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Corsair Carbide 540 or Fractal Define Design R4

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January 29, 2014 7:00:12 PM

I was just curious about you guys opinion on these two cases in terms of build quality and your experiences building in them
January 29, 2014 7:05:00 PM

my opinion after building in lots of cases ranging from high end to low end?

the corsair 540 is average in terms of build quality however i thought it was pretty impressive in terms of what it offers for space and cooling.

i wasnt all that impressed with the fractal r4. its not terrible but not great either.

for about the same price you could get a corsair 750d which in terms of build quality puts both the 540 and r4 to shame.

i thought the phantom 530 wasnt terrible in terms of design and liked that it had many large fans however build quality was subpar to all of the above. the plastic front doesnt even match the color of the sides.

i wasnt too impressed with the corsair 200r/300r/400r/500r either. while definitely not bad cases for the money they cannot compete with the 750d for build quality.

i'm currently using the 750d case right now on a trial run (thinking about replacing my much higher quality 800d with it) and its not bad. a few things i dont like but overall not a bad choice and building in it is pretty straightforward. decent airflow, grommets, modular drive bays, lots of ssd or 2.5" drive storage slots and its wide enough for big cpu heatsinks. only thing i really dont like is how the cd drives look installed (if i keep the case i will be modding the front drive panels to make a hideaway look)
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January 29, 2014 7:09:51 PM

You are maybe the 5th person I'm throwing this suggestion out to on these boards, take a look at the NZXT H440. It is a case not many people look at just because its not thrown out a lot, YET, but I think it blows the other two out of the water.
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January 29, 2014 7:14:12 PM

addition:

if you have any questions about them in detail... i've seen them all and played with them all in person.

i was giving them a thorough run through when trying to decide on a replacement case for my own system and after building quite a few systems i have a good idea what to look for.

while most of the above cases would work i'm a bit picky in terms of build quality or ease of assembly.

anyways... just my opinions on the matter.

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January 29, 2014 7:21:16 PM

the h440 is not available yet. it comes out 2/1 though.

while definitely impressive it looks like they completely ditched optical drives?

this is a big no-no in my book and i couldnt recommend it. unless of course there is a way to install drives inside.

otherwise... it looks pretty good but thats a dealbreaker for me.
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January 29, 2014 7:25:14 PM

ssddx said:
the h440 is not available yet. it comes out 2/1 though.

while definitely impressive it looks like they completely ditched optical drives?

this is a big no-no in my book and i couldnt recommend it. unless of course there is a way to install drives inside.

otherwise... it looks pretty good but thats a dealbreaker for me.


The 24th of Feb from the retailers I looked at if I remember correctly, but thats beside the point, its not far off and it does seem to be a better case than the other two, worth at least a look and consideration by the OP.

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January 29, 2014 7:35:48 PM

yes but what about the lack of a slot for optical drives?

optical media is far from dead and it totally kills aesthetics to need an external.
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January 29, 2014 7:54:12 PM

ssddx said:
yes but what about the lack of a slot for optical drives?

optical media is far from dead and it totally kills aesthetics to need an external.


I personally cannot remember the last time I used an optical drive, and if the need arises there is always USB. Its a valid point but once again, does the op need an optical drive?
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January 29, 2014 7:57:51 PM

and i use an optical drive almost every single day. there are two sides to the equation.

your suggestion was made, i just pointed out one rather big flaw. its up to the op to decide if they like the idea or not.

leave it at that.
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January 29, 2014 8:38:35 PM

ssddx said:
and i use an optical drive almost every single day. there are two sides to the equation.

your suggestion was made, i just pointed out one rather big flaw. its up to the op to decide if they like the idea or not.

leave it at that.


The H440 looks nice but I'll have to wait and see reviews before I consider it

Between the 750D, R4, and 540
which would you say is the bestin terms of
silence
air flow
portability, I'm going to college in about a year and I plan on bringing my system so I don't want something bigger than like a mid tower
and build quality
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January 29, 2014 8:39:04 PM

ssddx said:
and i use an optical drive almost every single day. there are two sides to the equation.

your suggestion was made, i just pointed out one rather big flaw. its up to the op to decide if they like the idea or not.

leave it at that.


Is this not an open forum for discussion and opinions? I posted mine and responded to your replies, as far as that being a flaw its more a feature, for people who do not utilize optical drives and dont need the cage in their case. I do not see the need for hostility just for pointing out an option and opinion that is contrary to yours, you dont need to argue with other posters for a best answer, thread is all yours, enjoy.

EDIT: As far as reviews for the h440 go here is one from Linus at LinusTechTips and one from TinyTomLogan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqz5WAU9iJg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP85Zo-E55I
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January 29, 2014 9:11:44 PM

@maxiim

i do believe you are a bit out of line. you posed a solution, i noted a possible issue. you defended it and i said that opinions may differ and that it would be better left to the op to decide if its a good option for them. there was no hostility from my side however i do think you are taking things a bit too seriously. please dont try and start an issue where there isnt one.

honestly i thought it was an excellent suggestion and i really do like the case however that one flaw ruins it for me. i think a dvd/cd drive is just too vital to leave out though opinions do differ and depending on the opinions of the op they may or may not like the feature.

@op

well i cannot speak for the others but the 750d is fairly silent if all fans are set to low speeds. its not as silent as my 800d however that case doesnt have the fans that the 750d has either and also has higher temps. overall quality is pretty good. i have it sitting on my desk in the same place my 800d was located (see photos in signature link) and the fans are audible as a slight hum and the airflow can be heard slightly. keep in mind the fans included really arent the most silent and you can purchase better fans. if the pc was under the desk or if better fans were used volume it might be almost dead silent.

cases with sound deadening material or cases with thick metal will be quieter than cases without such features. i believe the r4 has such material although i cant say i really liked the case from my inspection. i was fairly impressed by the nanoxia deep silence case however though it really did not fit my needs. however, open cases are much better for cooling and typically have much larger fans which can run at slower speeds. the 440 case which maxiim mentioned looks to be a combination of both designs and looks to be really quite nice in that regard. honestly the only thing i saw wrong with it was no dvd drive support.

my personal opinion is to have a more open case with large slow moving fans though it does generate just a bit of noise. such cases are normally riddled with vents so hot air can escape easily as well so temps are normally very good. a sound insulated case would be quieter however temperatures might be a bit higher except perhaps in cases like that 440 which was suggested earlier. that should be favorable to performance of an open design however its going to be a bit louder than other silent case designs. still quiet though.

as for portability do you intend to travel back and forth to college and home with the pc? if you do then perhaps you might be suited more with a mini-itx or micro-atx build. such designs are much smaller in form factor and the cases are also much smaller. very easy to travel with. if you intend to move the pc once to college and then once when you graduate then i'd just stick with a normal sized pc.

there are quite a few options available depending on what your needs are.



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January 29, 2014 9:14:40 PM

ssddx said:
@maxiim

i do believe you are a bit out of line. you posed a solution, i noted a possible issue. you defended it and i said that opinions may differ and that it would be better left to the op to decide if its a good option for them. there was no hostility from my side however i do think you are taking things a bit too seriously. please dont try and start an issue where there isnt one.

honestly i thought it was an excellent suggestion and i really do like the case however that one flaw ruins it for me. i think a dvd/cd drive is just too vital to leave out though opinions do differ and depending on the opinions of the op they may or may not like the feature.

@op

well i cannot speak for the others but the 750d is fairly silent if all fans are set to low speeds. its not as silent as my 800d however that case doesnt have the fans that the 750d has either and also has higher temps. overall quality is pretty good. i have it sitting on my desk in the same place my 800d was located (see photos in signature link) and the fans are audible as a slight hum and the airflow can be heard slightly. keep in mind the fans included really arent the most silent and you can purchase better fans. if the pc was under the desk or if better fans were used volume it might be almost dead silent.

cases with sound deadening material or cases with thick metal will be quieter than cases without such features. i believe the r4 has such material although i cant say i really liked the case from my inspection. i was fairly impressed by the nanoxia deep silence case however though it really did not fit my needs. however, open cases are much better for cooling and typically have much larger fans which can run at slower speeds. the 440 case which maxiim mentioned looks to be a combination of both designs and looks to be really quite nice in that regard. honestly the only thing i saw wrong with it was no dvd drive support.

my personal opinion is to have a more open case with large slow moving fans though it does generate just a bit of noise. such cases are normally riddled with vents so hot air can escape easily as well so temps are normally very good. a sound insulated case would be quieter however temperatures might be a bit higher except perhaps in cases like that 440 which was suggested earlier. that should be favorable to performance of an open design however its going to be a bit louder than other silent case designs. still quiet though.

as for portability do you intend to travel back and forth to college and home with the pc? if you do then perhaps you might be suited more with a mini-itx or micro-atx build. such designs are much smaller in form factor and the cases are also much smaller. very easy to travel with. if you intend to move the pc once to college and then once when you graduate then i'd just stick with a normal sized pc.

there are quite a few options available depending on what your needs are.

I'm just gonna move it once, also are the materials on the 540 really that bad? I don't know why but the design of it really appeals to me



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Best solution

January 29, 2014 9:37:21 PM

the 540 is covered in a matte smooth plastic. and by covered i mean the whole front and top. it doesnt look bad in photos but in person its not as impressive. personally with being used to aluminum faced pcs it did not appeal to me. i would also be somewhat worried about the somewhat thin plastic grille breaking.

as for sturdyness it doesnt have the frame the 750d has but its solid enough under the plastic. i dont think its build heavy enough for the price they charge for it though its built well enough to not go out of square or have serious issues.

i do like the open nature of the 540 since it eliminates the need to work around drive bays. and provides good airflow to the gpu and cpu coolers however there isnt much in the way of airflow for the hard drives. ssd drives should be fine though and i dont think 7200 drives will have too much of an issue however i wouldnt go putting too many high heat drives in there without doing something to get at least a little airflow in there.

with the design of the case and with the grommets wire management should be pretty easy though you likely wont be able to lie the case on its side to connect all the cables up and it might be a little more awkward than thinner width cases for putting on a cpu cooler like a hyper 212. nothing to really worry about too much though.
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