The Corsair Carbide series is one of the most established and popular ranges in the entire PC chassis market. There have been many entries in this range, such as the Air 540, Air 240, Spec-01, 100R, 330R, and the recently released 600Q, which was and is the bigger brother of the 400Q we’ll be reviewing today.
Designed to suit a wide range of system builds, there isn’t much the Carbide series doesn’t have to offer. The 400 chassis comes in two variants, the 400C, which comes with a large side panel window, and the 400Q, which comes with a solid side panel, as well as thick layers of sound dampening material for whisper quiet performance.
“The Carbide Series Clear 400C and Quiet 400Q were designed as refined, elegant, and compact ATX chassis with modern layout and features. By removing the 5.25” ODD bays, the 400 series reduces the footprint of the chassis front to back, and simultaneously improves on cooling since there are no drive bays in the airflow path. “
The 400Q is certainly well equipped, and it’s capable of housing some fairly high-end hardware that should make it appeal to those wanting a gaming system build, but let’s skip through these technical details and take a closer look at it ourselves!
As you can see, the 400Q has a fairly understated appearance. That’s not to say it looks boring, but it’s certainly not leaping out to grab your attention while still giving off a premium quality vibe. There’s a solid steel panel on the left side, with a fair bit of ventilation on the edge of the front panel for any front mounted fans/radiators.
The right side is pretty much the same, another solid panel, and even more ventilation for the front panel.
The front panel keeps that bold theme going, with a very minimal, although nicely finished panel. The only thing breaking up the design is an equally understated Corsair logo; the only really visible branding on the chassis exterior.
Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm pre-installed exhaust fan, with elongated mounting holes, allowing you to adjust the height of the fan; this will also increase AIO cooler compatibility. There are seven expansion slots, each fitted with reusable and ventilated filters. Down at the bottom, a PSU mount with a slide out dust filter; nothing too fancy, but everything you would need is here.
The top panel comes fitted with a hard cover that is held in place by magnets. This cover will help reduce noise from the system.
Under the cover, you’ll find 120 and 140mm elongated fan and radiator fittings, handy if you need to add extra cooling performance to the build. You’ll get a 240/280mm radiator here easily.
On the front panel, there are all the basics, such as the power and reset buttons, a pair of high-speed USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.
The right side panel can be removed via two thumb screws and on the inside, you’ll find a thick layer of noise dampening material.
The main compartment of the chassis is certainly specious, as all the hard drive bays are tucked around the back of the chassis. This means you’ve got more room for thick radiators, long graphics cards and other high-end hardware. There’s a large CPU cooler mounting cut-out behind the motherboard, and all the standoffs are pre-installed; both of which should speed up the installation process.
As with many new chassis’ this year, the 400 series feature a PSU shroud. This certainly a welcome addition, as it really cleans up the visuals and helps greatly with cable management. There’s even a cable pass-through for your GPU cables.
In the front, you’ll find a 140mm fan as the main intake, and you can see there’s a full height slide out dust filter in there too, so airflow should be clean and plentiful.
All of the expansion slots are fitted with thumbscrews for easy installation/removal of your components, and there’s a good bit of extra ventilation here too.
At the top, three cable routing cutouts to help you deal with any power and fan cables that you need at the top of the motherboard.
The left side panel also features a large section of noise dampening material, which should further reduce noise and vibrations from within the chassis.
There are three large cable routing grommets, surrounded by a great range of cable tie loops to help you keep everything neat and tidy. There are three dedicated 2.5″ drive mounts, which can all be removed should you need to, and even then, there are two 2.5/3.5″ drive trays in the bottom for even more storage, hidden nicely below the PSU shroud.
These drive bays are tool-free too, so getting things installed should be nice and easy.
The bottom trays are tool free for 3.5″ drives, but you’ll need the included screws for any 2.5″ drives here.
Finally, the PSU shroud can be removed via two thumb screws at the rear, and it comes out in two pieces, which makes it easier to maneuver between installing and removing it.
The PSU installs easily enough and there’s plenty of room here for a bit of excess cable. Don’t worry if you need more room, as you can completely remove the 3.5″ drive bays if you needed to.
As I said before, the 2.5″ drives are tool-free, just slide them down and they’ll click into place.
Getting our main components installed was really easy, as there’s a lot of space to play around with here. Even our massive Sapphire R9 270X Toxic, one of the largest GPUs on the market, still has plenty of room to breathe here. There’s clearance for up a GPU of up to 370mm in total!
The bottom cable routing holes are working really well, meaning we don’t have to trail cables over or under the GPU from the routing holes at the back.
The excellent cable routing also helps keep any excess cable from running the overall airflow within the chassis, allowing that 140mm fan to blow directly at our GPU and CPU.
Obviously, this chassis has room for two, perhaps even three GPUs, dependant on your motherboards configuration; or any other expansion cards for that matter.
Lots of space for a large CPU cooler (up to 170mm tall!) with room in the back for a fairly thick radiator, and let’s not forget all those extra fan and radiator mounts on the top panel; more than enough options for AIO, air, or even custom loop water cooling installations.
Overall, this is a great looking build, with clean cable routing, good airflow and plenty of noise dampening materials to keep things as whisper quiet as possible.
The 400C and the 400Q are unreleased at the time of writing this review. However, Corsair told us that you can expect an MSRP of $99 in the US and £79.99 in the UK. Check with your local and online retailers for stock or pre-orders, as they should be available anytime soon.
Corsair has absolutely knocked it out of the park once again. The 400Q ticks every box you would want in a mid-tower chassis and the same is no doubt true for the windowed side panel version, the 400C. The price isn’t particularly cheap, but given the additional features, it’s certainly competitive.
I love the 400Q, as the noise dampening materials and covered top panel are going to work wonders for reducing noise from the system. If you’re tired of hearing the higher pitched noises from your GPU and CPU coolers, then this will certainly take a lot of that away. Of course, if showing off your hardware is a big priority for you, and I’m sure it is for many gaming system builds, then the 400C and its huge side panel window will be ideal for that too. The interior of the chassis is gorgeous, with that tidy PSU shroud hiding all the less attractive hardware, and also aiding with a lot of the cable management, it’ll look great regardless of which model you choose.
A full-height dust filter on the front panel and another large filter on the base of the chassis will ensure your system is fed clean air, helping reduce the maintenance times. The top panel cover will help with this too, as it’ll prevent dust and debris from falling into the top of the chassis.
Airflow is very good overall, with a lot of ventilation at the front, without breaking up the clean look of that front panel. There’s optional ventilation at the top and a 120mm mount in the rear. If you want a quiet air-cooled system, this is perfect for it. If you want to open it up and fit more fans and radiators, you’ve got that option too, making it future upgrade proof.
Component compatibility is very high, with room for large PSUs thanks to the removable 3.5″ hard drive bay. GPU clearance is plentiful, so even the biggest graphics cards on the market won’t have any issues here. There’s enough room for thicker radiator designs, large CPU coolers and more. Overall, a lot of great features that will help you achieve a clean, well cooled and quiet system build.
- Good build quality
- Clean and stylish aesthetics
- Washable and slide-out dust filters on all intakes
- Two high-quality fans pre-installed
- Removable top cover for additional cooler
- Large GPU support
- PSU shroud
- Dedicated 2.5″ drive mounts
- Excellent cable routing
- No 5.25″ drive mount, although I don’t know many people who’ve even used one in the last few years
“If you’re looking to build a quiet desktop or a flashy gaming rig, the 400C and the 400Q certainly have a lot to offer to any system build. Clean looks, quiet performance and an excellent interior layout that will make building your system as easy and enjoyable as possible.”
Thank you Corsair for providing us with this sample.