Inside the FRACTAL DESIGN CORE 1500
The inner casing of the Fractal Design Core 1500 is not just a dumbed down version of a better product but a very nice small case with the Fractal quality built in. There are some cost cutting measures inside like only two fan, one in the front and one in the back and both are 120mm and there are no rubber grommets inside the access hole for wire, and the plastic press in feet, but that is about the extent of the cuts. The frame is ridged and well ventilated and the screw holes all line up nicely. The front opened exposes the one 120mm fan with room for two and the ability to take a 120 X 240 Radiator if needed. There is also the option of a single 140mm fan in the front if that is the way you want to go. The top bottom fan air is partial blocked off by the bottom drive bays but that can be removed easy enough if that concerns you. since the bay does butt up to the opening but it’s really not that big of a deal to leave it this way especially if you plan on not adding the extra 120mm fan to the bottom access hole of the case.
The interior room is spacious enough for a full custom loop if you decide to go that route. The bay drives are solid and the parts are well made with no sloppy edging. Access holes are well placed and there is a full 162mm of air cooler clearance for even the larger brands of coolers. The steel is rolled in areas where bending could be an issue so there are no problems with a flimsy feeling case here. It is a very tight package with lots of tensile strength. The CPU Access hole is made to accommodate both Intel and AMD placement, so that is the reason for the extra large hole in the back. More is better in this case and more is what you get for your money here. The Fractal Design moniker is embossed Porsche style into the back frame to show that the team is proud of the work that has been done on the interior and exterior of the Fractal Design Core 1500.
The rear motherboard tray side or wire management side is simple and well thought out. The bottom back of the case holds the screwed down SSD if you prefer to use it but remember that the Power Supply will have to be removed from the rigging in order to change it out so if you decide to use this mount then do it if you plan on a custom loop Where Drive placement is difficult to find. The access holes are large but the tie downs are few so a modular power supply with ribbon styled cables will work out the best for this case if you are looking to build from this review. There is a minimum distance of 13.5mm of space between the motherboard tray and the panel and in some areas the most you get is a very generous 18.5 mm of distance of wire management room. Not bad. Like I said this case is just a smaller version for more compact builds but not just a cheap case that they threw together quickly. The Fractal Design Core 1500 is surprisingly solid and well engineered for doing about anything you would want in the larger case but only on a smaller scale.
The upper drive bay assembly is made to help accommodate the use of a 120X240 radiator hence the curved top bay shape. The edges are rolled here for strength and the Fractal Logo is embossed on it as well. The lower Hard drive dock is removable for front access in case the user plans for a front end 120X240mm radiator. The drives fit into the familiar drawers that we find with almost every Fractal Designed case that are offered so that saves money time in manufacturing and it’s a good and well engineered design for both noisy mechanical hard drives or the silent but deadly SSD mounting center back making wire access easier for 90 degree SATA connections.
The bottom double drive module is more of the same unit with a different mounting to the floor. The screws can be easily removed if you want to move the module closer to the center or to remove it from the build completely depending on the build that you are doing. That makes this case so versatile and exceptional in its design and form.
The back fan controller unit has its own printed circuit board in the back mounted down by two screws. The controller is made to control 3 fans in a LOW/HIGH two position switch for quiet or performance cooling. The wiring in the controller is made very well with black sleeves and the connections are fully shrouded for safely connecting the 3 pin fans to the available wire harness. The controller is powered by a single SATA power connector that sends dedicated power 12 Volt DC power to the unit and the connected fans and steps down the voltage when in the LOW position.
The rear exhaust fan is 120mm sized only and has the 3 pin connector that usual non pulse wave fans have. The fan can be connected straight to the motherboard or to the rear controller. The fan is the 9 blade high efficiency fan that makes it very good even at slower speeds to expel hot air from inside the case out. The black and white bladed design is a feature of all but the American version of Fractal Design fans.
The rear PCI slot covers are painted in white and well made as they are shared across many platforms of the Fractal Design Family. They are sturdy steel construction with ventilation holes in them to keep air circulation at a maximum even when its covering the available access hole. The thumb screws are tight and the holes for the screws have been tapped nicely for ease of use. The honeycombed ventilation next to them is an added amount of air access for convection circulation for video card that can get quite hot at times, so this is engineered finely for that application.
The power supply mount is made for fan up or fan down positioning and while Fractal Design gives a maximum of 152mm of power supply room there is lots of wiggle room here if you decide you don’t need the floor and have a very long and large power supply that you want to mount.
The bottom is honeycombed with filtered holes to give plenty of up draft circulation inside the case. Several fan sizes, alternative drive placement and power supply is well ventilated from the bottom but the filter is held in by steel tabs and can be problematic to remove and replace under real world conditions and not the best way of having a vent but the filtered material is the dryer vent variety and can handle many years of service and can be washed out with water and is very flexible.
Lastly we see the rear side of the SSD Mount that is for only a 2.5 inch hard drive and can only be installed with the power supply out of the way so if you plan on using this feature please mount the drive first during installation to make sure that you have it done before the power supply has been installed to save time of removing the power supply later to access the rear holes. It would be nice if they could come up with a rubberized mounting system to fit into these holes to make changing the SSD or upgrading easier and maybe they will read this review and be inspired by my idea here. It’s free for you to use if you want and I won’t be begging for royalties on the idea later on. I plan on staying poor for as long as possible.