When I first took a look at the 680X, I will admit, I liked it because it is a dual-chamber design, which means that fitting cable management behind a tight panel is less of an issue. When I got into building it, I found several things that helped to make the 680X a reliable option for most any system builders looking for a case with this sort of feature set.
For our testing, we set up our standard testbed, and the ambient was measured at 22.1C with an RH of 44%. The CPU reached a delta of 42.4C, which is one of the better results we have seen in a while. The stock included fans to help make sure this temperature is possible and makes the 680X stand out in the crowd both aesthetically and performance-wise.
Now we get to what we like and don't like; what we like coming first. The 680X is a sizeable case, allowing fitment of pretty much anything you would need. The removable trays while not an entirely new idea help make this case from a capable addition to one that is much easier to build in. The ample cable management space afforded by its more substantial form factor means that you are not hoping all of your panels will still close nicely after managing cables. Also, while RGB is not always my favorite addition to a case, I do feel that the LL fans work well with the open glass panels on the 680X.
Next up is what we don't care for or wish to be improved in the 680X. This one is tough as the 680X does a lot of things right. While the three front LL fans are PWM, the rear exhaust is DC, and I think it would be helpful for all of the fans to be PWM so that they can be controlled on the same curve. Also, on that note, a PWM splitter would be a welcome addition here as while I would love to believe that all boards will work with no issues controlling all of the PWM fans you want, many do not have enough fan headers to service a vast array. I think a small PWM hub numbering 6-8 ports would be a great feature and add to the overall ease of building in the 680X.
The price coming in at $250 is a tough area, as there are many regular cases in this area. However, with the 680X's unique form factor, I do think that the only real contender would be the PC011 Dynamic series, both the standard and the XL, or maybe even the Lian Li PC08RGB. The PC08RGB is a great option, but overall the Corsair unit has it beat in a few ways one, being the ease of mounting of cooling. Other being iCUE control of the fans, which come preinstalled. Overall while I never like to recommend a case based on RGB, it has to be factored in, and Corsair made the 680X a robust package.
Corsair made a solid case with the 680X, and with the addition of the preinstalled fans. It is ready to drop your system in and get it running, along with so much more. Much like Alice, it is really up to how far the rabbit hole you want to go. With Corsair recently launching their HydroX gear, you can bet that the 680X will be the platform where I will be testing the new custom liquid cooling gear.
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)
Last updated: Feb 19, 2020 at 01:23 pm CST
The Bottom Line
Corsair took the cubic design of the Air 240 and 540 to new levels with the Crystal 680X. A chassis with the aesthetics, fitment and performance to receive top marks. Oh, and let us not forget iCUE RGB, if that's your thing.