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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

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.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.


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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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