Corsair Carbide 600C Inverse ATX Mid-Tower Case
Corsair spent most of it’s infancy as a DRAM memory maker and made a name for itself in this arena by becoming one of the premier makers of consumer PC memory. They later diversified and started making other PC related products like flash memory storage devices and high quality power supplies. In 2014, they launched their gaming brand along with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and audio products. Before that, they started into the crowded computer case market to which their offerings have been very warmly accepted by the PC building community. If you check many enthusiast publication lists of system builds, quite often Corsair cases are the chassis of choice in budget systems all the way up to high-end systems. In fact, I can state up front that I personally own two systems built Corsair cases – one is built in a black Graphite 600T and the other with a white Carbide 500R. Each have been excellent system chassis that I purchased a few years ago and have given me no issues to date so I have high expectations going into this review. As it happens, I recently damaged the singular front USB 3.0 port on my Graphite case when I banged into an inserted USB stick (I’m shocked this doesn’t happen to me more often) so when Corsair offered us the chance to give the new Carbide case a look, I promptly volunteered.
There are actually many variations of the Carbide cases outside of this newest model. Some are more budget friendly while others are smaller form factors or high air flow models. The new 600C/600Q cases are the top tier models in the Carbide lineup and are mid-tower sized and are geared towards those who typically have components that demand the extra space such as high-end graphics cards and water cooling. There are two variations of this with the 600C having the clear acrylic window in the side panel and the 600Q which skips the window in favor of sound dampening panel. Obviously, the clear 600C version caters to the bling crowd who like to show off their rigs and the quiet 600Q will woo those with a desire for low noise while providing ample cooling. We received the 600C version to check out.
While much has changed with this iteration of the case, the biggest change is probably the inverted placement of the motherboard which is a first for Corsair. This has it's pros and cons as I'll get into but it better shows off the GPU, which is now oriented so the heatsink is facing up and more visible than the dull PCB board on the back being the prominent view as in most typical cases. It also allows them to keep the top of the case closed off without negatively impacting case temperatures.
Corsair Carbide 600C/Q Mid-Tower ATX Case Features and Specifications:
||$149.99 + tax/€149.99 incl. tax
||$149.99 + tax/€149.99 incl. tax
|Dimensions (H x W x D)
||454mm x 260mm x 535mm (17.87” x 10.24” x 21.06”)
||2x 5.25” tool-free (hidden behind door)
||3x 2.5” tool-free, 2x 2.5”/3.5” tool-free
||2x 140mm AF140L fan (only one installed in 600Q; extra fan included in accessory kit)
||1x 140mm AF140L fan
||Supports up to 3x 120mm fans or 2x 140mm fans
||Up to 240mm/280mm
||Up to 140mm
||Up to 280mm/360mm
||2x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
Headphone and mic
3-channel, 3-speed fan controller
|Power Supply Standard
||ATX (not included)
- Drive and PSU shield – Two tool-free 5.25” drive bays, two tool-free 3.5” drive bays, and the power supply all hidden by a stylish, removable shield
- Side-vented fascia – Clean front panel hides side openings, dampening sound while maintaining airflow
- Dual 120mm/140mm or 240mm/280mm radiator support – Comes with two 140mm fans (only one installed in 600Q), but allows for mounting a radiator
- Inverse ATX layout – Inverting the ATX standard allows users to show off their hardware, provide direct airflow on hot components, and seal the top of the case, preventing noise from escaping
- 120mm/140mm fan mount – Comes with one 140mm fan with support for up to 140mm radiators
- Up to 360mm radiator support – Install up to three 120mm fans, two 140mm fans, or a 240mm/280mm/360mm radiator, with open mounts for adjustable fitment
- Hidden power supply bay – Removable bracket allows you to slide the power supply into the rear of the chassis, where cabling is hidden from the primary chamber
- 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, and 3-speed fan controller – Multiple USB ports on the top of the case and an integrated switchable three-speed, three-channel fan controller
- Rear-loading 3.5” drive trays – Tool-free 3.5” acoustically-dampened drive trays concealed in primary chamber
- Rear-mounted 2.5” drive trays – Tool-free 2.5” drive trays arranged behind motherboard
The case was packaged nicely in a fabric bag and nestled in the usual Styrofoam blocks to cushion its journey. The acrylic panel and control panel were each covered with clear plastic for an extra measure of protection. Though the box looked a little dinged up from transit, the case itself was undamaged and in perfect condition.
Along with the case was a manual and the usual assortment of screws for the motherboard and drive bays.
The manual also provides a nice exploded diagram of the case for reference. Let's have a closer look!
Corsair Carbide 600C External Impressions
The exterior of the case is less frills and more business. The front has no prominent features save for the door that occupies the top portion of the case and the Corsair logo found in the bottom right corner. The painted front and top feel as though there's a slight texture and I found pretty quickly that it scratches rather easily though I'm not quite sure how I managed to do it - possibly by my metal watch band as I moved the case around during the build.
Opening the door, we find the blank faceplates covering the dual 5.25" drive bays. The back of the door is covered with a sound dampening material which is nice because we all know how loud optical drives can be. Note that the door is double-hinged and only opens from right to left. Those using the case on their right hand side will have to reach over or around the door. I'm personally not a big fan of doors covering the drive bays in the front for this reason plus it adds one more step to accessing those components. However, I do like the clean look it gives so there's a trade-off.
Around the left side of the case, we find a featureless steel panel. This would normally be the side you'd open to get at the guts of the system but since they swapped the side where the motherboard is mounted, opening this would only reveal the rear of the motherboard tray. The vents that run vertically along the front allow the fan in the front to pull in fresh, cool air without the need for venting directly in the front of the case.
Flipping around to the right side of the case, we find the window which is comprises the majority of the panel. It's very reflective and difficult to photograph effectively so the above is a product photo from Corsair. The acrylic panel comprises the majority of the panel with plastic pieces along the top and bottom and the handle for the latch on the front center. This gives a very expansive view of the interior components. Also on this side along the front is the other side of the intake ventilation.
The side panel opens up on a hinge and come off by sliding the panel up off the rods in the hinges. Easy on and easy off.
Around the rear, it's clear that the motherboard is mounted in a non-traditional fashion with the expansion slots toward the top of the case and the I/O panel near the bottom. The cavity at the top is where the PSU will reside and above the 120mm fan at the bottom is a vented panel.
On the bottom are four rectangular rubber feet and the bottom dust filter.
Unlike many dust filters, the one at the bottom of the Carbide 600C is magnetic and does not rely on tracks or brackets to hold it in place. You can see the concave round indentations where the screen settles into place. This makes removal a cinch but to get it perfectly into place, you really need to tilt the case to the side rather than spending a few minutes trying to slide it underneath by feel alone. Depending how you configure your build, the dust filter at the bottom may not really be needed if your fans are blowing out rather than pulling air in.
On the top we find only the control panel strip in the front left corner.
The panel is comprised of the usual features. The power button which glows white when powered, the HDD activity light, three-seed fan switch, headphone and mic jacks, dual USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, and the reset button.
Corsair Carbide 600C Internal Impressions
Inside, Corsair has put in some nice features.
On the left side, which on this case is the motherboard mounting side, has a number of interesting features. First, you can see a very large rear cutout along with an extra two cutouts down below for additional cable routing access. There are four other cable routing holes that have rubber grommets to mitigate damage to the wiring and is something found on the more expensive cases. There's a row of vertical 2.5" drive bays mounted above the cutout and two 3.5" drive bays above those where the drives lay flat and perpendicular to the case.
Rather than a traditional drive cage, Corsair has elected to stick drive locations in some creative places. These 2.5" drive bays, perfect for SSDs, are removeable via a screw but it's not necessary to slide the drives into place.
The 3.5" drives utilize a tool-less drive caddy that slides out with just a pinch of the tabs and click into place when inserted.
On the opposite side, the various cables are visible as well as the long plastic shield along the top of the case which hides the PSU and drives. This helps keep the heat out of the larger case area and give is a cleaner look by hiding the usual clutter of cables. Note that everything inside is black which gives it an expensive look.
In the front are dual 140mm x 25mm Corsair AF140L intake fans that are ultimately controlled via the three speed switch on the front panel. These are 1000 RPM, 67.43 CFM fans which you can buy directly from Corsair for $4.99
Behind the front fascia, which pops off and snaps back on, is the removable dust filter for the intake fans which snaps under the tab at the top and comes off easily for cleaning. It's a little bit of a burden to have to pop the whole front off to clean the filter but at least you don't have to dig out the tools.
The rear interior also has the same 140mm fan in exhaust orientation and eight expansion slots available. The screws on these can be removed/added by hand but it's a little tough to get larger hands in there with the lip on the frame opposite the screws though this is a common problem with many cases.
The connections found in the case are the USB 3.0 header plug, a SATA power connector, two USB 2.0 header plugs, three fan header plugs, and the set of power, reset, HDD/power LED cable connectors.
Corsair Carbide 600C System Build
The build out was pretty easy with a few quirks that I'll cover. I elected to install Corsair's H100i GTX 240mm closed loop water cooling at the bottom of the case with the air blowing from the inside out. Obviously, this could be reversed but this was my preference. There's plenty of room for this or even a larger 360mm radiator. It could also be mounted in the front (or a larger 280mm radiator) and in the rear a 140mm radiator can be mounted. If using an air cooler, a generous 200mm clearance is available and 980GTX GPU has plenty of room with 370mm of clearance. I'm not the best at making a super clean build but you can see it's relatively easy with the numerous cable routing options. The backside is a bit messier for me.
Even Corsair's large 1000-HX modular PSU fit with no problem though anything longer would really make it tight up against the 5.25" bay drives. I didn't go above and beyond to make the cabling behind the motherboard tray super clean since it's out of view but everything fit comfortably and the side panel fits on without obstruction. However, I did run into some minor issues with cabling. First, the 12V cable from the PSU (running from the back of the PSU to the bottom left in the photo) barely reached its destination. Even if routed over the front of the board, it would've been tough as it would've had to loop over the GPU. Secondly, the way the 2.5" drives are mounted, I couldn't use the right angle SATA data cables I had ready which had me digging into my parts drawer for straight connectors. Most motherboards now ship with right angle connectors so it's probably the predominant cable on hand for most people. The 3.5" drives can use the right angle connectors so they can be put to good use there. The SATA power connectors are really tough to use on the 2.5" drives if they are the daisy-chain variety since those are designed for stacked drive configurations which this is obviously not. I ended up using a 2-connector extension cable connected to a Molex plug. Neither of these issues were show-stoppers obviously but not everyone is going to have these parts laying around and may require a trip to the store to be able to complete the build. It also adds to the cable clutter but there's enough room behind the motherboard tray so not too many concerns there.
As with many cases, the PSU is held in check by a metal frame that uses four hand screws to secure it. Just be sure to orient the fan end of the PSU down through the vent in the case. Corsair could've opted to vent this up and out of the case but it would increase the exterior noise.
There are only two drive bays in the front which should be ample for most people as optical drives are falling out of favor and multi-function panels with fan controllers and card readers can easily occupy the second slot. Enthusiast with blingy LED displays, etc in the front bays will probably be out of luck unless they ditch the aforementioned drive/panel.
Final Thoughts And Conclusions
Since there are hundreds of case options out there, one of the first places people look is the price. Mid-tower cases generally range in price anywhere from $50 to $250 and the Carbide 600C Inverse falls pretty much in the middle at $149.99
/€149.99 (same pricing for the 600Q). If you were to break down the pricing for all mid-tower cases, most will fall in the $50-$100 range and very few in the over $200 category. So the pricing (features not withstanding) is a little above the sweet spot which is generally between the $75 and $125 mark. However, if you look at many of the cases in that bucket, they lack many of the features and refinements of the Carbide 600C. Dust filters, triple 140mm fans, steel construction, cable grommets, and tool free design. Bear in mind that this one of several Carbide models and Corsair also has the Graphite, Vengeance, and Obsidian cases as well. Some of which have a much larger price tag than this one
All in all, the Carbide 600C case makes a fine choice to house your components. Build quality is superb, as is normally the case (no pun intended) with Corsair PC chassis. There were no rough edges inside and all of the bends/welds were spot on. I did find that the front fascia scratched a bit easily but that could be attributed to my clumsiness and a metal watchband. Even though this is the 600C case with the clear plastic panel rather than the 600Q with the sound dampening panel, the first thing I noticed when I turned it on was how quiet it was. With the fan switch on the first or second position, the fans are barely audible, especially once it's down under the desk. Mostly just the sound of air moving. Switch it to the third or 'high' position and you can hear the fans spin up and the sound level definitely jumps but still relatively quiet. While I didn't do extensive temperature testing, the Carbide 600C seems to be adept at maintaining a cool environment. With the ambient temperature at 68F, all four cores on my i7 4770K clocked at 4.3GHz maintained 23F-26F idle temps with the aid of the Corsair H100i GTX cooler. Under load with the H100i set on quiet mode and the Carbide 600C fan switch on the middle setting, core temps still only managed to hit the low 50's at peak.
The Corsair Carbide 600C Inverted PC Case is listed on Amazon for $149.99 Shipped
if you wanted to pick one up!
Legit Bottom Line:
The Carbide 600C is both a stylish and functional mod-tower case with many features found only on premium cases without the premium price tag.
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Corsair Carbide 600C Press Photo[/caption]