Assembling the Corsair Carbide 300R

I've routinely mentioned Corsair makes the easiest cases to assemble on the planet, and the 300R has somehow made that even easier. This assembly was one of the smoothest I've done by a long shot, although there is still at least a little bit of room for improvement.

First, the motherboard tray is practically a godsend. Corsair doesn't include any motherboard standoffs with the 300R because the tray itself has a single brass stud in the center for lining up the board and then extrusions with mounts built into them. The only flaw with this design is that it's not ideal for Micro-ATX boards, and the side of ours wound up hanging off with no support. Since that side isn't going to be particularly prone to stress I'm willing to give them a pass, though I would've liked to have seen more than a single arbitrary mounting hole in the tray for a Micro-ATX standoff (as well as maybe including one or two standoffs in the package).

Mounting drives to the 300R was only slightly more difficult. Removing the bay shield from the top 5.25" bay was easy enough, but installing the blu-ray drive our testbed uses required applying a bit of force and shimmying it in. The toolless mechanism Corsair uses is a good one, but end users may want to take advantage of the open mounting holes to secure the drive anyhow. Meanwhile, the drive trays are the older style Corsair used, so while the pins pop into 3.5" drives easily enough, you'll have to remove one to mount 2.5" drives.

Lining up the power supply for installation was incredibly simple, as the entire area around the power supply bay is basically molded to snugly hold it in place. Installing the GeForce GTX 560 Ti we use for testing was also just as easy; two thumbscrews secure it in place after removing the replaceable slot covers.

On the flipside, cabling wound up being a little messier than I'd like, and that's at least partially due to the lack of rubber grommets lining the routing holes that I was crying into my beer about earlier. Another part of the problem is that the routing hole for the AUX 12V line is very narrow and requires shimmying the cable through it. It's an extremely tight fit and could stand to be widened at least a little, and I can see many users just foregoing it entirely. There's also a decent amount of space behind the motherboard tray, but I miss the routing channels in more modern designs like the Vengeance C70.

I feel like we've lost some of the clean interior assembly that's been par for the course for Corsair's cases, where they practically forced you to keep everything neat. That said, it's still extremely simple to put together a system in the Carbide 300R. As I've mentioned repeatedly in the past, though: assembly was never Corsair's problem. Let's see how their budget model handles thermals.

In and Around the Corsair Carbide 300R Testing Methodology


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  • 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.

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