Corsair 400R Boxshot

Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid-Tower PC Chassis Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Packaging and Specifications
  3. External Impressions Part 1
  4. External Impressions Part 2
  5. Internal Impressions Part 1
  6. Internal Impressions Part 2
  7. Installation Experience and Conclusion

I’ve taken a look at the 500R that Corsair sent. The 400R is (judging by the way its modeled) most likely a stripped down all-black case. Time to see if the case is good for its money worth.

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Oh yes!! Remember what I said about 500R’s packaging?

The Styrofoam is no different from 500R’s fate, although looking at the condition of the case itself it was obvious that its been tested by few people before me. Corsair REALLY needs to use thicker Styrofoam.

Advertised Specifications:Corsair 400RCorsair 500R
WarrantyTwo yearsTwo years
Dimension 20.5” x 8.1” x 19.8”20.5” x 8.1” x 20”
MB SupportATX, mATXATX, mATX
Expansion Slots 88
Form FactorMid-towerMid-tower
Material Steel structure with moulded ABS plastic accent piecesSteel structure with moulded ABS plastic accent pieces
Drive Bays (x4) 5.25″, (x6) 3.5″/2.5″ Drive Caddies(x4) 5.25″, (x6) 3.5″/2.5″ Drive Caddies
Cooling (x6) 120mm/140mm fan mounts, (x4) 120mm fan mounts, Includes (x2) front-mounted 120mm fans and (x1) rear 120mm fan(x6) 120mm/140mm fan mounts, (x4) 120mm fan mounts, Includes (x1) 200mm side panel fan, (x2) front-mounted 120mm fans, and (x1) rear 120mm fan
Front I/O(x2) USB 3.0, (x1) IEEE1394, (x1) Headphone, (x1) MIC, Power, Reset, Lighting toggle switch(x2) USB 3.0, (x1) IEEE1394, (x1) Headphone, (x1) MIC, Power, Reset, Lighting toggle switch
Power Supply ATX (not included)ATX (not included)

So the only notable difference in paper spec goes, its the 200mm side panel fan on the 500R, but there’s no fan on 400R’s left sidepanel. Moving on…

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Corsair 400R


Corsair 500R

With the exception that you can mount a 200mm fan on the left side panel and eject the top panel on the 500R, the difference is bit cosmetic. The protruding side panel stands out in 400R due to the paint job and also rather than having a flat top panel, there’s a space inside the plastic mold on the 400R and the protruding mesh design for top panel fans (mesh cannot be ejected as on the 500R). 500R looks as if you can mount a water-cooling radiator on top with ease within the top panel (provide the radiator is thin enough to fit in) whereas for 400R, you either mount it from within- or just keep it up on the top. If you’re going to going to use something like H50, both are not bad, although the rear I/O rubber grommets is a lot better off being placed above/below the rear fan, in case you want to mount those radiators from the outside. If you want to go for a full-fledged water cooling, you might want to look somewhere else. Moving on with the 400R…

There are 4x 5.25″ bays with Power button with Power LED backlit (white), an HDD activity light below it, followed by 2X USB 3.0 ports, the audio ports, the firewire ports, the Reset and the Fan LED off/on button. To be honest, I would have like to see 2-4 USB 2.0 headers, seeing how boards come with around 2-4 USB 2.0 headers on the motherboard itself. Not a lot of people use Firewire.

The part of the top panel has a matte black finish with a rough feel to it- and a space deep enough to put your hand inside. At this point of writing I assumed maybe it’s a handle but after opening the case and taking a look, it’s more like a space to store stuff (read internal impressions to know more). There’s no removable top panel mesh but rather a protruding 2x 120mm fan mesh (no filters unfortunately)- with rubber grommets for the fans.

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Remember, in ATX form factor boards there’s room for 7x PCI slots. This case has 8. So you can use the last one for USB 2.0 PCI slots or anything else. It’s as useful as how Coolermaster provides a vertical PCI slot on their cases.

Towards the rear, there’s a 140mm/120mm fan grill mesh with 120mm fan pre-installed Corsair_400R_012Its the little details that matter- there are rubber grommets installed on the 120mm rear fans as well.

All PCI slots are re-usable with vents. Towards the right, there are 4x rubber grommets for routing WC tubes through the case. Do note that there’s a circular rubber “ring” on the grommets itself to hold all the triangular cut-outs in place. And this is the part that I raised my concerns in 500R and it came through in 400R.

Highlighted in red, these are the damaged on the rear panel: the rivet is missing, the mount holes for the power supply is bent and the base is bent. I do acknowledge that this case has been used by people before me, but this damage does not happen when you are putting a rig together and removing it. This damage happened because the Rear I/O is flimsy. Even the part next to the grommets feels flimsy. If you’re getting a case with a lot of features and for a low cost, you will not be surprised if there’s some cons or the other. This con could have been overshadowed if the packaging was made strong enough. The 2 sides of the Styrofoam are usually the first break, followed by crack from within the Styrofoam. If your case has taken some pounding during shipping, you could expect certain damages. There were many cases that had some flimsy part somewhere on the case, that’s all the more reason the packaging should be strong enough to protect the case. Afterall, it is YOUR money. Its least expected. If for any reason you’re buying this case for retail, do open the package and check the exterior of the case.

Both the side panels have a matching protruding designs, with the left side panel having the option to mount fans. Such design is helpful, at least in my experience with the 500R on the right side panel, when you have a lot of cable routing and since there’s a recessed area from inside the panels, it helps a bit. Like the top and the rear panel, the side panel fans have rubber grommets for 120mm fan mounts. No plasticky attachment. Straightforward steel case with protruding designs.

The base is no different from the 500R- even the case feets and the dust filter tray are the same. While its a big thumbs up to 400R, you have to wonder at this point of time if there’s any significant advantage of the 500R, except the ejectable mesh fan filters and the 200mm fan (..and wouldn’t it be better if it was modelled as “400R Special Edition” or something more appropriate?).

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

The 400R’s insides are also not really different from the 500R. Corsair has maintained a very good and useful recessed L-shaped section for easier cable routing from behind. All the motherboard standoff required to mount an ATX form factor board is pre-installed brass standoffs.

There are 4x 5.25″ bays which is secured by a tool-less clip from the left side panel and from the other side it simply clips on the hardware. There are 6x 3.5″ HDD trays with the ability t o install 2.5″drives on them- that requires 4 sets of screws. You cannot tilt/remove the HDD bay unlike in 500R or remove a part of it to install larger cards. The part is that it’s with 90-degree tilt and all the cables stay hidden on the other side. There’s a generous amount of space surrounding the motherboard plate, making it VERY easier to route cables and install any add-ons on the system. There’s about 12 inches of space from the PCI slots to the HDD bay, something that most of them are implementing in cases that you get for some time. 4 grommets for cable management+ a hole above the PSU section for re-routing cables There’s a rectangular cut-out for accessing CPU cooler backplate from the other side of the case and a cut-out to route the EPS power cable. There’s a rubber standoff for the power supply on the base and well as a section to install 140/120mm fan, should you wish to do so.

Looking at the screws on the top panel, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the top panel can be removed by unscrewing from 3 sides: left right and front. The L-shaped Recessed area gives a breathing space 2.5 centimeters, but it’s the same as the 500R so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be adequate. That hole on the motherboard plate is present where the plate is recessed so it gives an “angle” to drag down the cables and keep them well within the recessed area. There’s a small space between the 5.25″ BAY and the motherboard panel, mostly will be useful to route the fan cables through.

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

I removed the front panel bezel to get a better look of the case from the inside. While the buttons and connectors are as same as what 500R has, it’s nice to see Corsair uses the metal “claw” clamp for the front panel. I am sure this is going to be a standard that everyone is going to follow for mid end cases eventually. There are 2x 120mm Corsair fans with White LED from a separate wire lead so that you can turn off the LED should you not require. Sweet!! I am tired of seeing blue LED and black PC cases…oh well at least there’s no blue LED.Corsair_400R_039   You’re getting all that you’ll ever need: longer screws for fans, motherboards, power supply, few motherboard standoff (will require to mount mATX form factor motherboards) couple of clamps, a very useful USB 3.0-to-USB 2.0 header converter followed by some cable ties. But to be honest those fan screws are useless to install top/side panel fans.

From the left: that’s the screw that used on the rear panel and towards the right is installing it with the screws provided with other screws. I can’t even use them for the side and top panel and they don’t hold the fans. The longer screws are used for mounting front panel fans since the mounting hole on the case is of the same size as of the threads. When I googled it out, I wasn’t the only person having this issue. Not everyone bundles fan with screws- and to add further to the issue, because of the rubber grommets you will require the same fan screws as used on the rear panel. Very strange to see this happen from Corsair’s end.

When I received the case, the front panel header connectors was detached. It is originally glued over it but looks like someone yanked a cable out accidentally. I had to remove the epoxy and straighten out a couple of pins before connecting it. Also, unlike the 500R, there wasn’t any clamp to hold down the front panel cables on the top from within and you will need to do it unless you want the cables to be hanging inside the 5.25″ bays- but you can use one of the adhesive taped clamps that you received with  the screws.

If you look at the clamps on the top panel, this was the point I realized that the hole on the top panel wasn’t meant to slide you hand in and carry the case (yeah- I did assume it which then I found it strange why would Corsair design a handle grip). It’s not possible for those clamps to hold the weight of the case. So the hole for top panel is more for stashing small trinkets or flash drives- stuff like that.

I need to remind people that this media sample was obviously used by other respected media guys before I got it. When I received it, this is how it was.

Corsair_400R_033

If you see these 4 clamps that hold the front panel buttons and connectors, originally the front panel plate was above it and the front panel was not fitted properly. Whoever did this, didn’t have any care or respect for the hardware so that’s not cool. Luckily nothing was damaged, except a minor dent on the front panel’s 5.25″ bezel (though I don’t think this happened because of this).Corsair_400R_036 This is the angle that shows the depth of the L-shaped recessed area. It’s a simple and a very helpful implementation to route the cables through easily.

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

With the exception of useless fan screws, damage on the I/O sections and few nitpicks, I had fun putting the system together on the 400R no questions asked. When I said I had fun, I spent less than 30 minutes to put this system together and I enjoyed every minute I spent with this case. It’s hard to put in words, but it’s to say that its hassle-less.

I wish the rubber grommet next to the power supply was larger like how Storm Trooper has. This will routing experience a whole lot better. Do note that I don’t have a GPU but I kept 2x 6+2 PCIe power connector just above the Asus Xonar DX (with a floppy power connector on it) to give you some a good idea of the rig. The front panel audio headers are long enough even if your motherboard has those headers towards the left of the PCI slot- or in sound cards. They’re long enough to be re-routed through that hole above the PSU and route it between the motherboard and the card, should you want to do so. If you think it needs a cable tie to hold down the EPS/ATX connector running through the motherboard plate, that’s where the other clamp comes useful. You don’t need to worry that being an obstacle for closing the side panels, and besides that’s the plus point of having protruding side panel design.

Once you install the motherboard, there’s about 4 cm. of space between the top panel and the motherboard from within. If you have those box coolers and motherboards with the sockets installed in a way those coolers will “stick out”, there’s some breathing space- or if you want to install fans on the top. The USB 3.0-to-USB 2.0 header will be a saviour for a lot of people. The space towards the right of the motherboard is adequate to install SATA cabled and headers without squeezing your head inside and hoping it goes inside. As said there’s a spare PCiE slot so you can install a fan controller for a USB 2.0 PCI slot should you wish to do so without letting it come in the way of the motherboard’s PCI slots. You’ll need to be little bit “tact” when you’re installing one of the motherboard secure screws, just above the heatsink. If you have a large box heatsink and depending on the layout of the board, this could be a bit tricky. If you have a shorter screwdriver handle, issue resolved. It could use a hole on the case where you slide it in and then install the screw. Again, this is not a con, not even close to half-way. Bitfenix and Corsair make great fans that you can rely on to be near silent-ish in full speed for a long run. Coolermaster uses their usual fans (they have 120mm, 140mm and 200mm variant of the same model) which makes more noise than usual when you run at full power for a longer period).   Before I forget:

I was not able to install 3 screws for the power supply. All the more reason to check the I/O section (and if Corsair is correcting those fan screw issue on the 400R while they’re at it I wish they give a thicker Styrofoam protection). Oh! missing rivet! yikes. But the motherboard plate doesn’t seem to be out of place or “loose”. Still, I feel very bad for this case getting such treatment from the shipment companies.

Other than the front 2x 120mm fans, the power button and the Activity light, there’s no “LED Bling” on it. I am fond of white lights more than blue and red lights because they spread around the fans very nicely and yet they’re not irritatingly bright. If you find it annoying, you can always turn it off.

IndiaU.S.U.K.
Rs. 5040$ 99.99£78.89

I would really like to see atleast 2 USB 2.0 ports more on the front. I would have liked to see fan filters for the top and side panel. I would have like thicker Styrofoam and/or strong I/O panel. Fan screws provided with the case are useless. Or else I wouldn’t have any reason to give it 5 stars. But since I loved the case overall and its nicely priced+ 2 years of warranty support, this is the first case that I reviewed so far that I love!!! 500R should be labelled as “400R Special edition” because that’s what it is: its a premium version of 400R. Its like having 3 versions of the car: but the difference between the base model and the slightly expensive model is alternate paint on the dashboard, a music player with USB ports and maybe better upholstery for more price.

The only reason why anyone would pick up a 500R (mostly and in my opinion) is that they’re tired of seeing the same chassis colour and wouldn’t mind extra features for a premium that’s not really worth over 400R. I don’t have that much faith over white panels because I suspect the colour might be affected in the future due to humidity and back then it used to cost more what it is now and since almost everything is on 400R it doesn’t make sense to pick a 500R. The case design overall is run-of-the-mill and the build quality that is reflected by the damage is ridiculous and represents the worse case scenario when the packaging can take a hard hit. It’s nothing special, especially if you have been staring at CM 690 type cases for a very VERY long time. But it’s getting the job done and it’s doing it nicely. It’s fun to work with this case. There’s not much B.S. happening inside so even if you plan to spend bit more money on the case or a bit less, this case will be in your list or will be recommended by a lot of people. For that it’s worth, this case is a very good case to consider with some nit-picks to bear in mind. Do note that it has 4cms space between the top panel and motherboard from within, so I wouldn’t recommend installing a Watercooling unit thick radiator from inside. Corsair, please make me a happy guy by making I/O section stronger.

Total
0
Shares
2 comments
  1. excellent review sir. 400r is still the best case unfortunately the price has increased significantly since then

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Beyond News. Beyond Reviews. Beyond Guides & Recommendations.

Join the never ending discussions on never ending topics.
Previous Article
Coolermaster Cosmos II Ultra Tower

Coolermaster Cosmos II Ultra announced, weighs 22 kilos

Next Article
flipkart asus Z77

Flipkart lists Asus Z77 boards online

Related Posts

Beyond News. Beyond Reviews. Beyond Guides & Recommendations.

Hardware BBQ is a PC hardware review, news and recommendations website. Typical of such PC hardware websites, I encourage two-way communication and discussions. Help us to help everybody by being a part of it. I am pretty active on Twitter. But for any detailed discussions and inquiries, you can always join the Discord group for any discussions.The future plans include streaming on Twitch, but I'll let you if and when that plan is made. Don't forget to follow the channel if you're interested.