The Thermaltake Core P3 Case is an open-air case, wall-mountable, focused on enthusiast users, where the PC components are exposed. Let’s analyze this uncommon case.
The Core P3 is avalable in four colors: black, white (Snow Edition, that is the one we analyzed), green and red.
Figure 1 shows a general view of the case. Notice that the left panel is a transparent acrylic plate supported by four metal pieces, while there are actually no top, bottom, front, and rear panels. The right panel is the case itself, where the components are installed.
Figure 1: Thermaltake Core P3 case
One interesting detail on the Core P3 is the fact it comes unassembled, so you can assemble it the way you want.
Another characteristic is that there is room at the front can be used for watercooler radiators up to 420 mm, but it may also be used by storage units (hard disk drives and SSDs), fitting up to three 2.5 inches and two 3.5 inches units. So, the total number of bays will depend on the use of a radiator and its size.
Let’s take a closer look at the case in the next pages.
[nextpage title=”General View”]
Looking the Thermaltake Core P3 from the front, you see it is actually open. There are no room for case fans.
Figure 2: front view
There is a narrow panel on the front of the case, with power and HDD activity LEDs, power button, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, headset connectors, and reset button.
Figure 3: front panel
At the right side of the Core P3 there is a removable panel, secured by six thumbscrews, that gives access to the inside of the case. Here you see four rubber feet that may be installed if you want to use the case on the hoirizontal, as a bench. There are also holes for wall installation, but you need to buy separately the necessary hardware to install it this way.
Figure 4: right panel
[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
A the rear of the case, it only has a frame with the slots for the expansion cards (there are eight slots, but the case comes with another part with two slots, for Mini-ITX motherboards) and a frame for the power supply on the bottom.
Figure 5: rear view
At the bottom of the case there are two large feet, that give the case excellent stability. If you want to use the case in the horizontal, as a bench, don’t install these feet.
Figure 6: bottom view
Let’s now take a look inside the Thermaltake Core P3.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Core P3″]
Removing the right panel, you have access to the interior of the case. Here you find two storage unit bays (we will explain this on the next page) and the central black plate where the wall mount is attached. The rest of the space is intended to be used to pass and storage the cables. There is an excellent gap (1.8 inches) to manage the cables.
Figure 7: inside the case
The motherboard tray is actually the left side of the case itself. There is a big opening to grant access to the CPU cooler backplate, but you have to remove the right panel and the storage trays to access it. There are big openings for passing cables.
The power supply if secured using two frames at the bottom of the case.
The Core P3 supports CPU coolers up to 7.1 inches (180 mm) tall with the transparent acrylic cover installed (no limit if you don’t install the cover), power supplies up to 7.8 inches (200 mm) in depth, and video cards up to 11 inches (280 mm) long (with a radiator installed).
Expansion cards are fastened using thumbscrews.
In Figure 8 you see one of the ways the case can be assembled, with the expansion cards installed in the conventional way.
Figure 8: motherboard tray
In Figure 9, you see the alternative way to assemble the case: with a second tray that rotates the slot frame in 90 degrees, so the video card(s) can be installed vertically, parallel to the motherboard.
Keep in mind, however, that is necessary to use a PCI Express x16 extension (called Riser Cable) in order to install a video card in this position. There are options of this case with and without this extension, so check if you are buying the right version.
Figure 9: alternative tray mounted
Figure 10 shows our current benchmark system mounted on the Core P3.
Figure 10: mounted system
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Thermaltake Core P3 supports up to four 3.5 inches or five 2.5 inches storage units.
On its exterior, there is an area (shown in Figure 11) where you can install up to two 3.5, three 2.5 inches inches drives, or a liquid cooling system radiator. The area available for the drives will depend on the size of the radiator installed. For example, if you install a 120 mm radiator, you can install two 2.5 inches or one 3.5 inches drives, but if you install a 360 mm radiator, there will be no room here for drives.
The drives are attached here using regular screws, but the case come with rubber washers to help absorbing hard disk drive vibrations.
Figure 11: external disk drive bays
Inside the case there are two trays that support 3.5 or 2.5 inches drives. Each tray is secured by one thumbscrew.
Figure 12: internal disk drive bays
Figure 13 shows one of these trays, where you can install a 2.5 inches drive (using conventional screws) or a 3.5 inches hard disk drive (in this case, no tools are necessary).
Figure 13: one disk drive tray
Figure 14 shows one HDD and one SSD installed in the inner bays.
Figure 14: SSD and hard disk drive installed
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Thermaltake Core P3 include:
- Style: open-air mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors
- Material: zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
- Power supply: does not come with the product
- Available colors: black, white, red, and green
- Side panel: full transparent window at the left panel
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 18.5 x 13.1 x 20.2 inches (470 x 333 x 512 mm)
- Net weight: 22.5 lbs (10.3 kg)
- Bays: two internal 3.5”/2.5” bays, and three external 3.5”/2.5” bays
- Expansion slots: eight
- Maximum video card length: 11” (280 mm) with installed radiator or drives
- Maximum CPU cooler height: 7.1” (180 mm) with the transparent cover installed
- Fans: none
- Optional fans: none
- Extra features: support for radiators
- More information: https://www.thermaltake.com
- Average price in the U.S.*: $100 USD (without Riser Cable)
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Thermaltake Core P3 is an interesting case if you have beautiful hardware and want to look at it while using you computer. It has an excellent support for liquid cooling and, being an open-air case, you will not worry about overheating.
It is also great if you often need to access the components for adjusts and changes, which makes it great for overclocking, casemodding and benchmarking.
Just keep in mind that you need to buy the version with the Riser Cable in order to use the video card in the vertical position.
- Excellent construction quality
- Plenty of room for hardware
- Offers two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports
- Supports radiators up to 16.5 inches (420 mm)
- Plenty of space under the motherboard tray to manange cables
- Easy hardware access
- Can be wall-mounted
- Great for custom liquid cooling systems
- If you use a radiator which is more than 240 mm in lenght, you will have only two drive bays available
- Does not support case fans
- Does not support 5.25 inches devices
- Does not support hardware that need an external bay, like fan controllers or card readers
- Does not support vertically installed video cards in all versions