Mid-Tower Case Final Thoughts
This case is very similar to the Fractal Design Define S, with some very notable exceptions. The Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q is smaller, in almost every way. The overall dimensions, the interior layout, as well as the vents and case feet are quite different from that of the Define S. Think of it as the little brother to the Define S with some rounded corners and little more polish in certain areas. I think Corsair was going for something more suitable for sitting up on your desk, while maintaining clean lines. I like this case very much, but I feel it would not be suited for everyone.
Custom water cooling loops in this case should be fairly straight forward, although maybe a little tight in some areas. With the options for a 360mm radiator in the front, 240mm in the top, and a 120mm in the back, you should be able to easily cool a CPU and dual GPUs. That being said, pump location and reservoir location would need to be something you plan out before buying this case, as there is not any pump/res specific mounting points in the case as there are in the Define S.
For those of you who like to utilize AIO (all-in-one) liquid coolers, such as the Corsair H100i, then this case would work very well and be an easier installation. You could easily mount a 240mm AIO in the top, and still have room for 1 or 2 liquid cooled GPUs, such as the AMD FuryX or the upcoming FuryX2 and mount their radiators in front.
Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q Conclusion
Performance wise, given the number of fan mount locations, options for radiators, options for HDD/SSDs, this case could easily perform as your gaming rig/everyday PC. The only thing that perplexed me in the beginning before receiving the sample, was that it has it’s front intakes on the sides. But, after inspection of the sample, I don’t feel this would be any hindrance to cooling performance and gives it a nice, clean appearance. That being said, if you do choose or need to utilize the top fan/radiator mounting location, you will be losing some of the sound dampening qualities of this case.
Appearance wise the Carbide 400Q is slick, with it’s clean lines and no ODD(optical disk drive), Corsair was definitely going to the minimalist appearance crowd. However, with the top sound dampened magnetic panel removed, the clean appearance from the top is gone. The 400C version of this case comes with a magnetic dust filter that aids in masking the honeycomb ventilation and helps keep those clean lines. I’d like to see Corsair include this filter with this case as an additional option should you choose to utilize the top fan mounting location. Maybe they could forgo the unnecessary PSU/HDD bay covers (as this case has no window) and give you the added option of a dust filter up top.
This case is very well constructed and has a bit of heft to it when fully assembled. The side panels are nice and thick, and the sound dampening appears to be a quality material. The plastic parts are thick and rigid, giving it a robust feel. I would note, however, that because of the design and rigidity of the front panel clips, the front panel is a little finicky to put back on and requires that you line it up just so before applying pressure to snap it back in place.
The Carbide 400Q functions well as a entry level Mid-Tower case that features water cooling support and plenty of fan mount locations. It should be able to handle a custom water loop well and handle AIOs very easily. Although I recommend hard line tubing if you do a custom loop as when dealing with multiple radiators and a pump/res combo in this size of case, it would make for an easier and more organized loop.
In terms of value, this case doesn’t move the needle very far. At the time of this review, the Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q is available online for $88.99 (Amazon). Given that the similar Define S is priced at around $79.99 (no window), and is bigger with more water cooling ability, the Carbide 400Q is just slightly more expensive right now. That being said, when retailers start carrying this case, we might see a better price point in line with that of the Define S and similar cases in the Mid-Tower category.
I recommend this case for anyone looking for a cleanly designed, quiet, mid-tower case. While I feel the price is a bit high for the case, I’m confident that online retailers will adjust it to a more reasonable amount. Corsair’s cases are renowned for their quality, their craftsmanship, and their ease of use and the Carbide Quiet 400Q meets all of those expectations.
+ Relatively small footprint
+ Can support any length graphics card
+ Sound dampening
+ USB 3.0 front panel
+ Tool-less drive cages
+ Positive pressure design
+ Multi-radiator support
+ Attractive design
+ Abundance of fan/radiator mount locations
+ Unobstructed airflow design
– No grommets at the top of the motherboard
– 2.5″ HDD/SSD trays are 1 unit instead of 3 separate units
– Front cover release tabs are tight and finicky when reattaching
– PSU cover has to be removed to install PSU (not a big deal, minor annoyance)
– Price (compared to similar options)
– No option for slim or slot load ODD
– Only 7 PCI slots (may not be a con to some)
Ratings: (## quarter-point scale, ie: 8.75 ##)
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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