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Corsair Carbide Clear 600C ATX Fat-Tower Case Review

With room for two large radiators and four graphics cards, Corsair's Carbide 600C specifications read like a list of reasons to buy oversized. It looks good too, but is it really a full tower or just a wide mid-tower?

Test Results And Conclusion

The Build

A metal divider separates the power supply zone, which also hosts two 5.25" external bays, from the motherboard zone. Two 3.5" trays beneath that divider have integrated pins for quick installation of 3.5" drives, plus a set of holes onto which 2.5" drives may be mounted. Screws connect the cages that hold these trays, allowing easy removal if extra space is needed within the motherboard zone.

Three 2.5" drive trays on the back of the motherboard tray have quick latches at the bottom for slide-in, tool-free SSD installation. These are also attached with screws to ease removal, if desired.

The Carbide 600C includes four long screws suitable for radiator installation, in addition to drive and motherboard screws, standoffs, and cable ties.

The fan controller gets its power from a SATA-type power connector.

A gap between the front panel of the chassis and its external plastic cover provides indirect airflow to reduce noise escaping from the front of the chassis. By leaving out the tall drive rack of traditional cases, the Carbide 600C provides enough room for long graphics cards (14.6" with front fans installed) within its somewhat compact 18.3" depth. Oversized motherboards can fit too, though the raised section seen in front of the test board must be manually verified as not being a shorting hazard when installing that oversized board. This usually won't be a problem, since that section is raised by only 1/16".

If you were looking for an inverted case with a clear left side, Corsair has you covered. Let's see how it performs!

How We Test

We continue to use our reference PC with its reference overclock for case testing, apart from replacing the X99S XPower AC with the X99S Gaming 7. That replacement has allowed us to compare tighter "Standard ATX" cases, since the XPower motherboard is oversize.

Noise is measured 0.5m from the case's front corner, on the side that opens. The numbers are corrected to the 1m industry standard—used by many loudspeaker and fan manufacturers—by subtracting six decibels.

Drivers And Settings

ChipsetIntel INF
CPU4.2GHz (42x 100MHz) @ 1.2V Core
MotherboardFirmware 17.8 (02/10/2015)
RAMXMP CAS 16 Defaults (1.2V)
GraphicsMaximum Fan for Thermal Tests | Nvidia GeForce 347.52

Comparison Cases

Test Results

Amazingly, our test of the Carbide 600C showed little difference in temperature between maximum and minimum fan settings, and that the case ran warm. What actually occurred was that the case took three times longer to "normalize" temperature than most of its competitors.

The CPU was 12 degrees cooler and the graphics card 1 degree cooler after only two hours of testing, but its temperature kept rising by around 1 degree every 20 minutes for the next 4 hours. The final numbers reflect that long-term increase.

The Carbide 600C did a good job of keeping the noise of graphics and CPU fans inside the case, but the case's fans were still quiet enough to be obscured by component fans.

The low noise lead to an impressive cooling-to-noise ratio, particularly with the case fans turned to low or medium speeds.

Unfortunately, the extra price for Carbide 600C's design features, such as the smoothly painted steel sheet panel inserts and transparent side panel, hurt its value when compared to the base-model MasterCase 5.

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Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware, covering Cases, Cooling, Memory and Motherboards. Follow him onTwitter.

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.