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Corsair Carbide 500R

Corsair's slogan for this model is “Serious airflow never looked this good”. In fact, this is an optimized Carbide 400R. The 500R has the same chassis while the differences in their interior and exterior design are not dramatic at all.

The 500R looks like the 400R externally save for a few nuances.

Instead of the 400R’s punched-out fan grids, the flagship model has a prettier inset grid that allows installing either a pair of 120/140mm fans or a single 200mm monster. One fan of the latter form-factor and with highlighting is included with the 500R.

As opposed to the cheaper models of the series, the 500R has vibration-absorbing spacers on each screw hole for fans.

There’s a decorative metallic mesh above the top panel but the 500R lacks the 400R’s improvised carry handle and has a hollow for storing small things instead.

The I/O block is shaped differently with a clearly defined edge instead of the curvy profile of the Carbide 400R. It now includes a 3-way selector of fan speed.

There are no other external differences between the two models, except for the color. It is the white paint (which is similar in texture to the 400R's) that attracts the eye to our sample of the Carbide 500R. The cheaper models of the series are not available with this color scheme. The 500R is also available in a dark version which is hardly any more impressive than the 400R.

 

The “petal” fasteners of the front panel are a problem with this system case. When we took the panel off and put it back on, one of the fasteners didn’t lock in its socket normally. The difference can be easily seen in the photographs.

The interior design resembles the Carbide 400R again. The only difference is about the disk rack.

There are in fact two separate racks, each for three devices. The top rack can be removed to leave room for long expansion cards.

The bottom rack has the same design and can be removed as well after unfastening the four additional screws that attach it to the bottom of the chassis. Well, you have to leave at least one rack in place for your disks, anyway.

The disk guides are the same as the 400R’s.

  

The assembly process is exactly as with the Carbide 400R with but minor differences. For example, you can remove the top disk rack, connect the side fan to the speed regulator and use rubber vibration-absorbing pads for optional fans.

The included fans are the same as come with the Carbide 400R plus a 200mm fan for the side panel (of course, it blocks the mounting holes of the side 120/140mm fans when installed). There’s a speed controller, too.

The back fan, like the 400R’s, is connected to the mainboard which regulates its speed. Our mainboard set its speed at 850 RPM.

The speed of the other preinstalled fans is regulated by a 3-way switch. According to our monitoring tools, the speed of the front 120mm fans was 760/1050/1200 RPM at the low/medium/high setting of the controller. The 200mm 13-blade monster was rotating at 510/670/830 RPM then.

Like the Carbide 400R, the 500R claims compatibility with Corsair's liquid cooling systems H80 and H100. The place for the radiator is on the top panel below the decorative covering.

When assembled, this system case looks more impressive than the Carbide 400R thanks to the optional white coloring and the additional highlighted fan on the side panel.

Highs:

  • Compatible with USB 3.0 and can be connected to the mainboard’s USB 2.0 header
  • Good ventilation by default
  • Easy to assemble
  • Highlighting that can be turned off if necessary
  • Fan speed controller
  • Compatible with long expansion cards

Lows:

  • No adapter to install a 3.5-inch device into a 5.25-inch bay
  • Top panel has no protection against dust
 
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