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Written by David Ramsey   
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Corsair Carbide 400R Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Building a System
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Building a System

The Corsair Carbide 400R is a mid-tower case, and traditionally these have rather tight interiors. To really test it, I decided to move my entire Intel system, comprising an ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard and two NVIDIA GTX580 graphics cards, one SSD, three hard drives, two optical drives, and a 3.5" card reader into this case. Initially it looked as if the motherboard would fit perfectly.

corsair_carbide_400r_mb_fit2.jpg

However, the Rampage III Extreme is slightly larger than the standard ATX form factor. A standard ATX motherboard is 12" wide and 9.6" deep, but the Rampage III Extreme is 10.6" deep (which ASUS disingenuously calls "ATX form factor" on their web site). As such the SATA ports bump right up against the edge of the slightly recessed motherboard area. This makes it impossible to use the lower SATA ports.

corsair_carbide_400r_sata_port_block.jpg

Well, this is why there are Dremel tools. After removing a few inches of metal I could easily access all the SATA ports, and a bit of plastic tubing covers the sharp metal edge. Realize that this is not a strike against the Carbide 400R as the specifications for the case clearly state it's for mATX and ATX motherboards only, and the Rampage III Extreme is not a standard ATX motherboard.

corsair_carbide_400r_dremel_solution.jpg

There's plenty of room in back for all your cables.

corsair_carbide_400r_assembled_back.jpg

All my components fit easily, with room to spare...which makes me wonder why I'd need a larger case...

corsair_carbide_400r_assembled_interior.jpg

I did run into two problems: first, the two right screw holes on my Corsair HX850 power supply didn't line up with the cutouts on the case. I solved this by using a razor blade to carefully shave a little material off the rubber power supply supports inside the case. This was probably a manufacturing glitch and I wouldn't expect to see it in another example.

corsair_carbide_400r_ps_screwhole.jpg

More perplexing was the problem I ran into trying to mount a couple of side panel fans: Corsair provides a package of 12 long fan screws, which the instructions specify can be used to mount a fan "in any position". These screws are just long enough to protrude through a standard 25mm thick fan as shown below.

corsair_carbide_400r_long_fan_screw.jpg

The problem is twofold: one, these are machine screws, and Corsair doesn't supply any nuts to secure the ends of the screws (they're not listed in the accessories list in the documentation). Second, while the screw is long enough to make it through a 25mm fan, it's not long enough to make it through a rubber fan mount grommet, the case side panel, and the fan, so you wouldn't be able to use them even if nuts were supplied. Regular self-tapping fan screws won't work because their heads are too small and slip right through the grommeted holes provided in the side and rear panels; Corsair's own fans are mounted with self-tapping screws that have extra-wide heads so they'll work with the large screw holes in the case. I wound up using some rubber "pull through" fan mounts, which worked well enough to mount a couple of side panel fans.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer CaseRobert17 2011-09-15 10:12
Nice work David. This case looks like a good choice for any choosey builder.

Concerning the fan screw issue, let me know the thread pitch and I'll round you up some nuts and washers; in lieu of having the proper guages, contact me, send me a sample if available, and I'll fix you up.
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# RE: RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-09-15 14:24
Thanks for the offer, Robert, but as I noted, having nuts wouldn't do any good since the screws aren't quite long enough once you take the thickness of the rubber grommets use in the fan mounting holes into account. The pull-through rubber fasteners I'm using work fine.
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# fan screwsjames 2011-10-28 19:57
ran into the same problem, i used the standoff nuts and the long screws that came with the case. the standoff nuts worked fine for attaching the top fans using the long fan screws provided with the case.
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# RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer CaseMACK 2011-09-20 19:53
Nice review, and looks like a pretty good case!
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# RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer Casezac 2011-09-26 19:04
I just bought this case and it's being shipped to me.. silly question, are the sweet white lights included in the system anywhere.. i noticed this is one of the few cases on your page that is illuminated on the display that you post..

just wondering..

thanks
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# RE: RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-09-26 19:39
Zac, yes, the white LED-lit fans are included with the case. This is mentioned in the review, albeit not prominently.
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# good valueRealNeil 2011-09-30 04:26
"This case's beauty is internal, and it's not something you'll when it's sitting on a desk"

This sentence may be missing a word.
____________________ ____________________ _

This case is a good deal as I see it. It looks to have a whole lot of functionality and that's where I think that it's beauty lies. I'm going to buy one of these and build my next system with it. Thanks for your review.
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# RE: good valueDavid Ramsey 2011-09-30 08:19
Your transcription is missing a word, but in the article, it's "not something you'll notice when it's sitting on a desk."

At least that's what I see now, and I haven't edited anything...
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# RE: RE: good valueOlin Coles 2011-09-30 08:21
That's because I fixed it.
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# thanksRealNeil 2011-09-30 10:21
I wasn't trying to be a critic, but I thought that you would like to correct it.
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# RE: thanksDavid Ramsey 2011-09-30 10:27
Criticism is appreciated, and we (well, Olin) did correct it.
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# Just a little high?lwatcdr 2011-09-30 06:48
The problems with the fan mounting should have dropped it a bit more. It seems to be a good case but I do agree that the looks are kind of iffy. It lacks the flash of a lot of gaming cases and at the same time is a bit lumpy compared to some of the really clean cases. That and the lack of Filters on a lot of the fans makes me less than thrilled with this case.
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# RE: Just a little high?David Ramsey 2011-09-30 08:22
I did go back and forth on the fan problem...perhaps Corsair simply included the wrong screws with this case? I did dock them for it slightly, but it's so easy to fix with standard pull-through rubber fan mounts I didn't give it too much weight.

I go back and forth on the utility of filters on computer cases: they catch some dust, as I see on the cases I use that have them, but most cases are hardly hermetically sealed, and a lot of dust gets in anyway. Also, I made allowances for the $100 price point. In the end the design and utility of the case won me over.
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# Sort of funnyMergatroid 2011-10-29 15:54
The way some people will admonish a manufacturer for using filters that obstruct the air flow, and others will admonish them for not including filters.

The simple fact is that this is a $100 case and you get what you pay for. Want more filters? Buy a more expensive case, or purchase some after market filters (there are tons of them out there).

As for fan mounting, did anyone try the fan screws that come with fans? Are the heads too small or something? Couldn't use a washer?
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# RE: Sort of funnyDavid Ramsey 2011-10-29 17:38
I did try the screws that came with the fans, and explained in detail why they didn't work in the review...
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# washersMergatroid 2011-10-29 17:58
That's why I mentioned the washers.
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# RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer CaseH 2011-09-30 11:52
Why not a front ESATA port instead of firewire? I've found it very handy having one with an external hard drive that has an ESATA connection. I can see the rationale with the front 3.0 USB but alot of people still have 2.0 USB drives.
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# Great case for ~ $100Mergatroid 2011-09-30 19:59
I have the 600T and it's awesome. This case seems to have most of the same features minus one or two. This is a great value that can be used for a fairly high end system.

For the reviewer, you could still clean up the cabling a bit more.
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# RE: Corsair Carbide 400R Computer CaseLaxerFL 2013-05-08 15:56
I own this case and I can say it is THE BEST case I have ever owned, price excluded. I had an original CM Cosmos that cost me $250 and the 400R Carbide blows it away! Corsair must have addressed the fan screw issue because the screws I received with my case worked perfectly through the side panel.
This case will hold any hardware you throw at it and keep it all cool at a very quite level. You simply can't beat this case at $100. Even if it cost $150, it would still be the best case out there!
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