Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock

When testing something like the Corsair Carbide 200R that sells for just $49, expectations need to be adjusted. While cases above the $150 mark should be expected to provide both excellent cooling and excellent acoustics, a case like the 200R is mostly just expected to "get the job done." The goal is a tougher balance of noise, thermals, and overall build quality; we're just looking to maximize value here.

Ambient temperature during testing was between 22C and 23C.

CPU Temperatures (Stock)

GPU Temperatures (Stock)

SSD Temperatures (Stock)

The 200D offers good cooling for the CPU, but the direct intake on the GTX 560 Ti in our testbed just doesn't seem to work out as well as we'd hope. Honestly I'd be surprised if there wasn't some kind of issue with turbulence. The 200D is actually fairly competitive if you really look at the numbers, though.

On the other hand, SSD heat is a surprisingly serious issue, and I suspect that has at least something to do with the plastic cage design. Plastic does a pretty terrible job of dissipating heat, making me increasingly skeptical of a drive cage which will both pack drives together fairly densely and likely trap heat inside the cluster.

CPU Fan Speed (Stock)

GPU Fan Speed (Stock)

Fan speeds aren't exciting, but they're at least competitive, which is all you can ask for.

Noise Levels (Stock)

On the other hand, noise levels are surprisingly good for such an open design. The Carbide 200R does a fair job of keeping the components cool along with a fair job of keeping them quiet.

The closest competitor on all of these charts for the 200R is the Fractal Design Core 1000, and in each test the 200R at least meets the Core 1000's performance if not outright beating it entirely.

Testing Methodology Noise and Thermal Testing, Overclocked
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  • Grok42 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I like to see good clean looking case designs like this at a low price point. Given the price I would expect some compromises and honestly it could have been a lot worse. I think the industry needs more experimentation with how internal drives are mounted so I applaud any effort even failures. Hopefully they will come back with something better next time around. Maybe next time they will save some money by killing the external bays and putting the resources into the internal bays. Reply
  • versesuvius - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    The only time one needs a tool for a case is the hard drive and other storage parts. The problem is not that people do not know how to use a screw driver, but that it has screws on the two sides of the case. As it is right now, you have to go through more trouble with the toolless case than you have with traditional ones. The answer lies not with the case manufacturers, but with internal storage manufacturers. It is very ease to design a hard disk casing so that it needs screws only on one side, and not two. Yet after maybe 30 years of hard disks, the casing has not changed a bit. Even the SSD casing design has adopted the same philosophy. As far as backward compatibility goes, the casing can be designed to accommodate old cases as well. Anyway, I agree with the article about the drive cage. It is a stupid decision in all cases to begin with and it is stupid here too. After all, how many drives one changes during the lifetime of a PC? Two? As long as the case has to be opened that amounts to 10 during the lifetime of a case, while the extra accumulated heat is there all the time. Reply
  • arthur449 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    "How many drives one changes during the lifetime of a PC?"

    I have a Coolermaster ATCS-200 case I bought in 2000 still kicking around the house. While it only has 80mm fans, it remains a very attractive and functional case for 'that random frankenputer' one generally has after a few years of building their own PCs.

    How many times have I changed the drives in that case? More times than I can remember. Some of them due to drive failures, some due to SSD / SAS experimentation, and many times for just cramming old drives in there and doing some bare metal testing of the latest silly OS that trickles down the MS TechNet vine.

    A good case will survive multiple generations of hardware, and (since its target audience is already building their own computers) will more than likely put up with many drive swaps as it's handed down to friends, relatives, or simply demoted to closet server duty.
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I still have my ACTS 200 or 201, and the next gen replacement case for it, but neither are in proper use.
    The motherboard tray from one is in use for a makeshift computer elsewhere where I can't use the full case.

    The drive cages in both are hideous though, compared to modern cases. We have come a long way from the old days.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I won't buy a case with an open top.
    Too much chance something will spill in it, or dust will settle on my gear.
    Copy Lian-Li and Fractal Design - give us a simple option to use the holes or not.
    Reply
  • Blibbax - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    That'd add cost. It could sold as an accessory though - I too avoid open top or even open side cases. Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Toss some sound dampening material over the fan mounts you don't intend to use; it works like a charm. The only problem, in my experience, is that the adhesive on sound dampening material is so strong that your decision is basically permanent.

    It's funny, I bought a box of sound dampening material, just for kicks, like seven years ago and I never used it as it was (presumably) intended to be used -- but I've used bits and pieces to great effect. And I still have some left.

    Cut out four tiny little strips of the stuff and place it on the borders of your fan mounts, and vibration basically disappears. That silly-sounding trick single-handedly resurrected two positively ancient (circa 2002) jet-engine-sounding cases (6+ 80mm fan mounts each) that were sitting in my basement, collecting dust.
    Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    That said, I agree that the proliferation of computer cases featuring fan mounts in every available space is somewhat annoying -- especially given that those cases typically only come with 2 fans out of the box.

    Likewise, I'd love to see more cases with the old fashioned top-mounted PSU design. I understand the benefits of the alternative, but even with a filter, a bottom-mounted PSU is less than ideal on my carpeted floor.
    Reply
  • Blibbax - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Agreed on all accounts. Reply
  • TekDemon - Sunday, December 30, 2012 - link

    I think it's actually great since it's the cheapest case that appears to support the H100 cooler, which was the main reason I bought my Carbide 400R (which I love-it's an awesome case). I wouldn't have been able to use this case though since I have a super long pci-e card. Reply

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