Corsair Graphite Series 600T: Cool and Quietby Dustin Sklavos on November 26, 2010 2:25 AM EST
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The 600T Externally
A jaunt around the externals of the Corsair Graphite Series 600T reveals something a little more curvaceous than we've come to expect from modern enclosures. Outside of the Cooler Master Cosmos the 600T seems to take at least one or two design cues from (as good a place as any), most cases tend to have sharp angles and very few curves. The 600T on the other hand features rounded edges around most of the design. By the same token, while most cases tend to be shades of black or silver, the 600T employs a gunmetal coloring that suits it well.
We'll start from the front and work our way around. The 600T features four external 5.25" bays but surprisingly no 3.5"; it's safe to assume Corsair figures you can always adapt a front panel card reader (or your ancient floppy drive) to fit in a 5.25" bay. The entire front of the case is ventilated, and the panel in front of the massive 200mm intake fan pops off, allowing you to clean the grate and dust out of the fan. That 200mm fan (and its brother in the top of the case) is the source of some consternation in other reviews: it's quiet, but it doesn't seem to move that much air, and I know some reviewers found the bright white LED lighting a little obnoxious. That's definitely going to be a matter of taste.
When we crawl up the front to the top of the case, we see one of the major progressions in modern cases: the I/O, power, and reset buttons are at the top front of the 600T. It's a smart move since most of us tend to keep our cases on the floor these days. Corsair offers a healthy selection of I/O here: a generous four USB 2.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, a 6-pin Firewire port, and something of a rarity right now: a USB 3.0 port. That USB 3.0 port doesn't use the USB 3.0 header that's been showing up on some recent motherboards, though; it's powered by an extension cable that routs to the back of the case and plugs into the motherboard's I/O cluster. This isn't the most elegant solution in the world, but it gets the job done and it's flexible enough that you can always just plug it into a rear USB 2.0 port if your board doesn't support 3.0 and get a fifth front port. If I had one complaint about the I/O cluster, though, it's the inclusion of Firewire but not eSATA. I use both but if I had to make a choice for the average user, I'd err on the side of eSATA.
Parked in the middle of all these ports is the 600T's integrated fan controller. If you've read any other reviews of the 600T, allow me to reiterate what they said: this thing just doesn't seem to do that much. If you plug in all of the fans in the case (the controller is actually completely independent of the case fans and you can choose to avoid using it entirely), you will find that the difference between the lowest and highest settings is like night and later that night. You'll only hear the difference in a quiet room, and as you'll see later, the highest setting doesn't appreciably improve cooling performance.
Speaking of which, the top of the case has a second removable grate covering the second 200mm fan, this one an exhaust. Again, this grate is easy to remove but also fairly secure.
The rear of the case reveals the exhaust fan, a more standard 120mm affair, along with two important distinctions. First, Corsair outfits the case with eight expansion slots instead of seven. It's a small but noteworthy inclusion that makes the case well-suited to multi-GPU systems. Second is the increasingly common bottom-mounted power supply. The power supply's cooling is essentially completely cut off from the rest of the system, and there's a vent in the bottom of the case (with a removable filter) for the power supply's fan. This isn't a problem either; the case is built on a raised base that keeps all but the shaggiest of carpeting from clogging up the vent.
Finally on the sides we have one of my favorite features of the 600T: as you'll find when we check out the internals, the 600T is a largely tool-less affair, and the side panels are very secure but use latches that pop them right off. It's a nice change of pace from having to slide the side panel back on and then secure it, even with thumbscrews, to the back. These panels make getting into and out of the 600T an absolute breeze.
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philosofa - Saturday, November 27, 2010 - linkOf my the two front USB 2.0 ports on my TJ11 I have one permanently fitted with the 2.4GHz transceiver for my secondary mouse, the other is generally occupied by my gaming USB soundcard/headset (less clumsy than a rear panel connector). I also use have an apple cable permanently plugged into one of the two side USB ports on my 2443BW monitor.
Most people wouldn't use five SUB ports, but it could be of use to a few, so given the plethora of USB headers on modern motherboards it makes sense to make use of them and put a decent number there.
Whilst I do still think that Corsair have done well to actually include USB 3.0, and think a single USB 3.0 port will suffice for a while, I do agree that it would be ideal to have more than one; I *think* that a single header supports two USB 3.0 ports by default, so I agree with you that there would be no real reason not to have a second one there along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports (or even four as they're cheap, there's space and a lot of people won't have any USB 3.0 headers at all yet).
@ The_Assimilator - agreed but bearing in mind that the majority of P67 boards seem to have USB 3.0 headers, with Bulldozer's boards presumably following suit and that the case is going to be out a while and Lightpeak not yet being available, it makes a lot of sense to support USB 3.0. I know I'll be looking for at least one front panel connector in my next case.
Affectionate-Bed-980 - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkYou mention the P182/P183. Many people love this case, and clearly the 600T is targetted against the P18x cases. If you came from that case, you should at least include sound comparison? Temp comparison?
Jedi2155 - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkI feel this is targeted more towards the Cooler Master Cosmos / Cosmos S series than the P180/182. It should be a comparison towards that chassis
WestHej - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkThis case was also reviewed by bit-tech but oddly they barely make any mention of its noise characteristics only noting that it "suppresses more of the noise of your PC" due to not having a side mountable fan. In fact they rate the 600T far below Anandtech's rating due to "mediocre" cooling.
Since this review does mention the impressive noise characteristics and the P182/3 it would indeed be very nice if a comparison to those cases are made as well as other noise-reducing cases. For me I'd love Anandtech to review the Fractal Design Define R3 case as it scored very highly at bit-tech. I wonder what other cases are in the review pipeline at Anandtech.
mtoma - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkWe all see the trend in computer case design: bottom-mounted power supply and top-mounted connections (USB, audio, eSATA, etc). I agree with the former trend, but I do not with the latter. Dustin said that most users keep their cases on the floor, and therefore it is better that the connections and the start button are on top of the case.
My question is: WHY on Earth would somebody keep their expensive, beautiful and long-lasting computer case on the floor? To collect dust? To collect field-mice? To collect leg-pounding? To collect fingers from the small children? To collect pounding from the vacuum-cleaner? I don't get it. And don't tell me that crap that you do not have the room on top of your desk. Buy one! It's much cheaper than 159 USD...
From that perspective, Antec P183 it's a classic one, and a good one. It also has better internal layout than P182. And, regerding it's horrible default fans, who cares? Always you can mount a nice Nexus fan, or Noctua, or Enermax.
jabber - Friday, November 26, 2010 - link\If you keep your house clean and dusted then dust isnt such a problem. When I customer gives me their PC to serv ice I can tell the state of their home by how dusty the inside of their PC is.
A little dust - Clean tify home.
Major dust - Hell Hole.
Works every time.
Plus you just look where the vacuum cleaner goes when hoovering. Not hard, do it yourself instead of your mum if you are worried.
As for the mice etc. then you have problems matey.
The floor is a perfect place for leviathan PCs. The floor is what you make it.
mtoma - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkTrue, a clean house alleviates some problems. And true, a big case it's not fitting if you have 2 or more monitors on top. And, if the case is about 60 cm in height, it is easier to keept it on the floor. I agree.
But, the rest of the problems remain: young kids, pounding feet. And, maybe I'm touchy, but if the PC case is on the floor, I feel that it is almost hidden from sight, an almost it's fading into the obscurity like the other 30 USD cases. Maybe I have a hard time putting on the floor 159 USD. It does'nt feel right, somehow.
And, if the PC case is silent, it would not bother nobody on top of the desk..
Anway, this Corsair seems e gamer case, silent, modern, efficient. Because I am not a gamer and I enjoy more silence in a computer, this case it's not for me (I would like some HDD silicone pads/screws).
killerclick - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkSounds like some overactive little bastards have to die. Or chop off one of their legs, they can't kick anything when they're hopping on one leg.
killerclick - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkI keep my case on the floor because that's where it's supposed to be. I can't have the case on my desk when I have two screens, keyboard, mouse, cellphone, cordless phone, satellite speakers, joystick, coffee, remote for the AC, remote for the TV and a clear view to the said TV.
And a new desk is cheap but a larger desk would require a larger space which would require a larger apartment. All that to have the pleasuse of a featureless gray metal box obstructing my view.
Folterknecht - Friday, November 26, 2010 - linkA good review as most on this site, but I had to look somewhere else to find the "right" dimensions ot this case. I know this is an english/american website and you people have "funny" units of measurement but it can't be to hard to include the international standart - meter (mm fits better for reviewing cases):
20" (H) x 23.3" (L) x 10.4" (W) - (507mm x 592mm x 265mm)
(from corsairs product page)