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More of the Core

The top of the case hosts two fan mounts, each capable of holding 120-mm or 140-mm spinners. The mount toward the rear is fitted with a 1,000-RPM, 140-mm exhaust fan; you'll have to come up with your own fan for the second mount.

From this vantage point, we get our first look at the front port cluster. A standard complement of ports and buttons is provided, including 3.5-mm headphone and microphone jacks and four USB 2.0 ports. Front-panel USB 3.0 connectivity is rare among cases at this end of the price spectrum.

Like most of Fractal's enclosures, the Core 3000 has only two external 5.25" drive bays. An adapter that transforms one of them into a 3.5" bay is included. South of the bays, the blank stare of the expansive mesh front panel conceals two more fan mounts: one empty mount drilled for 120-mm air-pushers, and the other occupied by a 140-mm, 1,000-RPM fan.

Another mount can be found on the left panel, which can accommodate 120- or 140-mm fans. The right panel is free from mounts and ventilation holes. Both side pieces are affixed to the chassis using two thumbscrews apiece.

Similar to other cases sporting bottom PSU mounts, the Core 3000 has a removable dust filter for the ventilation holes directly beneath the power supply. While dust filters may be something we take for granted in high-end enclosures, it's nice to see them appear in cheaper cases. Not all of the Core's intake vents are filtered, though. The 120-mm fan mount that sits next to the PSU emplacement in the bottom panel isn't covered by the filter for the PSU fan.

Moving around back, we catch a glimpse of aesthetic excess. The white fan blades and expansion slot covers contrast starkly with the darkness found throughout the rest of the enclosure. I've always dug Fractal's white-on-black design cues, and it's nice to see the iconic look maintained in the company's lower-end cases. From the back, the Core 3000 looks more expensive than it actually is.

The rear exhaust fan is a 120-mm unit that spins at 1,200 RPM. If you've been counting, that's a total of seven mounts and three included fans—impressive. Fractal also includes grommet-lined holes for water-cooling tubing or other cabling. The seven expansion slots should be good for everything short of quad-double-wide SLI or CrossFire setups.