A while ago we took a look at Corsairs first foray into the case market with the full-size 800D. It was certainly good looking and well built but just wasn't very good at keeping your components cool.
Call us picky but when we're buying a case, its ability to keep our components cool is quite high on our agenda.
Since then Corsair have gone back to the drawing board and brought us the mid-tower sized 600T. We had to take a look at it and what better way to do so than with a video review.
Of course we know full well that many of our readers are, well, readers and trying to sneak a bit of OC3D in on your Monday morning isn't easy if you have to have me blaring out from your speakers, so this is more of a taster. A companion piece if you will.
Enough pre-amble, especially when you've got 18 minutes of video to go. Let's crack on.
Although not as lengthy as the specifications of motherboards and the like, nonetheless here is the feature set from the Corsair website.
Twin 200mm cooling fans with white LEDs for excellent cooling
- Eight expansion slots provides you flexibility for multiple graphics card solutions
- Unique cable routing holes guarantees you a clean and clutter-free installation
- Integrated fan controller, for up to four fans, gives you the choice of noise vs. performance
- Tool-free optical drive installation makes building your system faster than ever
- CPU backplate cutout makes upgrading your CPU heatsink easy
- 2.5” and 3.5” hard drive compatibility for up to 6 drives — straight out of the box!
- Two year warranty with Corsair’s world-class customer service and technical support
Time to take a look at what we have on our bench today.
A Close Look
Corsair say the 600T "eschews the more staid, subtle lines of the Obsidian". Considering how bland this looks I'd hate to see what would happen if they tried to do a subtle case. It would probably be invisible to the naked eye.
In keeping with the 800D Corsair have provided more cut-outs for cables than even our own Jim could make use of.
The hard-drive bays are capable of handling both 3.5" HDDs and 2.5" SSDs. There are a lot of vents which should hopefully help the front 200mm fan push some decent air in.
The top panel is easily removed with a latch to allow access to the dust filter and also to a locking mechanism for the side-panel. Unlike many locking systems this actually has a circular key akin to those on fruit machines, so your hardware should be safe when you're away, from all but the most determined thief.
The front panel has four USB ports and one USB3.0 port. The relocation of the USB3.0 port is a cool feature, just badly implemented as it requires quite a bit of cable routing that just isn't pretty in any sense of the word.
Speaking of the drive bays they can be removed if you have limited need for storage. Corsair also have provided a space directly in front of the PSU should you want more airflow from the front fan. Not sure how you would plug the cables in to the PSU if they weren't very flexible though, so it's something to be aware of.
As you can see, this is the area I was talking about when discussing how the back corner of the 600T is a little too cramped to be able to comfortably water-cool your entire rig. It does seem weird that you pretty much have to make the decision about how you want to cool your system because its a complicated one when you really get down to it. Your options are:
A: Use a thin radiator in the roof which is no good to anyone
B: Use a thick radiator to cool the GPU and sacrifice space for a decent air heat sink like the NH-D14
C: Use a thick radiator to cool the CPU and leave the GPU on air
D: Use a thick radiator to cool the CPU and GPU, if you have hot components this may severely limit any overclocking.
Its also worth noting that with a radiator fitted the H70 will not fit, even with one of the fans mounted outside the case the unit is just too big because the radiator in the roof is too far back.
Because of all these factors you really need to consider your layout of the case carefully. I would say water cooling support was a big factor in wanting to purchace this case, but its really not as simple as it should be.
So is the Corsair 600T an improvement upon the 800D?
Absolutely. It's a lot better than the Obsidian, but still lacking in a few little touches that we'd expect to see at a mid-tower costing this much, and amongst such stiff competition. Looks-wise it owes more than a debt to the Cooler Master Sniper. So similar are they we kept checking the badge on the front to make sure they hadn't sent us one of those by mistake.
Airflow is greatly improved over the 800D, and it's now what we'd expect to see of an average case. The two big 200mm fans certainly can shift enough air, this should keep all but the mentalist GTX480 systems out there reasonably cool. Although it has to be mentioned that the choice of a plain black fan for the exhaust is disappointing.
Although it's possible to install a water-cooling loop in the 600T, it isn't really well designed for that purpose. It isn't far short though, it's just too short. Another inch of height and a bit of testing prior to design finalisation could make a lot of difference to the overall usability. It's fine filling the press-blurb up with talk of "for gamers, overclockers and enthusiasts" but you do need to make sure it suits all those markets. As it stands we'd advise you to stick with air-cooling for this case.
Overall build quality is up to Corsairs normal high standards. Everything fits together well, the side-panels are sturdy and the side-panel latch mounting system is a very good solution to the problem of getting a panel to slide on over the array of cables you've stashed behind the motherboard. There is also plenty of room behind the motherboard tray for cable routing.
All in all it's a good case that is just a few details away from being very good. It does suffer from the same issue as the 800D though in that it's very expensive and doesn't do enough to rise above the competition. The Utgard we reviewed earlier does everything this does at half the price. Very soon they are going to be releasing a full tower variant that will cost the same as this Corsair mid-tower does. It's a seriously competitive price-range to try and fit another model into and we're just not sure it does enough to stand out.
The final word from us is that the 600T is a mid tower case fighting for attention at what is now a very competitive full tower price point and we cant help but feel its not brought the right cards to the table. The Xigmatec Utgard is HALF the price of the 600T and with a little time spent on cable routing does the job just the same even if it does feel like it is cheaper. The Utgard because of the layout at the front of the case actually allows you to fit a second 360 or 240mm radiator or extra hard drives. I actually use one myself with 12 HDD's in the front as a home server, and yes all this for just £66.
I understand many of you will buy the 600T because it has a Corsair badge and this does buy you a well made case that does have an air of quality about it that the Xigmatek can not really compete with. It all comes down to the old Skoda vs Audi argument, there will always be people willing to pay that bit extra for a different badge and leather seats. At the end of the day it really depends on your budget and what you intend on using the case for. Its not great for anyone looking for a water cooled case, but in reflection if its an air cooled mid tower system you are after and this is within your budget it should be high on your list cases to consider.
Thanks to Corsair for providing the 600T for todays review. Discuss in our forums