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Corsair Carbide 400C Mid-Tower Enclosure Review

Manufacturer: Corsair
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Introduction and First Impressions

The Corsair Carbide 400C is a mid-tower enclosure that offers a very large window to show off your build through a side panel that’s also a hinged, and latching, door.

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With the Carbide 600 series Corsair introduced a new full-tower enclosure with an understated style, and some very nice features. The matching 400 series offer a slightly smaller version of these enclosures, with a few changes. These new Carbide 600 and 400 series cases offer both noise-reducing quiet versions (600Q, 400Q), as well as clear side-panel versions (600C, 400C). We recently looked at the full-tower Carbide 600Q, which performed well from a thermal standpoint, and, to a greater extent, with noise output.

The case we’ll be taking a look at today is the mid-tower cousin of the Carbide 600C, and this 400C drops the larger enclosure’s inverse ATX design in favor of a standard layout, but retains most other aspects of the design. Corsair’s 400 series duplicates many aspects of the larger, and more expensive, 600 series full-tower enclosures, and are priced $50 less. From the outside the 400C looks like a slightly smaller version, but once inside there are some notable differences.

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The Carbide 400C does not offer the noise dampening of the 400Q, dropping in favor of a large window and hinged, latching door. This tradeoff has allowed Corsair to market both version at the same price point, leaving it up to the consumer to decide where their priorities are. As mentioned, the 400 series are not simply smaller version of the 600C/600Q, as the internals are quite different. For instance, the PSU mount (and plastic shroud covering it) moves down to the case floor with to o400 series, and there are no 5.25-inch bays this time.

Beyond the changed layout, this clear version will likely differ from the results we saw with the 600Q. Thermal performance might be affected by the ATX layout, but the lack of insulation could mitigate this. Another factor is the noise output from a “C” version, which would presumably be significantly louder than the very quiet 600Q previously tested. We’ll cover all of that - along with build quality and ease of installation - in this review.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Carbide 400C case!!

Before continuing here’s a look at the full specs from Corsair:


Specifications:

  • Form Factor: Mid-Tower
  • Material: Steel
  • Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX
  • Expansion Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays
    • (x2) 3.5in
    • (x3) 2.5in
  • External Connections
    • (x2) USB 3.0
    • (x1) Headphone Port
    • (x1) Microphone Port
  • Fan Mount Locations
    • Front: (x3) 120mm or (x2) 140mm
    • Top: (x2) 120/140mm
    • Rear: (x1) 120mm
  • Fans Included
    • Front: (x1) 140mm
    • Rear: (x1) 120mm
  • Radiator Mount Locations
    • Front: 360mm
    • Top: 240mm
    • Rear: 120mm
  • Power Supply ATX (not included)
  • Maximum GPU Length 370mm
  • Maximum CPU Cooler Height 170mm
  • Maximum PSU Length 200mm
  • Dimensions 425 x 215 x 464 mm (16.73 x 8.46 x 18.27)
  • Weight 8.2 kg (18.08 lbs)
  • Warranty Two years

Thanks to Corsair for providing the Carbide 400C for our review.

First Impressions

Packaging is in line with most enclosures we see, from the brown carton to the generous styrofoam padding and protective plastic bag within.

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The accessory pack offers individual bags for each type of screw (always appreciated).

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The first thing you’ll probably notice about this enclosure is that huge window, which dominates the side panel, and the hinge and latching mechanism make it effortless to access your system components.

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Oppsite the hinged door is a standard slide-off metal panel

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And now a look around the rest of the enclosure:

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Case I/O includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports, 3.5" audio, and power/reset buttons

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The top of the case is covered by a magnetic dust filter

Next up we'll take a close look at the interior of the Carbide 400C.


March 9, 2016 | 01:18 PM - Posted by Ha_Nocri (not verified)

Can Predator 360 fit in this case, in front?

March 9, 2016 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Good question. There's plenty of clearance up front for a deeper cooler like the Predator 240, but I don't have the 360 mm version of that cooler here to test. The plastic shroud and HDD cage at the bottom might pose a clearance issue, though both are removable.

March 10, 2016 | 08:03 AM - Posted by cactushead

I have just built a system with this case and when you install a Radiator on the front, it causes a few problems.

1) The HDD Shroud can be very tight to the Rad so you either have it in place prior to Rad installation or omit it from your build.

2) The screws used to install the Rad to the front panel of the case obviously protrude more than the supplied fan's almost flush grub screws.
This means that the front filter can not sit flush - it bows in the middle. This kind of defeats the use of the filter as air will get through there unfiltered.
The only option is to mount your Rad elsewhere (which can cause its own clearance problems) or to alter the filter by cutting out the plastic edges where the Rad's screws are.
This is not a problem if you use a 120mm fan based Rad as the screws miss the outer edge - but if like me you are using a 140mm fan based Rad then you are in for problems.
And to add insult to injury, this could easily have been fixed by various simple design choices - so I'm not happy at this problem.

3) The cases top control panel leads come down at the top of where you would install the Rad. This means that you can not have the Rad to the very top - which means in my 280mm rad that it therefore got in the way of the HDD shroud.

One other thing of note is that taking off the front of the case for me was extremely difficult.
In the manual is says you should grab it from the bottom and pull firmly - No chance of that happening for my case it was rock solid. Even when doing the unclipping method as mentioned in the review the bottom two clips really did not want to release.
I'm hoping my case was just faulty as I've built PC's for decades and never taken 20 minutes to take of a panel undamaged.
This panel must be really easy to remove as you should be cleaning your filters on a regular basis. I'm just hoping that it will become easier over time.

Also the individual bags of screws are great, but they really should be marked, as I can foresee a less experienced builder mixing some of them up and possibly causing damage.

Oh, and I quite agree that cable management in the back can be quite difficult and tight - could have done with a little bit more room.

March 10, 2016 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

The enclosure includes flush-mount screws to attach a cooler to the front without protruding screws. There were 4 in the pack, so double-width coolers would need more (though I've attached 240 mm AIO coolers with just 4 screws before). The screws that most self-contained liquid coolers ship with are pan head, and protrude even farther if you use the washers that companies like Corsair include. I don't use the washers in situations where there are clearance issues, and I think the flat rad screws are a good addition to the accessory pack.

Would be nice if the bags were labeled, but I'm happy when the screws are at least in their own bags. I guess I've build so many systems at this point that I just 'know' which screws go to what, so perhaps I'm not the best user to judge.

May 14, 2016 | 03:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hello,
Do you know how much space is between the front of the case and the HDD shroud?
I want to install a Fractal Design Kelvin S36 and from what I can see in the pictures, I'm worried that it might not fit in there without removing the HDD shroud (and I don't want to remove it, since IMO the case looks strange without it)
Thank you in advance.

March 11, 2016 | 07:43 AM - Posted by mondon (not verified)

This is an ATX case, you could have used an ATX motherboard ...

March 11, 2016 | 03:00 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Yes! I could have.

March 16, 2016 | 04:50 AM - Posted by dxkillr (not verified)

is it worth it to replace my corsair carbide 300r with this ?

March 17, 2016 | 11:58 AM - Posted by William Henrickson (not verified)

You can clean the front filter by simply blowing horizontally through the openings, fluff comes right off. I won't be removing my front panel much, if at all because of that. The RM750i was a tight fit but all panels are in just fine.

March 22, 2016 | 02:22 PM - Posted by 85739gary

Interesting case, I often wonder why any case has doors on the front that MUST be opened to access various components,etc, when it'd be easier to use by simply NOT having the door at all! I don't mind the "industrial look" where parts are easy to access, also please, NEVER put USB's, audio/video connectors behind any door or POWER switch on/off,etc...

Also, not a big fan of windows on sides of cases, nice to see the insides/fancy light systems, BUT...doesn't these window cases tend to all be..louder?

Like quiet PC's best!

Thanks again for the good review!

July 9, 2016 | 05:17 AM - Posted by MrCazharie

What is the CPU cooler. I'm going to get this case and a new CPU cooler and this one looks really nice. If you have one could you please link me a PCPartPicker build of this PC. Thanks!

-Zac

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