Introducing the Corsair Carbide 200R

Corsair entered the enclosure business from the top with a measure of care to establish a solid brand identity. The Obsidian 800D was released as a flagship product and signalled that Corsair was serious about case design and not just looking for another revenue stream, and for the most part it was well received. Since then they've gradually trickled their designs down, with the Carbide series aimed at more frugal users. Yet the least expensive Carbide, the 300R, still runs $79 when most people would peg the price of a "budget" case as closer to $50 or $60. Enter the 200R.

The Carbide 200R is the ultimate trickling down of Corsair's case line. Coming in with an MSRP of $59 and available for just $49 as of this writing, the 200R is Corsair's shot at the extreme value consumer, but this is a very tricky market to address. The balancing act of features, performance, and price becomes substantially more difficult to manage, and Corsair has a reputation to maintain. Were they able to get the price down while keeping up with their standards for ease of use and solid performance, or did they have to sacrifice too much?

Corsair has historically been approaching their case (and to an extent, power supply and cooling) lines with a pretty clear philosophy of quality first, price second, which makes the 200R a very intriguing proposition. That low price point can become very restrictive in short order, and while companies like BitFenix have been able to strike an excellent balance by producing custom designs for each market, Corsair has been operating on a kind of trickle-down evolution that may not have been able to extend this far down. The result is a case that has a lot of familiar Corsair technology, but some newer innovations too that come with having to adapt to the low price tag.

Corsair Carbide 200R Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25"
Internal 4x 2.5", 4x 3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan, 1x 120mm fan mount
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Side 2x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 165mm
PSU 180mm
GPU 14" / 360mm
Dimensions 16.9" x 8.3" x 19.6"
430mm x 210mm x 497mm
Weight 15.8 lbs. / 7.17 kg
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
Toolless installation for all drives
Price $49

As you can see, Corsair's design isn't necessarily barebones as far as features go, but it's definitely stretched. Corsair has done with they can to allow for any type of expansion the end user may want to enjoy, including higher end closed-loop liquid cooling systems. The toolless installation for 5.25", 3.5", and particularly 2.5" drives is also welcome, but you'll see later on it doesn't work quite as well as we'd like.

In and Around the Corsair Carbide 200R
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  • VTArbyP - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Why has no one commented on the drive cage problems before me?

    The problem with removing the box from the 3.5' cage, sounds very familiar. I've had similar breakages numerous times in many things that I've had to put together. Usually I find that I missed some key instruction on HOW to remove the offending item without breakage. I still remember the feelings of "Ahh" and utter stupidity, when I found out how to open CD cases! :-) Is the cage removable? Can it be expanded in useful ways without destruction? I'd love to hear from the manufacturer and other builders using this case, since I like its looks and price.

    I can't get a good look at the 2.5" case with the pictures shown, but it doesn't look too enclosed. It seems to be just below the front fan and I wonder what effect that has. I would like some close up pictures of it added to the gallery. I feel the itch to drill or saw holes in it for cooling. Perhaps one could direct a bit more of the fan's air through it too. Wonder what would happen if the second front fan was added, slow speed, too cool the drives and perhaps the GPU. The case LOOKs sensibly laid out for cooling the SSDs and GPU, too bad it didn't actually do it, especially since the CPU temps were quite acceptable.
    Reply
  • billcat1447 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I got a new case, a smaller one and it had removable harddrive cages.
    While nice because it was the only way to put my video card in they didn't think it though very well. It left me with 2 slots while I removed 4. I could have removed 3 and left 3 and it would have worked a lot better and even could have removed just 2 and still got it too work. I had to buy mounting hardware to fit them to the full size mounts. Very stupid.
    I kind of like top fans because this is where most of the case heat ends up and so you can remove most with the lest effort. Computer cases are not cup holders and shouldn't have drinks put on them in the first place and is a non issue with me. I like well thought out cases with room enough to run power and other cables behind the motherboard to clean out the mess they can make.
    I notice that some cases with USB plugs are about as cheap as they get and just bumping them can ruin them. I would prefer they be mounted in a spot where you can't bump into them and/or made better or stronger. The Cooler Master HAF cases have very very cheap USB plugs in the front of their cases. Other than that they are very good cases. I prefer the power supply on the bottom with the fan hole facing up so dust isn't sucked into them from the floor. They are kind of a vacuum cleaner if you mount the fan down. But this is a personal pref. I think the case is overall cleaner if they are mounted on the bottom if you can put the cabled behind the motherboard space. Makes it easire to get at heatsink for cpu and the motherboard is easier to deal with also. But again, personal preference.
    Reply
  • OVerLoRDI - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - link

    I have a 200R with 4 hard drives in the cage. I found the cage assembly decent, sure it isn't as robust as other options, but just being a little careful I didn't run into any of the problems you did.

    You also have the option to pop off the front of the case and move the fan down so it is blowing into the cage. I'm not sure why it isn't there by default, but that helps a lot with the cage temps.

    That being said my 4 drives are a bit toasty in there, but all within spec.
    Reply
  • Uthor - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    For what it's worth, I got this case today and had absolutely no issues removing the accessories box or installing a hard drive. Pulled back the plastic tab on the left side, slid the box out, and slid the drive in. I don't expect to be replacing the drive any time soon, so I also secured it with screws, but didn't feel like I HAD to. Reply
  • DigiMark - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    I also purchased this case for use with a Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 ATX mainboard, Corsair TX-series power supply and several 3.5" drives. I found it easy to work with, no sharp edges and a clean look. It sits on the corner of my desk so I don't really have carpet issues, and I really like the power switch with integrated white drive and power lights, works well without being obnoxious. I didn't have a problem removing the hardware cardboard box, but I find that the single left-side latch for each drive does not secure well -- it's easy to push the drive past the holding pin with too much pressure. Once the machine is built is seems tight enough though. I should mention that while I used to build a number of machines using early In-Win cases, this is my first build in 6-7 years and my expectations were low, so also easily met. I think I will take advantage of another commenter's suggestion and move the front-mount fan down to blow past the drive cage. Budget pricing was important to me on this build and I feel like it is a good working case for the price. Reply

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