Corsair Carbide 300R Case Review: Corsair For the Massesby Dustin Sklavos on June 29, 2012 2:25 AM EST
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.