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Old 23-08-13, 02:38 PM
George Hart George Hart is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Fractal Design Core 1000


Fractal Design are making high end PC chassis. They have become renowned for their smart designs and focus on sleek silent cases. Their Define series has been incredibly popular, reviving good praise in every revision of the series, and once again Fractal have thought outside the box and managed to get it all back in to it in the form of the Core 1000. This case is a very basic mATX case, however it has innovative, space saving design and a very low price tag at around £30 and below, and at that price it has little competition. It is also well finished, with high quality paint externally and internally, a nice feature which is not often found on a budget case, and accented expansion slots found on Fractals high end enclosures.

Technical Specifications

Materials - Steel, Plastic
Colours (Int/Ext) - Black/Black + white accents
Dimensions (WxHxD) - 175 x 355 x 420mm
Motherboard Sizes - mATX, mini-ITX
5.25” Drive Bays - x 2
3.5” Drive Bays - x 2
2.5” Drive Bays - x 3 (when not using any 3.5" drive bays), x 1 (when using only one 3.5" drive bay)
Cooling Front - 120mm x 1 (1 included)
Cooling Rear - 80mm x 1 (optional)
PCI Slots - x 4
Front I/O - 2 x USB 2.0, HD Audio
Power Supply - ATX (top mounted)


The core 1000 is a really tiny case, 175 x 355 x 420mm, so will easily sit under a desk, or even by a TV as a console replacement or media pc. The exterior is all black with a clean, plastic and mesh front panel, with the front I/O tucked around the side. The right side panel is completely plain and the left panel is identical but for a 120mm fan mount. The top of the case is again, void of any features, just a plain piece of steel.

The front of the case is all mesh with a plastic bezel, with the two drive bay covers blending seamlessly with the rest of the front panel. The front I/O is on the right side of the case as you look at it, this dose aid in keeping the front of the case very minimalist. Included in the front I/O is the power and recessed reset switch, along with 2 USB 2.0 ports and HD audio. However there is a USB 3.0 version of the case, replacing one of the existing ports with a single USB 3.0 port with an internal header. This case only has 2 5.25” drive bays which in a small case is plenty and the fact that optical drives aren’t of much use any more, two is enough for any case. Included with the case is a 5.25" drive bay converter, so you could install a 3.5" card reader or other accessory in the front of the case.

The rear of the case is fairly standard with cutouts for the roof mounted power supply and I/O shield. There is a hex mesh, 80mm fan mount at the rear (optional). Would have been nicer to see a 120mm fan mount as smaller fans are usually slightly noisier than larger fans. But the width of the case and the fact that it is not a silence optimised case may have been the reason for the smaller fan mount. At the base of the rear is the 4 PCI slots which are painted white. The rest of the rear of the case is occupied by reinforcement and a small stamped vent.

First Look Inside

Inside the case is very spacious, taking into consideration the small footprint of the case. but once you ave fitted it out with components it may be a different story. making a extremely tidy build in this case may be difficult because of the top mounted power supply with no cable management holes anywhere on the motherboard tray. It would take little to cut out some holes to route cables through but again you would be limited by the 6mm of space behind the motherboard tray. This would seem as if this case is not to be open up once you have built it. Increasing the difficulty of making a build with good aesthetics is the un-sleaved front panel connectors, however the fan, usb and audio cables are sleeved quite well, hiding any colour from the wires underneath.

The HDD mount has a very interesting design, it is a single plate of steel with rolled edges for reinforcement held in with thumb screws, Each HDD mount hole has a little rubber bushing which will reduce vibration and noise coming from the HDDs. This system mounts the HDDs on there sides to save space and improve airflow from the front intake. However this does mean the cables from the HDD will have to out towards your motherboard, with no way to hide them. You could completely remove the HDD 'plate' and getto mount a HDD and SSD in the 5.25 bays to further improve airflow and make cabling slightly easier and neater.

You can remove the front panel, Leaving behind the front I/O which is attached to the case. This means you can easily clean the dust filters under the front panel mesh with a hoover or a can of compressed air. Here you also get access to the included 120mm fan which is attached with 4 clips, so again can be easily removed to clean dust filters.


The case comes with a little accessory box which includes:
9 x motherboard standoffs
12 x SSD screws
10 x FDD screws
9 x motherboard screws
8 x Anti-vibration HDD screws
1 x Buzzer
1 x 5.25" to 3.5" drive bay cover

Building in the case is very easy and this simple build took no time at all, that however may be due to the fact that there was little time spent on cable management because of the lack of cable management options. There are cables strung all along the front of the motherboard leaving a lot to be desired.
The HDD cables have to protrude out in front of the motherboard, but it does leave plenty of space behind the plate for the inevitable rats nest.

Once the side panels are on you will be non the wiser of the mess inside the case.


Cooling in this case is fairly limited so there is very little to say, one front intake and an optional rear exhaust and side fan, no water cooling support at all. But it does have a saving grace, you can fit a huge CPU heat sink, up to 148cm in hight and in a case of this size that is fairly impressive.
The included fan match the colour scheme and the quality of the fan is vey high you can barely hear it.


This is a very basic, mATX case but you have to remember the price when evaluating it s features and performance. At around 30 quid it has features even more expensive cases have but it is missing some key things like cable management cutouts. Storage is a little limited so for a HTPC you may want a case with more HDD mounts, but you could use it as a a basic media pc to have near your TV, slot in a blu-ray drive and you could have a suitable system.

It is very well finished, paint inside and out, the plastics match the paint very well, it has accents throughout the case and an included, quality fan. From the outside it is very aesthetically pleasing, the minimalist look would fit in virtually anywhere.

It does have one rival, the Cooler Master K280 is around the same price point, and it has many of the same features and cable management and is a full ATX. But for an understated build the Core 1000 is a better bet due to the bold distinctive styling of the K280. Also the Core 1000 is a lot smaller if a small size case is required.

All in all it is a great little case at a great price so you can't really complain. At a low price, with good looks it is well worth a look.

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Old 07-04-14, 01:44 PM
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RobCrezz RobCrezz is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Essex
Posts: 105
Nice review.

Ive got a Core 1000 that my secondary pc is built into. Its really pretty good for the price. For £30 one of the main things for me was that it doesnt cut me to shreds while building in it, and no sharp edges here, everything painted/coated.
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Old 07-04-14, 03:15 PM
MadShadow MadShadow is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: St Andrews, Scotland
Posts: 3,297
Solid review. Good job
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Old 07-04-14, 03:19 PM
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WYP WYP is offline
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Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 20,861
Good review, cable management could be better though.
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Old 07-04-14, 05:42 PM
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Wraith Wraith is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: On the Moon.
Posts: 7,703
Nice review it's a pretty good case if your not that bothered about interior aesthetics as it has poor cable routing but that can be fixed with a few hundred zip ties but all in all it's a functional usable budget case.
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein
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Old 07-04-14, 06:52 PM
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cooperman cooperman is offline
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Location: UK/west-mids
Posts: 812
The cooler master n200 is by far a better case and its only £30-£35...

AMD Ryzen 5 2600,Patriot Viper 4 16GB 2x 8GB 3200 Ghz,Gigabyte B450M DS3H,Patriot BURST 480GB SSD x2, MSI 5700, Aerocool White Aero One Mini Eclipse, seasonic m12ii 620w,Deepcool gammaxx 400 v2.
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case, core 1000, fractal, review

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