Corsair has taken the Graphite series in a new direction. What was once thought of as an elegant and smooth approach to case designs has been turned on its ear. There is a definite lineage that can be seen in the design of the 230T, but only the slightest bit. Corsair has definitely taken a very industrial approach to the exterior design this time around, and still pulls it off with an aesthetically pleasing chassis in a trio of color options to suit specific needs of each user. While I know there are going to be haters, they can all say what they want, but they cannot deny Corsair of not trying. This design, both inside and out, is unique, and the Graphite Series 230T is a chassis that will hold its own in the vast sea of quality mid-tower offerings already flooding the market.
This has to be the first chassis I have ever seen with doors that slide off the front of the chassis, and to be honest, it sort of felt natural, and this was easier to maneuver than most typical rear sliding offerings. Even though this is a very compact mid-tower design, Corsair were still able to pull off full ATX compatibility and room for multiple video cards, without conflicting with the hard drive bays. Speaking of that, the combination hard drive rack is new, and something that takes no time to figure out and use. Each bay offers either a tool-less clip or a tab that locks the drives into place. For those who travel a lot, there is an option on the ODD bays as well as all eight of the HDD bays to back up the tool-less systems with screws, but it is designed for speed and simplicity when building, and the use of screws is not truly needed in my opinion, even if on the go. There really is nothing stopping most users from picking up this chassis, and the fact is comes in orange, battleship grey and black, widens ideas for mods and very unique looking builds.
If there is one thing to address as a fault, it would have to be the lack of water cooling support. While you can go with a single radiator AIO solution strapped in the back of the chassis, there is little room anywhere else. Even if you removed the HDD rack, the front fans are offset from each other and just not high enough there for a dual 120mm radiator. You could hang a radiator from the top, but there is little room for both the radiator and the fans. I will give the 230T this, with just the trio of 120mm fans supplied inside of the chassis, the thermal results during testing were very low due to the abundance of airflow the chassis provides out of the box.
Overall, the Graphite series 230T is strong enough, designed well enough, and is priced good enough to pull at the heart strings of many builders out there. On top of those things, the 230T is near silent with the three fans that have been provided, and it comes in an aesthetic packaging that has never been seen before. If Corsair hasn't sold you on the chassis like they have us, you still have to give them credit for the ingenuity and the grapes it takes to deliver a chassis that is outside of the realm of normality.
The fact that all of this aggressive industrial styling and the entire design being so well thought out makes the $79.99 price tag of the battleship grey version we tested a huge bargain in my eyes. While there are cheaper solutions, you will be hard pressed to find them with this sort of styling and feature set. Either way you want to look at it, Corsair built a winner in the Graphite Series 230T, and this chassis will sell like iPhone's on a release day.