When first looking at the 678C, it looked like just another smooth front chassis. It was not until I got it out of the box that I understood everything going on with it. I do think the 678C is a quite capable chassis with some strange decisions such as the idea to put a fan up against the flat sound-deadening panel made zero sense. Also, why did they not just put the fan up front where it would have made far more sense for anyone opting to use the sound deadening panel? We will talk more about this in the final thoughts below, but first, let's check out how it performed.
When testing the Carbide 678C, our measured ambient was 23.3C, with an RH of 42%. The CPU when testing showed an average delta over ambient of 44.1C while the GPU showed an average of 37.1C. The GPU was sitting just above the 60C mark, which is where the fans start moving, and even though we saw peaks into the 63C range, it hovered around 61C. The CPU we saw respectable results. Still, I do feel like it could be better if the front panel had more potential to ingest air, that bottom opening on the front door hurts front airflow ingress and also shows a couple of degrees delta over the mean for our best cases on the chart.
What did I like about the 678C? I would have to start with the overall open space available to play with. The fact that Corsair left space up top to allow for liquid cooling while not interfering with motherboard components or memory is a great move compared to the issues I observed on the 465X and 220T recently. The inclusion of four 140mm PWM fans is a very welcome addition. The inclusion of a top fan filter along with a noise reduction solid plate is excellent for those who prefer that, as it gives the 678C a shot in the arm in regards to trying to combat entries form Be Quiet or Fractal. The magnetic closing of the glass and front door is excellent as it has no latches to break. The hinged removable tempered glass door works well here and gives an excellent presentation aspect while also being easy to remove when building or maintenance is required.
Now we get to the detriments, and there are some things I think could be better. I do wish that Corsair would include extra HDD bay covers so that if you opt to remove them, there would not be large open rectangles in your case. This is something companies like Be Quiet do and are welcome additions as it helps significantly with managing appearance when removing components. The fact that Corsair put a fan default in the top, which also comes default with a flat solid sound dampening panel, seems like a significant lack in judgment, and for builders who may not know better can harm the chassis ability to properly cool.
At the new price point of $149.99, the Carbide 678C is a quite competent case which by default, is sans RGB but with Corsair and many others offering massive suites of RGB components at the ready. You can easily outfit this chassis with whatever your heart desires. With the competition well within view, I think the only detractor to the 678C is the aging inclusion of a 5.25" drive opening in the front, which is at least hidden by the door. The other consideration is the lackluster airflow capabilities with the front door closed. The 678C will still cool well enough, but if the panel had more breathing room, it would be all the better for it.
Corsair made some interesting choices with the 678C, and some are as easy as moving a fan while others are a bit harder to cope with. While the front panel is a bit damning here, I think overall; the 678C is a solid case. Just be mindful that your front airflow is suboptimal, and you will likely gain a few degrees if you opt for the 678C for your next custom build.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15(buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
The Corsair 678C is a quite competent chassis with some great features. The door and its ability to impede airflow keeps the 678C from topping the charts. However, if you build it well, the 678C can still make for an amazing new rig.