It feels like forever since I've brought out the Mini-ITX Casewarmer testing system. I'm dusting those parts off in preparation for their residence in Fractal Design's Core 500 Mini-ITX case, which just arrived in our labs for review. Check it out:
The Core 500 strikes a good balance between compactness and capaciousness—it's 9.8" wide by 8.4" tall by 14.4" long (250 by 213 by 367 mm). Inside, it can hold up to three 3.5" drives and three 2.5" drives on dedicated mounts, plus a 5.25" optical drive. Fans of liquid-cooling will find room for a 120-mm radiator at the rear and a 280-mm one up top (with some caveats that I'll explore in depth with my full review). Air coolers up to 6.7" (170 mm) tall will fit, too.
Most importantly, graphics cards up to 12.2" can go inside this case. Builders with a mini-GeForce GTX 980 Ti-powered gaming rig in mind will be happy to hear that. At $60 on Newegg right now, the Core 500 could be a solid value. Keep an eye out for my in-depth review.