Corsair 500R Mid-Tower Case Review
Reviewed by: BluePanda
Reviewed on: November 20, 2011
Where you decide your hardware gets to live can say a lot about any build. A case with a huge window means you likely want to show off that $400 GPU you have sitting inside, otherwise it goes unnoticed. Others of you close it up tight; you don’t want anyone to know what you have inside, perhaps because it’s so good and that’s where your “extreme” gaming abilities come from, or it’s so bad that you’re ashamed of your own hardware. Others of us just like a nice looking case, whether it shows off what’s inside of it or not. It’s all about looking awesome.
Another member of the Carbide series from Corsair has shown up! After we reviewed the Corsair 400R about a month back, Corsair made their 500R release. However, the increase in model number doesn’t correspond to an increase in price; the 500R comes priced right at $139.99 retail. It comes styling in either black or white in color, ready to fit with whatever theme you have going. Today we’ll take a look at the Corsair 500R White Edition and we’ll see how this chassis stacks up compared to some other cases on the market.
No surprise, the Corsair 500R showed up in a box on my doorstep. A simple, brown box with a breakout picture of all the special features; all the drive bays, fans, and fan filters are explained in the typical 8-12 different languages. In reality you can only say so much about the box the case came in – most people don’t even bother looking at it. I just want to tear into it, but no, I have to take these pictures for all of you to enjoy first.
The left side and right side ended up being exactly the same, so only half as much to say about them here! The sides have a simple sketch-up of what the inside of the case looks like next to the front of the case and some more specification about the case (which are listed on page 4 of this review). Finally the fun part of opening it up; this case was packed differently than any case I’ve received yet. The foam sandwich was foam, case, foam from top to bottom rather than side to side. Interesting method, although I see no advantages, or disadvantages for that matter, for packing it this way – just different. The delivery guy has been having fun with packages lately, the side panel was dented in a bit; fortunately it was easy to pop back the right way.
Now the fun begins – you will have to forgive me already for the images you are about to see. A white case with a white background…obviously a difficult, yet not impossible task; but for the rough pictures don’t yell at the 500R – take it out on me. So here is the first shot out of the box wrapped in the lovely “don’t put this bag on your head or you will die” plastic bag and foam caps. Not much more to say.
Move on to the next page – you know you want to see more…
Woo! It’s outta the box! It’s kinda purdy looking too. The white, as much as I had feared it before opening the box, isn’t so bad at all. I expected the annoying super-glossy white that shows every place you’ve ever touched the case. I was way wrong about that; instead the case has a really nice finish, not too shiny and not too flat looking either. It’s really a perfect paint job, no other way to explain it – no finger prints becomes the immediate plus for me.
The front of the case is nice and symmetrical. A center strip of black with two small strips of white at the extreme edges is very nice looking. A minimal reminder at the bottom that this is indeed a corsair case you own… but it’s not screaming “CORSAIR” just a subtle “hi”. Flipping around to the back it’s déjà vu and we have a similar appearance with the black and white. The paint finish just makes this case look nice.
Taking a look side to side the panels are essentially the same. One panel has a cut out filled with mesh for the large 220mm fan that pumps air across the entire rig. The back side hides all those ugly cables with its little bump outwards. It looked kinda silly at first – but this thing is going to hold all the bulky cables from my PSU.
Getting up close and taking a look at that front I/O panel we can see how well this chassis is going to turn out. It has a nicely sized power button with the classic power logo to light up. It also has a small HDD light below that and a reset button on the opposite side to prevent accidental presses. There’s a little slider to control the fan speeds – it appears to have three positions, full, middle, and low. A toggle button next to that controls the LEDs on the front and side panel fans; however, unless you have fingers that are super pointy good lucking getting it to click. Even with my finger nails I could barely get it to click when I wanted it to. To wrap it all up – as always the top comes with a cup holder (or a screw/whatever you want holder)!
Taking a quick look at the top of the case before we move inside we find a nice click-mounted panel. Push it in and it pops open and can be taken to the sink as a fan filter and cleaned out. Meanwhile, underneath is a perfect spot for a dual radiator installation, including Corsairs own Hydro Series H100 or even just a couple more fans to improve airflow. With the holes being completely cut out rather than mesh style holes (like on most cases) I’m expecting some serious airflow on this case. Let’s take a look on the inside (next page) and get to testing it out!
Finally we’ve made it to the inside of the case and it’s just as good looking on the inside as it was on the outside. It has all the I/O cables and fan cables hanging there ready to be plugged in. The drive bays are super simple – doesn’t look like I’ll be able to break these like so many of the others in previous cases. They don’t exactly hold my water bay in (it’s not quite full length) but there are holes for screws if you have odd sized objects to mount.
The hard drive bays are removable and have the nice, quick-swap setup brackets. They have the rubber bumper mounts to grab your hard drives without making lots of racket as they crank up. Since the upper HDD bay is super easy to remove and if you don’t have more than 3 drives, I’d recommend taking that extra bay out and creating even more airflow in this case. The back end has grommets for water tubes or random cables to go in and out of your case – at least four ports for what have you. There are thumb screws for all the PCI-E slots but with all the paint that’s on there you are going to need a screwdriver to remove them the first few times anyway. Maybe after using them a lot these will get easier to take in and out – but for now these screws aren’t thumb screws in my mind.
Turning around the case we don’t find a ton of room to work with hiding cables. A lot of cases seem to neglect the fact that many of us don’t have modular PSUs. Either way I got everything to fit. The big thing to remember is that you have a huge sort of pocket in the back panel that makes up for what seems like so little room back here. With all extra slots from the HDD bays – there’s plenty of room to push some cables away. At least Corsair remembered me when they made a gigantic hole for my motherboards backplate – I always have a hard time mounting my water block, but not this time! A snazzy shot from the front and this case couldn’t look more appealing.
Knocking out the front bay covers is a little challenging. They have little clips you need to push from the inside of the case – careful don’t break a nail…haha. They actually have a thin layer of foam on the backsides of them to help prevent more contaminates from getting in your case. They keep the front of the case looking nice, so having to remove them for a new optical drive won’t kill me.
One thing I found quite nifty was the way Corsair decided to package all their screws and extra parts with the 500R. Instead of a tacky box twist-tied or rolling around in the case they made a hard drive-sized box and mounted it in a hard drive slot. Not only was it packed well but technically you could store all your extra parts this way. It’s not super pretty but it’s still nifty.
On a sort of side note, the HDD sliders aren’t super strong. They are nice and flexible to get the hard drive in but don’t really hold on to it after that. Cramming it into the actual slot is what makes it hold on, but I guess that is all that matters. Mounting an SSD isn’t too difficult – you need to pop out one of the metal HDD clips but at least it will still be there when you need it again – it’s held in to the slider with a rod. Other sliders I’ve used usually mean once I’ve put an SSD in it I won’t be mounting a hard drive again because I’ll have lost the pin to put it together.
Inside the nifty box… we find a bunch of screws for mounting – but if you hadn’t noticed there are only 4 mobo standoffs included. That’s because the case is already set up with standoffs for an ATX board. I have always loved companies that have already set up the standoffs for me – I never have to worry about not getting them in tight enough; that is of course ever since I owned a full ATX. Before that I used to just be mad at how I had to take out or move the extra standoffs. Back on topic...Corsair includes a neat little USB 3.0 to 2.0 connector in case your board doesn’t have 3.0 yet. The rest of the cables in the case are pretty straight forward (they of course match up with your I/O panel).
The side panels are worth another peek. The first thing I noticed after thinking it was broken was the thumb screws on the side panels. They are designed to hang in the panels so you don’t lose them. This is actually pretty awesome. I tend to put them just out of reach after mashing all my cables down I have to let go and go get them. These, though easy to find, are a little tricky to line up – but in the end work pretty nice. The side panel has the 220mm fan; I figure you’d like to see how this looks. It looks a little different from a normal fan connector as it is designed to connect to the fan controller. However, it still can connect to your mobo like any other side pannel fan. You just need to take a look at which way it goes since it does not have your typical slot cut in to line it up. It takes a little more force to the clip on your mobo, but it works just the same – comes off with the same force. Nothing really different other than appearance. If you are going to use the fan controller, remember to leave a one hanging down on the inside or else you will be digging for it later.
Last but not least is the feature of the fan filter on the bottom of the case for your power supply. Not a lot to say here unless you’ve never seen a fan filter. It pulls out from the bottom and can be blown or rinsed off in the sink. It’s just a nice bonus feature worth mentioning – especially if you’ve got a cat or dog in the house who seems to keep clogging your computer up.
All closed up with some actual hardware in it, this case doesn’t look half bad. It might be a pain in the arse getting your PSU to go where you want (it’s a snug fit due to the vibration-reducing rubber pads below the PSU, you almost don't need screws!) but the case looks nice. The white LED fans and HDD/power indicators look great. Turning off the LEDs looks good too – it’s a win-win. Inside, besides my blue fans blowing out my camera, the case looks great. There’s plenty of room for a small water cooling system, a full-sized video card, all the HDD space you can imagine, and a full 4 slots for optical drives and what not. It’s a snazzy case with a few pains but it sure is pretty.
250 x 605.6 x 578.5 mm
Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces
White accents or all black
20.5” x 8.1” x 20”
USB 3.0 (x2), IEEE 1394 (x1), Headphone (x1), MIC (x1), power, reset, lighting toggle switch
- Side panel with mesh fan mount location
- Four 5.25” drive bays
- Six 3.5” hard drive bays with 2.5” compatibility
- Supports most 240mm dual radiators (15mm spacing)
- Two-year warranty
- 120mm/140mm fan mounts (x6)
- 120mm fan mounts (x4) Includes Fan
- 200mm side panel fan (included)
- 120mm front mounted fans (x2) (included)
- 120mm rear fan (x1) (included)
All information provided by: http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/carbide-series-500r-white-mid-tower-case.html
Testing the Corsair 500R required heating it up! Testing involved recording temperatures for the CPU, GPU, chipset, hard drives, and overall system during idle and load phases. Load was simulated by running Prime95’s small FFTs, HD Tune, and 3Dmark Vantage for one hour. The maximum temperatures were recording using HW Monitor. It is important to note that each case is tested from its factory setup, including location of fans, unless otherwise noted.
Like all the other cases tested here on OCC, the Corsair 500R will be tested as it was delivered. One modification I tend to have to apply to this every time is changing out the rear fan. To make room for my 120mm fans on my water loop I will remove the rear fan and replace it with two 120mm fans with radiator. Other than this modification, the side panel fan and two front fans will remain in place.
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.6 GHz
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD3
- Memory: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 Redline
- Video Card: XFX HD 6970 2 GB
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit SP1
- BitFenix Outlaw
- NZXT Source 220
- NZXT Tempest 210
- Corsair Graphite Series 600T
- Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Edition
This case surprised me a little bit. Cooling-wise it was decent all around. The fan on the side really kept temperatures down on both the chipset and GPU while under load. It competed fairly with the other cases, being only a degree or two above the lowest of lows. Its overall performance is rather impressive, well worth the few hassles of getting your hardware mounted. While the temperatures may not have been jaw-dropping amazing, the low values provide good value to this case.
Overall this case was pretty sweet! I honestly didn't like the way the case appeared out of the box, but it did grow on me over time. I absolutely love the white and black contrast now. I'm considering making this my home theater case in the living room; it just looks that nice. I really like the fact that even though it's white, it isn't that annoying glossy white that shows every finger print. I tend to open my case a lot to add new hardware, tweak things, and just to look at its beauty. Not having to see that I've been opening it with tons of finger prints makes me very happy. One thing I found a little frustrating, and it will probably be even more frustrating for most of you guys out there was the fact that the LED button for the fans was impossible to toggle on and off unless you have something other than your fingers to press it in. Lucky for me, I have female nails. The fan controller toggles to three positions – I'd prefer a knob control like on the Corsair Graphite Series 600T, but this versus nothing at all is a plus in my book. The Corsair 500R has plenty of options for increasing the cooling capacity by adding fans or even placing a liquid cooling system inside the case. The dual 120mm fan openings on the top just scream "water cool me". Overall the case looks nice and the design efforts are there – tool-less drive bays, innovative features, and more.
- Amazing airflow – great temps!
- Pre Installed standoffs
- Cooling expansion
- Water cooling ready
- Fan Speed control
- Innovative features
- USB 3.0
- Tool-less drive bays
- Small Fan LED light switch
- PSU fits really tight