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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • VTArbyP - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Why has no one commented on the drive cage problems before me?

    The problem with removing the box from the 3.5' cage, sounds very familiar. I've had similar breakages numerous times in many things that I've had to put together. Usually I find that I missed some key instruction on HOW to remove the offending item without breakage. I still remember the feelings of "Ahh" and utter stupidity, when I found out how to open CD cases! :-) Is the cage removable? Can it be expanded in useful ways without destruction? I'd love to hear from the manufacturer and other builders using this case, since I like its looks and price.

    I can't get a good look at the 2.5" case with the pictures shown, but it doesn't look too enclosed. It seems to be just below the front fan and I wonder what effect that has. I would like some close up pictures of it added to the gallery. I feel the itch to drill or saw holes in it for cooling. Perhaps one could direct a bit more of the fan's air through it too. Wonder what would happen if the second front fan was added, slow speed, too cool the drives and perhaps the GPU. The case LOOKs sensibly laid out for cooling the SSDs and GPU, too bad it didn't actually do it, especially since the CPU temps were quite acceptable.
  • billcat1447 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I got a new case, a smaller one and it had removable harddrive cages.
    While nice because it was the only way to put my video card in they didn't think it though very well. It left me with 2 slots while I removed 4. I could have removed 3 and left 3 and it would have worked a lot better and even could have removed just 2 and still got it too work. I had to buy mounting hardware to fit them to the full size mounts. Very stupid.
    I kind of like top fans because this is where most of the case heat ends up and so you can remove most with the lest effort. Computer cases are not cup holders and shouldn't have drinks put on them in the first place and is a non issue with me. I like well thought out cases with room enough to run power and other cables behind the motherboard to clean out the mess they can make.
    I notice that some cases with USB plugs are about as cheap as they get and just bumping them can ruin them. I would prefer they be mounted in a spot where you can't bump into them and/or made better or stronger. The Cooler Master HAF cases have very very cheap USB plugs in the front of their cases. Other than that they are very good cases. I prefer the power supply on the bottom with the fan hole facing up so dust isn't sucked into them from the floor. They are kind of a vacuum cleaner if you mount the fan down. But this is a personal pref. I think the case is overall cleaner if they are mounted on the bottom if you can put the cabled behind the motherboard space. Makes it easire to get at heatsink for cpu and the motherboard is easier to deal with also. But again, personal preference.
  • OVerLoRDI - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - link

    I have a 200R with 4 hard drives in the cage. I found the cage assembly decent, sure it isn't as robust as other options, but just being a little careful I didn't run into any of the problems you did.

    You also have the option to pop off the front of the case and move the fan down so it is blowing into the cage. I'm not sure why it isn't there by default, but that helps a lot with the cage temps.

    That being said my 4 drives are a bit toasty in there, but all within spec.
  • Uthor - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    For what it's worth, I got this case today and had absolutely no issues removing the accessories box or installing a hard drive. Pulled back the plastic tab on the left side, slid the box out, and slid the drive in. I don't expect to be replacing the drive any time soon, so I also secured it with screws, but didn't feel like I HAD to.
  • DigiMark - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    I also purchased this case for use with a Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 ATX mainboard, Corsair TX-series power supply and several 3.5" drives. I found it easy to work with, no sharp edges and a clean look. It sits on the corner of my desk so I don't really have carpet issues, and I really like the power switch with integrated white drive and power lights, works well without being obnoxious. I didn't have a problem removing the hardware cardboard box, but I find that the single left-side latch for each drive does not secure well -- it's easy to push the drive past the holding pin with too much pressure. Once the machine is built is seems tight enough though. I should mention that while I used to build a number of machines using early In-Win cases, this is my first build in 6-7 years and my expectations were low, so also easily met. I think I will take advantage of another commenter's suggestion and move the front-mount fan down to blow past the drive cage. Budget pricing was important to me on this build and I feel like it is a good working case for the price.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now