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Corsair Crystal 460X RGB Compact ATX Case Review

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Computer Case Final Thoughts

Corsair’s Crystal 460X RGB case leverages tempered glass side panels and adjustable RGB fans to spice up what would otherwise be just another mid-tower case. Corsair uses the modern conceit of “no front drive bays” and “ESPECIALLY no 5.25″ bay” to make this one of the smallest ATX cases I’ve ever seen, only slightly larger than some of the porkier mITX cases on the market! The case is small enough to sit on top of your desk without overwhelming it.

Functionality is great, but this case is really about visual appeal, and its lightly smoked glass panels and RGB fans give it an elegant look. With a few other lighting editions– a rear ring light fan, a Cooler Master Master Liquid Pro 240 cooler, and a lit-logo GTX770– I was able to create a very nice setup.

That said, I do have a few nitpicks. The most serious issue is 2.5″ drive bracket design. The bracket itself is great, with snap-in drive mounting aided with a spring-loaded ejectors. But since there is no clearance at all between the bracket and the case side panel, the bracket is almost unusable, since it’s difficult-to-impossible to route standard SATA power cables in a way that they don’t go over the bracket. A side panel with a bulge over the bracket would be one solution, although a special SATA power extension cable would work too.

The glass panels themselves are a little fiddly to get off and one, since the case has only vestigial pegs to hang them from. The solution here is to tip the case on its back or side so that the glass panel you’re dealing with is facing up.

Last, there are the fans. The SP120RGB fans are the poor cousins of the HD120RGB fans I reviewed recently. Their four hub-mounted LEDs can’t hold a candle, literally, to the 12 rim-mounted LEDs of the HD120RGB fans; there are fewer lighting effects, and most annoyingly the fans use three-pin connectors, which means your motherboard and water cooling system probably won’t be able to control their RPM. I’d love to see Corsair offer a version of this case with the HD120RGB fans. You could of course simply buy this case, a three-pack of HD120RGB fans, and do it yourself, but that’s another $85.00 you’ll have to spend. Corsair does not offer a version of this case without the SP120RGB fans but with the integrated fan light controller.

Crystal 460X RGB Conclusion

The Corsair Crystal 460X RGB is a stylish and compact full ATX case that leverages its use of tempered glass panels and RGB fans to provide a relatively inexpensive, yet striking, home for your system. Three front 120mm fans will provide plenty of quiet airflow, even without rear or top fans to exhaust the case, and the integrated lighting controller on the top of the case lets you set everything from “lights off” to a dim, steady color to a near-disco flashing display.

The Crystal 460X RGB is easy to build in, although the rear-mounted 2.5″ drive bays proved problematic. I think Corsair should at least provide a custom SATA power extension cable for these bays, as they are very difficult to use otherwise due to cable clearance issues.

I’d like to see a version of this case with the brighter and more versatile HD120 RGB fans, but the SP120 RGB’s still work well in this application.

With the typical Corsair attention to quality and design, this case makes an impressive showing at its street price of $129.99 (Newegg | Amazon), and is definitely worth a look.

Pros:
Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ Compact size for a full ATX case

+ Front and side glass panels

+ Included RGB fans with integrated fan lighting controller

+ Fully filtered airflow

+ Good cable management (except for 2.5″ bracket issues)

Cons:

– Utility of 2.5″ drive brackets compromised by cable clearance issues

– Must be careful removing and replacing glass panels

– SP120 RGB fans not as bright as HD120s, lack four-pin cable for PWM control

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 8.25
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

NewEgg.com

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2 comments

  1. John

    Clearly not designed with water cooling in mind, this case is great for those who are after a well designed, good looking case to build an average system in, with RGB to dress it up.
    Not one to argue with a reviewer, but why insist on fitting an A.I.O with a 240mm radiator in to the front of a case which in my opinion only increases heat going in to the case!
    The clear choice should be a smaller 120mm radiator placed at the rear exhausting the heat.
    Ideally the case should have been made with extra height to allow a top mount radiator without resorting to some ridiculous external radiator mounting modification on the top.

  2. David Ramsey

    The point of the AIO system isn’t to remove heat from the case; it’s to remove heat from the processor. While a direct air flow out of the case with a top-mounted rad would be superior in theory, in practice it doesn’t really make a difference: even under heavy CPU loads, the air coming off the radiator is only somewhat warm; the minor increase in temperature isn’t enough to affect the operation of anything inside the case.

    That said, the 240mm setup was overkill for this build, but it’s what I had laying around.

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