With the 500R Corsair is aiming at gamers with a stuffed PC, tucked full with hardware. For these users this chassis thus offers a wider range of cooling capacity, that and a little more flexibility over the 400R in terms of removable drive cages and fan controller. So essentially, this is a gamers-oriented product that has an exceptionally aggressive price point, as Corsair calls it, of $139.99 (106.40 Euro, based on exchange rates).
The chassis supports ATX and mATX motherboards, has eight expansion slots, four exposed 5.25-inch drive bays (optical disk drives) and six 3.5/3.5-inch bays on the inside (for HDDs/SSDs). A very decent number of fans can be placed on the inside and, for connectivity, a front-placed I/O panel offers two USB 3.0 ports, one IEEE1394 connector and headphone and mic jacks.
All in all, this neophyte certainly qualifies as a full-fledged gaming case for the DIY PC builder who, doesn't want to spend a fortune on all a chassis.
We do find the price premium over the 99 USD 400R significant, as Corsair asks another 40 USD for this 500R chassis. The EURO prices seem a little more steady with the 400R costing 90 EUR and the 500R 15 EUR more expensive at 105 EUR. Once it actually breaks the sub 99 EUR market, that's where it'll get more popular we expect.
Regardless of your requirements for 105 EUR you do get a serious chassis that does not forfeit a lot, in fact labeling it mid-range or mainstream doesn't even do it justice.
The work space inside is great with easy access to pretty much anything and with 8 expansions lots there is plenty room for multiple graphics cards that are lengthy. Everything can be installed tool free and the new retention 3.5" HDD clips work a lot better then the previous models have shown.
Much like the 400R you do get an all black interior for the cool looks, the CPU back plate cutout for easy installation/replacement of CPU-coolers and overall features that belong in the enthusiast segment. We spot two USB 3.0 connectors at the front side, noticed plenty of grommet holes for cable routing, then there is a real good amount of room behind the motherboard for extensive cable management and then there are the dual 120mm radiator or fan mounts at the top. Corsair even includes lengthy screws to mount the radiator. And other simple stuff, if your motherboard is not yet equipped with the internal USB 3.0 connector block, then a small block to USB 3./0 connecter gender changer has been included.
As always it's all about details with Corsair and that makes this a splendid chassis. You'll have plenty of airflow as the chassis has meshes everywhere. The added 200mm side panel fan and the fan controller are something we appreciate very much.
Whether or not you like or dislike the missing rounded corners, the Carbide 500R seems to be a very nicely build chassis. It's sturdy, has good looks and an extensive feature set. Airflow will not be an issue, and we love the integrated fan controller. So yeah, as such we can definitely recommend it if it fits your taste and budget.
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