Corsair’s latest mid-tower ATX case comes in two different colours and boasts sound dampening for an almost silent PC build. The case is described as having “sophisticated style and serious versatility” and being “low noise” but does the Carbide Series 678C live up to its claims though? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no due to a variety of factors.
Before we get into the details of why the case isn’t exactly a straight up must buy purchase, here are the tech specs as well as Corsair’s product video for the chassis:
CONTENTS AND SPECIFICATIONS
- Carbide 678C Low Noise Tempered Glass ATX Case, Black
- Case Dimensions: 549mm x 239mm x 497mm
- Maximum GPU Length: 370mm
- Maximum PSU Length: 225mm
- Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 170mm
- Case Expansion Slots: 7+2 vertical
- Case Drive Bays: (x6) 3.5in (x3) 2.5in
- Case Material: Steel, Tempered Glass
- Radiator Compatibility: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm, 420mm
- Compatible Corsair Liquid Coolers: H55, H60, H75, H80i, H90, H100i, H105, H110i, H115i, H150i
The Corsair Carbide 678C is a fairly basic looking Corsair mid-tower ATX case that supports E-ATX, ATX, MicroITX and Mini-ITX motherboards. The case is made from steel as opposed to aluminium, as seen with other cases on the market right now. This may or may not be to your liking since this does mean that the case is a bit more on the heavier side of things coming in at 13.056kg. The case definitely feels sturdy and the steel panels will surely be capable of taking a beating. The tempered glass hinged door on the left side is quite welcome since this provides easy easy to the inner components of your build without needing to undo thumbscrews.
The case’s main selling point is the low-noise capabilities it touts. Corsair have packed EVA foam sound dampeners into the case’s front, side and roof panels and these do an adequate job of lowering the fan noise provided that you aren’t running multiple high rpm fans at insane speeds. The case does ship with 3 SP140 PWM fans as well as a PWM fan repeater that supports 6 fans in total. Should you replace these with something more powerful though, the “low-noise” aspects of the case might be gone with the wind so to speak. It’s disappointing that the fans included aren’t RGB Light Loop fans as shipped with some of Corsair’s other offerings and given the price of the case, this is doubly disappointing.
Speaking of price, the Corsair Carbide 678C does not come cheap. The case retails for a whopping $199 on Corsair’s website and while it is sturdy, packs 3 fans and has tempered glass, there are other offerings out there that are cheaper and are far better. Why do we say far better? Well, primarily the airflow of the Carbide 678C is a concern. The top intake fan and rear exhaust will have to perform quite hard in a high heat environment and a system under load may suffer somewhat because of this. Thankfully, users can install more fans but this is an additional cost that would need to be budgeted for.
Given the airflow issues, a water cooling radiator may be a better option overall for a system built into this case. The optical drive bay featured in this case is removable so should users wish to install a secondary radiator and amp up the water cooling even further, this is an available option.
While the inner part of the case be accessed quite easily by opening the hinged tempered glass door, building into this chassis was somewhat challenging. Corsair claims that users will have tool-free easy access to the innards but when installing components, the screws used on the case were extremely tight and definitely needed a long screwdriver to open. The ATX motherboard we installed into the case also had a slight problem lining up with the mounting screw holes thanks to its I/O shield edging it away from the mounting points ever so slightly. This may or may not be an issue for other users depending on the size of their motherboard and the I/O shields they employ.
Additionally, the front panel of the case is plastic and only opens 90 degrees outward in one direction without the ability to swap it to open in a different direction. This is because the hinges are fixed to one side and you can’t move the panel to the other side unfortunately. The top panel features a rather interesting I/O with a USB 3.1 Type C port being available in addition to two USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack. Props to Corsair for embracing the Type C port. The top panel is rounded off with a magnetic “lid” that covers up the dust filter and renders the top intake fan rather useless. Users may want to leave the lid off should they actually want any sort of airflow in their system at all.
Cable management in the case is a breeze thanks to the vast number of holes available for cables to pass through as well as plenty of spots to fasten cables to with cable ties. Lastly, the hard drive bays are movable thankfully, and there are plenty of mounting options available for both HDDs and SSDs alike.
Overall, the Carbide 678C is a rather standard case with a premium price point that makes no sense for Corsair. At $199, Corsair is not only competing with other brands that have better airflow cases that look gorgeous but also with themselves. Especially since some of their own offerings provide better value for money and look far more attractive. As it stands right now, the Corsair Carbide 678C is a perplexing piece of tech that would be great if it were cheaper instead of the $199 it’s launching at. That said, it ticks all the right boxes for a standard, sturdy, mid-tower case that has noise-reduction properties. Just don’t expect good airflow.