Fractal Design Core 3000 Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅05-10-11

Weve been getting through quite a few of the lower end budget specific cases lately and the Core 3000 is yet another to join the group. Lower cost can sometimes mean cut-backs to quality, features and design is this so with Core 3000? Definitely not.

Core 3000 is a master in its class. A while back I reviewed the HAF 912 Plus and for a considerable time now its been my top pick for those looking to buy a mid-tower on a budget. The Core 3000 is a serious rival to this case. It offers less rugged looks and is going to attract those who prefer subtle looks of a smoother finish. Inside, the Core 3000 is bursting with style - the white/black features contrast perfectly.

Visual appearance to the side, the features within Core 3000 befit that of a case with a higher price-tag. We have 3x pre-installed cooling fans 2x 140mm and 1x 120mm. Included within the bundle is a fan controller so we can manage the RPM of each of these fans and there are optional slots to further increase airflow should we need to, but the stock cooling actually delivers some great thermal performance figures. Flexibility is also a key element for Core 3000, the idea of being able to rotate and remove the upper HDD cage presents us with choice. We can install long graphics cards and even improve airflow by completely removing this HDD cage, Fractal Design have done well to include this as a feature.

Though the Core 3000 has many highlights and strong-points it also has a few niggles. I really wish it had the cut-out for E-ATX CPU power (P4/P8). Instead this cable has to be routed across the motherboard and though it probably has no bearing on airflow, it looks untidy. It would have been nice to see USB 3.0 on the front panel connectivity but I realise keeping the costs down is of fundamental importance. Fractal Design probably had a decision to either go with USB 3.0 or more cooling fans. You cant add USB 3.0 but you can always add case fans!

In terms of pricing the Core 3000 is available at the princely cost of 50 making it one of the best value mid-tower cases we have reviewed at

The bottom line is Core 3000 is a beautifully designed case. It looks great with its two tone white and black elements and is one of the best value for money mid-towers on the market due to the cooling fans and other features. It comes highly recommended by

+ Attractive inside and out
+ Great cooling performance
+ Option to install up to 7 fans
+ Good build quality
+ Great value for money

- Cable management could be improved
- Lack of USB 3.0

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