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Thursday, 21 May 2015


Corsair Carbide 100R Review and Specifications

So you've got everything in place for your new gaming cum video editing build with multiple GPUs coupled with a liquid cooling setup and a bunch of storage drives. Sounds cool till the time you don't run into a budget crisis especially when you can't ignore vital components like a high  wattage 80+ gold power supply unit. Now all you can do is to cut the cost of your cabinet and keep the performance level intact, but which one to choose? Don't worry Corsair has come to your rescue and has launched the very compact and competitive Corsair Carbide 100R mid tower cabinet!
The Carbide 100R is the bottom line cabinet from the house of Corsair and is aimed at mainly gamers, enthusiasts and even a home PC build so that covers pretty much everything. It comes in two variants the Carbide 100R and the Carbide 100R Silent edition.
Today I'm reviewing the Corsair Carbide 100R basic edition & hope to make your shopping list a tad bit narrower. So before we move on lets take a look at the specifications:
In my methodical manner we'll start the review in the following way so you can skip to any portion you deem fit for your preferences just in case you don't want to read the whole review.

  •     The Packing
  •     Inside and Out the Carbide 100R
  •     Testing: Load tests and Noise Levels
  •     To Buy or not to buy?

The Packing

The Corsair Carbide 100R comes in a standard cardboard box packing kept in vertical face up position in contrast to the standing horizontal position that most of the cases come in. This is a move made by Corsair to reduce the price of the cabinet to a bare minimum by reducing the cost of cardboard used but is wisely compensated by Styrofoam blocks that are on either sides of the packaging.
The Styrofoam is thin, but this case is not heavy so there is plenty of shock value to this packaging. The case is actually really lightweight so this amount of foam is plenty for the Corsair Carbide 100R. Its small but very compacted Styrofoam that is really tough to break.
I received mine in a no damage no broke condition so I'll say that the packing can withstand any kind of ordeal during transit that are quite common in India. So I'd consider it as a welcome move by Corsair to keep the money concentrated on the main module and not wasting it on fancy packaging by keeping it simple and efficient.
Also it includes a standard manual for the cabinet, a warranty card and four zip ties along with ample of screws for your radiators, fans, SSDs etc.

Inside and Out the Carbide 100R

Inside: Just perfect

On the inside the Carbide 100R is black coated and has ample of space with a rear 120mm exhaust fan pre-installed along with mounting space for two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator liquid cooling setup. In the front just behind the fascia plate we have the options for two 120mm or two 140mm fan mounts. For storage Corsair has given two cages for 5.24' optical drives and a cage for installing four 2.3'/3.5' storage drives.
The Corsair Carbide 100R can support a maximum of ATX form factor motherboards anything above that will not fit inside at all. The PSU mount has a dust filter installed underneath to keep the insides clean and dust free. The filter can be pulled out even when the cabinet is upright and running. Also there are no rubber grommets on the slots and cavities but that doesn't make the cabinet look ugly or leaves any sharp edges, this not only a sign of good cost cutting but also shows that Corsair managed to pull up a decent design control system on this cabinet to give the user a balanced feel.

On removing the rear panel we see that the wire management options are good enough and can support a decent build inside. The removable motherboard back plate is present to ease the user in changing cooling kit brackets as per the need without pulling out the whole motherboard out. For proper wire management its adviceable that you use ribbon cables as you have around an inch of  clearance from the back-plate and thanks to the convex shape you can squeeze in another quarter inch or so of clearance for routing and bundling your wires.
The Graphics Card clearance is virtually infinite as you can fit any graphics card available in  the market today but the second GPU has a limit of about 280mm or 11 inches which means that big graphic cards like the Sapphire R9 270X Toxic or the Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 gaming edition will not fit inside for a dual CrossfireX or SLI configuration.
Its worth mentioning that if you use air coolers for your CPU then you'll have around 150mm of clearance which can be stretched upto 155mm thanks to the convex side panel. 
  • Ample of space for a decent configuration.
  • Looks elegant and clean with good customization options.
  • Can support powerful cards in SLI/CrossFireX configuration.
  • The CPU power cable routing hole is a bit misplaced.
  • No clearance for you to remove a fan connector or RAM modules once a radiator is placed on the top mounts.
Outside: Elegant and Stylish

The Carbide 100R is a soothing sight which is both elegant and beautiful at the same time not too bland and plain. The front fascia appears to be of brushed aluminum but is of plastic instead. No dust filters are provided on the front but a line of grills with perforation inside run through the outer edges that help the fans in front to intake air. They act as good enough dust obstructions and at the same time give the 100R an appealing look.
We have two USB 3.0 ports and one mic & audio jack followed by an illuminated reset and power button.

On the top the 100R comes with two openings for mounting a 240mm radiator or two 120mm fans. The side panel is transparent and rigid by the use of plexiglass. It gives a premium finish and gives a peek inside of your system as well.
The rear has seven expansion slots with one 120mm pre-installed exhaust fan and provision for a bottom mounted PSU.
  • Looks premium with a decent design like the Obsidian series
  • Tough side transparent panel
  • Illuminated reset and power button
  • Rubberized screw to hold the side panel
  • No front dust filter

Testing: Load tests and Noise Levels

For the  installation and testing I managed to install the following parts inside the Corsair Carbide 100R for a humble configuration:
AMD FX 8350 3.5 Ghz Octa Core
MSI GTX 970 4G
Antec VP500PC 500W PSU

Pardon me for the poor photograph as I don't have good lighting inside my room. I also installed an additional 140mm intake fan in the front along with the pre-installed 120mm exhaust on the back.
I tested the Carbide 100R for temperature and noise levels by keeping the setup at stock frequency running Prime95 64 bit for half and hour and then doing the same on an over clocked AMD FX 8350 at 4.7 Ghz.
This is a very decent and commendable performance for a case of this prize and features. Also for the noise test we obtained the following results.

To Buy or not to buy?

Overall we are impressed with what the Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Edition has to offer.  We are very happy to see that Corsair are catering for gaming enthusiasts of all budgets within their range of cases.
The exterior design of the Carbide 100R Silent Edition is very understated and should appeal to a wide audience, including those outside the gaming market.  In fact those looking to build a PC for the home and office environment are likely to also consider the Carbide 100R.  As we have come to expect from Corsair the build quality is quite impressive, despite the low price point of the case.
Perhaps the weakest aspect of the Carbide 100R is the amount of space to work with.  While there is room for a full-size ATX inside, space around it is rather restrictive. But that is something that I can live with and won't be bothered about much.
In my tests the 100R passed with flying colors and that is all one wants, performance for buck.
I give it a well deserved 9/10

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  1. Thanks for this: appreciate it. I wouldn't give this a 9 though: a 7--8. The absence of a dust filter will be a nightmare in India.

    1. Thank you for the comment.
      Yes you are correct but my score was based on the fact that in this price range the build quality and other features are unmatched.

  2. "big graphic[s] cards (...) will not fit inside for a dual CrossfireX or SLI configuration."

    So "Can support powerful cards in SLI/CrossFireX configuration." is not really a 'pro' then... (And the GTX 970 would count as a powerful graphics card!)

    1. Hello,
      Well this review was published and written in May 2015 and back then the GTX 970 was one of the best cards one could get for gaming.
      Also cards of that time could fit in the case for SLI and CrossFireX provided we aren't talking about Liquid cooled cards or really long cards such as the Zotac GTX 1080 Extreme AMP edition since most other air cooled cards are less than 11 inches in length and hence can be comfortably put in a pair.

  3. i have bad experience with this cabinet because motherboard back side
    has very little space and you could not do better cable management
    if you have non modular PSU really worst cabinet itz my expereince

    1. Yes I agree to that since the cabinet has around 1 inch of clearance with another quarter inch from the convex side panel which makes it hard for cable management if your PSU has thick cables.
      Thankfully Corsair did take this in notice & brought out better cabinets in this range such as the SPEC-04.
      Thank you for sharing your experience really appreciate it.