Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Thermaltake is a brand that has been in the PC scene for 20 years; since the early days when beige boxes were all you could get. Thermaltake started with a cooler, the Golden Orb, and from there they moved into several other avenues of the PC realm. Thermaltake made some excellent cases in its early years, but as the 2010 era came around, they had been relegated to cheaper cases made for budget customers. With the introduction of the 'core series,' Thermaltake took a huge step up into the world of open-loop cooling support and fitment for larger radiators and modularity. This was just the starting steps into what has now pushed Thermaltake in new directions in the industry with the past seven years or so showing a marked improvement in chassis quality and enthusiasts adoption
While the core series started with the Core V Series, the Core series set itself apart with the first Core P5 chassis. The Core P5 was initially conceptualized as a flat blank slate where users can make the trending (at the time) wall mount PC that many famous modders were pulling off but on a canvas that can free stand and does not require a bunch of custom work to create. This is what we have today, the Core P5 TG V2 Black Edition. The Core P5 model we have today is an improvement in many ways over the initial Core P5 we looked at almost four years ago to the day on October 1st, 2015.
Some key improvements to the original Core P5 design include several things which we will list below.
- 5mm tempered glass panel
- Motherboard tray offering alternate build orientation
- High speed I/O on the front panel
The 5mm Tempered glass is no joke, this panel is not only thick, but it is heavy. The motherboard tray I would say is one of the most significant changes as it allows the motherboard to rotate 90 degrees to mount in a chimney style orientation. The Core P5 over the years have offered several design options, including larger and smaller models to accommodate different build needs for users. The Core P5 we have today even has another model alongside it which encases all of the components with panels on all sides surrounding it, but that's a unit we may check out at a later date.
The name of the chassis we noted earlier and it is quite the mouthful. The full title is Core P5 TG V2 Black Edition. The Core P5 we have today is stated to be a 'mid-tower' which I can only assume is a mistake as this thing stands over 600mm tall or 60cm which is far above what is commonly seen as a mid-tower. The common understanding has full-tower chassis standing at 56cm (560mm) or 22" and up. While there is no standard for this in the industry, this is tantamount to calling a Zenith Extreme Alpha a mATX motherboard. Not only is it larger than ATX at EATX, but it is a far cry from a smaller model. The model number for this version of the Core P5 is CA-1E7-00M1WN-05, and this is important to note as the Core P5 showing has gotten pretty crowded with new releases showing up regularly. All Core P5 models listed below.
- Core P5 (original) - Color: Black - CA-1E7-00M1WN-00
- Core P5 (original) - Color: Green - CA-1E7-00M8WN-00
- Core P5 Tempered Glass (surround glass) - Color: White - CA-1E7-00M6WN-01
- Core P5 Tempered Glass (surround glass) - Color: Black - CA-1E7-00M1WN-03
- Core P5 TG Ti - Color: Black - CA-1E7-00M9WN-00
- Core P5 TG V2 Black Edition - Color: Black - CA-1E7-00M1WN-05 (What we have today)
As you can see, there are several just in the Core P5 range, and this is not including the Core P3, Core P90, Core P1 and Core P7 which are all different size and style/configuration elements of the same core design.
The motherboard fitment for the Core P5 is from ITX up to ATX. Being this is a pretty open frame setup, you can realistically fit consumer EATX (enthusiasts ATX) motherboards without much issue. HDD/SSD fitment is impressive as this modular chassis uses a variation of plastic drive trays mounted in the back and optional upfront to individual trays included in the chassis which allow you to install HDD and SSD on the radiator mounting upfront. Total stated fitment is up to 1x 3.5" or 2.5" in the HDD tray while the two previously mentioned brackets can also be mounted up front for dual 3.5" or 2.5" drives or any combination of those two. Lastly, in the cable management rear chamber, there are triple drive trays mounted which can support a 2.5" or 3.5" drive per tray. PSU's there is stated support up to 200mm which will fit most any consumer PSU.
Cooling fitment is only limited by the space on the flat panel. The radiator main bracket can fit up to 480mm or 420mm so quad 120mm or triple 140mm. CPU air cooler should you opt for this would be 180mm, so basically any air cooler should fit here. There are no fans included with the Core P5 which being an open-air or open frame chassis, makes sense. There should be little to no component fitment issues as unlike most chassis the Core P5 is a unique design where all devices, cooling and other are installed on a flat plane and therefore no radiators in the roof of the chassis that may hit board components or memory here.
The Price on the Core P5 TG V2 Black Edition is $189.99 at the time of writing from Amazon. This is not a horrible price point for a unique chassis... and to be fair there are not many options out there to compete in this exact style of form factor, there are some that are similar, and we will also lump in a few standard chassis I feel are worthy competitors at the price point. First of all, for similar or similar-ish chassis we have the semi-open-air nature of the Raidmax X08 or the Lian Li PC011 series which still hover in this price range. The issue with comparing chassis like the Core P5 or even the mATX Paean is that it is hard to find chassis to compare, so we have to include some less open-air chassis to consider naturally.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)