Corsair Vengeance C70 Case Review: Going for the Gamersby Dustin Sklavos on May 17, 2012 5:45 PM EST
In and Around the Corsair Vengeance C70
While I've generally appreciated Corsair's aesthetics (even the Vengeance branded keyboards have a nice, simplistic design to them), the Vengeance C70 enclosure threw me for a loop. I'm not sure when the military styling became popular, but the C70 looks like an awfully good place to store an ASUS Sabertooth (just like in the reviewer's guide!) or one of Gigabyte's G1 series boards. The "Military Green" finish is probably the most garish of the three; I suspect the "Gunmetal Black" is probably going to be the one everyone will want to shortlist, but I could be mistaken.
The front of the C70 boasts a trio of 5.25" bays, with the power, reset, and I/O occupying the space that ostensibly would've been a fourth. The stylistic choice is clean enough, but the power button has a distinct "this-belongs-inside-a-tank" look, and you actually have to flip up a tiny plastic door to access the reset button. It's a cute touch, but also practical, ensuring nobody ever accidentally hits the reset button. Beneath the drive bays is a honeycomb-style vent with a honeycombed grate pattern behind it (honeycomb is pretty much the pattern of choice across the C70), and there's room beneath the fascia for two 120mm fans.
When we move to the top of the case is when we see the oddest parts: the two 120mm/140mm fan mounts (and corresponding ventilation) are dead center of the top, flanked by the clamps for the side panels and the two carrying handles. Centering the fan mounts (and thus the internal mounts) is actually a smart move; if the end user wants to install a 240mm radiator, the radiator winds up being out of the way of the AUX12V line and some of the power circuitry. The only way this could be improved would be to shift its alignment closer to the left side panel as SilverStone did with the Temjin TJ04-E.
While the back of the C70 offers no surprises (eight expansion slots, a bottom-mounted PSU, and a couple of rubber-lined radiator holes), the left side panel features a large window with two vertically aligned 120mm/140mm fan mounts. Corsair offers rubber grommets for all of its case fan screws (and extras are included in the package) to prevent issues with fan vibration. Removing the side panel is accomplished similarly to opening a toolbox: flip the latches up on the side panel, then release the clamps. Panels hinge out from the bottom. The clamps are remarkably snug, leaving me with none of the reservations I had with the panel mounting system used on the 550D.
Of course, the inside of the C70 is par for the course for Corsair at this point; in fact there's surprisingly little variation in here, and that may be this design's Achilles' Heel. The pair of removable drive cages each supports three 2.5"/3.5" drives on sleds, but they also each include a 120mm intake fan on the inside similar to Antec's design with the P280 and Eleven Hundred. In fact, Corsair opted to include the intake fans here instead of behind the front fascia. The 5.25" drive bays are toolless, but you can secure drives with screws anyhow if you so choose.
The rest of the interior is traditional Corsair, with rubber-lined cable routing holes in the motherboard tray along with a cabling "channel" that saves on case width while allowing you to tuck cables neatly behind the tray. In fact, when you check behind the tray you can see the other major addition to Corsair's internal design: latches that open and lock closed to help keep cabling neat. Cable ties, begone! This is a fantastic feature that makes Corsair's traditionally clean interior assembly even easier to manage.
I'm not totally displeased with the C70's design, but the exterior is unusually gaudy for them. The build also seems a little fragile in places; I get the impression my review unit was roughed up in shipping, as one of the bottom fan filters was cracked and bent, and one of the long bars the C70 uses for feet was dented inward. The drive trays are also nice and flexible, but at the same time it seems like they almost need to be occupied to maintain their shape enough to stay in the cage.