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Corsair Crystal 460X ATX Mid-Tower Case Review

The Crystal 460X stands out with triple RGB fans behind tempered glass panels, and stands apart with space for an EATX motherboard inside an 18” ATX mid-tower. Does it perform well enough to justify an upper-market price?

Hardware Installation, Evaluation And Conclusion

The Crystal 460X includes a set of radiator mounting screws, motherboard and drive screws, fan screws, cable ties, and separate user manuals for the case and SP120 RGB fans.

The Crystal 460X includes a USB 3.0 front-panel header cable, a split-tipped power LED cable, HDD LED, Power and Reset button leads, and an HD-Audio headset lead long enough to reach nearly anywhere on the motherboard. The fan LED controller uses a separate SATA-style drive power plug, and the fan motors each require a 3-pin motherboard header.

Hardware installation is not for the faint of heart. All of the cables had to be run around the 2.5” drive trays, and there wasn’t enough space to turn around a spare right-angle plug on the SATA power cable to allow other ends to reach both the 2.5” drive and fan power connector. The extra connector is thus poked through one of the case’s cable access holes.

Installation woes didn’t stop with the cables however. Our long power supply required moving the 3.5” drive cage to its forward position.  With no hole to install the power supply through, its two-piece shroud had to be removed first. And the screw tab on the rear half of the shroud won’t fit between the power supply and the bottom of the motherboard, so users must either install the power supply and shroud prior to the motherboard, or unscrew the power supply and slide it away from the motherboard tray to create a gap for the shroud, then install the shroud, then somehow re-position the power supply to realign its screw holes with the back of the case.

If you were wise enough to install the motherboard after the power supply, or foolish enough to do the other thing mentioned above, spending a good part of the day organizing cables so that the opposing side panel will close results in a compact and well-organized unit.


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Comparison Cases

Like the Crystal 460X, NZXT’s S340 Elite has a glass panel only on one side. The Bitfenix Aurora features two tinted glass panels, with one painted on the inside to conceal cables. All three cases are tested in our standardized configuration.

Test Results

The Corsair Crystal 460X is cooler than the other cases in this comparison, helped along by a compact design that forces most of its exhaust air over the graphics card and out the vent behind the CPU cooler. That’s important, because air that bypasses the CPU zone does little to prevent heat buildup. The Crystal 460X is one of the few cases we’ve tested that provides adequate flow through our CPU cooler, without having an exhaust fan behind the CPU cooler.

Noise, on the other hand, is problematic. All three 120mm front fans spin at 1500 RPM, though turning them down via motherboard settings makes the noise a little more tolerable.

The Crystal 460X falls slightly behind the S340 Elite at low fan settings. A big cooling advantage helps the Crystal 460X beat the S340 at full case fan speed, but neither unit can keep this system’s idle noise below 30db at that setting.

Both the NZXT and Bitfenix cases are around $40 cheaper than the Crystal 460X, and the difference shows up as negative value in a performance-per-price comparison. Yet the Crystal 460X’s fans cost $30 more, and the included controller is likely worth more than the remaining difference. And the glass face panel likely costs more than the flat-black steel sheet NZXT uses as a place to put its magnetic headphone hanger. Do these difference and improvements equate to Crystal 460X value leadership beyond what’s shown in the chart?

The Crystal 460X’s advanced features probably are worth more than the price difference between it and its closest competitor. Unfortunately, installation woes mean that I can only recommend the case to builders who believe in the rewards of self-flagellation. The question is, have you been bad enough to deserve it?


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  • a40ozofmickeys
    This thing is compact, but the rear panel is bulging out, about to burst with my power cables running behind the motherboard. Also, I did not have 3 reachable fan headers on my mobo for the three RGB fans, so I had to buy a hub. When under load, My enthoo evlolv is silent. This thing, in comparison, is extremely loud. Can be heard in the next room down the hall with both doors closed.
    Reply
  • a40ozofmickeys
    I will say, though, the thing looks so fine.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    19270038 said:
    This thing is compact, but the rear panel is bulging out, about to burst with my power cables running behind the motherboard. Also, I did not have 3 reachable fan headers on my mobo for the three RGB fans, so I had to buy a hub. When under load, My enthoo evlolv is silent. This thing, in comparison, is extremely loud. Can be heard in the next room down the hall with both doors closed.
    I would have recommended a splitter and an extension. These fans really do require regulation. And good luck to everyone with their cables

    19270046 said:
    I will say, though, the thing looks so fine.
    Heheh.

    Reply
  • WINTERLORD
    oh wow lol, i was just asking about this case in corsair forums and the crystal series 570x what the weight is from corsair cause i have a bad back i wanted to know the weight because sometimes i move things around and cant carry the antec 900 well anymore. newegg reviers and corsair all have/had different elisted wieghts. maybe toms can give us a wieght? with or without parts? put on a floor scale
    Reply
  • Crashman
    19270887 said:
    oh wow lol, i was just asking about this case in corsair forums and the crystal series 570x what the weight is from corsair cause i have a bad back i wanted to know the weight because sometimes i move things around and cant carry the antec 900 well anymore. newegg reviers and corsair all have/had different elisted wieghts. maybe toms can give us a wieght? with or without parts? put on a floor scale
    :D
    It's in the table at the top of page 1, 17.2 pounds. That's 7.8 kg. It's a lightweight by glass-panel standards and would even be a middleweight by steel and plastic standards.

    We do our own measurements because we find that manufacturers often don't including protrusions, such as handles, side bubbles or thumb screws. All of these little things are important to people who want to put a case in a stand, for example.
    Reply
  • WINTERLORD
    oh ok, yea i seen that so the wieght there is the exact weight of just the case by itself? without say gpu cpu and such im assuming. btw thats alswome been dying to know the weight just posted in corsair forums bout it a day or two ago
    Reply
  • Crashman
    19271204 said:
    oh ok, yea i seen that so the wieght there is the exact weight of just the case by itself? without say gpu cpu and such im assuming. btw thats alswome been dying to know the weight just posted in corsair forums bout it a day or two ago
    Oh no, it's the weight of the case AND the screw kit that comes with the case.

    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    19270887 said:
    oh wow lol, i was just asking about this case in corsair forums and the crystal series 570x what the weight is from corsair cause i have a bad back i wanted to know the weight because sometimes i move things around and cant carry the antec 900 well anymore. newegg reviers and corsair all have/had different elisted wieghts. maybe toms can give us a wieght? with or without parts? put on a floor scale

    An Antec 900 is a beast to move around. If that really is an issue you may think about a micro ATX case that is all aluminum. For example a Lian Li PC-TU300 will weigh in at just over 8 pounds.
    Reply
  • tkellybl2008
    Personal opinion but,
    that intake grill is ugly
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    Just a tip, the HD120s look much better than the standard SP120s. I got the 570x, mainly for the extra room up top for radiators, and it looks fantastic with them. They are a tad brighter but man they look great.
    Reply