Corsair Carbide Series 400R Reviewairman - September 1, 2011
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The front of the case is mainly constructed of a mesh material and surrounded by a bezel – both plastic. Starting from the top, you can see the front I/O and control area between the two rounded edges of the front face. Located on the matte bezel, it consists of two USB ports, audio jacks, power and reset buttons, a Firewire port, and LEDs indicating power and HDD activity. Below that, there are the four 5.25" device bays, which are each closed off by their own mesh cover. Beneath the 5.25" device bays, there is room for two fans and an integrated dust filter that conceals them. Turning to the left side of the case, there is a non-windowed, meshed side panel. Here, two additional 120mm or 140mm fans can be attached. Otherwise, the panel has a simple, plain design. The right side of the case is pretty much identical to the left, minus the mesh for the fans. In this case, it also features a protrusion that allows for a lot of extra room when tucking wires behind the motherboard tray. This is especially important for those who like clean cable management, where it is best to have a large area to hide and route wires. Unlike the higher-end Corsair models, the side panels on the Carbide Series 400R are not secured by quick-release mechanisms, but by two standard thumbscrews in the rear. However, the lines and contours of the panels do a good job at keeping the flow of the case continuous.
Having a look at the rear of the case reveals a familiar sight. To the right of the I/O cutout, there is an included 120mm (140mm optional) exhaust fan. Like its older siblings, the 400R has eight expansion slots with water cooling grommets at their side. The power supply is mounted at the bottom of the case and can be oriented either upwards or downwards. This is helpful for those who may prefer their power supply to sit with the fan facing towards or away from their other components; luckily, this feature is now very common, to the point where I would be surprised if there was no option to orient the power supply as I pleased.
What can be found on the top and bottom of the case is standard design. The top features a large mesh area through which the top 120 mm fans can exhaust warm air, though they must be bought separately. The hole pattern is arranged such that two 140 mm fans may be otherwise attached at the owner's preference. There is also a pocket towards the front – it acts like handle to help stabilize the case while carrying. I can't say for sure whether I'd completely rely on it to transport the case, but it's there nonetheless. The bottom of the case, like other designs, reveals a removable filter that prevents dust from entering through the intake vent on the power supply. It is made of plastic and mesh so it can be easily cleaned. The case has four large rubber pads as feet, which helps to stabilize it on hard floors and prevents vibrations or other noise from being transferred.
Unlike other Corsair cases, the fan filter on the front of the 400R is actually not removable. Generally, there would be locking tabs at the top that are released once pressed inwards. The filter would pivot along the bottom and could then be removed. In this case, the filter is fixed to the bezel. Thankfully, the entire front bezel can be removed by popping out several plastic tabs on each side. There are no wires or accessories attached to the front, so it makes removal much easier. On cases where LEDs and fans are wired directly to the front bezel, these connections can sometimes be broken if the wires are not long enough or if they snag on something while being removed – an otherwise poor engineering choice!
So far, I am liking this case – it is a good medium size and strays away from being too flashy or cheap-looking by using clean lines and a simple design. The paint is of good quality and I expect the inside to be just as nice! Following this page, there will be a close-up look of the case’s interior, features, build quality, and overall functionality.