A Closer Look - Outside
Taking a quick look at the chassis, it does remind you of the Arc case in some ways. While it uses the same general metal frame, there are distinct differences in the details. The quality of the plastic is good and matches the price tag of the chassis, while the metal mesh feels sturdy as well. I would have liked to see mesh with smaller openings, but there seems to be a dust filter right behind it, so that you won't have to worry about that aspect of the chassis.
Taking a quick look at the front, the metal mesh is encased in the plastic frame. It is indistinguishable from the drive bay covers, which results in a very uniform look. Just as is the case with the Arc chassis, there is a large Fractal Design logo embedded into the plastic part on the top edge of the front. Turning the chassis around, the CORE 3000 looks very much like the Arc chassis, but it is missing the eighth PCI expansion slot for example.
Both sides are made of metal and Fractal has actually included a large opening in one side to allow for a fan to be installed in this area. It can hold a 120 or 140 mm cooling unit which is intended to deliver fresh air to the expansion cards. I would have liked to see a dust filter here instead of a simple punched out grill. This is another difference to the Arc case, as it has an opening for a 140 or 180 mm fan instead.
A similar difference can be found on the top. While the Arc is intended to be compatible to as many radiators as possible, the CORE 3000 takes a simpler approach. You may install up to two 120 or 140 mm fans here, so the focus lies on air cooling with this chassis. The I/O panel consists of the usual audio connectors and four USB 2.0 plugs. It would have been nice to see a USB connector, as many manufacturers are starting to include them - even in their entry level enclosures.
As mentioned before, the entire front of the chassis is covered in metal mesh. The bottom area lines up with the hard drive bays, which you may cool with fans if you wish to do so. Fractal Design includes a single 140 mm unit but you may fit another below it. There are two external 5.25 inch drive bays, one of which may be used as 3.5 inch one with the use of the included adapters.
Turning our focus to the rear of the chassis, the PSU bay can be found on the very bottom. This is pretty much the standard location by modern standards. Above that are the seven mainbooard expansion slots. There you will find the signature white slot covers, which we have seen on every other Fractal Design chassis with the exception of the Array. The very top of the back is taken by the 120 mm fan, which is another difference to the Arc, which houses a 140 mm unit in this area. Two water cooling holes can be found on the very top of the rear panel.
A dust filter has been placed on the underside of the chassis, so that you don't have to worry about any dirt entering case and power supply. It is easily removable so that you may clean it without having to tip over the entire chassis.