Full Tower Chassis Final Thoughts
Overall, I’m impressed with the Core V71, but there were a few areas that could use a further refinement.
The side panels feel a little thin, but the Core V71 feels very sturdy everywhere you touch (the mesh front and top, swtiches). Overall, I don’t feel like this is a mark against the Core V71 as the lighter weight is easier to work with. This doesn’t bother me that much, but remember: my last experience with a similar case was a NZXT H630, with soundproofed heavy steel panels. Any side panels would probably feel a little thin after that!
The temperatures in Crossfire were a little higher than I expected. I’d take my results with a grain of salt for now though, this is the first time I’ve tested this particular configuration. I may have to update this article after testing some other enclosures, just to see if one of the GPUs might be the culprit.
The last case I tested with this many 200mm fans was the NZXT H630 (while that chassis comes with only one 200mm stock, I had added a few more out of curiosity). The H630 surprised me with its ability to cool Crossfired 7970s once the 200mm fans slots were maxed out, and I expected similar performance for the Core V71. Perhaps adding another 200mm would have done the trick, although I suspect the intake fans were just too far away from the GPUs to provide any direct cooling benefits. The volume of air moving through the Core V71 was sufficient for normal purposes, but maybe the velocity wasn’t enough to “strip” the hot air from between the two cards? From what little I know about the physics behind cooling, it’s the difference between the cool and hot air that actually cools the components (making the temperature of the air that goes in one of the biggest factors in overall cooling), but it makes me wonder what would happen to that temperature difference between the top and bottom graphics cards if those front cooling fans were positioned closer to the GPUs – or were of the “Air Penetrator” type found in SilverStone’s Raven series of cases.
Thermaltake Core V71 Conclusion
I think the Core V71 performed very well for its class. While there are more efficient designs and chassis that tame hot Crossfire configurations a little better (usually with the addition of a side intake fan), very few of those allow for the flexibility of air OR liquid cooling. The number of fan and radiator combinations one could use inside the Core V71 is impressive, but the stock configuration is impressive in its own right. You’ll trade a bit of noise for the performance (although the giant fans are pretty inaudible on low, and not distracting on high), but those users concerned about noise would probably take the liquid cooling approach anyway.
I also like the way the Core V71 looks. I think the appearance is among the best of Thermaltake’s offerings – while the sleek, conservative lines of the Urban series are also eye-catching, the Core V71 stands alone with with its rounded corners, blue accents and expanses of round-hole mesh. The large, clear window shows off the bright-blue drive trays and your components. If you like blue, especially, you can build some very attractive systems in the Core V71 – I do wonder if they’ll ever release any other colors…
Overall, I think the construction of the Core V71 is appropriate for its class as well. I mentioned before, some areas feel a bit thin (especially the side panels), but it doesn’t seem to compromise the stability of the chassis at all. If anything, it just helps keep the weight down. I personally would have preferred a matte/smooth touch finish for the plastic sides of the top and front panels though – the texture used on those surfaces didn’t quite seem as “premium” as the rest of the enclosure. I can’t complain too much though – ultimately, I’d rather they spend the manufacturing budget on the included fans than a minor texture, and it saves them the trouble of having to “paint match” the different surfaces (which I’m sure creates an entirely new set of problems). The mesh used seems to be a very good quality, and feels like it will be resistant to dents and dings.
The Core V71 has a lot of functionality. The modular hard drive trays (with dual mounting locations on the back), various fan and radiator configurations and strong airflow in stock trim result in a pretty versatile chassis. This case would allow for almost any conceivable build, and should work for most users that need a full tower. I do wish they had made some 2.5″ tool-less modular drive bays though – even an aftermarket set of drive cages with this functionality would be useful.
The Thermaltake Core V71 is now available online for $149.99 (Newegg / Amazon). It’s most “natural” competition then, are cases like SilverStone’s RV04, NZXT’s H630/Phantom 630, and the Cooler Master Cosmos S/Stacker/Trooper/HAF X (along with many others). The Core V71 may not have the most efficient cooling setup, or the most extravagent looks (not always a bad thing), or the most luxury features…but the modular drive system and overall compatibility with a wide range of builds make this a very compelling option. It just so happens to come with a pretty powerful stock cooling setup too, along with a fresh new look that helps set it apart. I would say the Core V71 is a very fair value for the asking price.
I think Thermaltake picked the perfect name for the Core V71 – I feel they succeeded in offering an enclosure that can form the “core” of your build, whatever you intend your build to be. I hope to see the Core line expanded (especially into other form factors) – there’s some great decisions made with the Core V71, and I’d like to see what else Thermaltake could do with those ideas.
+ Fresh, attractive design from Thermaltake
+ Lots of airflow in stock trim
+ Easy to use and effective modular drive system
+ Truly a versatile and adaptable chassis
+ Performs well in liquid or air cooling configurations
+ Looks great in blue, though LEDs can be switched off if desired
– Doesn’t make much of an effort to block noise (which should be obvious)
– No tool-less provisions for 2.5″ drives
– Only offered in blue