Corsair Vengeance C70 Review

Waco - 2012-05-11 08:24:19 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Waco   
Reviewed on: July 1, 2012
Price: $149.99

Introduction:

Today we'll take a look at another of Corsair's unique cases, the Corsair Vengeance C70. This is a case that I had mixed feelings about when hearing about it. I've seen case mods done before with old ammo boxes that had been cut up and shaped to fit hardware. They were either all beat up from use or painted to look such a way; I really liked them. The Corsair Vengeance C70 comes in army green, black, and white. You'll see why I'm talking about ammo boxes when we move on to pictures.

The Vengeance C70 has lots of external features that both serve a functional purpose as well as add to the character of the case. The majority of the build is made of steel, except for a few plastic/rubber additions, and has every inch completely painted inside and out. There are two spring loaded fold down handles on the top of the case that actually can support the weight of a build to carry it around. The front I/O panel is the part that really made me like the initial look: a flip up cover on the reset button and an industrial-look power button. Overall it has a rugged look – and whether or not you thought you wanted to have an ammo style case – Corsair has left it for you to decide what to do with it: you can prepare it for stealth mode or prepare it for war.

Corsair sort of takes away my lingering wish to convert an old ammo case by placing an army green C70 in my hands for review this week. It definitely isn't your ordinary case, it has the right approach, but I'm curious as to how it all holds up. Why don't we take a closer look at what the C70 is really made of – let's hope it doesn't get a dishonorable discharge in the end.

Closer Look:

The C70 arrived in a box that isn't atypical at all for Corsair. Simple cardboard with black print announces that you've just gotten a nice new replacement for your tired old chassis. The front side of the box clearly shows the Vengeance branding and model with very large text. A few lines of features are listed in both English and French (I think). There is a line drawing of the case as well so if you're browsing Microcenter or Fry's you can be sure you know what you're getting. The back side of the box shows an exploded view of the case with a list of features at the bottom in many languages. The left and right sides of the box are essentially identical, listing the specifications of the case (which are listed in full on page three).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening up the box was uneventful as always when opening packaging from Corsair. The case arrived with nary a dent or scratch, which is a testament to the shipping protection that Corsair puts into its packaging. I can't count the number of times products, especially cases, get destroyed by UPS or FedEx long before I ever see them at my doorstep. Perhaps my local delivery people are a bit more rough than others, but either way, this case will get to you in one piece thanks to its excellent packaging. Let's get this thing unwrapped and take a look at it!

 

Closer Look:

My first impression after lifting the case out of the box was…did I just get a huge ammo box? The look is military-inspired, to say the least. There isn't anything on the case that isn't functional. The front panel sports a very large opening for cooling fans highlighted by a large rigid hexagonal frame hidden behind the smaller mesh of the removable fan filter. The power and reset buttons also have a decidedly military theme to them – the reset button even has a safety cover! I know it's a small touch, but it really makes the whole look for the front of the case.

Moving on to the back side of the case the industrial military theme continues. The entire rear panel is vented by slanted openings top to bottom. If you like to load up your case with fans to produce positive pressure to keep dust out – this case is going to work well. All that extra pressure should vent heat right out the back without compromising your cooling performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sides of the case are quite simple…but you can see that these side panels have a pretty unique feature near the top of each panel. I'll go into detail about these interesting looking latches on the next page when detailing the working components of the case. Each side panel has its center section bumped out to create more clearance although the left side panel has a fairly large window with mounting holes precut for 120 mm and 140 mm cooling fans. The window is actually smoked slightly as well, which gives the case a more industrial look.

 

 

This angle shows the venting near the top of the case as well – it's identical to the mesh on the front of the case. Cooling doesn't seem like it'll be much of an issue in this case. The overall look is still very reminiscent of an oversized ammunition case, which I have to say I really do like. Move on to the next page to see what lies in store for you on the interior!

Closer Look:

Pulling the side panels off reveal a fully-painted interior with the same army-green paint that's slathered all over the exterior. The paint has a bit of a texture to it and it feels extremely tough; you won't be nicking the paint with dropped screwdrivers very easily. The motherboard tray has a good-sized cutout for rear-mounting heatsink brackets without removing the motherboard and the cable management openings are, in a word, massive. You could easily fit all of the cables into the rear side of the motherboard tray through the opening near the power supply even with a massive non-modular PC Power & Cooling PSU. The backside of the tray has the chassis wiring already pre-routed through a few management clips… more on those in a second.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can see the cable management clips holding down the pre-routed cables. These clips are very sturdy when clipped and have more than enough clearance under them to route even the largest of cables (like the 24-pin ATX connector) without crushing them. There are also more than a few notches cut into the back panel to allow the zip-tying of cables to the panel to keep things tidy should you decide not to route all of your cables through the included management clips. There is ample room behind the back panel to hide wiring especially since the rear panel has a bumped out center to accommodate extra cabling.

 

 

The 5.25" drive bays are an interesting all-metal tool less design. They are extremely simple spring-loaded metal tabs that lock your drives into place. They really tie into the military styling on the outside of the case and feel extremely sturdy as well. The six 3.5" HDD/SSD trays have a pair of 120 mm fans set up to pull air through them (rather than pushing through the cages like most cases). This design usually tends to be a bit quieter since it moves the fans further into the interior of the case. The trays themselves feel slightly flimsy but when an HDD is mounted to them they feel sturdy enough. The flexibility makes it quite easy to mount the HDDs as well.

Swinging around to the rear panel of the case we can see the 120 mm exhaust fan as well as the ample venting all over the rear panel and PCI/PCIe expansion slots. The top of the case does not have any pre-mounted cooling fans but there are mounting points for a pair of either 120 mm or 140 mm fans.

 

 

Finally I get to show you the side panel clips! If you've ever opened an ammunition case you'll recognize these instantly. They operate exactly like your box of bullets – just swing the bottom portion up to unlock. After unlocking, just swing the top arms away from the top of the case. That's it! No thumb screws, no clips that tend to jam up, just pure industrial simplicity. I absolutely love these clips – just watch your fingers when clamping them down. They do snap on to the case with a very loud and authoritative snap. It's obvious that this case means business.

 

 

The front panel continues the military theme with the power button and HDD indicator light. The reset switch is covered up by a spring-loaded safety flip… you won't accidentally bump it, ever. Thankfully I had my fiancée (and fellow reviewer) around to assist with holding the spring loaded reset cover up. She also assisted with the spring-loaded carrying handles. The springs aren't terribly strong, which makes them easy to grab. They feel extremely sturdy and I wouldn't worry about lugging the case around full of even the heaviest hardware.

 

 

Corsair included the usual accoutrements (yay military terms) with the Vengeance C70: zip ties, fan screws (with grommets), and a USB 3.0 to 2.0 converter just in case your motherboard doesn't have a USB 3.0 header onboard. The manual is printed quite nicely and goes over how to install hardware and fans into the case. Granted, most people putting together a rig can probably do without the manual, but it's nice to have just in case something does get confusing.

 

Filling the Vengeance C70 with hardware was as simple as it can be. There's plenty of room to work with and the cable routing options are phenomenal. I was literally able to push all of the cables from the PSU through the grommet at the same time. Most cases require you to push a single cable through at a time to avoid pulling the grommet through the hole along with your cables. These grommets are so large that it'll never be an issue. It's a nice touch that I'm surprised more cases haven't picked up on. It wasn't an issue with my XFX 7970, but if you do happen to have a ludicrously long video card, both HDD bays are removable in groups of three. I can't think of a single card long enough to require that, but if you desired, you could run the case with no HDD bays at all (there's enough room for a 240 mm radiator up front if you remove them). You can see an HDD mounted in one of the upper HDD bays in this picture – I included it for reference only – it was not used during testing.

 

The theme of function over form continues when powering the machine up. The fans do not waste power by lighting up (and they are extremely quiet too). The front panel is lit purely by a white LED under the power switch along with the muted white LED for HDD/SSD activity. Overall the case is impressive so far! Hopefully the looks will be backed up by its performance.

Specifications:

Warranty:
2 Years
Dimensions:
501(H) x 232(W) x 533(L) mm
MB Support:
ATX, mATX
Expansion Slots:
8
Form Factor:
Mid-Tower
Cooling:
120 mm fans x 3
5.25" Bays:
3
3.5"/2.5" Drive Bays:
6
Front I/O:
USB 3.0 x 2, headphone jack, microphone jack, power, reset
Power Supply:
ATX (not included)

 

Features:

 

 

 

 

Information provided by: http://www.corsair.com/en/pc-cases/vengeance-series-gaming-case/vengeance-c70-mid-tower-gaming-case-military-green.html

Testing:

Testing the Corsair Vengeance C70 required pushing my hardware to heat things 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 while also running 3DMark Vantage for one hour. The maximum temperatures were recorded using HW Monitor. It is important to note that each case is tested from its factory setup, including location of fans, unless otherwise noted.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Cases:

 

 

Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vengance C70 falls right into the lower/middle of the pack. It has a bit of a high idle for the CPU temperature but clearly CPU cooling is not an issue when things start to heat up – it performed better than many cases that have a lot more (and more noisy) fans. Load temperatures all around were quite good, comparing well with the much larger Enermax Fulmo GT and the C70's fellow Corsair cases. In fact, with the exception of the 300R for the loaded CPU, it matches or outperforms essentially all of Corsair's other cases under load! Color me impressed, especially for the extremely quiet fans in this case.

Conclusion:

Overall I honestly can't complain about anything on this chassis. It is roomy, it is quiet, and it cools well. The military-inspired looks may not be for everyone but I definitely like the "no compromise" styling for function over form. The side panel clamps are a dream to work with (no more sore fingers from thumb screws!) and the handles on the top of the case make moving it a simple matter.  The case itself is relatively lightweight despite its all-steel construction, which only adds to its portability.

If you're looking for a new case and don't have the modding skills necessary to turn an actual ammunition case into a computer case (which would have to be ITX based) this may be what you've been waiting for without even realizing it. You can fit any hardware you can imagine, even dual 240 mm water cooling radiators, without any modifications at all. The handles on the top make this chassis nearly ideal for a LAN rig and the construction overall leaves nothing on the table. It's simple. It's strong. It's smart. It's Corsair through and through.

 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: