Thermaltake Core V71 Full-Tower Case Review

Thermaltake has a history of making high quality hardware with the features that computer enthusiast are looking for.  As such, they are constantly adding new models to their product line.  One of their newest cases is the Core V71, a Full-Tower case designed to support extremely long video cards, multiple cooling options (both air and liquid), and a customizable hard drive cage layout. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Full The Core V71 is available only in black with light blue highlights on the 3.5" drive trays, which provides a nice contrast against the black of the case.  Sold under part number CA-1B6-00F1WN-00, it can be found online for $144.99 shipped.  The main side panel has a very large window, that should provide a full view of the interior.  Inside the Core V71, it comes with support for eight 3.5" or 2.5" drives, and two 5.25" devices.  With all the hard drive trays used, the video card will be limited to just over 12in, which can be expanded by removing one or two of the hard drive cages.  While the Core V71 comes with three 200mm and one 140mm fans, that is not the only cooling options available to the Core V71, it has a large amount of space for more air cooling, or it can support up to 420mm liquid cooling radiators!  Thermaltake also includes a 3 year warranty on their cases. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Hidden-Drives The Thermaltake Core V71 includes many of the features we have been seeing on most cases, which includes the option to hide 2.5" drives behind the motherboard tray.  What Thermaltake has done differently though is taken it a step further and instead of just 2.5" drives, you can hide 3.5" drives as well.  We'll take a closer look at this feature, and show you exactly how Thermaltake has accomplished this. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Promotional-LCS-support For an enthusiast level case, many features have to be included.  One of the important features is a multitude of liquid cooling options.  The Core V71 allows for liquid cooling solution to be installed in either of four locations, and allows for 120mm to 420mm radiators.  Thermaltake has a nice graphic showing providing an exploded view of the case and it's liquid cooling options. [youtube][/youtube] Features and Specifications:
  • Core V71 pushes the envelope and utilizes a high-end water-cooling solution that feature front 360/420mm, top 360/420mm and bottom 120/240mm radiators to support extreme performance.
  • A highly customizable 5.25” & 3.5” drive bay feature enables users to freely interchange the 3.5” hard-drive cages to suit their needs and remove the 5.25” & 3.5” drive bays to gain maximum interior space for advance cooling performance or liquid system build.
Thermaltake Core V71 Full-Tower Specifications
Model Core V71
P/N  CA-1B6-00F1WN-00
Case Type  Full Tower
Dimension (H x W x D)  583 x 230 x 560 mm (23 x 9.1 x 22 inch)
Net Weight  13.2 kg
Side Panel  Transparent Window
Color  Exterior & Interior : Black
Material  SPCC
Cooling System

 Front (intake) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA) x 2

 Rear (exhaust) : 140 x 140 x 25 mm Turbo fan (1000rpm, 16dBA)

 Top (exhaust) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA)
 Drive Bays  Accessible : 2 x 5.25’’ Hidden : 8 x 3.5’’ or 8 x 2.5’’
Expansion Slots  8
Motherboards  9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX), 12” x 13” (Extend ATX)
I/O Ports  USB 3.0 x 2,USB 2.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
PSU  Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
LCS Upgradeable  Supports 1/2”、3/8”、1/4” water tube
Fan Support  Front: 1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 3 x 120mm 1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm 1 x 200mm or 2 x 200mmTop: 1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 3 x 120mm 1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm 1 x 200mm or 2 x 200mmRear: 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm Bottom: 1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm
Radiator Support  Front: 1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 360mm 1 x 140mm or 1 x 280mm or 1 x 420mmTop: 1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm or 1 x 360mm 1 x 140mm or 1 x 280mm or 1 x 420mmRear: 1 x 120mm Bottom: 1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm
Other  CPU cooler height limitation: 185mm VGA length limitation: 310mm(with HDD rack) 400mm(without HDD rack)
Before taking a close look at the Thermaltake Core V71, let's check out the packaging and accessories.

Thermaltake Core V71 Packaging

Thermaltake-Core-V71-Packaging-Front The Core V71 comes packaged in a no frills cardboard box; which has become pretty standard as most cases are purchased online.  The front and back of the box are identical providing the model and a simple view of the case.  As this is a full tower, the box is fairly large measuring ?? x ?? x ?? (HxLxW). Thermaltake-Core-V71-Packaging-Sides The sides go for an all text design, presenting the key features (in multiple languages) and specifications. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Packaging-Internal Before taking the case out, we can see how Thermaltake protects it in shipment.  As there is some minor damage to the external box corners, we have faith that the standard method of packing cases between two large Sytrofoam blocks is more than sufficient. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Packaging-Accessories Thermaltake packages their accessories in a couple of standard Ziploc type bags.  Inside these bags is everything you need to install your components in the Core V71.  A detailed user manual with many pictures and exploded views of the case is always handy for those new to building computers or for the more unusual aspects.  The accessories include five re-usable cable ties, four power supply screws, four each long and short fan screws, thirty two SSD screws, ten hard drive screws, twenty motherboard screws, four standoffs, one standoff installation bit, a small speaker, and an 8-pin extension cable.

Core V71 External Impressions

Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Full The Core V71 is currently available in only one model, which has a large side window and is solid black.  Overall, it features a large metal front panel that is covered with holes from the very top to the bottom.  The rounded curves of the front panel provide a sleekness to the case rather than sharp angles.  The largest portion of the front panel is plain which provides a large amount of space for airflow.  Full towers are meant to be large to hold a wide range of components, the Core V71 measures 23in x 22in x 9.1in (H x D x W), and weights 29.1lbs empty. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-525-bays At the very top of the front panel is two 5.25" device bays.  The bay covers are slightly indented into the case, which makes them stand out.  I personally would have preferred them to be flush with the rest of the panel, but that's just my personal opinion. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Front-Bottom From the 5.25" drive bays, the rest of the front panel is covered with holes, to provide the amount of airflow necessary for large cases.  Behind the front bezel, there are many cooling options, which needs fresh air.  At the bottom, Thermaltake has placed their logo in bright silver which provides a nice contrast against the black metal. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Side-Window Turning to the side, we find a large window that shows off the entire interior.  Once the system is built, we will be able to see the motherboard, power supply, and any changes to the 3.5" drive trays.  The side view of the top panel stands out, it is much larger than most top panel, with a height of 2.85in. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Back-Panel On the back side the usual case requirements are found, an exhaust fan, eight PCI expansion slots, and a standard power supply mount.  Thermaltake doesn't stop there, next to the exhaust fan is three water cooling holes.  We can also see the top panel is a little different, which we will see in just a moment. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Side-Back Nothing exciting on the back side, Thermaltake has raised the majority of the panel to provide a little extra room for cable management. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Top Like the front panel, the top panel is mostly a metal mesh vented space, to allow for a multitude of liquid or air cooling options.  On the top panel, towards the front of the case is the front I/O control cluster. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Top-IO The top I/O cluster contains the usual items, and a few less common ones.  On one side the case is a reset button, hard drive activity LED, two fan speed buttons, and a fan LED button.  On the other side of the top panel is two USB 2.0, two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports and microphone/headphone jacks.  Between the two clusters of buttons and ports is a large silver power button.  There is a little ring around the power button that glows blue once the system has been powered on.  For each of the two fan speed options (Lo / High), there is also a little blue LED to indicate which setting the fans are running.  Thermaltake warns that the integrated fan speed and light controller are only compatible with the three built in 200mm  LED fans.  It would be nice if we could purchase another 200mm fan for the top and connect it to the controller. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Top-Bezel-Off The top panel is easily removable by a quick pull from the back of the case, Thermaltake has included a little hand-hold to know exactly where to pull.  On the bottom of the panel is a filter, in the event you make this an intake, but even if not, a little extra dust protection is nice.  With the top panel off, the included 200mm is a TT-2030 which is rated for 800RPM with a maximum air flow of 123.6CFM.  While Thermaltake has included one, two of these can fit up top. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Bottom Flipping the case to the bottom, we find four large anti-slip feet which are molded as a part of the frame, so they won't break off very easily.  Thermaltake has installed two filters that cover the entire bottom panel, the both filters measure 9.75in x 5.5in. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Bottom-No-Filter As is becoming common practice, the bottom filters slide out for easy cleaning.  Once they have been removed we see the bottom panel is fully vented to allow for bottom mounted cooling options.  While Thermaltake has done a great job on the Core V71 so far, removing the bottom filters is where I hit my first snag.  The purpose of removable bottom filters is to make cleaning them easy, however to remove the bottom front filter, you have to remove the front panel.  While this isn't a deal breaker it is a bit of an annoyance. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Front-Bottom-Filter The bottom filters slide out of the case and slide back in easily.  There are rails that the filters rest on to make it easy.  Here the front filter has been partially removed. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-PSU-Filter The back filter slides out like the front filter.  Like the front it rests on a track to help make sure it slides into position easily. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Top-Filter Remember when we were looking at the back panel, and we mentioned there was something different about the top panel.  Here it is, not only did Thermaltake install a pull handle and a filter on the top panel, they also make the top filter easily removable for cleaning. Thermaltake-Core-V71-External-Front-Bezel-Off The front panel is easily removed by pulling at the bottom of the panel, as Thermaltake has left a little hand hold on the frame.  The two included 200mm fans are visible, and are the same model as the top 200mm fan, TT-2030.  If you prefer a smaller fan, these can be removed and two 120mm or 140mm fans can be installed.  For those that want liquid cooling, up to a 420mm radiator will fit here.

Core V71 Internal Impressions

Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Full The side panels are secured by two thumbscrews at the back of the case.  With the side panel removed we can take a closer look at the interior of the Core V71.  On the motherboard tray, we see an oversized hole that provides access to the back of the motherboard so CPU coolers can be installed at any time.  In addition, there are three cable management holes along the right edge of the tray, one near the power supply, and one at the bottom section of the motherboard tray.  All of the holes are protected by rubber cable guards to keep the cables nice and tidy.  One final hole is a the very top of the tray, it allows for the Auxillary power cable to be routed on the back of the tray. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-525 When we took a look at the 5.25" device bays from the exterior, we found two.  However, inside the case there is only one that is tool-less.  The second 5.25" bay is actually on top of the frame under the top bezel. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-35 Using a tray design for 3.5" hard drives is nothing new, Thermaltake has pre-installed eight of these trays, grouped in three cages: 2 trays, 3 trays, and 3 trays.  Each of these cages are removable and re-configurable to meet your specific needs.  Later we'll show these cages removed and the amount of space that is obtainable inside the Core V71. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Bottom Internally, we do not find any surprises on the bottom panel.  There is a support bar for the power supply that has a couple of rubber anti-vibration feet which can be moved for longer power supplies.  Otherwise, here you can install additional cooling in the form of two 120mm fans, or up to a 240mm radiator. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Back A quick look at the back panel reveals that eight PCI expansion slot covers are held in place by thumbscrews.  Thermaltake has preinstalled a 140mm rear exhaust fan.  This fan is a TT-1425, which is rated for 1000RPM at 16dBA. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Top The top section shows that support beams are installed for liquid cooling radiators, otherwise toss in another 200mm fan for some additional airflow. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Cage-Removal The three drive cages are easily removable, Thermaltake has secured them to the frame with thumbscrews on this side of the cages.  Four thumbscrews on each cage to remove here, and a couple additional on the back. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-MB-Tray-Back The back of the motherboard looks like most enthusiast cases, with the exception of how Thermaltake chose to do the hidden hard drives.  For cable tie locations, there are four on the back of the hard drive cage bracket (which will be unusable if you hang any hard drives), and six others on the back of the motherboard tray for the other cables. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-Hidden-Drives Here is one of two clips that Thermaltake uses to secure the drive trays to hide up to two hard drives that can be either 2.5" or 3.5".  In addition, we can see the thumbscrews used to secure the drive cage to the frame. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-HD-Tray The tool-less 3.5" hard drive trays will support any standard 3.5" drive, as well as 2.5" drives.  Like most instances, the 2.5" drive will need to be secured with screws rather than being tool-less.  On the sides of the tray are two removable clips that secure 3.5" drives to the tray, they pop out easily and once the drive is in place, they can be snapped back into place. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Internal-No-Cages Here the vertical support bar and drive cages have been removed, there are a lot of thumbscrews used to secure these inside the cases.  The support bar alone has four thumbscrews, and each of the cages uses six thumbscrews.  With the cages removed, there is just over 19 inches of space; every video card should fit inside the Core V71.  If you need the space for those very long video cards, in a multi-card setup, you can remove two of the cages and still have space for five hard drives (three in a cage, and two on the backside).

Core V71 Hardware Installation

Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-Complete-2-Cages If you have built a computer before, then nothing in the Thermaltake Core V71 will surprise you.  All the motherboard standoffs are ready for a standard ATX motherboard making the motherboard installation go quickly and easily.  Being a full tower, there is plenty of space to work in and get things exactly as you like.  CPU coolers shouldn't have an issue with 185mm (7.3 in) of clearance for the CPU cooler.  Cable management is easily accomplished with plenty of holes to route the cables through. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-HD-Tray 3.5" hard drives are installed in the trays tool-lessly, the the little black clips removed, the drives snap into the tray using little spikes on the tray to ensure proper alignment.  Replace the black clip, and the drive tray is now ready to be inserted into the drive cage (or hung on the backside).  2.5" drives will need to utilize the include screws to secure those drives to the tray. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-MB-Space The specifications on the Core V71 show that it will support E-ATX motherboards, we only had a standard ATX motherboard to install in the case.  With a standard ATX board installed, there is approximately 3.5in of space between the motherboard and the 3.5" drive cages.  Which indicates that a video card that is less than 13in will fit while still allowing use of all three drive cages.  If there is a longer video card, the drive cages can be removed which then provides 15.75in of space. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-Side-Window Once everything is built, replace the side panel, connect the cables and you're good to go.  Through the side window, you get an unobstructed view of the components and the drive trays. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-Back-of-MB-Tray Taking a quick look at the cable management options on the back of the case, its obvious I didn't spend a lot of time routing cables.  They were left how they went naturally without any additional ties.  The cables that come with the Core V71 were already secured, so that was left.  Even with the nest of cables that includes the main motherboard power cable, the back panel goes on easily without needing to be forced.  There is a large amount of unused space on the back of the tray, and it would be nice to put it to use, perhaps a third hidden drive could be mounted here. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-Hidden-SSD As we previously mentioned, on the Core V71, you can use two of the trays to hide hard drives on the back of the drive cages.  Here an Intel SSD has been attached to the tray and hung on the support brackets.  The support brackets at the bottom, and the top clip does a great job at keeping the tray secure, even if a 3.5" drive is attached.  One downside though, you lose one of the drive cages as the thumbscrews cause issues with the tray. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-CPU-Cutout Thermaltake does a great job at making sure the size of the CPU cooler support bracket hole is very large, it shouldn't have any problem with the ATX size motherboards.  As the Core V71 supports E-ATX boards, that's where it might get a little tight, its hard to say without having an E-ATX board to try out.  Above the CPU cooler hole is a long hole that allows for cables to be routed through, which the Auxiliary cable has been routed through to keep the cables tidy.  There aren't many places to secure this cable to the back of the motherboard tray, so it would be nice if Thermaltake would provide a few extra cable tie locations on the edge of the tray.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Like most case manufacturers, Thermaltake has a wide range of full tower cases available.  From that point, it is a matter of choosing a style that has the features that are important to you.  Almost all full tower cases will fit the long video cards, allow for multiple cooling options and supports a large number of hard drives.  What sets the Core V71 apart is the style of the case, the incredible amount of potential for airflow, and the support for the largest liquid coolers (up to 420mm). Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-Complete-Profile The Core V71 is a solid black case with light blue highlights on the hard drive trays.  Thermaltake includes all the necessary accessories to install a complete system.  Support for eight hard drives are provided by three hard drive cages, which can be removed if necessary.  In addition, when you remove the cages, two hard drives can be installed on the back side of the cages using the hard drive trays. Thermaltake-Core-V71-Build-Complete-1-Cage Long video cards up to 13in in length can be installed in the Core V71 without any issues, if you happen to have a longer video card, removal of the hard drive cages will provide close to 16in of space. Air Cooling Options If you happen to prefer air cooling for your system, the following fan configurations can be installed in the Core V71
120mm 140mm 200mm Included
Front 3 2 2 2 x Blue LED 200mm
Top 3 2 2 1 x Blue LED 200mm
Back 1 1 1 x 140mm
Bottom 2
Liquid Cooling Options If liquid cooling is more your style, things get a little more interesting in what can be installed.
120mm 140mm 240mm 280mm 360mm 420mm
Front Y y y y y y
Top Y y y y y y
Back Y
Bottom y Y
If I was to make any suggestions for improvement on the Core V71 it would be to allow the installation of a second 200mm fan on the top to be controlled by the controller for the other included 200mm fans.  It would also be nice if the two hidden hard drive locations could be used with the hard drive cages installed.  Other than that, it is near impossible to find anything wrong with the Core V71. The Thermaltake Core V71 is available now with a price of $144.75 shipped.  That includes everything we took a look at today with a 3 year warranty.  At that price, it sits at the bottom of the mid-priced full towers, which makes it a great price for everything that the Core V71 offers. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line:  The Thermaltake Core V71 is an incredible full tower case that will support the longest video cards, and has enough cooling options to suit anybody's needs.