this chassis at the basic level. Additionally, you have all the easy controls at the top for controlling fan speeds or disabling the LED lights for a full night's rest and the sleek and stylish look of the mesh front and top with a huge side window to enjoy the fruits of your labor; there isn't much left to put into this chassis, and Thermaltake really covered all the angles here.

The Thermaltake Core V71 may cost a bit more than the $100 to $150 range that most buyers are comfortable with buying, but this chassis, for its price, is packed with options and features, has a look that not many other cases can offer, and is one of the most well thought out cases we have seen from Thermaltake in quite some time. At this point, we just hope this spawns a new direction for their cases. We hope to see more to come as they advance and surprise us with an evolution of this design, because after looking at the Core V71 and what it offers all potential buyers, we have a feeling these are going to fly off the shelves.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Core V71 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Thermaltake Core V71 retails for $151.44 at Amazon.

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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