Assembling the Corsair Carbide 200R

I can't believe I'm saying this, but installing our testbed into the Corsair Carbide 200R was actually somewhat fraught. Corsair cases are usually what I work on when I need a break, when I want something relaxing, but the Carbide 200R was surprisingly frustrating.

Things started as well as they usually do. The built-in motherboard tray centerpost allows you to easily line the motherboard up with the standoffs, and the tray itself already has the standoffs installed. You can also manually remove them and move them depending on the type of board you're installing. For what it's worth, getting the video card and power supply in is also pain free.

The custom designed plastic toolless drive cage in the bottom of the case is a nightmare, though. As is typical of cases, the included cardboard box of accessories (screws and so on) is mounted in one of the 3.5" bays. Unlike other cases, though, the box required a tremendous amount of force to remove, so much that it actually snapped some of the plastic on the right side of the cage. Drives are essentially supposed to be held in place by a combination of the pressure of the cage and a peg on the left side that's attached to a tab. Forcing out the box and then forcing our Corsair Link box into the bay was way too difficult; it would've been quicker and easier just to use thumbscrews in a conventional mounting scheme.

Installing a 2.5" drive is a lot easier, with a single plastic wedge holding the SSD in place. 2.5" drives are stacked on top of and next to each other in a two-by-two layout, but their power and data connections face the interior of the case instead of behind the motherboard tray. I'm not sure how I feel about orienting them this way (ignoring how questionably secure the drive was); it makes it easier to run a power cable from the optical drive in the top of the case, but also clutters the interior in ways I'm again just not used to seeing in a Corsair product.

As for the 5.25" bay, the metal latches used seemed more stable in other case designs, but in the 200R they're about as secure as a 14-year-old nerd in a high school locker room. Corsair also only includes them on one side instead of both sides. You're going to want to use screws to lock the drive into place, as I fear it might be too easy to push the drive past the latches and into the case.

Finally, cabling went fairly smoothly, but the two fans in the 200R only include 3-pin headers and no molex adapters. For most users this isn't going to be a problem, but our testbed motherboard only features one additional fan header beyond the CPU header. That meant having to fish out a spare adapter (thankfully kept on hand for just such an event). Also, again, note that because of the orientation of the 2.5" drive bays, wiring up SSDs is going to busy up the interior of the case a bit more than I'd like.

I recognize I have a habit of nitpicking, but Corsair falls victim to their own standard when it comes to assembling the Carbide 200R. The toolless drive cage was a source of incredible frustration and feels completely out of step with the rest of the case, and while it's good for companies to at least experiment and try new things, I think a more conventional cage would've been a better choice even if it meant sacrificing some capacity. Everything else comes together fairly smoothly, but a molex adapter for at least one of the case fans along with a smarter drive cage design (and smarter toolless designs for the optical drive bays as well) would've gone a long way towards living up to expectations.

In and Around the Corsair Carbide 200R Testing Methodology
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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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