Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Just shy of a year ago, we got our hands-on one of the slickest designs in cases in quite some time. Not to say there were issues with the original layout, but suffice to say, the Core P5 was not exactly intended to mainstream users. Even while we loved the chassis and everything it has to offer, there were a couple of minor details that needed specific attention. For one, while the chassis was fully capable and ready to support just about any water cooling setup you could desire, without a 3D printer or some handy engineering at home, AIOs were simply not in the cards for the P5. The second issue, if you want to call it that, was that the Core P5 was enormous, and needed a lot of space on the desk or the wall to be used.
With those two things being complaints heard by Thermaltake, they took the design and reworked it for the masses. So now, anyone who needs access all the time inside of the chassis, those who tend to stick with mainstream cooling, like that of an AIO, or anyone who wants artwork on their walls in the form of PC components can do so within a smaller chassis. Even if wall hanging is off the checklist when buying an open air chassis, Thermaltake delivers the ability to use this new chassis in the horizontal and vertical orientations, just as the Core P5 offered. Taking it a bit deeper into this new layout, there are even optional brackets and orientations of components in this chassis which allow users to make their minds up on how things should be installed, dependent on the choice of parts used.
If you have been camping under a rock for the past year and have no idea what the Core P5 is all about, you are in for a real treat. As we bring forth Thermaltake's latest wall mountable ATX chassis, the Core P3, we know it may not be for everyone, but there is no denying the ingenuity, styling, simplicity, and sexiness of what you are about to lay your eyes upon. For those, who, like us, totally appreciate the benefits of open air chassis designs, we strongly suggest you pad your desktop as not to bruise your chin when it drops in awe. This latest chassis from Thermaltake is so impressive that we are putting it into service full time as one of the many test rigs we have. Only the best of the best tend to stick around in our office, and that alone should say volumes about the Core P3 ATX wall-mountable chassis you are about to see.
The Core P3 from Thermaltake is considered a mid-tower chassis due to its size, but in reality, this is the most spacious mid-tower we have seen with much more potential than the standard designs out there today. The P3 stands 512mm tall, it is 333mm wide, and 470mm deep, and with all the parts in the box considered, it weighs up to 10.7 kg. The version sent to us is black, but there is also a snow white version, both of which have the entire left side of the chassis made from a transparent side window to admire all of your hardware. As for the rest of the chassis components, there is SPCC steel used for the majority of the design, bits made of ABS plastic and rubber, and even pieces of stainless steel that make up the Core P3.
The main components that can be installed into this chassis are quite good. While there is no room for an optical drive, storage drive options are robust. Accessible by removing the transparent window, you could install a pair of 3.5" drives to be visible, and the same can be done with up to three 2.5" drives. Keeping these options going, on the inside of the steel portion of the chassis, there are two hidden drive trays, which can house either 2.5" or 3.5" drives as well. There are eight expansion slots in the back, which can be oriented horizontally or vertically, and the Core P3 houses either an ATX, Micro-ATX, or Mini-ITX motherboard. The front I/O panel is also contained within the steel section, offering up a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a pair for USB 3.0, HD Audio jacks, as well as a large power and reset button. As to the PSU, the P3 takes on a standard PSU of any length, and dependent on the motherboard used, it hangs with the fan down with ATX motherboards, while smaller boards allow the PSU to mount with the fan facing the clear side panel.
Cooling can be handled with just fans, either three 120mm or three 140mm fans, but it is more for looks, as the only thing you would potentially cool with them would be storage drives. The real reason for those fan locations is to support water cooling, custom or an AIO. So in this same area where the fans go, you could also install radiators up to 360mm and 420mm versions. Thermaltake also lists limitations to individual parts. Here we see that CPU air coolers can be 180mm tall and still clear the side panel. Video cards can be blocked with the use of a reservoir and radiator, leaving a minimum of 180mm, but without those in play, there is a maximum of 450mm of room for them. They do mention a PSU limitation of just 200mm, which does cover a ton of power supplies out there, but is limited only because of the location of the wire management hole provided to hide the wiring.
What will make many our readers jump at this chassis is the pricing. While availability is somewhat limited this early in the release of the Core P3, we were still able to find it. Currently, the best deal to be had is at Newegg, where we found the Core P3 in black, listed at $119.99. There is also an additional $10.99 involved for shipping cost and no mention of free shipping to Premier members. This pricing is well within the realm of average mid-tower chassis pricing for "normal" designs, but once you see what this Core P3 ATX wall-mountable chassis from Thermaltake is all about, it will not be long before you too appreciate the impressively low cost of obtaining something of this caliber.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Hero - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Cooler: Corsair H110i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Reference)
- Storage: SanDisk Extreme II 120GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake TPSG 1050W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
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