Best PC Cases: 5 best-selling cases for under £100

Corsair Carbide Series 400C

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Key Features:

  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Masses of features
  • Really useful hinged side panel
  • Highly customisable

The Corsair Carbide Series 400C is the most expensive case on test, at around £85. However, rather than go all out on style such as the similarly pricey S340 Razer, the 400C is all about features.

For your money you get a hinged, windowed side panel for quick and easy access to your components. It has removable shrouds for the PSU and hard drives. The 3.5in and 2.5in bays are all removable, and there are masses of cooling options.

As a result of all those extras, the styling is nice enough, but lacks any real finesse. The paint job is the usual tough black rather than the nicer matte finish of the NZXT, while the front is plastic rather than metal. Also, the eminently useful hinged side panel looks a little clunky with that handle, and up top it’s just one big fan filter.

It doesn’t look cheap or ugly, but it definitely isn’t out-and-out stylish, either.

But back to those features…

The side window panel is superb. It opens so easily and simply slides up off its hinges for when you need to really get inside the case. There’s no lock on the latch, so if security is a concern then it may not be ideal. As far as convenience is concerned, though, it’s a big win.

Like several cases on test, there are no 5.25in drive bays, so the whole case is smaller than typical midi-towers of a few years ago.

Open up the door and it’s clear where that space has been saved, with the whole area in front of the motherboard being narrower than other cases. Overall space is plentiful, however. All round the motherboard there’s a decent gap to allow fingers in to fit screws and feed through cables, and there are plenty of holes for cables in the back plate, too.

As such, installation of the motherboard and cable management is really easy. However, the lower part of the case is less successful.

Like the S340, the PSU and 3.5in HDD bays are covered by a shroud, but here they’re plastic and have to be removed to install the components. The problem being that the whole system is just a little clunky, with too many steps required to remove the shroud, and the whole area being cramped. Moreover, I don’t think the shrouding looks all that much better than the bare PSU and hard drives – it’s a far cry from the S340’s cleaner-looking metal shroud.

Nonetheless, this is the only major issue with the case, and in every other regard it’s a joy to use. It performs superbly when it comes to cooling: its CPU temperature is the joint-lowest on test (71C), and although the GPU is a little higher, at 80C, this would be an easy fix if you moved the front 140mm fan down to the lower mount. CPU temperature might rise slightly, but not by much.

Noise levels weren’t amazing, with this being the second-loudest case on test, but it was a distant second to the BitFenix Nova, measuring 42.8dB from both the front and side.

There’s also ample room for water-cooling, with the front section able to fit the H100i; there’s room in the roof for more fans, too.

Verdict
This case packs in a ton of features and offers good overall build quality and cooling performance. As such, it’s an ideal choice for power-users who don’t need any 5.25in drive bays.

Buy Now at Overclockers UK for £86.99

At time of review, the Corsair Carbide Series 400C was available for £86.99.