Thermaltake Core V21 Micro-ATX Case Review


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Thermaltake Core V21 Stackable Micro-ATX Case Review

By Tom Jaskulka

Manufacturer: Thermaltake Technology Co., Ltd
Product Name: Core V21 Stackable Micro-ATX Computer Case
Model Number: CA-1D5-00S1WN-00
UPC: 841163060001
Price As Tested: $69.99 (Amazon NewEgg)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Thermaltake.

The Core series by Thermaltake launched with the E-ATX full tower Core V71 last year.  Since then, Thermaltake has expanded into the mid-tower (V31, V41, V51) and mini-ITX (V1) form factors.  The Core V21 that Benchmark Reviews will take a look at today rounds out Thermaltake’s lineup with their first micro-ATX Core offering.  At first glance, the Core V21 shares many design similarities with the other Core chassis.  As is true with many things in life, looks can be deceiving as the V21 is the first Core chassis to officially offer a multitude of motherboard orientations. While it arrives in stock format with a horizontal motherboard layout, it can be transformed in a matter of seconds to a traditional or inverted layout.  We’ll see how this works as we build a system inside the Core V21 over the next few pages.


Features & Specifications

P/N CA-1D5-00S1WN-00
Case Type Micro Case
Dimension (H x W x D) 336 x 320 x 424 mm
(13.2 x 12.6 x 16.7 inch)
Net Weight 6.5 kg / 14.3 lb
Side Panel Transparent Window
Color Exterior & Interior : Black
Material SPCC
Cooling System Front (intake) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm fan (800rpm, 13dBA)
Drive Bays -Hidden : 3 x 3.5’’ or 2.5” , 3 x 2.5’’
Expansion Slots 5
Motherboards 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX) , 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)
I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio x 1
PSU Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
LCS Upgradable Supports 1/2”、3/8”、1/4” water tube
Fan Support Front:
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm
1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm
1 x 200mm
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm or 3 x 120mm or 4 x 120mm
1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm
1 x 120mm
1 x 140mm
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm
Left / Right Side:
1 x 120mm or 2 x 120mm
1 x 140mm or 2 x 140mm
Radiator Support Front:
1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm
1 x 140mm
2 x 120mm or 2 x 240mm
1 x 140mm or 1 x 280mm
1 x 120mm
Left / Right Side:
1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm
1 x 140mm or 1 x 280mm
Clearance CPU cooler height limitation: 185mm
VGA length limitation: 350mm
PSU length limitation: 200mm (With Bottom Fan)

Specifications taken from the manufacturer’s product page.


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  1. Frank

    I really like this dual chamber cube design, the horizontal motherboard tray provides ideal support for heavy graphic cards and the multitude of cooling options is awesome. I truly believe the trend toward more compact builds will accelerate and tower chassis will become obsolete along with optical drives, mechanical drives and 1,000 watt psu’s.

  2. Caring1

    Love this design and perfect for my next build as I was looking at modifying a small case for a horizontal board layout.
    One point about the pictured rails for fan mounting, they are marked L + R, in the picture they are on the wrong sides.

    1. Caring1

      Edit…. my mistake, there are four rails, not two.

      1. Caring1

        Why is there no edit function on here?
        After reading the review numerous times and studying the design, It is obvious to me it isn’t suitable for the build I want after all.
        I want to be able to rotate the front panel 90 degrees, having the USB ports and Power button on top and retain the horizontal motherboard layout, this isn’t possible because it isn’t a cube, the dimensions make it impossible, or at least it would look the panel didn’t belong.

        1. Olin Coles

          Logged-in users may edit their posts. Otherwise anonymous visitors like you would be editing every other post, because anonymity.

          1. Caring1

            Thanks guys, and Olin, I didn’t realise despite being logged in as a user of this site that I appeared as anonymous to you guys. I can clearly see my signed in name but no edit function.

            1. Olin Coles

              You might be right. Editors and Contributors have the ability, but I’m not able to confirm for logged-in Subscribers. For us, we see ‘edit’ beside the date/time of the comment.

        2. Tom Jaskulka

          For what it’s worth, the arrangement you are suggesting IS indeed EDIT: MIGHT be possible. When I get the opportunity, I’ll test it out 🙂 I think I misunderstood your original comment! /EDIT The “curve” portions of the front panel would be located on the sides of the chassis instead of the top/bottom, but the I/O panel can be relocated to any of the four sides (left, right, top, bottom) without changing the orientation of the motherboard tray – just the face of the front panel itself. Hope that helps! Check out the last portion of the “Build” pages for a better idea of how that works.

          EDIT (again): Just tested it out – the front panel can be rotated in any direction independent of the chassis (I had thought it was square, but it’s been a little bit since I’ve worked with it so had to make sure 🙂 ). You can position the I/O panel on the top or bottom of the V21 while keeping the motherboard tray horizontal.

          1. GabrielDrake

            Tom, is there a way to preserve the standard layout (horizontal, up chamber components, lower chamber psu and hdd) but inverting the INTERNAL front panel, to have the 200mm ‘top’ instead of ‘bottom’? Thanks, Gabriel.

  3. Felipe Prenholato

    Hmm, so as I saw in the photos, there is nothing holding us to add a 270mm PSU, that would be trouble only with bottom coolers?

    1. Tom Jaskulka

      I’m assuming by bottom coolers you mean radiators/fans that would extend into that “bottom” compartment – I’d have to measure it again to be sure, but I can’t imagine it would be an issue even with larger power supplies. The PSU in the pictures is a CM V700, which is 170mm long (not including the modular connectors). Another 100mm should fit easily even with a single-width radiator and fan; I’ll see if I can update with an actual measurement.

  4. TheSerpentSays

    I wish I had read this before doing my build this past weekend ^^ – all of the little quirks and minor frustrations were exactly as I experienced them. Since it’s been 5 years since I’ve done a build, I didn’t even think of doing a motherboard layout other than how it came – and I like it just fine, but I may consider it, since as you discuss, it’s so easy. Definitely the easiest case I’ve ever worked with! I’m inspired and will probably fiddle with the cables and drive tray tonight for a little better organization. I’ll use the money I saved on this to get an enclosure for my optical drive.
    This was the first time that the physical build took less time than fiddling with the stinkin’ BIOS and drivers!

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