Building Inside the FRACTAL DESIGN CORE 1500
One thing that was disappointing about the Fractal Design Core 1500 was the way all the Accessories were all in just one bag. While this was just a little problem it did add to the annoyance of having to sort through the parts to see what was there to use and what was everything made for. So if you buy one of these cases it might be a good idea to use this page here to reference the parts that you have to complete your build. All are welcome to use it including Fractal Design themselves.
Funniest thing about building a computer is commonly forgetting to insert or install the back I/O shield. If you have built more than two computers I can almost guarantee that you have forgotten this part at least once in your building career. Anyway the I/O Shield fit very tightly and securely with a perfect cut out that was neither too tight or too loose but perfect.
Another annoying part that I found was the fact that Fractal Design painted the case after the standoff holes had been drilled an tapped. I had a real hard time getting the standoffs into the holes because of the extra paint that was filling the grooves of the taps but it was nothing that a good Phillips head and the included standoff tool was used. I needed a slight amount of brute force to turn them but they went in straight and true and lined up with the board tightly and accurately.
With the board being so small I did install the motherboard before the power supply. This had mixed results since the wire for the CPU power wire was hard to install but it wasn’t enough to complain about. There was plenty of Clearance for everything and after a few choice swear words I did actually get the 8 pin CPU Power lead into the proper position. This is always a problem and it’s a problem with almost every case that I have ever tested so no harm, no foul. It’s just a fact of life for builders, so if you want it easier it would make since to install the board before the power supply for the ease of pinning the CPU Power cable in before the motherboard is actually mounted.
With this build I chose to use the back fan for the front and used the extra long fan screws that are supplied with kit to install the exhaust fan into the second area in the front. It fit perfectly and is made for this application. I then mounted the Power supply fan side down and I would advise using a modular power supply with ribbon type wiring to make this little case easier to wire manage. The back is where I would install the Corsair H-80 into the empty 120mm Fan mount in the exhaust back mount.
Installing the H-80 cooler was tight and I mounted the CPU block first before routing the tubing and situating the Radiator top side up with the tubing on the upper side. This covered the fan controller wiring but that was not a problem since I routed those wire to the back of the case before installing the Push/Pull Radiator to the back of the inside of the case. I did have to use a couple of wire ties to keep the tubing inside the case and that was not hard. The trick is to use the tubing against itself and tie together in key positions to force the tubing to fit properly.
Mounting the SSD to the metal drive drawer is very simple. Use four of the accessory screws to mount the SSD to the center portion of the drawer and you get just enough room in the back for both a straight line plug or a 90 degree SATA wire. The drawer is metal and painted well and very accurately drilled with everything lining up the way that it should.
If you are mounting a typical mechanical hard drive into this same drawer the rubber mounts are per-installed in the correct spot for correct positioning of the drive. The rubber grommets that are installed make a space for the metal to not touch any of the electronics of the hard drive to the drawer and also insulate the drive from making too much noise inside the case. This is a very common drive mount for almost all Fractal Design and it works terrific for fit and finish of the drives mounting and wire management as well.
The rear of the case is tight and the tie-offs for tying down the wires were a bet spare. Also the room behind the case is not very wide clearance in the way of wire clearance. It was just enough for my work and I was able to do a satisfactory job behind the motherboard even with a few beauty extension wire harnesses that I used for looks. Overall there was just enough room for the standard wiring of a basic sleeved modular wire type but it would have been a lot easier to use ribbon style wiring harnesses in the back of the Fractal Design for more room. Also something worth mentioning is the HD-Audio wire harness was just long enough to tightly fit into the ASUS board but if you have a different board you may want to check a different routing method for installation of this front audio port wire. It was just long enough to tightly and vigorously get it into the plug on the motherboard.
In the end, the build was a success and since there is no window there is not much need for amazing cable magic management but we do have our pride don’t we?… In this particular case I found the fit of the Video card was great even with both drive bay still installed. The fans worked great with the three position variable rear controller switch and the controls and the audio worked fine. The back of the case was tight but closed strongly not leaving a bulge in the back even with my extensions that I used but they could have added another 5 mm to the HD-Audio wire. Also four wire ties is not even close to being enough for the average builder for a neat job so I would recommend that you buy a pack of 20 or more at the local Auto parts establishment close to you home before wiring up the hole unit.