This isn't for the competition held here on OCAU, but through the magic of Facebook and the generosity of Thermaltake, I managed to get my hands on a Core V71. This isn't intended to be full review; there are plenty of those around already, rather just my thoughts and findings. Here goes... First up here is the outgoing case, everyone knows the HAF X. Wouldn't have been my first choice at the time, but i'm glad I ended up with it. With a few little additions it has been a fantastic case. It doesn't have a built in fan controller, so that was the first addition, plus an extra front intake. I hate the look of the DVD drive, so that was 'stealthed'. The fan controller was originally up top, but that had to move for reasons below. Being a full tower, the inside is roomy, but a stacked push/pull rad is cutting things very close. Here's the inside of the case, showing the bare millimeters of clearance for the motherboard. Also this neat coincidence; the fill port for the Swiftech H320 lines up perfectly with a hole on the top of the case On to the V71. It arrived in a big, refreshingly plain box. A few knocks and dents from the courier but no damage to the case itself. I immediately stripped my old case out, and prepared the V71 for its new internals. First up I had to fit the rad. The case is advertised as being able to fit up to a 420mm up top AND in the front, so my 'tiny' 360mm should be no problems.. right? Wrong. Here is the first snag I hit. Yep, my rad/fan combo is too tall to fit under the top cover. I wasn't worried, I could just remove a layer of fans and add it underneath the frame. But not so fast, even with one layer of fans removed, the edge of the radiator (which houses a reservoir for the H320) will not fit underneath the top IO board. I can't turn it around, because there is nowhere underneath the IO board to route the tubing. With a standard rad, you could slide it under the front IO, but you wouldn't be able to fit a fan onto it. If you put the rad underneath the frame, the front-most fan blows directly onto the underside of the IO board; not ideal either. If top area isn't intended for rad placement, then why is there so much room underneath? It would have been better to have less room under the top cover, and add that room above the motherboard. It turns out that even if my radiator could fit, I wouldn't be able to get the pump/block assembly into the case due to the size of the cutouts on the top. If I mount the rad underneath the frame, even with a single layer of fans it just hits the top of the motherboard (an annoying single millimeter of clearance extra would have done it). Of course this isn't a problem with a custom loop, but with this particular AIO (and possibly others) its a problem. I could have broken out the dremel, but decided to try out a front mount instead of risking a sharp edge slicing up my tubing. After removing the drive cages (holy crap there are a LOT of screws holding it together, I counted 20 before accidentally knocking over the tray holding the screws [side note, if anyone needs spare screws, come and walk on my carpet. I've been stepping on screws the whole evening, bloody things keep appearing out of nowhere]) I test fitted the radiator. I'd hoped to have it with the reservoir on the top and tubes out the bottom so that any air pockets get trapped in the res, however the tubes were just not long enough to reach the CPU socket. To fit it the other way, I had to remove the bottom 5 1/4" drive (thats another cool thing about this case, everything is modular) to clear the tubing (due to the available screw mounting locations). Its not ideal, but i'll see how I go with air pockets. It will be a PITA to top up the res compared to the HAF though. Here is the completed build, and a side-by-side to the HAF. I left the DVD drive out, as it ruins the front of the case (in my opinion), and there is no way to hide it behind a cover as on the HAF. One thing I was concerned about was GPU cooling. I have a pair of Gigabyte GTX670 OCs, with the Windforce cooler (vents internally). The HAF-X has a big side intake for cool air which the V71 lacks. I did some non-scientific testing, ran some back-to-back benchmarks in Unigine Valley to get the GPU temps up. The tests were run with case fans at minimum, then maximum. The V71 was run in the evening after I finished building it, so the ambient was slightly cooler. Even so, the HAF wins out on GPU temperatures by a few degrees, but the real teller is the GPU fan speed. I have a fan curve worked out to keep the GPUs at or below 60C, so whilst the temperatures are fairly even, you can see in the V71 the fans on GPU1 are running a lot faster to cool it down. It is also noticeably louder. This may not be so much of an issue with reference coolers which exhaust to the rear, but the lack of a side intake hurts non-reference air coolers. The CPU temperatures where lower with the V71, since the rad is drawing in fresh air, whereas in the HAF it is exhausting warm air off the GPUs. Overall, the case is definitely louder than the HAF-X, even with less fans installed (HAFX has 3x200mm, 1x230mm, 2x140mm, plus 6x120mm on the rad. V71 has 3x200mm, 1x140mm, 6x120mm on the rad). This is probably due to the fan controller I added to the HAF, which runs the fans at a much lower minimum RPM. I'll add it into this case in the next few days to see if I can bring the noise levels down. A few other things, the movable PSU support bracket is nice, but the anti vibration pads seem a little undersized compared to the beefy (but non-movable) ones on the HAF. Note how dusty the HAF is though, the filters on the V71 should cut down on all that dust. And because i'm a little lazy, the rest in a dot point list. Most of these are nitpicky things, both positive and negative. Thank you for the CAPTIVE SCREWS on the door panels. I don't know why more cases don't have these, they are brilliant. Fan filters. Big thumbs up, a must have. Some of the thumbscrews were cross-threaded into the case, three on the expansion slots and two holding the drive cages in. Not a big deal, but they were a pain to get out. Cutout near the PSU NEEDS TO BE BIGGER. Seriously, I had a lot of trouble fitting all the cables through, even though I do have an SLI setup, this is a bit of an oversight on a full sized case. Please have an option for wheels, they are the greatest thing about the HAF-X, and I really miss them on this case, espcially as I have to turn the case to remove the top and bottom air filters. The case doesn't have any handles or grab points either, which makes it a pain to move around. The switches for the fans/lights are momentary, and don't save states. Each time I boot the computer up, I have to turn the fans to low and disable the LEDs. On the HAF, the LED control is a latching switch. I might have to solder one onto the case and rewire the fan LEDs if I get too annoyed. Still on the IO area, I dislike that the controls are on the top of the case. I was hoping to have a case that fit under my desk, but then i'd be unable to use the USB ports. Also the reset switch has an extremely light action, i dropped a usb drive off the side of my desk, and accidentally reset the comptuer. Oops. A hard-to press reset switch would be nice. I know i've focused mainly on the negative bits (but you can read other reviews for all the positive points). OVERALL, its a great case but for my particular hardware it didn't go together perfectly. If you have, or an intending to use an AIO system i'd double check that you can fit the CPU block/pump into the case through the cutouts in the top, as it's a shame to have to cut it up. EDIT: Well that turned into a much longer post than I intended. If you read it all, congrats and my apologies for rambling so much.