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Corsair Carbide Clear 400C Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Corsair Carbide Clear 400C Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Today we spend some time looking at one of Corsair's newest cases, the mid-tower Carbide Clear 400C chassis. Is it for you? Read on.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, Apr 7 2016 8:39 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 36 IMAGES

Usually, when Corsair offers up their chassis lineup, when the case is in the same series, and comes with a lesser number in the name, we tend to find much of the original design. That, however, is not what we find here. We are speaking of the Carbide Clear 600C we recently reviewed, which was an inverted ATX chassis design, but is a full-tower chassis. As we see its brethren here today, we expected the shrink to a mid-tower, but outside of the aesthetics of these two cases, the internal layout has been flipped on its head.

Using many of the same components for the inside of the chassis is an affordable way to start this build off. There is still the same motherboard tray used, we get the dual section PSU cover again, and hidden drive bays - almost all of the same features of the 600C. Of course, being a mid-tower this time, we give up optical bays, and have a couple of fewer expansion slots, but that is about it. While we completely expected the Carbide 600C to have come with a regular interior layout, for those of you who liked the look but not the internals, Corsair has a solution to that too.

The Carbide Clear 400C from Corsair offers a simple looking exterior with minimalistic designs. Even though this chassis is slightly smaller, it hardly loses in its feature set and is a chassis that just at first glance will make you want to keep reading. However, it is our duty to cover every detail, feature, and working aspect of these designs. So while we do our job, enjoy the ride that Corsair is taking us on, as we bring you their Carbide Clear 600C mid-tower chassis.

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In the chart provided by Corsair, we start off with the two-year warranty coverage that this 8.2kg mid-tower chassis is covered by. This steel and ABS plastic chassis stands 464mm tall, it is 425mm deep, and is 215mm wide, but nothing is said about the exterior from here. The 400C offers a solid front panel with nothing more than a logo at the bottom. The top of the chassis is almost entirely mesh due to the huge magnetic dust cover, and the left side of this chassis has an enormous window, and the entire panel is hinged at the back for easy access. The chassis is also rounded at the top and bottom of the front bezel, so from the profile view, the 400C is just not the average square box sitting on your desk.

We do find that the 400C offers room for Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and even E-ATX motherboards. It offers enough room for video cards that are 370mm long, CPU coolers that are 170mm tall, and power supplies up to 200mm in length. There are seven expansion slots in the back this time, and when it comes to storage, you have two options. There is a removable cage that will house a pair of 3.5" drives. However, behind the motherboard tray, there is a rack with three trays capable of containing one 2.5" drive in each of them. We also see mention of the pair of USB 3.0 ports, and HD Audio jacks that come in the front I/O panel, before they move onto the cooling.

The 400C is built to allow three 120mm fans in the front of the case or two 140mm fans and comes with a single 140mm fan installed here. The top of the chassis can house a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans, but none are shipped in this location. The rear of the chassis will take on only a 120mm fan, and this exhaust location is shipped with a fan in place. If you have water cooling in mind, you can put in a 360mm into the front of the chassis, a 240mm radiator in the top, and a single 120mm radiator in the rear. We can only assume that there is room for the 140mm solutions as well because we see them listed in the compatibility list of Corsair liquid coolers that finish out the chart. We also added another chart found on the site, which may have a bit more information, but covers all of the same points.

Availability is quite high right now, and we had no issues finding many locations to take our money. We checked with Corsair first, as they have their MSRP listed on the product page, where we found it to be listed there for $99.99. So off to Amazon we went next. Here we found the Carbide 400C to require $114.98, listed with Corsair as the seller. We then looked at Newegg to see what they had going on and discovered that they are on point. Not only can you get the 400C for $99.99, but there is no mention of free shipping with that listing. For the way we perceive this chassis, we will be basing it off the $100 price point, and for the money, Corsair does offer quite the chassis with their Carbide 400C mid-tower.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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Packaging is basic in its form, using plain cardboard, they then print the information on it, we can see on the front. Along with a large rendering of the chassis off to the left, the right side tells us that this is the "clear" choice in cases, and goes on to explain why. Near the bottom, we find the product name, and it is repeated, but with its class of mid-tower case, included.

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On this side of the packaging, above the carry handle, we see a sticker denoting we have the black, window version, of this chassis. In the middle are three specifications charts, and at the bottom are renderings of the front and inside of the 400C.

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The chassis name and an exploded diagram of the Carbide 400C are found at the top, on the back panel. Below the thick black line, there are descriptions of the seven things pointed out with letters, in the exploded rendering above it.

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The last side of the packaging is nearly identical to the opposing side. The only difference found here, is that the three specifications charts are offered in three different languages this time.

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We found plastic clinging to the inside and outside of the large window, and the entire chassis is wrapped in a layer of plastic. Once that has been done, Corsair uses thick Styrofoam end caps on the top and bottom to protect this chassis fully in transit. All of the efforts is worth it, as out Carbide Clear 400C chassis is in perfect shape for this review.

Corsair Carbide 400C Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the Carbide Clear 400C is flat but has texture to the front bezel. While it looks square from the front, the top and bottom edges do roll over to the panels they meet, and outside of that, there is only a small Corsair logo to allude to the maker of the chassis.

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Just behind where the front bezel meets the top panel, we immediately run into the front I/O panel. From left to right, we are given a small reset button, an HDD LED, HD Audio jacks, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and the power button to finish things out.

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The rest of the top panel is made of steel, but with just a thin ring of it exposed around the mesh. This mesh cover is magnetic and is removable for easy cleaning.

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The left side of the 400C shows us how the front takes in air, through the sides of the bezel. We also see a door that offers what has to be the largest window in the industry. There is a handle to unlatch the front, and this panel will swing open to the left, supported on the hinges we can see at the back.

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The back of the chassis offers all the basics. There is the rear I/O and an adjustable exhaust fan at the top. In the middle are seven expansion slots with passive ventilation next to them, leaving the PSU to go in at the bottom. We can also see that the right side panel uses thumbscrews, not hinges like the left side does.

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Since this panel is here to cover wiring behind the motherboard tray, it only makes sense that this is a solid expanse of steel. There are no bumps or odd design additions, keeping the overall look sleek and simple all the way around the 400C.

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Under the chassis, we find oversized rectangular legs with rubber feet. At the rear of the 400C there is another dust cover for the PSU, and near the front, we can see part of the HDD cage locked into the floor of the case. Along the top edge of this image, we can also see tabs, and those go to the two-part PSU cover inside.

Inside the Carbide 600C

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The front bezel is made of plastic and then wrapped with metal to get the look we saw previously. As for the front of the chassis, to gain access to the fan, you first need to take out the full-length dust filter, which clips into the frame.

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Our first glance inside of the 400C shows us a completely open top section for the motherboard, cooling, and whatever else you want to put in here. The wiring is tied up at the motherboard tray, and at the bottom, our view is blocked by the PSU cover assembly.

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Inside of the front of the 400C, there is nothing. No optical bays, no hard drive bays, not one thing to impede the air flow offered from this single 140mm fan.

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Once you remove the dust filter at the top of the 400C, it is easy to see the fan mounting options. Both the 120mm and the 140mm fan holes are grooves. This allows for various offsets in radiator design, and even allows a bit of room to shift things one way or the other.

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The motherboard tray offers six opening for wiring, three of which have grommets, on the right side. There are limited places to tie wiring to due to the 2.5" drive rack, but with no major bump in the tray, to the right side, it allows for wider motherboards to fit with ease.

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Taking up the majority of the bottom of the chassis is this two-part PSU cover. Both sections have a hole in them to allow wiring to pass through the top, but the back section also has a Corsair logo on the side of it.

Inside the Carbide 600C Continued

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Removing the front section of the cover, we found the two-bay HDD rack. This is removable to allow longer power supplies to be installed and is loaded from the back. You do, however, need to remove the cover for wiring purposes.

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After removing the front section, we could them remove the longer section that covers the PSU from view. We see that the floor is ventilated, so the PSU gets fresh air, and we also see dense rubber pads applied to help isolate the PSU from the chassis.

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Hanging in the back of the chassis is the second supplied fan, but this time, it is a 120mm fan. The fan is powered via a 3-pin connection, but it is in front of the expansion slot covers held in with thumbscrews, making it harder to see.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we find plenty of room to wire the chassis without much obstruction. There is a three bay rack for 2.5" drives placed here, it is removable, and could play up on wiring if left in place. We can also see that the hardware is shipped in the HDD bay at the bottom.

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As to the chassis wiring, things are simpler than usual. All you have to do is plug in the native USB 3.0 connection, the button and LED leads, and then hook up the HD Audio connection, and you are good to go. We also made sure to get the front fan lead in the image, to show they are indeed 3-pin connections on these case fans.

Hardware & Documentation

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In the box of hardware, we located six bags of screws and related bits. There are HDD screws, extra fan screws, and motherboard and 2.5" drive screws along the top. The lower three contain an extra standoff, four long fan screws for the front of the chassis, and four small PSU screws.

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Corsair also ships the 400C with six zip ties. With limited places to tie to we get why there are so few, but we did end up using a few more than this for our build needs.

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Also included is a multilingual installation guide and warranty card. The guide covers what should be in the box, how to install the major components, and even shows what cooling is capable of being installed. The warranty bit to the right goes over what is and what is not covered and shows where to make a claim if needed.

Case Build & Finished Product

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One thing we like about the case evolution is when the chassis starts and ends with the same aesthetics on the front. With a solid front panel and no optical bays in this design, without cutting a hole or scratching the finish, the 400C keeps that sleek appearance we liked right out of the box.

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With all of our gear inside of the chassis, we still have room at the front of the chassis for an AIO or a thinner radiator from a custom shop. The top is tight, and may conflict with the motherboard, but we had no issues stuffing our H80i into the back of the chassis. All of the attention to detail was worth it in the end, as this build is very clean to look at once finished.

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When it came to installing the dust shield, it snapped right into place. The video card aligned as it should, and screwing the PSU into place caused us no issues either.

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Even with the tray for 2.5" drives left in place, we did manage to work around it fairly easy. We did need to remove the HDD cage at the bottom to leave access to wire the modular PSU, but the leads all have room to get where they needed to, and not conflict with putting the panel back on over it all.

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Just about ready to test out the 400C. We put the panels back on without issue, and it is at this time that you start to appreciate the size of the side panel window, and the view afforded by it.

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On the top of the chassis, there is a glow of white LED from the power button, and the flicker of the HDD LED. While we would have liked the Corsair logo on the PSU cover to glow, at least, the Zotac on the video card, and the Corsair head unit LEDs are white to keep with the theme the Carbide Clear 400C offers externally.

Final Thoughts

While the 600C stands on its own merit with its untraditional internal orientation, the Carbide Clear 400C is more mainstream, and will appeal to more users, we think. That being said, this Corsair chassis has an undeniable appeal as well. We like the side vented front bezel, as it allows for a much cleaner aesthetic appeal, but also directs the fan noise away from the user. We like the rounded top and bottom as well, but what sells this cases' looks is the enormous side window. The other thing that springs to mind right away is that even while being a mid-tower solution, you can still house an Extended-ATX motherboard inside, and utilize all of the motherboard tray offered to you.

The cooling shipped in this chassis is somewhat limited, and with the gear we used, we cannot say we got the best cooling results with it. Of course, Corsair knows that the likelihood of both, or any of these fans for that matter, won't likely stay in the 400C very long. With the massive appeal of AIOs, and now that more of the beastly video cards come with water cooling built-in, we are sure many will take advantage of the water cooling potential that the 400C brings to the table. With room for a 360/280mm radiator in the front, room for a 240/280mm radiator in the top, and also leaving room for a single 120mm in the back, all of that open space that is seen in our build could easily be used for a pump, reservoir, and some fancy tubing. All of which, again, will be displayed to admire your work, through the side panel window.

The reality is, when we get to the end, that even though a lot of users will dismiss this chassis for a lack of optical bays, all we can say is get with the times. Its build quality, attention to detail, customizable interior, and the amount of room to hold a ton of gear makes this Carbide Clear 400C chassis stand out in the crowd. The main bonus to a chassis like this, though, is that it also sticks to our magic number. We always say that a well-appointed mid-tower chassis should not cost more than $100, and we are finding that this chassis fits that bill as well. So for a minimal investment, you get a sleek, solidly designed chassis, which while it looks empty, still affords all of the gear necessary to build quite the system inside. Hopefully, you opt for the window as well, as to us, it is what makes this chassis when looking at all of your money, sitting inside of the Carbide Clear 400C mid-tower chassis from Corsair.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance91%
Quality including Design and Build97%
General Features98%
Bundle and Packaging94%
Value for Money93%
Overall95%

The Bottom Line: The Carbide Clear 400C from Corsair is affordable, sleek to look at, and offers a ton of room inside of its mid-tower frame. With the pricing that comes with this chassis, and an enormous window to view your hardware, this will be a hot selling chassis for sure.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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