As a rule, a miniature tower housing can accommodate a maximum of Motherboard Micro-ATX format. With Thermaltake Core G3 body is different, thanks to the spacious interior design, you can install the motherboard ATX. Therefore Thermaltake enclosure positioned as the ideal solution for the assembly of small but powerful systems. But what sacrifices had to go for the sake of miniaturization?
In recent years, Midi Tower housing grew wider. Still it impacted the need to contain the highest tower coolers, and for the motherboard tray has to be enough space for a comfortable wiring. So ubiquitous housing with a width of 23 cm and more. On the other hand, not all users need a large and a large body, which occupies much space on your desktop. Of course, you can always buy a compact system of small form factor (SFF). But what if you want to install in the compact body motherboard ATX?
Thermaltake offers just such an opportunity with Thermaltake Core G3 body. The case refers to the formal format of Mini-Tower, but it fit motherboards not only formats Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX, and ATX. The depth of 37 cm is much less of a typical housing Midi Tower, not to mention the width of only 14 cm. Compared with the popular Fractal Design Define R5 enclosure volume decreased from 56.9 liters to 23.6 liters. In both of the body can be installed motherboard ATX, but Thermaltake Core G3 we get the amount of more than half.
Of course, the body has its drawbacks. Width 14 cm does not allow to install inside the high tower coolers, and with space for laying cables is not so simple. Even the 5.25-inch drives would not climbed in width, but in the case of compartments and is not provided. Inside, you can only install two hard drives or SSD. Finally, the Thermaltake Core G3 housing ATX format corresponds only to the motherboard – the power supply will have to use SFX format. Fortunately, recently appeared on the market quite powerful and efficient power units of this format, so this restriction is not problematic. Of course, these limitations do not allow you to set the Thermaltake Core G3 some of the most powerful PC configuration. But in the housing fit long dual-slot graphics card, and you get two nominally fan preinstalled 120 mm without problems.
To save space in the card Thermaltake Core G3 is installed vertically. Therefore, together with the body to exert appropriate riser-cable. You will also receive a user manual, installation accessories, a few puffs of cable, self-adhesive feet, insulating linings for the graphics card, as well as two plastic mounting supporting graphics card.
Designed with a large mesh front panel reminded other models Core from Thermaltake. is not expected in these cases the manufacturer focuses on the basic functions, so exquisite design. Above the net Thermaltake Core G3 panel is reset and power buttons. Between them can be seen six input / output ports. In addition to the audio jacks on the buyer will receive a pair of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.
The entire front panel, including a built-in plastic foil and dust filter, it can be easily removed. Clearly visible two fans pre-installed 120 mm. The width of the body, it seems, is selected by the diameter of the fan, which is almost entirely her doing. When using a heat exchanger SVO it can exhibit not more than 7 mm right and left. More problems gives a lower limit – between the fan and drives the counter is only 5 mm. Fortunately, the fans may be shifted by 2 cm upward, thus increasing the available space at the bottom. If you do not plan to use the 120-mm and 240-mm radiator, you have to come to terms with the restriction on the length of the video.
The fact that the front panel can be easily removed, is very important for the functionality of Thermaltake Core G3. Up to two storage compartments can be reached only by removing the panel. 3.5-inch hard drives are simply inserted in the tray, but the 2.5-inch drives are screwed to the base tray. Thermaltake refused vibration isolation for both formats.
Since the motherboard is mounted on the left panel of the case, the window to the right. Body can be used by placing it horizontally, then the window is on. Simply paste the complete legs on the left side panel – Thermaltake said respective areas. There is a place to install the optional 120-mm fan under the cover. There is a dust filter with a magnetic fastening.
The side panels are attached to the chassis by two thumbscrews. Pretty simple backdrop allows to guess the unusual internal structure. The motherboard is mounted on the left panel of “upside down”. Also visible and two expansion slots (actually through the riser-cable connects only one), also mounted vertically. In practice, Thermaltake Core G3 often be used with single or dual-slot graphics card. About additional expansion cards, such as a sound card or network adapter, will have to forget.
Bottom body is the same open, as well as from above. Here too we can see a big dust filter with a magnetic fastening. If Core G3 will be used vertically, the housing is mounted on plastic rails with four rubber pads. But in the case of horizontal positioning of the rails can be unscrewed.
Housing Thermaltake Core G3 seems to be compact, but the interior does not seem close. This is due, primarily, with a simple structure. At the bottom of the case is established SFX power supply. The space above is entirely occupied by the motherboard and graphics card.
The length of the video card limit two front fan. Two 120-mm fan type TT-1125 Thermaltake uses for many years. Maximum speed is very reasonable – 1.000 / min. Both fans are connected via a 3-pin connector.
Tray motherboard Thermaltake installed almost flush to the side panel. Therefore, lay the cables will not work for them. At least in the tray has a cutout that allows a CPU cooler back plate without removing the motherboard. However, probably because of the tray cutouts flex under load.
Some extra cables Thermaltake Core G3 can hide in the rack storage and other places are not. Therefore jumble of cables will always be in sight.
The body can not set the ATX power supply, but the model SFX-L fit: we used Sharkoon SilentStorm SFX Gold 500W. This power unit is 13 cm easy to fit together with modular cables. Unlike compact SFX power supply units, of L-SFX format is more in length, which allows to give a greater level of power, as well as the use of 120-mm fan instead of 80 mm. Before us, in fact, the transitional stage between normal SFX power supplies and standard ATX models.
Fixing video card Thermaltake Core G3 body depends on its length. Only if the video is longer than the width of the ATX motherboard, you can set the complete plastic rack (screw holes can be seen on the left side, to the left of the motherboard racks). But if the video length is smaller, it will be held only slot plug, and dragging the body graphics card will stagger. Riser-cord gives additional support since it is not attached to the body, and simply connects the PCIe graphics card and motherboard slot.
Of course, the body must not only be functional and easy to assemble. It should also provide efficient cooling.
We used the following test configuration:
The main components of the test system
For measurement of the maximum temperature of the CPU test, we used the free tool Prime95, which loads the system for 30 minutes. We chose the Small FFT load that maximizes heat dissipation, and then fixed the maximum core temperature using the system utility Lavalys Everest. We have combined temperature for the individual nuclei, and then divided them by the number of cores. At the same time we loaded the graphics card a demanding test Furmark.
Temperature evaluation mode in idle mode (single operation of the system) is not so interesting, because processors and graphics cards manufacturers have long implemented a very good power-saving mechanisms. For example, reduce the CPU core voltage and frequency in the event of inaction. Therefore, the heat generation components is significantly reduced.
Due to limited space, we had to abandon the standard tower cooler. It was necessary to establish a “boxed” Intel cooler. Therefore, CPU temperature results should not be compared with our other reviews. Especially since the box cooler is not known for high performance. At a temperature of the video card with passive cooling Thermaltake Core G3 showed average results. All the same cooling concept with two injection wells front fans that direct air flow to the components of the system to work well.
To measure the noise level, we used the Sound meter Voltcraft SL-400, which is located at a distance of 20 cm from the front of the housing.
Despite the moderate speed of rotation, the two front fan did not work very quietly. After stopping the CPU fan noise we got almost 40 dB (A). The noise of the air flow of the two 120-mm fan was clearly audible. Of course, during the game the noise level can be ignored, but it interferes with concentration on work. Buyers Thermaltake Core G3 should think about whether they want to reduce the fan speed.
We measured a maximum height of CPU cooler, and the maximum length of a video card with a tape, as well as the distance between the motherboard tray and the side panel. To measure the thickness of the walls we used a micrometer. We also take into account the data published by the manufacturer. Of course, at the same time we made a certain measurement error. For this reason, we recommend that you consider the values given below for comparison purposes only, and do not take them as the ultimate truth.
Available height for the cooler of 11 cm does not allow the usual cooler with a 120- or 140-mm fans. But usually, it will fit in the Thermaltake Core G3 vertical coolers or water block air flow cooling system with closed loop.
The maximum length of the video card (with front fan) is 31 cm. Some video cards on the market may not fit.
Tray almost flat against the side panel, so the space for laying cables is almost absent.
We drew attention to the relatively small thickness of the side panels – 0.65 mm. But, at least, Thermaltake folded around the edges of metal panels, so sufficient strength.Thermaltake Core G3 | conclusion
Thermaltake Core G3 demonstrates how a compact ATX case may be. Mini-Tower term is somewhat misleading. Compared to conventional buildings Micro-ATX chassis Thermaltake has a similar depth, but it is even thinner. Thermaltake has used delicate design, to allow for horizontal body position. And in this case, the body hardly be able to be used as a classic stand for the monitor, but through the window of a beautiful view of the interior.
However, irrespective of the horizontal or vertical position, in a thin design has some limitations. Through the window clearly shows that the space for cable is not provided. Optional components have limitations too. As a result, Thermaltake Core G3 will be of interest only to a small category of consumers. Namely, those who want to save space, but at the same time use the ATX motherboard. In the motherboard should be good equipment, because only one slot (it is possible to install dual-slot card) is provided for expansion cards. This should be enough to drive the two internal compartments, and on CPU coolers and power supply constraints rather serious. The assembly of the components can not be called difficult, but the installation of the drive chassis front panel and the video cable through the riser-imposes its own characteristics. With regard to the body work, there is no problem. At the top of the front panel there is a well-equipped I / O panel, the dust filter from the top and bottom are attached by magnets, so they can be easily removed for cleaning.
If you’re willing to put up with the above restrictions, then you get a Thermaltake Core G3 compact ATX chassis at a fair price. Direct competitors find difficult. With a similar amount may be mentioned unless the HTPC-housing SilverStone Grandia GD09B. The body volume of 26.8 liters installed motherboard SSI CEB, 5,25 “drive and ATX power supply, unlike the Thermaltake Core G3 can be set up to seven expansion cards. But housing involves the use of a horizontal position, which limits the possible scenarios.
If you need a stylish body HTPC or desktop narrow body, Thermaltake Core G3 ATX will install the system in a very cramped space. Assembling the components is not so simple, but in the end you will be able to gather in Thermaltake slim fairly powerful system.