Corsair Carbide 500R Mid-Tower Case Review

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Installing inside the 500R

This case is a mid tower and for most people has more than enough space and features to keep them happy.  Even if you were running triple SLI this case has the room to handle it but it would be very tight so you would have to watch your thermals.

Hardware install
HDD Installed
The install of our test system was very easy and the recessed motherboard tray gave us plenty of room to mount the Cool Master Hyper 212+ tower cooler.  Our SSD screwed right onto one of the trays and our WD 2TB black drive popped right into the rubber dampened pins.  The bottom provides a ton of room for even the longest PSU’s as long as you do not mount a 120mm intake on the bottom port.   The large wiring grommet allowed us to pass all our wiring through except the PCI-e power cords due to length.  This is very dependent on the PSU used and extenders are easy to find at your local PC store.  The large cut out at the bottom of the motherboard tray was plenty of room to run the audio, USB, and front I/O panel wires through to the bottom edge of our motherboard.
Back of install
We did not take the time to clean up all our wires but there is plenty of room to do this for most builds especially with the zip tie anchor points.  With that large opening behind the CPU it was easy to mount our cooler after the motherboard was mounted.  The only wiring issue we had you can see on the right side of the above image, the ATX power cord was not long enough.  We had an extender on hand to resolve the issue but this is something to think about when doing these modern builds in cases that allow you to run wires behind the motherboard tray.  Again this is not a fault of the case but rather the PSU we were using.
Big install in 500R
To give you an idea of how much you can cram into this mid tower case, we grabbed a stock photo from Corsair showing Triple X-Fire with a long 1200 watt PSU and the H100.  This shows off the great cable management and room to build quite an impressive rig.

500R Top Fan space
Corsair talks about the ability to mount the H100 240mm radiator water cooling solution in the top of this case and even show one in the video from the first page of this review installed in that 400R.  While we did not have a H100 on hand we notice things were a bit tight at the top after we install our system so we investigated a little more.   The top has about 30mm of clearance the best we could estimate with the cover closed.  Here you can see a standard 25mm tall 120mm fan fits easily under the mesh top cover so we could at least use two fans in pull mode up top or two in push mode.
H100 rad up top
The H100 includes a 27mm thick radiator which is rather thin and they have a marketing photo showing the radiator up top but not many other manufacturers 240mm would fit in this small of a space..  The only one that comes to mind is the Black Ice pro series that runs 25mm thick.
Top space
Below that metal panel in the top there was approximately 30mm of clearance before something would hit a fan header, capacitor or other component on our motherboard but your mileage may vary.  Basically our conclusion is you could fit that H100 with either push or pull fans and either the fans or the radiator would have to go under the mesh.  From a water cooling perspective just make sure you are very careful to measure everything before you purchase.  The good news is the H100 is an excellent all in one water cooling kit so being forced to use that one is not really a hardship.
Front lights
200mm lights
Once we got the system up and running we grabbed a couple shots of the included fans with the lights on so you could get an idea of what the white LED fans looked like.  This again can be shut off by that front panel switch if you simply want no lights.
Corsair Carbide 500R Fans and Airflow
The Carbide 500R has up to ten different positions you can mount 120mm or some even accommodate 140mm fans.  There are two 120mm included on the front and a 200mm side mounted fans for intake.  The 200mm covers two of the potential 10 positions for 120mm/140mm fans.  The bottom can support a single 120mm/140mm intake fan as long as your PSU is not extremely long again for intake.  Finally there are two more 120mm positions on the inside of the HDD cages if you wanted to assist the front two for more airflow into the case and over the HDD’s.
For exhaust there is the included 120mm fan on the rear that can also hold a 140mm if you want to upgrade.  Then there are the two top spots for either dual 120mm exhaust fans or a cooling solution such as the H100.
500R Airflow
Basically there should be no problem with cooling even the hottest components in this case with all of these options to move air in and out of the 500R.
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