Performance and Final Thoughts
To ensure accurate thermal results, we installed the same hardware in each case in virtually the same way. Components included the Asrock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional, Phenom II X6 1100T, Prolimatech Megahalems in passive mode (i.e. no fan actively dispelling heat), the Inno3D GeForce GTX 580 OC and powering the system is the OCZ's ZX 1000w power supply.
Granted all this hardware is getting old now, but the Phenom II X6 1100T and Inno3D GeForce GTX 580 certainly pump out a lot of heat which makes them useful for such a test.
The Corsair Carbide Series 600C kept the CPU cool at 71 degrees, which is only a few degrees higher than some of the best results we have recorded using cases such as the RVX01, D-Frame and HAF X. This placed the 600C on par with the Silent Base 800 and made it slightly better than the Chaser MK-1 and Vengeance C70.
The GPU temperatures were just as impressive, as the 600C was able to match the Cooler Master HAF X and RVX01, while losing out only to the FT04 and FT05.
This has been an interesting review to put together, largely down to the fact that we have literally no information about the case other than what was on the box and in the manual. Speaking of which, the user manual is highly detailed, extremely easy to follow and well put together, so kudos to Corsair as this isn't often the situation with case manuals.
The Carbide 600C arrived early last week and we had no idea it was coming. Corsair suggested back in October that a review sample might be ready in December, but that was the last we heard.
Anyway, the 600C arrived early and without notice, and with that we got to work on this review, discovering all of the case's cool features and design elements.
At this point it looks like the 600C will become available later this month at an MSRP of $150 and the quiet 600Q version will share that price.
What we do know is that the Carbide 600C is one of the best looking mid-towers we have seen this year, if ever.
The wide, short and stacked shape makes the 600C easy to work with and capable of housing ginormous GPUs and ceiling-high heatsinks. Its wide stance also makes the 600C the master of cable management, and it needs to be with its massive case window providing a clear view of all the goodies inside.
Not only is the Carbide 600C's design highly practical and functional, but it also looks amazing.
The steel-clad façade and top panel look and feel great, while the acrylic door panel with its steel inserts, hinges and handle give the 600C a premium look. The double-hinged front door is held in place by magnets and not only does this look great but more importantly it works well. The I/O panel is sleek and provides plenty of connectivity, while the feet underneath the 600C raise it nice and high allowing for plenty of airflow should you choose to install some fans in the bottom.
Speaking of fans, out of the box the 600C is extremely well equipped with three high-quality AF140L 140mm fans. Not only does the 600C come with a trio of big fans but both the front and bottom intake locations come with preinstalled magnetic dust filters, a nice touch indeed.
The inverted ATX layout offers a number of benefits, though we feel gamers will most appreciate the ability to admire their graphics card(s) from an ideal angle. For whatever reason, installation in the 600C seemed easy compared to more traditional cases and we aren't entirely sure if this is down to the inverted ATX layout or the fact that the case is so spacious -- perhaps a bit of both.
One thing is for certain, the fan locations and motherboard orientation didn't hurt cooling performance as the 600C is one of the best cases we've tested.
The 600C might not be big on storage for a case of its size, but keep in mind that this mid-tower would be 20% smaller if it measured the more standard 206mm wide, which would be a 13L reduction in capacity.
Overall we really like the Corsair Carbide Series 600C and for us it proves that there needs to be more 'wide' mid-towers. Silverstone's Raven 5 (RV05) would have certainly benefited from a 260mm-wide design, as would the NZXT H440.
Pros: Inverted ATX layout works great for cable management, offers ample space for high-end hardware and a side panel window to show it off. Steel-clad exterior looks and feels great.
Cons: The top panel is a little troublesome to remove, yet you shouldn't have a reason to detach it. With an MSRP of $150, the Carbide 600C is clearly toward the pricier end of mid-towers.