Corsair Carbide Series 500R White £82
15th Dec 2011 | 10:33
It's sturdy and white, but is the price right?
Corsair has become known for some brilliant PC cases recently, and the Corsair Carbide Series 500R White is aiming to become another one.
We've tried connecting up components and trying to run them without a case, but it only makes the carpet smell funny. That burning component smell really gets the back of your throat, so what luck there are literally trillions of cuboid metal homes for your gear that'll keep them safe!
Corsair's Carbide Series 500R White is just one such case, and you should care because a) Corsair makes high-quality cases, and b) this one's fairly cheap.
Styled after the Corsair Graphite Series 600T chassis with a bit of the Obsidian 700D's angular form thrown in, this Carbide Series 500R includes four fans, six drive bays, a backplate with cable management and holes and rear CPU cooler access, and a sturdy steel build.
It appears legit, but are you in danger of being jipped by purchasing this sub-£100 case?
We found no corners cut, no shoddy build quality (other than the usual slightly flimsy plastic drive bays, but what are those drives going to be doing in there, greco-roman wrestling?) and no missing features you'd expect from a mid-price case.
There's plenty of space to build inside and there's easy access to the back.
To fit in a monstrously long graphics card like an AMD HD 6990 you'll likely need to remove a drive bay though, which is a bit of a kafuffle.
We've seen a good few mid-range cases that sport just one fan, so it's a good sign to find a 200 mm fan on the 500R's side, and three 120 mm fans at the front and rear, with dust filters to boot - that's really good cooling capability for the price.
Now features and build quality are one thing, but every tech enthusiast is a sucker for aesthetics.
This 500R isn't about to offend anyone with it's design, but it plays things a little safer than we're used to from the current Corsair roster.
It's the Audi A4 to the 600T's Audi TT, basically.
You do get a lovely white led to play with via a toggle switch, but a certain corner of the enthusiast market won't find this anywhere near garish enough, and probably demand much more jutty-out bits and grilles.
Can't please all the people all the time, we suppose.
But this is a great value package from Corsair. It offers all the features of its rivals like CM Storm's Enforcer, but adds an unexpected level of cooling capability and above-average build quality.
If nits are to be picked, we'd like it even more if it was long enough to accommodate gert big GPUs more conveniently, and the area that the 600T sports a fan controller, the 500R has only a sad little black panel that does nothing.
The real issue is that there's so little (£30 at time of writing) in monetary terms between this and the excellent 600T (the cheaper black version, that is).
What's £30? In this case, it's the difference between a good case and a great case.
Although a little more conservative than the lovely Graphite Series 600T, the Corsair Carbide Series 500R White is still a very pleasing chassis to look at.
It's also got a decent feature set, missing nothing you might expect from a mid-range, sub-£100 case.
There really isn't a lot to dislike about this great value chassis, just a few minor niggles.
The only real problem is the price is just so damn close to the price of the black edition of the excellent Graphite 600T case.
Matches, and even exceeds, expectations for a mid-range case, but it's awfully near the Corsair Graphite 600T's price.