In and Around the Corsair Carbide 200R

The Carbide 200R takes Corsair's design cues and refines them down to their most basic degree. In this market, oftentimes the best you can hope for is a black box with clean lines and fairly smart aesthetics, and that's what we have. It's been tough for me to really figure out exactly what sells and what doesn't since I mostly only have your reactions to cases to go by, and AnandTech readers are by default going to be a bit more well-informed than the garden variety consumer. I can't say if the gloss that's common from other manufacturers in this bracket sells well or not, but I'm never happy to see it. The clean matte plastic that Corsair uses for the fascia is appreciated and matches the black SECC steel used for the remainder of the enclosure well.

You can see the front of the case is fairly spare, but the flat surface is appreciated and should be good for deflecting some noise. Air intake is handled through the sides of the fascia, while Corsair includes a fairly standard three 5.25" drive bays. Note also that they've included USB 3.0 instead of 2.0, which is welcome in a $49-$59 case. The I/O, power, and reset switches are at the top of the front of the case, positioned for whether you plan to use it on or under your desk.

The rest of the 200R's exterior is pretty bog standard, though. The top features dual 120mm/140mm fan mounts with rubber grommets, and the 120mm mounts are oriented more towards the left side of the case to provide additional clearance for a 240mm radiator. Meanwhile the left side panel includes two more 120mm/140mm mounts in case the end user wants to add directed cooling over the video cards. Finally, the back sports a 120mm exhaust fan.

Opening up the Carbide 200R involves removing four thumbscrews and sliding off the notched side panels, and the interior is familiar for Corsair fans. They include a version of the recessed motherboard tray with dedicated cable routing channels that we saw in the Vengeance C70, as well as a mounting post and pre-installed standoffs for the motherboard itself. There's also a clear and open channel for air to travel from the intake fan through the case, but beneath it is one of Corsair's new designs, presumably a compromise between price and usability.

Integrated is a hard plastic drive "cage" that supports four 2.5" drives and four 3.5" drives, all toollessly. At the risk of spoiling the review, if the 200R has an achilles heel, it's this cage, which mostly seems like a good idea in theory but is an exercise in absolute frustration in practice.

All told, though, the design of the Carbide 200R feels mostly par for the course for Corsair and I appreciate the continued extra mile of convenience that's been a hallmark of their cases. Other manufacturers would do well to follow their example. It's not the kind of attitude that sells cases on its own, but it's worth continuing to mention and it's not a bad thing to build a reputation on.

Introducing the Corsair Carbide 200R Assembling the Corsair Carbide 200R
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  • Torrijos - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I'm left wondering what is the useful effect of each fan in cooling the machine.

    It might be interesting to have a guide analysing the effect of some fans combinations on the cooling performances.

    As an example of the question that need answering:
    - As it been determined which is preferable, positive or negative pressure?
    - Should a top radiator be use as an intake port (thus improving the CPU cooling by using fresh air, and with a fan pushing air does it improve the fan efficiency since its pushing colder/denser air trough?), or as an exhaust (avoiding hot air build up in the case)?
    - Should fans be use to push or pull air through a radiator?
  • jonjonjonj - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    i think your looking for this. they are interesting articles.
  • billcat1447 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I played with different fans acting on the internal pressure and found you def. want more air coming in than going out which I guess would be pos. pressure.
    The case didn't have the vent holes that most modern cases have so when I had more pressure pumping air out than in it caused the fans to work very hard to remove the air from inside the case and worst case it also overheated the power supply because it could not move air though it and pump it outside the case. I almost destroyed the power supply, the air was super hot. With air holes in modern cases and if it was all run through filters it might case the same condition but not as bad. You want dust to be removed before it can enter inside components so I would guess if filtered the less air being added would be the way to go. Most cases don't filter all the holes and I would want more air removed from the case than fans pulling air into the case but I would really only care about which fans can remove dust and mount then that way and which ones will cool the best while not adding dust and bringing air into the case. If there is a lot of holes pos or neg doesn't matter but the way the fans are mounted to get the best out of them is the most important part. I'd have air removed from the top fans, air removed from the power supply. Air entered for the front hard drive cooling fans and air entered from the side fan cooling the motherboard and memory (only if it's filtered).
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    There are endless debates about positive versus negative pressure. Different manufacturers even seem to have different opinions on the subject. (Antec, for example, seems to endorse negative pressure by default, whereas Silverstone is a vocal advocate of positive pressure.) Purely as a matter of cooling efficiency, I don't think there's a right answer: the ideal solution depends as much on the fans' placement in relation to your hardware as it depends on the direction of their airflow.

    That said, and all else being equal, I will always favor (filtered) positive air pressure, just because it reduces (or practically eliminates, in some cases) dust build up, and thus it saves the user from having to clean out the inside of his case regularly.
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Imagine an Obsidian 150D for premium ITX.
  • jonjonjonj - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    i like the look. im not into the alien abducted my computer look. im convinced i could design a better budget case then most of these companies. if im going to buy a case that costs under $50 all im expecting is good cable management and air flow. i wonder what this case costs corsair air to make.
  • Donniesito - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Give me clean lines, and I'm happy. I'm of the opinion that since my computer sits next to my desk on the floor, it doesn't matter what it looks like. It needs to be unobtrusive, and doesn't need to look like an alien ate my computer, nor does it need to light up like a runway. It just needs to sit there and work.. My display on the other hand needs to be all sorts of awesome ;-)
  • johan851 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I felt like that little dig at the end of the article was neither relevant or correct. Thinkpads are still great, and what's that got to do with cases?
  • JonnyDough - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    One Thing I would have liked to see:

    Completed cable management. Show me a finished computer with the cables all ziplocked down and looking clean. I just bought a Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 and did this and it's the best build I've done over the years. It really makes the PC look nice. Sufficient space behind the motherboard makes a huge difference, as do the pass through holes for the cables.
  • Donniesito - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I agree with this also. However, I don't use zip-ties for cable management. Years ago I learned the awesomeness that are velcro zip-ties and I've never looked back ;-)

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