by Ryan Perry on September 12, 2011 in Cases & PSUs
Corsair’s cases have long been considered to be some of the best, but at prices of $180+, many have had to sit out and hope for more modest offerings. With the Carbide series, those have arrived. The 400R mid-tower we’re looking at here retails for just under $100, so let’s see how it compares to Corsair’s other offerings.
First off, let me say that I started out as a budget builder. I’ll always have a soft spot for lower priced components that provide as much performance or functionality as those in a higher price range. I still use an overclocked i3-530 in my personal system because it can pretty much match a stock i5-750 when gaming, so that should tell you just how much of a tight wad I am.
Luckily, we’re seeing more and more available for less and less, and the 400R is no exception. However, the slight alignment issue with the power supply, and also the flimsy hard drive trays, do cause some concern. All of the components did install properly in the end, however.
If you’re looking for build quality, this case certainly has it. There is no flex in the frame and very little in the side panels. The top handle is also extremely solid. While carrying around our test system I felt no danger that the handle would let go but I’m not sure if I’d trust it to hold a heavier system with multiple GPUs and all of the hard drive bays filled.
The case looks a tad aggressive with the mesh front and raised side panels but stays under the radar with the a single silver accent in the form of the Corsair logo and white LED fans. There’s also a good degree of functionality with room to grow. Internal USB 3.0 support, 8 PCI slots and enough hard drive bays to hold some serious storage could allow for a monster system. Even little things like the captive thumbscrews that secure the side panels will be appreciated.
Cooling is also very good considering the configuration of the stock fans and what little noise they generate. The 400R is edged out by many of the other cases in our temperature database but most of them feature more fans and retail for more, meaning you’ll get a lot for your money if you were to run out and pick one up along with an extra fan for the top or side panel.
Even though the 400R retails for $99, it’s still out of reach for some folks, however the lower price tag is certainly easier to justify. For those who want just a bit more substance (and style), there is also the Carbide Series 500R that comes in at around $130 – the 400R certainly seems like a steal when compared.
If you’re in the market for a well-built, good-looking case but want to stay out of the triple digits, the 400R should be very high on your consideration list.
Corsair Carbide 400R Mid-Tower Chassis
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