Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Rock Midtower

Corsair Graphite 600T - Case Review

I. Introduction

What a good way to start a blog by reviewing a good enthusiast mid-tower case from a respectable company that is Corsair.

Corsair was founded in 1994 as Corsair Microsystems that originally developed Level 2 cache modules for OEM Pentium Pro processors, and moved into providing enthusiasts with DRAM modules, and now, with different top-quality products like power supplies, coolers, solid state drives and what we are reviewing today, computer cases.

II. Review

The Corsair 600T is a computer enthusiast Mid-tower case. This is the ONLY corsair case on their Graphite series although it comes in different flavors-- plain, mesh and window.. It comes in three colors as well-- White, Silver, and Black, which we are going to review.

Stands at a hefty 507mm, Lengthy as well at 592mm and is 265mm in width. This case also is a bit heavy for a mid tower, weighing more than 12kgs.

Fig 1.1 - The bare case. So sexy even naked!

I wouldn't put this rock on higher grounds if I were you. As a mid-tower case it supports ATX cases and smaller form factors like matx and itx, but I wouldn't see the reason why. If it's of your liking then do so. It has a preinstalled center standoff so you can mount your board spot-on. unfortunately the motherboard tray isn't removable.

Fig 2.1 - the motherboard tray, thank you captain obvious!

It has eight removable vented expansion slots, watercooling holes to route your cables and/or tubes for an external radiator, dual 120mm top mounts (or a 200mm fan that comes with the case). Four 5.25" tool-less bays with covers that can be easily removed from the inside.

The case comes with a 200mm fan in front. Unfortunately, you cannot swap in two 120mm fans for the 200mm, but it does have a removable dust filter on the front, as well as behind, below the PSU bay.

Fig 2.2 - the front 200mm white led fan and the
invisible modular hard drive caddies.

 It comes with two *modular hard drive caddies with three sleds each so you can have a maximum of 6 drives installed there. It is completely tool-less and is 90degree mounted so the connectors would face the back of the mobo tray, excellent for cable management. You can also mount 2.5" SSD's to the sleds, but you need to screw them into it. You can stack the two caddies, remove one, remove both, or whatever. (please excuse the dust. It was very windy during the review and they really want to join the photos a lot lol)

*modular meaning you can move it to your liking, stack it, or simply remove it.

Fig 2.3 - the now visible modular drive caddies

Up front is your case control center. It has four USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a IEEE 1394 port which people hardly use, power and reset buttons, hard drive activity and power led, your 3.5mm microphone and headphone front audio jacks and a knob-designed fan controller. This device can control up to four fans via voltage control, but fans would run at the same speed since everything is handled by the single controller only. Unfortunately the USB 3.0 port is a USB pass-through that you need to connect at the back of the board instead of the a 3.0 header. It also features all-black cables that gives it a better and uniform look.

Fig 3.1 - The front-top panel. No, that's not a volume knob. XD

Moving a little to the back we see a well-vented roof that is tool-less and latch-locked that can be removed by pushing down on the rear end of the roof. You can install two 120mm fans on this top area if you wish to use a H100 or mount a 120/240mm radiator inside. The clearance from the underside mount to the motherboard is very limited so you can't install a radiator not exceeding 38mm in thickness, considering this is a Mid-tower case, we can't expect it be wider. The top vents do not have any fan filter because this was designed to be an exhaust.

Fig 3.2 - The Top vents and fan mounts. The roof is also tool-less.

Under the roof there is also a locking mechanism to secure the sidepanel of the case. Two keys are included with the case. I'm not sure if this is ever needed since the case is very heavy to bring to a lan party.

Fig 3.3 - The security lock and supplied keys.

III. Conclusion

 Well if you're looking for mid-tower case - solid, elegant, efficient, lots of USB connectivity on the front/top, a built-in controller, then look no further. The Corsair 600T is one of the best looking cases in the market today. The features are hefty and this case supports ATX boards (and smaller ones) despite of it's size. The bare case costs around $172 (PHP 7,750) at most shops for the basic non-window and non-mesh panel, a bit pricey for a mid-tower but for that premium corsair quality, I strongly believe it's definitely worth it.