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Build: GTX 1080 Ti Thermaltake P3

We see a lot of cases around here of all different shapes and sizes, but few get as much attention as the Thermaltake Core P ATX chassis line. Its unconventional layout and striking design always get a reaction, so we gathered up some good tech and cut loose.

The P3 is a great case to show off any GPU like the Founders 1080 Ti. The system also doubles as a vertical test bench for trying out the latest graphics cards, RAM and coolers.

You can pick up the Core P3 case here for $120.

Case Space

It all starts with this very unusual case.

The Core P3 is a mid tower ATX chassis, with dimensions of 20.2 x 13.1 x 18.5 inches, and a weight of just under twenty-three pounds. The power button, USB 2.0, and 3.0 ports are easily accessible on the right side. The metal supports for the clear acrylic panel give the chassis nice definition, and the back panel is easily removed via thumbscrew to reveal a spacious area for SSDs, LED strips, and cable management.

The most obvious defining characteristic of the Core P3 case is the lack of side panels. The open frame design sits behind a translucent panel, which provides some security but also a full view of your lovely hardware.

There’s a riser panel and cable included, so you have a bit more flexibility when it comes to GPU placement. As you can see, we mounted it away from the motherboard in this configuration, but there are plenty of options.

There are a few strange quirks with the P3, as with any case. The 2.5-inch SSD mounts on the back of the chassis are somewhat awkwardly placed; if you mount all three you’ll essentially be blocking the radiator. We went with a 500GB Intel 600p M.2 and a 10TB 3.5 inch Seagate Ironwolf HDD for storage so it wasn’t an issue, but it easily could have been.

If you want more (or less) room to work with, this case is also available in a bunch of different sizes. The P1 (which is an adorable Mini ITX variant), the P5 (which is on the larger side), and the massive P7 (if you want to go crazy with custom cooling) are all available from Thermaltake.

The Build

We wanted Z270 so we went with a Newegg exclusive motherboard, the ASRock Z270 Extreme 4. This is an entry-level board with not a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s a great way to enter the 1151 socket market for the more budget conscious.

To pair with the board, we dropped in (very carefully, of course) an i7-6700K CPU so we could go crazy with the overclocking down the line. We’re all about 7th Gen, but we’ve been building nonstop so all of our Kaby Lake CPUs were living in other builds. Should be getting a new batch of silicon in soon.

In keeping with the Thermaltake theme, we went with a Water 3.0 Riing RGB AIO cooler. The Riing fans mean full RGB, and because this is a great case to showcase fancy lights, in it went.

It’s all about RGB everything these days, so a Thermaltake Smart Pro RGB 650 Watt PSU was the perfect choice for juice. The prettier the lights, the more powerful the system. It’s science, people.

The last guest to our RGB party was 16GB of Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4 3000 RAM. This is some pretty interesting tech that lit up PAX this year; you can read more about it here.

So we’ve got ALL of the RGB, but what are our control options? With this particular build, we’re going to be doing a lot manually. The Corsair RAM is controlled via Corsair’s Link application. The motherboard and attached LED strip are controlled via ASRock software, and the Thermaltake PSU and Riing fans are controlled manually via a button on the power supply and a fan switch, respectively. That means you can get them all to be the same color (or different colors) but it is a four-step process. Not exactly elegant, but it works, and that’s what you have to deal with when you diversify across brands in a build.

Last, but most definitely not least, we popped in a brand new Founder’s Edition 1080 Ti. Because anything less would just be a waste.

At The Core

After we finished up with cable management, we popped in one last LED strip for an extra little bit of flair, put the back panel back on, and powered it up.

Any excuse to get some loot boxes is a no brainer, so we fired up Overwatch and were getting a stable 125 FPS at Ultra settings at 2560 x 1440 and maxed out at 135.

We were getting 53 - 70 FPS for the Witcher 3 at the same 2K resolution, and a Timespy score of 8,336. That’s before tweaking the CPU or GPU. 

Between the 1080 Ti and the prodigious ten and a half terabytes of storage, we’re stoked about this build. We haven’t even started overclocking and we’re already getting excellent performance. The Core P3 layout means airflow is less of an issue, so thermals were nice and stable as well.

We’re very happy with the Core P3 Gaming Build, and now we need to go do some work. And by work we mean playing Ghost Recon for many, many hours.