Introducing the Corsair Carbide 300R

Ostensibly, Corsair's Carbide line of enclosures are their budget cases; the Obsidian and Graphite lines both start where the beefy Carbide 500R leaves off. Corsair's least expensive entry is the one we have on hand today, the Carbide 300R. Yet like a certain fruit-flavored company we know, they seem unwilling to part with many of the amenities that make their cases such a joy to assemble and work with, and the result is a Carbide that's caught between two worlds.

The Carbide 300R attempts to bring many of the things we've come to know and love and expect from Corsair cases down to a hopefully more palatable $79 price tag. While that's not in the "true budget" arena we've seen companies like Bitfenix and Antec stake out, it's definitely more affordable than most and may hit a sweet spot for users who don't want to spend too much on a case but want something of slightly higher quality.

For the most part you can see it just by looking at the case, too. While we've gone down to the raw fundamentals of SECC steel and black plastic, there are still a lot of smart details, and at this juncture it's still uncommon to see USB 3.0 connectivity in a budget case. When we pop it open later on, we'll see why the Carbide 300R commands its $79 asking price, for better or worse.

Corsair Carbide 300R Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25”
Internal 4x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 140mm intake fan (supports 2x 120/140mm)
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 2x 120/140mm fan mounts
Side 2x 120/140mm fan mounts
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Clearances HSF 170 mm
PSU 240 mm
GPU 17.7" / 450mm
Dimensions 19.1" x 8.3" x 17.7"
485mm x 211mm x 450mm
Weight 15.9 lbs / 7.21kg
Special Features USB 3.0 connectivity via internal headers
Price $79

There are really only two places where you can tell Corsair trimmed some of the fat, at least from the spec sheet. Corsair's cases typically have dual drive cages, but with only four internal drive sleds, they open up space for an intake fan as well as extra long video cards. They've also removed one of the expansion slots; normally there's an eighth one (a convenience I appreciate), but going down to seven isn't a total loss since we're still within spec for a standard ATX motherboard.

What you should appreciate is the copious amount of clearance for all of the components, including the heatsink. After having a couple of close calls with our Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, I was pleased to see that it fit in the 300R with no complaints. The top of the 300R is designed to handle a 240mm radiator (like, say, a Corsair H100) as well.

In and Around the Corsair Carbide 300R
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  • lbruce - Sunday, July 1, 2012 - link

    Got one of these a few days ago. It's worth what you're paying for it, but it's not worth more.

    The USB 3.0 connectors do not look rugged, it will be painful to see them break. The side panels are unbraced sheet metal just like any cheaper case, they may need sound deadening sheets to quiet and strengthen them. In every other way though, it's a nice case.
  • losttsol - Monday, July 2, 2012 - link

    Your review is fairly late coming, but you did it justice I think. I've owned this case since it came out 5 months ago. Only cons I can give it are 1. they should have gone ahead and punched out the water cooling holes on the back. The steel back there is very thin and its easy to damage the case punching the holes out...and 2. just a few more millimeters of cable routing space behind the motherboard would have done a world of good. For the price, this case gives you a lot of options and the ability to put 6 x 140mm fans in it. You can buy the cable routing hole grommets from their site if you want that option. The Obsidian grommets fit it. Having that large open cavity below the 5.25" bays requires some creative cable routing if you want a clean look, but it can be done. The USB 3.0 cable is black thankfully, not blue like so many other case makers feel the need to do. I immediately switched out the included Corsair fans, so I can't comment as to their performance. The expansion ports aren't tool-less, but at least they give you thumb screws for them. I was coming from a Lian-Li PC-P50 and I actually like this 300R better. It has a great use of space for it's dimensions.
  • TOMM3KE - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    I know you say the form factor supports mini-ITX, but Corsair won't guarantee me it when I contacted them. I have an ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE mini ITX motherboard and want to be sure it fits the Corsair Carbide 300R. If not I was thinking about using the Fractal Design Core 3000.
  • l_a_g - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Did the hyper 212 evo fit with the case closed?

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