In order to test the Thermaltake Core V71 properly, I moved our ASUS Maximus VI Gene test bench into it and it look less than 45 minutes to go from an empty case to a fully working gaming demon. If I wasn't taking notes along the way, it would have been even faster - there is a lot of elbow room in the Core V71 and the head room available makes routing the top 8pin CPU power connector easy.
Ideally I'd have used a standard sized ATX motherboard but I didn't have one handy and the ASUS Maximus VI Gene is what we use for our test bench.
The test components used are listed below
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12S|
|Memory||16GB Corsair Vengeance Low Profile - Black (4x4GB)|
Seagate Barracuda 750GB & Samsung EVO 250GB SSD
Thermaltake Toughpower (Cable Management) 1200W
MSI GTX 760 HAWK Overclocked
Logitech G430 Gaming headset
Direct connection to the cable modem &
|Optical||Samsung USB external DVD drive|
The Build Experience
As expected, all the standoff holes were in exactly the right places as were the grommets which are thin and easy to work with but not flimsy and likely to fall out easily. Usually grommets are either firm and sturdy or thin and prone to coming out during a build but the Core V71 grommets seemed to be nicely balanced in between. Installing the motherboard standoffs was quick and easy thanks to the socket fitting that Thermaltake include in the bag of screws. The motherboard I/O shield went in without incident and fit snugly.
The fan controller worked as expected and remembered the last used setting (as did the LED on/off switch) - the only exception is when the case is powered off at the wall after which it defaults to high speed and LEDs on.
Initially I tested the fans for noise by connecting up the fan controller Molex plug to the Thermaltake Toughpower PSU and using a female 24 pin ATX plug that connects the Ground and Power Supply on connections. This meant that I didn't have any hard drive, CPU cooler or Graphics card noise to worry about. The 140mm fan is a really quiet, 3 pin, 140mm fan without any LEDs - for build testing, we ran it off the chassis fan on our motherboard. The trio of 200mm 3pin fans were all run off the built in 2 speed fan controller
As you can see from the early shots in the gallery above, the holes for radiators and fans are extensive and allow for more flexibility than a lot of other cases. The top panel coming clean off around the I/O connections is a great feature and something I really appreciate when building. Although the motherboard I used was a micro-ATX, the head room is the same for a standard ATX board and there is plenty.
Although I didn't need to, it would have been easy to remove 2 of the drive cages to aid air intake from the front fans. I left the drive cages in place as I was contemplating installing 6 hard drives to do some RAID testing but ran out of time. In the Core V71, there is so much room that it still feels spacious with the removable drive bays fitted - the case really is that big inside. I used SATA plugs with 180 degree or flat connectors on the hard drive and SSD as the 90 degree heads weren't able to fit from outside the drive cage. If I'd pulled out the lower drive trays and routed all the SATA connections up through the back on the inside of the cage, it might have worked better and looked quite neat but it would also be fiddly and probably not something most system builders would do. In any case, there is plenty of room for the straight through connectors but keep this in mind if you are building in the Core V71 and check at the start.
Lighting & THAT Window
When the build was all done, cables tidied up and ready to power on for some testing, the lighting and window was really impressive to look at. That window is huge - you can see your rig as a whole, the drive bays, the PSU, the motherboard and the top fans. The visibility inside the Core V71 is incredible. The blue drive trays look good and when you have the ambient light either out or really low, the blue glow from the 200mm fans really works well. I also had the subtle blue LEDs in the MSI GTX 760 HAWK adding to the mix but even then I wouldn't call the lighting over the top or too bright. If you don't like the lighting, you can always turn them off - Thermaltake have made it as easy as pressing one button.
Whilst there is room for a fourth 200mm fan at the top, I'd only add one if I wanted the aesthetics - the three included are more than enough.
I'm surprised that the front bays are separated by a 15mm gap. This means that I couldn't use a dual bay reservoir for water cooling in a case with so many radiator options. Having said that, the inside of the case is spacious, the drive cages and support is removable and it would not be hard at all to fit one (or more) internal reservoirs for some serious water cooling.
The dust covers are easy to access and clean - thumbs up to Thermaltake here.