White is very much the new black, it seems. Corsair’s leading the snowy charge, but we’ve also got a Level 10 case in the labs that’s similarly bright and glaring. We kinda like it as a change, but if you have a look at any of your white goods at home – fridges, washers and the like – you’ll likely notice that it doesn’t take much use to earn a patina of wear marks and stains. If, like us, you use your computer far more than you use your drier (which, by the way, is more a statement of our computing addiction, than an indictment of our cleanliness), it’s fair to say that a white PC will need a bit of love and attention to keep it looking clean. There is a black version, but the one we have on review is the mighty whitey iteration.
However, that’s a tiny complaint – positively churlish, really – compared to the rest of the design-brilliance that makes up the Corsair Carbide 500R.
Externally, beyond the stark black and white colour (or lack thereof) scheme, the case’s lines are simple and elegant. The front fascia is black mesh over two 120mm fans, with controls and IO ports sitting below the top edge. The power and reset buttons are sturdy and with a short travel to a definite actuation point, one of the usual indicators of good case quality in the rest of the build. There are also two USB3 headers, and a lighting control switch to stealth your rig when you don’t want to be blinded by the fan lights.
The upper surface features an elegantly removable black mesh panel, with two empty fan mounts beneath (and room for a radiator if you go the liquid route), and the side panel boasts a 200mm fan to really cool hot-running components. With another fan mounted on the rear panel, this is a very good case for airflow. Even better, every mount features rubber grommets to cut down on vibration and noise.
We were initially sure there was something wrong with the thumb screws that secure the panels, because they seemed ‘stuck’ at first. However, on closer inspection, we noticed the screws were designed in such a way that once unscrewed from the case proper, they still hung on the sidepanel – brilliant! If you’re a frequent upgrader, you’ll know that thumbscrews are pretty easy to lose (although a handy tool tray on the case’s upper surface would help with this), but this solution means you’ll never misplace them. It’s rare to see something entirely new in case design, but Corsair has managed to surprise is with this one; expect to see this on other cases in six months, it’s simply that simple.
Internally, the case is just as smooth. Everything’s black inside, with lots of rubber-grommeted cable runs and room enough behind the mobo tray to make them useful. The ODD bays are secured with a simple tool-less option, while the HDD caddies (which secure drives with rubber grommeted screws) simply clip in and out.
Corsair really seem incapable of making a bad product at the moment, and for the price this case is a great option for the mid-range builder looking for a bold statement for their next rig.