Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Chassis

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The chassis is reasonably well constructed though the few modular components are on the thin side. A steel frame running along the ceiling acts as the mounting point for fans/radiators while a drive cage located above the front-mounted power supply position can house both a 3.5 inch and standard 5.25 inch drive.


A metal bracket built into the right side of the chassis frame can house additional storage. A pair of 2.5 inch drives can be secured here while two 3.5 inch drives can be mounted on the other side. All three of the case's 3.5 inch positions have grommets to help isolate drive vibration.

The view from the side.

The front panel pops off easily without any tools. A third 2.5 inch drive placement can be found within.

Underneath the side vents is a layer of light foam. I'm not a fan of using this material as it's more restrictive than mesh and in this case, it's difficult to remove, being held down by a series of metal tabs. Thankfully the chassis gets plenty of intake airflow elsewhere.

The fan bracket is secured with four screws along the top of the chassis while the drive cage is held on with four screws underneath the front bezel. The fan frame also grips the top of the cage, so the two pieces help reinforce one another.

The glue keeping the front panel connectors in place on our sample had hardened without making good contact. As a result, lightly tugging on the cables disconnected one of the USB plugs completely and prevented the power switch from working. Thankfully the panel can be removed via two screws so the problem can be fixed by the user with their adhesive of choice.

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