Ostensibly, Corsair's Carbide line of enclosures are their budget cases; the Obsidian and Graphite lines both start where the beefy Carbide R leaves off. Corsair's least expensive entry is the one we have on hand today, the Carbide R. Yet like a certain fruit-flavored company we know, they seem unwilling to part with many of the amenities that make their cases such a joy to assemble and work with, and the result is a Carbide that's caught between two worlds. While that's not in the "true budget" arena we've seen companies like Bitfenix and Antec stake out, it's definitely more affordable than most and may hit a sweet spot for users who don't want to spend too much on a case but want something of slightly higher quality. For the most part you can see it just by looking at the case, too.
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I've routinely mentioned Corsair makes the easiest cases to assemble on the planet, and the R has somehow made that even easier. This assembly was one of the smoothest I've done by a long shot, although there is still at least a little bit of room for improvement.
First, the motherboard tray is practically a godsend. Corsair doesn't include any motherboard standoffs with the R because the tray itself has a single brass stud in the center for lining up the board and then extrusions with mounts built into them.
The only flaw with this design is that it's not ideal for Micro-ATX boards, and the side of ours wound up hanging off with no support. Since that side isn't going to be particularly prone to stress I'm willing to give them a pass, though I would've liked to have seen more than a single arbitrary mounting hole in the tray for a Micro-ATX standoff as well as maybe including one or two standoffs in the package.
Mounting drives to the R was only slightly more difficult. Removing the bay shield from the top 5. The toolless mechanism Corsair uses is a good one, but end users may want to take advantage of the open mounting holes to secure the drive anyhow. Meanwhile, the drive trays are the older style Corsair used, so while the pins pop into 3. Gallery: Corsair Carbide R Assembly. Lining up the power supply for installation was incredibly simple, as the entire area around the power supply bay is basically molded to snugly hold it in place.
Installing the GeForce GTX Ti we use for testing was also just as easy; two thumbscrews secure it in place after removing the replaceable slot covers.
On the flipside, cabling wound up being a little messier than I'd like, and that's at least partially due to the lack of rubber grommets lining the routing holes that I was crying into my beer about earlier.
Another part of the problem is that the routing hole for the AUX 12V line is very narrow and requires shimmying the cable through it. It's an extremely tight fit and could stand to be widened at least a little, and I can see many users just foregoing it entirely.
There's also a decent amount of space behind the motherboard tray, but I miss the routing channels in more modern designs like the Vengeance C I feel like we've lost some of the clean interior assembly that's been par for the course for Corsair's cases, where they practically forced you to keep everything neat.
That said, it's still extremely simple to put together a system in the Carbide R. As I've mentioned repeatedly in the past, though: assembly was never Corsair's problem. Let's see how their budget model handles thermals. Assembling the Corsair Carbide R I've routinely mentioned Corsair makes the easiest cases to assemble on the planet, and the R has somehow made that even easier.
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If you are reading this message, Please click this link to reload this page. Do not use your browser's "Refresh" button. Please email us if you're running the latest version of your browser and you still see this message. Sold and Shipped by Newegg. Pros: Corsair, Big and expandable, Basic case for mom, looks good.
Corsair Carbide 300R Case Review: Corsair For the Masses