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Review: Fractal Design Core 3500W

by Parm Mann on 15 July 2014, 14:30

Tags: Fractal Design

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacgnj

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Specification and Test Methodology

Fractal Design Core 3500 Specification

Drive Bays 2x 5.25in
4x 3.5/2.5in
2x 2.5in
Cooling System Front: 2x 120/140mm fans (included is 1x 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1,000 RPM speed)
Rear: 1x 120/140mm fan (included is 1x 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1,000 RPM speed)
Top: 2x 120/140mm fan (included is 1x 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1,000 RPM speed)
Bottom: 1x 120/140mm fan (not included, PSU length limits apply)
1x integrated fan controller on the backside for up to 3 fans
Radiator Support Front –Slim 240 or 280mm radiator. 15mm fan spacing required for full fastening, radiators with 20mm fan spacing fan be used with only the top half fastened to the case.(with lower HDD cage moved to secondary position)
Front - Thick 240 or 280mm radiators supported with HDD cage in alternate position or completely removed. Motherboards larger than mATX are not fully supported with HDD cage in the tertiary position
Top – Slim 240mm radiator (with no components on the upper 11 mm on the motherboard that are taller than 38mm)
Top – Slim 280mm radiator with slim fans
Rear – 120/140 mm radiator
Clearance GPU Clearance With HDD Cage: 295mm
GPU Clearance Without HDD Cage: 430mm
CPU Cooler: 180mm
Cable Management: 22mm
Dimensions 233mm (W) x 465mm (H) x 517mm (D)
Material Steel and plastic
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, E-ATX (up to 295 mm wide)
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Panel 1 x Headphone
1 x Microphone
2 x USB 3.0
Power button with LED (white)
HDD activity LED (white)
Reset button
Product Weight 8.6kg

Test System Configuration

Motherboard Asus Sabertooth Z77
CPU Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.4GHz
CPU Cooler Arctic Cooling Freezer 13
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws-X 8GB (F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH)
Memory Speed and Timings 1,600MHz, 7-8-7-24-2N
Graphics Cards 2x Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC in CrossFireX
Storage 120GB SanDisk Extreme SSD
Optical Drive Pioneer DVR-S19LBK DVD Writer
Power Supply Corsair HX1050W
Monitor Philips Brilliance 272P (2,560x1,440)

Our Z77 test platform consists of an ASUS Sabertooth motherboard, an Intel Core i5-3570K processor overclocked to a modest 4.4GHz, an Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 cooler, 8GB of high-performance G.Skill Ripjaws-X memory and two factory-overclocked Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC graphics cards in a CrossFireX configuration.

To find out how well the chassis can cool this particular setup, we record the CPU temperature during a 15-minute stint of the Prime95 small-FFT stress test. In order to provide a stabilised reading we then calculate an average temperature across all cores from the last five minutes of testing.

To get an idea of GPU cooling performance, we then record the highest GPU temperature after 15 minutes of running Aliens vs. Predator. Last but not least, we also measure chassis noise by using a PCE-318 noise meter to take readings when idle and while running Aliens vs. Predator.

All chassis are tested only with the standard manufacturer-supplied fans (any/all of which are set to 'silent' in the Asus BIOS or low-speed using a fan controller if present), and to take into account the fluctuating ambient temperature, our graphs depict both actual and delta temperature - the latter is the actual CPU/GPU temperature minus the ambient. For the record, room temperature while testing today's chassis was recorded as 23.4ºC.