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Corsair Carbide 400R Computer Case E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases
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

Corsair Carbide Final Thoughts

I was very impressed with the Corsair Carbide 400R case. Aside from a couple of minor quibbles, it's features-competitive with cases that cost significantly more, and there's little indication of the cost-cutting measures I've seen in other cases to reach a certain price point. The 400R is able to keep all my high-end components adequately cooled running stress tests (the side panel fans help with the GTX580s), and aside from the SATA port clearance problem with the motherboard (which I again note is not Corsair's fault, since the case isn't designed for the size of motherboard I used), everything fit easily.

Corsair's grommeted cable holes and "bulged" side panels make cable management a breeze. I've never understood why so many other case manufacturers design cases with such minimal clearance behind the motherboard tray, as though they were unaware of the thickness of a standard ATX power cable. Add in things like a completely tool-free design, removable drive caddies, and eight card slots, and you've got an exceptional case for the money. Actually, you don't really even have to make the "for the money" argument: it's an exceptional case, period.

corsair_carbide_400r_front_leds.jpg

The only thing that bugs me about this case is the weird fan screw issue. I keep hoping I've overlooked something obvious, but I'm unable to figure out any way to use the provided fan screws to actually mount fans. Other than that, the only thing I'd wish for is the ability to mount a 3.5" device in one of the 5.25" bays, but even I admit that there are very few 3.5" bay devices out there these days.

Corsair CC9011011-WW Conclusion

Although we strive for objectivity here at Benchmark Reviews, please remember that each author perceives these points differently, and our conclusions and recommendations will necessarily differ from others. Also, prices can fluctuate and designs change after publication, so that the product we review might not have the same price and specifications of a product that's available later. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary of each of the areas that we rate.

The performance of the case was excellent. The extra fan mounts make it possible to house a very hot, high-end system in this case...provided you can come up with a way to mount them.

Appearance is probably the weakest point of this case. It's certainly not ugly, but it's not very striking, either. This case's beauty is internal, and it's not something you'll notice when it's sitting on a desk. The lit front fans provide some measure of visual interest, but this is definitely a function-over-form thing.

The construction of the case is top-notch. All the parts and panels fit perfectly, and all metal edges inside the case are rolled over. Having features like a front panel that snaps completely off without any trailing wires shows that someone at Corsair put a little thought into it. The only issue here was apparently a slightly-too-tall rubber power supply support, which caused a problem in fitting the power supply.

Functionality is this case's strong point. Eight card slots, fully tool-less interior, six drive caddies, excellent cable management, lots of fan mounts...really, you'd have to think pretty hard to justify spending more money than this on a case.

I guess the best way to describe the Corsair Carbide 400R is a phrase I've used a few times before: inexpensive, but not cheap. It's fascinating to watch companies start to seriously compete in the low end case market. As I said at the start of this review, it's easy to build a great case that sells for $250 or more, but considerably harder to build a great case that sells in the $100 range. But Corsair's done it. For $99.99 at Newegg, the Carbide 400R rates an exceptional value.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Fully painted interior
+ Fully tool-less design
+ Excellent cable management
+ Native SuperSpeed USB support, with adapter cable for older motherboards
+ Eight card slots
+ Excellent value for price

Cons:

- Supplied fan mounting screws are useless
- No mounting for 3.5" bay devices
- Top radiator mount really only for Corsair's H100 cooler

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.0
  • Appearance: 8.0
  • Construction: 9.5
  • Functionality: 9.5
  • Value: 9.5

Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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