Assembling the Corsair Carbide 300R

I've routinely mentioned Corsair makes the easiest cases to assemble on the planet, and the 300R has somehow made that even easier. This assembly was one of the smoothest I've done by a long shot, although there is still at least a little bit of room for improvement.

First, the motherboard tray is practically a godsend. Corsair doesn't include any motherboard standoffs with the 300R because the tray itself has a single brass stud in the center for lining up the board and then extrusions with mounts built into them. The only flaw with this design is that it's not ideal for Micro-ATX boards, and the side of ours wound up hanging off with no support. Since that side isn't going to be particularly prone to stress I'm willing to give them a pass, though I would've liked to have seen more than a single arbitrary mounting hole in the tray for a Micro-ATX standoff (as well as maybe including one or two standoffs in the package).

Mounting drives to the 300R was only slightly more difficult. Removing the bay shield from the top 5.25" bay was easy enough, but installing the blu-ray drive our testbed uses required applying a bit of force and shimmying it in. The toolless mechanism Corsair uses is a good one, but end users may want to take advantage of the open mounting holes to secure the drive anyhow. Meanwhile, the drive trays are the older style Corsair used, so while the pins pop into 3.5" drives easily enough, you'll have to remove one to mount 2.5" drives.

Lining up the power supply for installation was incredibly simple, as the entire area around the power supply bay is basically molded to snugly hold it in place. Installing the GeForce GTX 560 Ti we use for testing was also just as easy; two thumbscrews secure it in place after removing the replaceable slot covers.

On the flipside, cabling wound up being a little messier than I'd like, and that's at least partially due to the lack of rubber grommets lining the routing holes that I was crying into my beer about earlier. Another part of the problem is that the routing hole for the AUX 12V line is very narrow and requires shimmying the cable through it. It's an extremely tight fit and could stand to be widened at least a little, and I can see many users just foregoing it entirely. There's also a decent amount of space behind the motherboard tray, but I miss the routing channels in more modern designs like the Vengeance C70.

I feel like we've lost some of the clean interior assembly that's been par for the course for Corsair's cases, where they practically forced you to keep everything neat. That said, it's still extremely simple to put together a system in the Carbide 300R. As I've mentioned repeatedly in the past, though: assembly was never Corsair's problem. Let's see how their budget model handles thermals.

In and Around the Corsair Carbide 300R Testing Methodology


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  • ahamling27 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    It might be a great performing case at a decent price, but in my opinion, that is one fugly case. Those grill holes in the side for some extra fans don't do it justice. That being said, the ease of putting a computer together inside it does give it some merit. Reply
  • stratosrally - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I realize that it adds to the cost and possibly takes the case to a price level where you'd have more competition, but Corsair sells the solid panel from the other side of the case for $9.99. They are switchable, so you could have a mild custom that suits your preferences for a bit more. In fact, one of my favorite things about Corsair is how they sell almost every single part to every case seperately for very reasonable prices. You can modify many of their models by exchanging parts...

    Link to panel here:

    (disclaimer: I do not work for them!)
  • ahamling27 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    That's pretty awesome. I know CoolerMaster kinda does that, but I don't think they have every part, some need to be special ordered. Thanks for the info! Reply
  • jeffkro - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link

    It kind of looks like a copy of the antec 300, only the uglied it up a little. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Why exactly is the Antec 1100 so much better noise-wise in the overclocked configuration?
    The cases seem quite similar.
  • baloor - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    One thing of note when I purchased one of these recently. The lack of a USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 adapter cable for the front USB ports.
    The motherboard for my son's system only has USB 2.0 headers on the motherboard and finding an adapter cable that doesn't ship with a case isn't an easy task I have discovered.
  • stratosrally - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Corsair sells a kit that contains just what you're looking for:

    $4.99 direct
  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I still think the Fractal Design Define R3 is better, maybe I'm biased because I have one, but it looks way nicer, and has blanked off fan holes when you don't need them.

    Infact, if you have need of a full ATX board, a ton of drives, and have a graphics card that's short enough to fit, then I still can't think of a better case for value/performance/everything than the Define R3.
  • colonelclaw - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I don't think too many people would argue with you that the R3 is a better case, it's basically fantastic. It's also $30 more expensive, which is getting on for 40% more. Definitely a different market. Reply
  • dave1_nyc - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I bought an R3 on sale for $80 (total) because that made it almost $40 cheaper than the Arc Midi I wanted at the time, but couldn't justify the price difference. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like the R3 (despite the laughably badly glued on rubber grommets).

    I finally got an Arc Midi for something else and while it's a more capable case for cooling (and I like the use of 140mm fans), I'm surprised that in terms of "just liking" I still prefer the R3.

    Even the door (which I was prepared to hate) is nice.

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