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Review: Corsair Carbide Series 500R

by Parm Mann on 31 October 2011, 09:08 4.0

Tags: Corsair

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Thermal performance

Keeping a high-end Core i7 980X processor cool under load isn't a problem for the Carbide Series 500R.

The chassis has ample airflow with its fans running at low speed, and at top speed, it manages to deliver the lowest CPU temperature of any mid-tower Corsair enclosure.

Here's where that 200mm side intake pulls its weight. Drawing heat away from our high-end Radeon HD 6970 graphics card isn't easy, but the Carbide Series 500R shows plenty of cooling potential. Taking ambient temperatures into account, it once again delivers the lowest temperature of any mid-tower Corsair chassis in our line up with its fans running flat out.

The Carbide Series may be lacking some of the frills of its Graphite and Obsidian siblings, but it's cheaper and can provide better out-the-box cooling performance. Not a bad deal by any means, but what's it like on the noise front?


To find out how loud the chassis can get we're using a PCE-318 noise meter placed at the front of each chassis to take decibel readings with the system idling in two modes; low fan speed and high fan speed.

Acoustic performance is something of a mixed bag. With the fan controller set to low, the chassis is one of the quietest we've tested - and comfortably quieter than all of Corsair's other mid-tower solutions. It's not silent, but the gentle hum isn't distracting, either.

Unfortunately, it's a different story with the fans running flat out. Turn up the dial and the chassis' mesh panels leak more noise than we'd be willing to put up with. The 500R makes a racket in this scenario, but it isn't a deal breaker as the integrated fan controller makes it easy to find an optimal middle ground between low noise and high performance.