Fractal Design Core 3000 review

January 21, 2013 | 10:05

Tags: #atx #budget #mid-tower-case

Companies: #fractal-design

Performance Analysis

The case remains whisper quiet on the lowest speed setting, which isn't surprising given the use of Fractal's own fans, which tend to be geared towards low noise. At this speed, the Core 3000 achieves a CPU delta T of 51°C, and though this isn't astounding it's still respectable given the noise output, and matches Fractal's own Define R4 chassis on full speed. Meanwhile, it also manages a GPU delta T of 49°C, which is again the same result as the Define R4 on full speed.

Fractal Design Core 3000 review Fractal Design Core 3000 - Performance Analysis and Conclusion Fractal Design Core 3000 review Fractal Design Core 3000 - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Switching to full speed results in a distinct hum coming from the Core 3000, but it thankfully doesn't stray into unbearably loud territory. This result saw the case achieve delta T results of 47°C on both the CPU and GPU, a 4°C and 2°C drop respectively. Though this takes the GPU result to mid-league, it's the CPU temperature that really impresses, as it matches that of the Antec One and SilverStone Raven RV02 and sits near the top of the league as a result. Like the Antec One, it has a dual exhaust fan system, yet again demonstrating how important it is to remove heat from the CPU area.
Fractal Design Core 3000 review Fractal Design Core 3000 - Performance Analysis and Conclusion Fractal Design Core 3000 review Fractal Design Core 3000 - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Conclusion

You might expect to have to sacrifice some cooling potential when purchasing a Fractal chassis, but that's not the case with the Core 3000. Its CPU cooling is of particular note, and its front intake fan means its no slacker when it comes to removing heat from your graphics hardware either, although the Antec One still outperforms it slightly here. Nevertheless, it would make a nice home for a budget build, and the fan control will let you reach a compromise between noise and performance.

As with most cases in its price league, it's not without issues. The lack of USB 3.0 support is likely to deter some would be buyers, and the cable management could also be improved. The Xigmatek Midgard II might not cool as well, but it'll have you covered in these respects as well as including a hot-swap drive bay, and on balance is therefore the better case. The budget case market is highly competitive, and rightly so, but with its excellent cooling, robust build quality and a host of useful features, the Core 3000 earns its place among the best of the bunch, especially given its sub-£50 price tag.

**Fractal has advised us that the Core 3000 USB 3.0 version will be launching in the UK in the coming months with an MSRP of £54.95, so it may be worth holding out until then if you like the look of it. The review and scoring for this product has not been altered.**
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  • Cooling
    23 / 30
  • Features
    16 / 20
  • Design
    26 / 30
  • Value
    19 / 20

Score guide
Where to buy

Overall 84%
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