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  • ahamling27 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    It might be a great performing case at a decent price, but in my opinion, that is one fugly case. Those grill holes in the side for some extra fans don't do it justice. That being said, the ease of putting a computer together inside it does give it some merit. Reply
  • stratosrally - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I realize that it adds to the cost and possibly takes the case to a price level where you'd have more competition, but Corsair sells the solid panel from the other side of the case for $9.99. They are switchable, so you could have a mild custom that suits your preferences for a bit more. In fact, one of my favorite things about Corsair is how they sell almost every single part to every case seperately for very reasonable prices. You can modify many of their models by exchanging parts...

    Link to panel here:

    (disclaimer: I do not work for them!)
  • ahamling27 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    That's pretty awesome. I know CoolerMaster kinda does that, but I don't think they have every part, some need to be special ordered. Thanks for the info! Reply
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    It kind of looks like a copy of the antec 300, only the uglied it up a little. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Why exactly is the Antec 1100 so much better noise-wise in the overclocked configuration?
    The cases seem quite similar.
  • baloor - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    One thing of note when I purchased one of these recently. The lack of a USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 adapter cable for the front USB ports.
    The motherboard for my son's system only has USB 2.0 headers on the motherboard and finding an adapter cable that doesn't ship with a case isn't an easy task I have discovered.
  • stratosrally - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Corsair sells a kit that contains just what you're looking for:

    $4.99 direct
  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I still think the Fractal Design Define R3 is better, maybe I'm biased because I have one, but it looks way nicer, and has blanked off fan holes when you don't need them.

    Infact, if you have need of a full ATX board, a ton of drives, and have a graphics card that's short enough to fit, then I still can't think of a better case for value/performance/everything than the Define R3.
  • colonelclaw - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I don't think too many people would argue with you that the R3 is a better case, it's basically fantastic. It's also $30 more expensive, which is getting on for 40% more. Definitely a different market. Reply
  • dave1_nyc - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I bought an R3 on sale for $80 (total) because that made it almost $40 cheaper than the Arc Midi I wanted at the time, but couldn't justify the price difference. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like the R3 (despite the laughably badly glued on rubber grommets).

    I finally got an Arc Midi for something else and while it's a more capable case for cooling (and I like the use of 140mm fans), I'm surprised that in terms of "just liking" I still prefer the R3.

    Even the door (which I was prepared to hate) is nice.
  • sfroom - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    This case probably performed slightly better than the graphs show.

    Keep in mind that while ambient temperatures don't affect the temperature delta charts, they DO affect fans speed, and noise, particularly at load.
  • Ilias78 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Justin, i always love your case reviews but i think that you can do a whole lot better when it comes to cable management. Reply
  • C2bcool - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I agree. I just did an install in this case a week ago and it was my first build ever. I found the cable management very easy if you plan it out a bit first. I also got the grommets from the 800D and put those in the holes/cable passthroughs, they really cleaned up the look.


    The large ones fit perfectly.
  • Grok42 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I'm tired of all the good case manufactures building good cases for the needs of 2001 and apparently not putting the necessary resources into designing what we need now. Nothing against this case specifically so feel free to replace this case with ANY well built case and I think you will find the same criticism applies. This is a result of my frustration finding a decent Mini-ITX or even Micro-ITX case for my latest build.

    There are THREE 5.25" bays and even worse, they are ALL externally accessible. If you're still putting CD/DVD/Blue-ray drives in your computers you should make sure you're not doing it out of habit and actually use them for more than just installing an operating system. I haven't put an optical drive in my box for five years and I considered myself a late bloomer stuck in the past. Spend $10 more on your next build and get an external drive and then put it in the closet until the next time you need to install another computer.

    Other than CD/DVD/Blue-ray, I can't think of a single other externally accessible device that you could possibly buy! Why does every case on the market, including mini-ITX cases insist on putting at least one 5.25" or slimline bay externally accessible? Having three of them is just 3x more ridiculous. The author states the he is using four 5.25" bays in his current setup. I would LOVE to know what for. I'm guessing two are CD/DVD/Blue-ray drives that never get used or only rarely and the other two are internal and hold 3.5" hard drives? I can't imagine it's anything that is regularly useful or couldn't be accommodated differently without the bays. This would reduce the price of the cases a good bit as the external bays are complex to engineer well.

    Now that we've established there is no need for external bays, what about internal 2.5" 3.5" and 5.25" bays? I see no need for 5.25" internal bays. I'm not aware of a single use for an internal 5.25" bay other than being converted with a bracket to 3.5". Lets agree that all internal bays should be 3.5" and 2.5" variety. How many should there be? As many as possible please. But, and this is important, make them modular! Build a rail system so that I can mount as many or as few 3.5 and 2.5 drives in any mix I want with whatever spacing I want. I know this isn't easy to design and will require a lot of expense. However, a well designed rail system could be portable and used by a manufacture across their case lines to offset the cost of designing the system.

    Finally, this case has SEVEN openings for expansion slots. 90% of the market needs 2 for a discrete graphics card, 10% need four for an SLI setup. The other three to six slots can be used for what? Maybe to add thunderbolt support two years later when it's more popular? I don't think so. Instead you will purchase a new motherboard that supports it and upgrade you processor and memory to boot. Based on the price point, I assume that 99% of the customers that purchase this box will put one single or dual slot graphics card in it.

    I've build dozen of full tower ATX builds in my time. I have a server next to me with 8 hard drives in it. I know there are those running triple dual slot SLI rigs. I'm just asking for one decent case for the 90% of us that want to build a modest Core i7, 16GB RAM, 2TB 3.5 HD, 120GB SSD, Nvidia 560Ti gaming rig in a small footprint. The problem is that all the case manufactures start throwing in external bays and the ability to have 6 internal hard drives in a min-ITX case and wonder why they don't sell. The few who do try and focus don't have the resources to do the necessary engineering that is needed to build a good case.
  • kyuu - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I guess I'm "stuck in the past". I still buy blu-rays, import music from CDs, and purchase box copies of my games for the most part. Kindly don't assume that no one uses ODDs anymore just because you and your small circle of friends don't. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Fan bus controllers would be another potential use for the 5.25" bays, and some people (GASP!) even have double-height controllers with LCD displays showing various statistics. So, a Blu-ray drive with one of those LCD controllers gets you to three 5.25" bays. You know, something like this:

    There are also water-cooling reservoirs that fit in a 5.25" bay, card readers with USB ports, and removable drive enclosures that can all fit in external 5.25" bays. Given a lot of cases don't have externally accessible 3.5" bays, I'd say any case that wants to work for nearly any user needs a minimum of three 5.25" bays.

    Your opinion is that 5.25" external bays are useless, but it's just that: an opinion. I can guarantee that if someone released a PC with only one external bay (or none), there would be an outcry from many people that have the opinion that two bays is the bare minimum. Some of that might be out of habit, but for my desktop systems I would never want to have to deal with an external optical drive every time I need to access a CD/DVD -- which is something I still do at least weekly. For $20 for a good DVDRW that stays put (external drives can slide around, get knocked to the floor by kids, etc.) it's money well spent.
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    yup, I'm eventually going to have to put a 5.25" adapter plate with usb 3.0 headers since my antec 300 only came with usb 2.0 Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Come on, I never said no one needs a case like this. I said that 90% of builds don't need a case like this. Specifically the title of the review, "For the masses", prompted me to post my thoughts. I get that 10% need an internal DVD drive, mostly for games and their insistence on DRM, but a huge portion have moved over to buying their games on-line so they don't have to mess with media anymore. I paid $3 for a game I already owned so I didn't have to put a DVD in the drive when I wanted to play it anymore and this was when I still had an internal drive. Reply
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Yup, besides movies you still need a dvd drive to install and play games. I built an NAS I temporarily had to install a dvd drive to install windows. Reply
  • chrnochime - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link


    And posting such a long whine here accomplish what exactly?
  • mikbe - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I sure am glad I had a DVD drive when my Gigabyte motherboard refused to boot a Win7 install thumbdrive.

    I also like to buy used CDs at yard sales, flee markets, and Goodwill. You get some really cool stuff you can't buy anymore or was never even on iTunes.
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I couldn't get Win 7 to install from a thumb drive either for some reason. I also install Fedora every ~6 months. I haven't purchased a CD in ages, not sure there is even a place in my town I could if I wanted to. I simply pull the external USB DVD drive out of the closet, plug it in and then put it back. Even weekly this isn't a big deal. Would an internal drive be easier? Sure, but I guess I build too many machines to waste $20 for a drive in each so I just quit. I think there are certainly an argument to be made for one external 5.25" bay on some cases. I'm just saying there is also an argument for one, just one good case with zero. Reply
  • futrtrubl - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I agree somewhat about the external bays since I hardly ever use optical drives these days, but as others have said there are enough other uses for them (card reader for me, fan mods/hot swap bays/etc for others) to justify 2 bays on a modern case.
    I do however find your objection to the 7 expansion slots puzzling. Why not have the seven? You aren't going to save space by cutting the numbers down since you would still have to fit an ATX mobo and it wouldn't save much money either. With modern layouts for PCI-E card slots some users require 2 slots per card so 6 slots just for graphics triple SLI and then one more for any other card/bracket. So in short we loose nothing by having all the slots but gain flexibility.
    Which is why I love your 3.5 HDD stack system ;'] One reason I don't use optical media much anymore is because I archive everything to HDD since it tends to be cheaper (Thai floods excepted) and is more convenient for me, and I backup religiously. So I currently have 8 drives in my case (one 2.5 SDD, 2 hot/fast HDD and 5 slow/cool HDD) and would love better drive management.

  • Grok42 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    If you put an mini-itx board in this case and try to stuff it full of drives, there is an awkwardly large bit of dead space where the 5 unusable expansion slots are. My basic premiss is that in trying to build a case for everyone, they have built a case that only works well for those building a monster rig. Those building a monster rig would probably pick a different case and not a mid-range $79 case. Case manufactures need to quit pandering to a small number of outliers and remove some less used features and improve those that are most commonly wanted. Large number of 3.5" and 2.5" drives, room for large power supplies and smaller form factors. Reply
  • ggathagan - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    While I understand your point, I think you look at design from the opposite viewpoint of a case maker.
    Consider this:
    How does it benefit a company to only provide one or two functional expansion port openings if the space where the additional 1-4 slots would be still has to exist?
    In doing so, you've just eliminated that case from consideration by thousands of users who DO want 3-7 useable expansion slots.
    The case has to be large enough to fit the board and a standard power supply, so it's not as if you can somehow eliminate that area on the back of the case.

    The same holds true with the front of the case.
    Modifying the drive bay area to allow for only 3.5" or 2.5" drives would give you, at most, enough space for 1 additional drive.
    In doing so, however, you've just eliminated that case from consideration by thousands of users who DO want a 5.25" bay.

    Neither of those are wise business decisions and the bottom line IS business.

    What you describe in a desired case is what SFF cases try to achieve, but that involves eliminating drive bays, since that's the one area of case design that *is* flexible.
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    What is the most number of expansion slots you have ever used in a build? I've been building rigs for almost 20 years and the most I used was eight but that was a crazy fax server. In a personal case the most I had was Sound Card, Video Card, SCSI controller and Nic. But that was 10 years ago. I haven't put a Sound Card or Nic in a box since and just use the on-board versions. These days you put a single double slot video card and you are done. Most ATX motherboards don't even support more than 4 expansion slots.

    Maybe I should have included in my argument who needs ATX motherboards anymore? This would have cleared up some of the confusion.
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    dont forget tv card Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    Have a look at the BitFenix Prodigy.
    That said, you're right, we need more mATX/ITX cases with less drive bays and shorter depth. Not every case has to support every configuration.
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    On my short list with the FT03. All the mATX/ITX cases have pretty severe shortcomings. Not in features but with trying to do everything an ATX case can do. The FT03 has a 5.25" external slimline drive bay for some inscrutable reason which is just wasted space and complicates assembly. The BitFenix would be a hands down winner if not for the external 5.25" bay that more than anything ruins the look of the case in my opinion. The 5.25" bay also forced them to squeeze the power supply bay down in size so the top drive racks wouldn't interfear with the MB. Reply
  • rickon66 - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    In the first part of your post you want to abolish all external drive bays and then later you just want one decent case for the 90% of us. You make a lot of assumptions that 90% or 99% do this or want that based on what data? I can only speak for myself, not 90% or 99% of people-but I need a DVD/CD drive to access the dozens of disks that have accumilated over the years. Sure you can have external drives, but that means more wires and often another power brick. I would not buy a case without two or three external drive bays and if I don't want to use them, leave the covers in place. There are many uses for the external drive bays, card readers, fan controllers, I installed Antec easy sata bays in several of my compuers. Reply
  • losttsol - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    Fan controllers, audio controllers, light switches, bay reservoirs, card readers....there are plenty of other things to go into a 5.25" bay still. Just because you don't use them, plenty of other people do. Reply
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    "I'm tired of all the good case manufactures building good cases for the needs of 2001 and apparently not putting the necessary resources into designing what we need now."

    The system I keep built for my mom has a mid tower case from 1995, I don't see how needs have changed that much.
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    So by an ITX case, you don't sound like your in the market for a mid tower case. Reply
  • Termie - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I was just deciding between this and the Fractal Core 3000. Went with the Fractal, but after having received it, I'm pretty sure the Corsair is the better-built case. That being said, it's also slightly larger, which is what swayed me towards the Core 3000.

    By the way, Newegg has the 300r for $60AR/FS/Code through July 4th. Nice deal!!!
  • PPalmgren - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Something not mentioned in the reivew that I found important is that the case also includes fan filters over the PSU intake and the front panel intake, impressive for all the amenities offered. Another tiny mention is that the front panel prongs are metal, not plastic, so cleaning the filter and replacing it won't eventually make the front panel clamps break. Really, I have never had a more pleasant build experience in my entire life. I ended up getting it for $70 but looks like you can even get it on sale for $60 now. This thing put my previous ~$200 lian li case to shame, and I couldn't be happier.

    I weighed this and the 400R and noticed the thing the review mentioned, the rubber cable routing grommets not bieng there, and was worried that it would be that sharp edged crap you can cut your hands on, making it a pain to work with. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I guess its anodized(?) steel so the edges are smooth on the holes, and it feels very good to work with.
  • C2bcool - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    One thing to note is the HD Audio Cable is pretty short (could be about 1-2 inches longer). If you don't mind running it directly to the header on your motherboard its fine, but if you want to use one of the cable passthroughs you will need an extension.

    This is the HD Audio extenision I used:
  • phdchristmas - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    i installed my system into this case just this month. i added 2 140mm corsair fans to the side panel. I've tried multiple configurations of exhaust/intake moving fans here and there and i haven't found any benefits aside from installing the added 2x140mm to the side panel, making all fans intake for positive pressure. Ive done 2 exhaust 3 exhaust temperatures stayed within a given range.

    Good mid side case on the smaller side. The front panel is mostly plastic but its brushed to make it look aluminum.
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    485mm x 211mm x 450mm

    Is this H x W x D? Or D x W x H?
    Dustin, I've mailed you about this but received no response.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    We try. Not just in case reviews, but in reviews in general, we do write them for you but we also write them for the vendors. Some vendors live in a bubble and just want the publicity, but some vendors pay close attention to reviews (not just ours).

    I actually met with Corsair on Thursday and got a chance to talk to the guys that designed the 300R (and other cases).

    As for the Antec 1100 being essentially peerless, that's kind of a tougher question than you make it out to be. At its price point I think the 1100 is one of the best deals, but circumstances change radically depending on the parts you install. SilverStone has some interesting stuff in the works, and I believe Corsair does as well. It's not open and shut, and if you're willing to spend the money (and depending on your build) something like the SilverStone FT02 absolutely murders just about anything else on the market. I've tried different cases but keep coming back to the FT02, but I'm also doing primarily aircooling with a closed loop 120mm radiator on my CPU, and both of my video cards use blower style coolers. For my purposes, the FT02 is almost impossible to beat and EASILY worth the expense.
  • blackberry_user - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    I purchased 2 cooler master 120mm blue led fans and attached them to the side panel. It sounds like a helicopter. I checked the fan by removing it from the side panel and they are whisper quiet.

    Seems like the side panel is flimsy and not well designed. Anyone have ideas to quiten them down?

    btw - I have 7 fans attached with a ASUS m5a957 evo, 965BE with hyper 212 and a radeon 6670.
  • lbruce - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    Got one of these a few days ago. It's worth what you're paying for it, but it's not worth more.

    The USB 3.0 connectors do not look rugged, it will be painful to see them break. The side panels are unbraced sheet metal just like any cheaper case, they may need sound deadening sheets to quiet and strengthen them. In every other way though, it's a nice case.
  • losttsol - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    Your review is fairly late coming, but you did it justice I think. I've owned this case since it came out 5 months ago. Only cons I can give it are 1. they should have gone ahead and punched out the water cooling holes on the back. The steel back there is very thin and its easy to damage the case punching the holes out...and 2. just a few more millimeters of cable routing space behind the motherboard would have done a world of good. For the price, this case gives you a lot of options and the ability to put 6 x 140mm fans in it. You can buy the cable routing hole grommets from their site if you want that option. The Obsidian grommets fit it. Having that large open cavity below the 5.25" bays requires some creative cable routing if you want a clean look, but it can be done. The USB 3.0 cable is black thankfully, not blue like so many other case makers feel the need to do. I immediately switched out the included Corsair fans, so I can't comment as to their performance. The expansion ports aren't tool-less, but at least they give you thumb screws for them. I was coming from a Lian-Li PC-P50 and I actually like this 300R better. It has a great use of space for it's dimensions. Reply
  • TOMM3KE - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    I know you say the form factor supports mini-ITX, but Corsair won't guarantee me it when I contacted them. I have an ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE mini ITX motherboard and want to be sure it fits the Corsair Carbide 300R. If not I was thinking about using the Fractal Design Core 3000. Reply
  • l_a_g - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Did the hyper 212 evo fit with the case closed? Reply

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