Thermaltake Core G21 & View 21 Glass Edition Cases

This is a two-for-one review: Thermaltake's Core 21 and View 21 Tempered Glass Edition cases are identical aside from the front panel. Both cases feature tempered glass panels that show off your build, and we'll find out what difference the drastically different front panel designs have on case performance.


Exterior and Interior

As stated in the introduction, the Core 21 and View 21 are identical aside from their front panels. In fact, the front panels are easily interchangeable; you just pop one off and pop the other on. But let's start with the details they share before getting to the only difference.

The top is matte black steel, with mounting for either a 120mm or 140mm fan towards the rear and towards the front, there are power and reset switches, headphone and microphone jacks, and two USB 3.0 ports. An optional magnetic dust filter is included for the fan mount. Note the 120mm/140mm fan mount does not support installing a radiator.

The rear is typically configured, with a cut-out for the I/O shield, a 120mm fan mount that is capable of also supporting a 120mm radiator, standard ATX motherboard PCIe device openings, and a PSU installation and mounting opening inferiorly. I like the PSU installation method; you slide the PSU in from the rear then use an included, separate bracket to mount the power supply.

On the bottom, there is a grille for fan-down PSU mounting, four feet, and a 120mm fan mount (that like the top fan mount, will not support a rad). Both are covered with included, removable dust filters.

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One detail I noted and appreciate is the feet have small lips or flanges that the tempered glass side panels sit upon. These decrease the likelihood the panels will fall off and break when you’re installing and removing them. That's the kind of small detail that makes a budget case feel more like a premium product.

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Both sides are 4mm thick tempered glass panels; they are tinted and somewhat opaque.

The front of both chassis supports up to two 140mm fans, or up to three 120mm fans, or a radiator anywhere from 120mm up to 360mm. A magnetic dust filter is included. Thus, if you are interested in water cooling, you will be limited to a max of three total radiators (one rear 120mm, and two front 120mm radiators), though I suspect it's more likely you'd install a rear 120mm radiator and only one radiator up front.

As described in the introduction, the Core G21's front panel is matte black and finely meshed, while the View 21's front panel is glossy black with translucent plastic. The sides of the Core G21's front panel are squared off, while the View 21's right side is curved (the left side is squared off).

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View 21 with side panel on / Core G21 with side panels off / Core G21 with side panel on

Interiorly, there is a PSU shroud inferiorly that will conceal the entirety of the PSU and a mess of cables if you don't have a modular power supply. There is ample space along the backside to conceal cables, and plenty of tie mounts. It is not at all cramped and facilitates easy cable management.

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The backside also has two brackets for mounting drives; each bracket can mount either a 2.5" or 3.5" drive. There are two additional mounts for 2.5" drives behind the motherboard; however, there are also two 2.5" drive mounting brackets on top of the PSU shroud. Thermaltake only includes two 2.5" brackets for the four possible 2.5" bracket mounts, so you have options, but can't mount mfore than four drives total - two 2.5" drives either on top of the PSU shroud or behind the motherboard, plus two drives (either 2.5" or 3.5") on the backside up front.

Frankly, I was disappointed that only one 120mm case fan was included. At this price point, many cases include two. This will limit the thermal dissipation ability of both cases regardless of the front panel, and having two glass side panels will further insulate rather than dissipate heat. Again, to speak with total candor, I am concerned the View 21 with its glossy, non-vented front panel will probably not be adequate for our enthusiast system.