Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Edition: Mid-Tower Case
Corsair are one of the most well known component manufacturers in the market. They have been producing good quality PC cases for a long time and synonymous to the product. While we often see their high-end models in promotions and media today we bring you a product from their expanding range of affordable gaming products. We have recommended products from the Corsair in the past as we have found that their Carbide series is a great option for those customers who have a tight budget.
The Carbide Series 100R is a low-cost, entry level computer case. It comes in two different versions – standard and silent. The standard version comes with a transparent side window, fan mounts at the top and just one cooling fan. The silent version uses closed panels lined with noise reduction foam on both the side and the top, 2 system fans, additional fan mounts and a fan controller.
The new 100R retains much of the same look as last year’s Carbide 200R. The same classic design although a bit tweaked up and better looking. Yes it does look a bit plain from the outside but the exteriors states that this is a no nonsense box.
Corsair is known for its great build quality and fortunately while dropping the price they have not dropped on the same. The front panel and the ODD covers are plastic but are designed with a brushed metal finish on top. The panels are a good firm fit and do not bend or wiggle easy when pressed within the socket. It comes out of the socket when pressed from inside the case. The rest of the body is steel including the expansion slot grills at the back. The side panels fit nicely into the cut indents and slide in easily to close the case. They also are secured in with easy to use thumb screws on the back.
The front of the case hosts two USB 3.0 ports with a headphone and microphone jack. The I/O panel is located on the top side of the front panel. This makes it easy to access irrespective of where you chose to place your case or which alignment, vertical or horizontal.
[pullquote]Another addition in the silent model is the inclusion of a fan control switch on the back of the case.[/pullquote] This allows you to toggle the fans between 12V, 7V and 5V. While this is a nice little feature allowing you to reduce speeds for silent operation, the position of the button at the back makes it feel more like a set it and forget it option rather than something that you would manually toggle daily. Still I would consider this a luxury in such a cheap case. At the bottom of the case are four plastic feet with good ground clearance and a dust filter for the PSU.
As we open the case there is a full set of black sleeved cables for both fan controller at the back and IO panel at the front. The motherboard mounts are pre-installed with an extended middle one to hold your board in place. There is a nice big CPU cooler cutout which can support a variety of aftermarket coolers.
There is no fan mount on either side panel. Instead they are covered in the noise cancelation foam. Similarly, inside the case, the top is also covered with foam with no mount for fan support. The floor of the cabinet has a PSU mounting unit on the left that features rubber tipped bumpers for noise cancelation from vibrations and a slide-out dust filter. The middle part is covered with a single metal sheet and the right side housing brackets for the HDD. So no fan support here either. This leaves limited cooling options with fan mounts only available in the front and rear.
The cabinet comes with two pre installed 120mm fans, One on the top front and one for the rear mount. This leave only the lower front mount remaining for future upgrades. In case you have the dual fan cooler the only way to use it would be to remove the existing one in front (Note: The standard 100R has two 120mm fan mounts in the roof). The airflow to the front will still be limited as the front panel is solid and the only intake for air are the vents on the sides and the bottom of the front panel.
Do note that the if you wish to change the front top fan to a bigger 140mm one, that cannot be installed on the inside. Instead you will have to push open the front panel and then mount it on the front side. The front panel is built with keeping such configurations in mind. To remove the front panel you need to grasp the tab at the bottom of the panel and pull. Also the lower front fan can only be installed on the front as well since the HDD bracket takes up the space on the inside. The HDD cage is removable if you want, but little reason to do so as the space available is very small and would not fit most dual fan coolers.
ODD (Optical Disc Drives) can be installed tool less with a single plastic clip automatically locking them in once sided in. There is provision for screws as well. The fan controller can manage three 4-pin fans and is powered by a SATA connector. The specifications list the CPU fan clearance at 150mm. There are plenty of cable routing holes but they lack rubber grommets. Cable management was still not easy while setting up once the motherboard and power supply were in place, it was difficult to route the fat 24 pin power cable from the back when combined with the rest of the cables. We would have loved a few more millimetres of space there.
Performance – Acoustics and Temperatures
Installing the parts in the case was easy but the cable routing was a struggle. That is the trade off for choosing the silent model. While it is limited in cooling options, it offers excellent noise reduction, thus the “Silent Edition” branding. We test the thermal and acoustic performance of the case on the following setup:
Motherboard: Asrock Z77 PRO
CPU: Intel Core i7-3570K @ 4.5Ghz
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper Evo 212+
Memory: 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 SD RAM at 1600Mhz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 770 SLI
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DX
SSD: Corsair Force 3 64GB, Kingston HyperX Fury 128GB
HDD: WD Green 1TB, WD Blue 2TB
Power Supply: Seasonic 850W
Our testing methods involve stressing the CPU using Prime95 for 15 minutes and then recording temperatures. For GPUs, we ran Battlefield 4 for about 15 minutes. Noise is recorded using a PCE-318 noise meter to take readings when idle and stressed.
No extra fans were installed, only the ones accompanying the Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Edition package. For reference, we use the readings from our tests on the same rig installed in a Corsair Carbide 400R and an Antec One S3 cabinet. All three of these cabinets belong to a different segment, with the Antec One S3 being a budget offering, the Carbide 400R being mainstream and the Obsidian 750D being high-end. The room temperature at the time of testing was recorded at a pleasant 20.5 degrees Celsius.
Fan setting on the 100R was set to high.
Because of the case dampening, small size and blocking of exhaust points, the 100R’s cooling performance has nothing to boast about. The NZXT Source and the Antec ONE S3 both cool better than the 100R. Won’t say that it’s a bad thing, the 100R is not really advertised as a cooling mammoth.
The same story holds for GPU temperatures. The 100R is beaten by the ONE S3 and the Source 530.
The acoustic performance of the Carbide 100R is pretty decent. It beats the same level offerings from Antec and NZXT by a good margin. The audible difference in this case is noticeable, the 100R is a good 5-6 decibel levels down its competitors. However, compared to high end cabinets like the Corsair Obsidian 750D, the 100R leaps behind significantly. As a Silent Case, we think the 100R is a decent proposition. In silent working conditions, you can be assured that the 100R won’t break your concentration with internal sounds.
There are many things that the Corsair 100R Silent Edition does right. Keep in mind, this is not a case built for silent operation from the ground up. The is a normal case with just foam padding on the sides to dampen noise.
The offerings of the 100R Silent Edition are pretty neat for a budget case. This is a full featured cabinet, the build quality is good, you get a dust filter, dual front USB 3.0 ports, a fan control and a removable HDD cage. Most of these features are lacking in budget cases, so Corsair has done a neat job in combining a budget/silent case in this price range. There are no cases in this range that offer a noise dampening foam, so Corsair gets that right. The acoustic performance of the 100R Silent Edition is pretty good, this should be your go-to case if you are on a budget and silent operation is your priority.
What we didn’t like was the cooling performance of the 100R. If you’re looking to pair this with a high end i7, dual GPUs, then look away, as the cooling performance your system desires won’t be delivered in the case of the Carbide 100R Silent Edition. Sure, with more mainstream hardware and an aftermarket cooler, this case will do just fine.
The Corsair Carbide 100R Standard comes with a MRP of INR 3,999 and the Carbide 100R Silent with INR 4,499. Both models come with a warranty of 2 years. These cases are exclusively available with Neoteric (a local distributor)
which makes them hard to find easily. We tried to look it up at major e-retailers and could not find it. Corsairs exclusive deals have made their product hard to find. Update: The cabinet is available on Amazon.in, TheITdepot and Novakart.in.
+ 3-Speed fan controller
+ Good build quality
+ Good sound isolation
+ Features at this price range
- No top fan mounts
- Cable management options could have been more
- Not all large air coolers will fit
- Below average cooling performance