Corsair Carbide 678C Review
The phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind when looking at Corsair's Carbide 678C. It is clear that Corsair went to a lot of effort to provide their users with options, but ultimately, we were not left very impressed with this case.
Let's start off with a little positivity. With the Carbide 678C, Corsair has released a case that offers extensive support for liquid cooling. The case supports up to a 420mm radiator in the roof and up to a 360mm radiator at the front, which should offer more than enough cooling potential for any modern system. Yes, larger radiators will force users to remove their optical drive bay and HDD mounts, but at least Corsair offers those options.
With support for a 5.25-inch optical bay, up to six 3.5-inch HDDs at stock and ships with plenty of sound-deadened panels, the Carbide 678C is designed to act as a great home workstation or as a potential home file server. Not many cases ships with support for this many HDDs or with optical drive mounts, factors that will attract certain users to this enclosure.
There is no getting around Corsair's £179.99 asking price for their 678C, a price tag which brings the chassis well into the realms of premium case territory, leaving us confused as to why we see so many apparent cost-cutting measures. For starters, this case is not solely designed to have its top fan mounts completely blocked off, making us then wonder why cable routing grommets are missing at the top of the enclosure. If these locations are designed to be visible, then why are there no rubber grommets? This would be forgivable on a cheaper case, but not something that costs almost $200.
Beyond that, we have to wonder why the case only ships with two covers for the enclosure's 3.5-inch drive mounting locations, and to a lesser extent why Corsair didn't ship this premium case with all eight 3.5-inch drive mounting locations occupied with drive cages. If we were using this case, we would want to look on Corsair's website for spare parts, as we would either like to have all mounting locations occupied with 3.5-inch drive cages, or remove all of the drive cages and fill the gaps with official covers.
When initially looking into the chassis, we also found a manufacturing defect that saw the case's powder coat peel off around several rivets, a defect that we feel should not have made it out of the factory. If we spend £179.99 on this case, we would expect it not to ship with such an issue. Corsair has been in the case game for long enough to know how to make a white case without this issue.
While the issues described above are small, they all add up to create a big problem. Ultimately, Corsair is trying to create a quiet case that supports a large number of mechanical hard drives, filling the same niche as cases like the Fractal R6, a case that is significantly cheaper (at the time of writing) and lacks many of the design issues that are mentioned above. As it stands, the Corsair Carbide 678C is a hard sell.
It is hard not to wonder "Why?" when looking at the Carbide 678C. Why does this all white case use blue LEDs, when white ones would have matched a wider variety of systems? Why does this premium case lack basic add-ons that would have greatly enhanced the look fo the system, such as plastic blanking plates, extra rubber grommets and extra HDD mount covers? Why was this case let out of the factory with a defect?
The worst thing is that we liked this case before it arrived at OC3D. The images we saw left us excited and filled with ideas. When we got some time with the Carbide 678C, all that slowly faded away. At best we can call this case a missed opportunity, at worst, we can point you towards the Fractal Define R6 and point out that it ticks most, if not all, of the same boxes and is significantly cheaper and supports a broader range of build possibilities.
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