With the end of 2015 looming, we've been looking back at all the great products we covered, including the dozen new computer cases we've reviewed in the last 12 months, such as the Thermaltake Core P5, Silverstone Sugo SG13 and In Win 805 for some memorable mentions.
However, one company -- Corsair -- has been off the radar this year when it comes to exciting new chassis. Last year we saw many new cases from Corsair, including the Obsidian Series 450D and Carbide Series Air 540, while this year we've only seen the budget-oriented $50 Carbide Series 100R, and it's been 10 months since that model was announced.
That drought is now over with the arrival of Corsair's Carbide Series 600C, a sleek, minimalist-looking mid-tower with a radical inverted ATX layout -- this is no run-of-the-mill budget offering.
Normally we rely on Silverstone for out of the box designs that see the motherboard orientated in an unorthodox way. That said, Corsair's inverted ATX layout isn't as extreme as Silverstone's stacked 90-degree design and in many ways this has allowed them to create a more practical computer case.
Silverstone's stacked design is all about cooling performance, as it allows for a huge amount of air to be moved across the system's key components. Corsair's inverted design on the other hand is all about aesthetics.
The company's primary goal with the Carbide 600C was to create a beautiful modern looking PC that lets you show off all your hardware through a giant transparent side panel. The inverted ATX layout helps to orientate parts such as the graphics card(s) so they are facing upwards, showing off their best angle.
The design also does a good job of concealing cables with cleverly positioned tie-downs and routing grommets. The PSU and drive bays are concealed behind removable covers, so you have a choice of showing off your pretty PSU or keeping a low profile.
The Carbide series teeters on the edge of boring, but Corsair always ads a bit of a twist to make them interesting. Even the bargain basement 100R has a large bulging case window to save it from being just another boring mid-tower, while the Air 240's ventilated section is wrapped in fins.
For sure the blandest product in the series is the 330R, a quiet case with none of the bells and whistles you typically find on a Corsair case.
In terms of design the 600C looks almost like a blend of the 330R and 500R, while managing to be entirely different altogether.
Whereas the 330R and 500R measure 210mm wide or less, the 600C has been stretched to 260mm wide and this opens up a number of design possibilities. The 600C is also 454mm deep and 535mm tall, giving it a generous 63L capacity.
From the front, the 600C is every bit as bland as the 330R and we like that. The front panel has been constructed mostly from plastic but in an effort to avoid looking cheap the 600C has been wrapped in a thin sheet of painted steel and provides a high quality look and feel.
You will notice that the panel is divided into a smaller section towards the top and here we find a smart little door panel. The door opens up to the left and behind it we find a pair of external 5.25" drive bays. The inside of the door has been padded with a sound deadening material and is held in place by a gang of four magnets.
The entire front panel is removable via six tabs inside the case and once removed users can clean the intake filter. The panel measures 33mm thick and is side ventilated affording the 600C a clean looking façade.
Moving to the top we find another large panel which is again constructed from plastic with a large painted steel insert. This panel is removable, though doing so isn't that easy as it involves eight push tabs and two screws. Thankfully there isn't any real reason to remove this panel.
The only feature found on top of the 600C is a sleek I/O panel that features two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks, a three-step fan controller as well as a power and reset button.
The left side door has been constructed entirely from steel and is removable by a pair of thumb screws.
On the opposite side we find a different story. The right case door has been constructed entirely from a tinted acrylic sheet with steel inserts at the top and bottom. The cool thing about this panel is that Corsair has hinged it to the system and included a quick release handle making it easy and convenient to get inside the 600C.
Once fully open, the door can also be completely removed from the system which makes any major installations a bit easier.
Around the back we find a removable PSU bracket at the top of the 600C followed by eight expansion slots. Below that we have the motherboard I/O cut-out and a rear 140mm fan grill. It's here that we get our first sense of how different the inverted ATX layout is.
Underneath we find four large case feet that raise the 600C about 30mm off the ground, which is plenty, even if you decided to install bottom mounted fans. Corsair has also included a nice big dust filter that is easily removed thanks to the use of magnets.
Externally, the Carbide Series 600C is beautiful and certainly one of the nicest computer cases we've had the pleasure of handling. Previously, the Graphite Series 760T had been my favorite Corsair case, but I think the 600C might be a notch nicer.