4stars

Corsair Carbide Series 600C ATX Full Tower Case Review



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4stars


Editors rating

For starters, the 400C suffered from a lack of features, but the 600C does quite well here. It has the same large clear side window and rather featureless front panel, but in addition to offering double the USB ports on the top panel, two of which are USB 3, the 600C has a three-speed fan controller. The latter is powered by a single SATA power connector and has three fan headers – enough to power all the included fans – and it’s easy to set up. It’s great to see Corsair including this feature, as many of its cases lack fan control and instead rely on the company’s Link software that’s only bundled with its all-in-one-liquid coolers.

The case’s sizeable dimensions mean it can house E-ATX motherboards, and it can accommodate eight expansion slots too, although at nearly 54cm tall, it’s quite lofty and it’s one of the wider cases we’ve seen too at 26cm. It also weighs 10kg, thanks to the plastic and steel construction. The plus side of the large size, though, is that the CPU cooler height limitation sits at a massive 200mm and there’s 370mm clearance for graphics cards too.

Meanwhile, the front panel may look like a larger version of the featureless expanse on the 400C, but the top of it houses a door that reveals two external 5.25in bays, which are useful for water-cooling reservoirs or more advanced fan controllers as well as an optical drive if you still use one. Internally, there’s plenty of space for water-cooling gear too, with two 120/140mm fan mounts in the front, occupied by a pair of 140mm fans, which supports up to double 140mm-fan radiators with essentially no depth limit.

There are another two 140mm (or three 120mm) fan mounts in the base, with support for a corresponding radiator. The base mounts are spaced a fair way from the motherboard too, although half-height radiators would be more logical in this location. There’s a third 120/140mm fan mount in the rear of the case as well, which is home to a third 140mm fan acting as an exhaust; air is drawn into the case via large side vents at the front.

corsair-carbide-series-600c-interior

In contrast to the 400C, the 600C’s interior has an inverted ATX layout, so the CPU sits at the bottom, with the graphics card above it and the PSU at the top. The latter is hidden by a similar cover to the one in the 400C, which hides unsightly cables and drive bays. As with the 400C, it’s tricky to remove the cover, but there isn’t much need to do so, as the two front 5.25in drive bays and two 3.5in bays behind them are all tool-free, with drives inserted from different sides, while the three 2.5in tool-free mounts sit behind the motherboard tray. The latter allow SSDs to simply click into place, without any pesky screws.

While most of the case is riveted together, you can remove the roof and front fascias. Removing the latter gives you access to a large removable dust filter underneath, with another on the underside of the case. Being a Corsair case, cable routing is, not surprisingly, also excellent, with a good deal of room between the rear panel and motherboard tray for hiding cables, plus a big cavity in the roof.

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Performance

We were pleasantly surprised by the quiet operation of the three 140mm fans at their lowest speed. If you want a low noise case that can house a tonne of hardware, then the 600C is compelling, especially as the temperatures only rose a few degrees at the low speed setting. The CPU delta T rose from 54°C to 58°C and the GPU delta T increased a little less noticeably from 51°C to 53°C. Even at their worst, these results are still very competitive.

corsair-carbide-series-600c-temperature-benchmarks

For example, the CPU delta T was still cooler than the best results from the Corsair Carbide 400C, In Win 503 and Phanteks Eclipse P400S, although the In Win 303, Be Quiet! Silent Base 600 and NZXT H440 all did better. Whack the fan speed up to full, where noise is certainly increased but not by much, and the 600C is only 1°C off the top results we’ve seen. Meanwhile, the GPU temperature was excellent, even at low fan speeds, thanks to one of the large 140mm fans pointing directly at it.

 

Conclusion

The 600C is a tad clunky in some areas, and it also lacks extensive lighting, but the design is mostly solid, as is the build quality and cooling. It’s easy to build a system in it and there’s plenty of room for expansion, either as a multi-GPU air-cooled system, or a water-cooled behemoth. Combining water-cooling support with good air-cooling performance is tricky, but the 600C manages it. It’s also a good-looking case with all the usual mod cons, including a useful fan controller and three 140mm fans as standard. It’s slightly lacking in a few areas for its price tag, especially compared with the likes of the gorgeous In Win 805 and excellent Phanteks Enthoo Luxe, but it strikes a great balance between the two.


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