Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Case

Posted by on Friday, March 9, 2012 - 4:38pm

Corsaie Carbide 500RCorsair may have another case on their hands that one could call water-cooler’s dream as well as being air-cooled friendly. The case is the Carbide 500R. One of the advantages the 500R has over the 800D is that it can be had for around $120 and comes in black or white. We were fortunate to get the handsome white model from Corsair.


Introduction to the Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Case

Corsair has had the best success the previous few years with the revival of the Obsidian line of cases. There isn’t a single Water-Cooled thread on a major forum without atleast one 800D in the fold. The case was honestly one of the best solutions for water-cooling. Even though we did not get a chance to review one, I read just about every review on the case that I felt like I knew personally inside and out.

Corsair may have another case on their hands that one could call water-cooler’s dream as well as being air-cooled friendly. The case is the Carbide 500R. One of the advantages the 500R has over the 800D is that it can be had for around $120 and comes in black or white. We were fortunate to get the handsome white model from Corsair.

Corsair's take on the 500R

Want even more outrageous cooling flexibility? Step up to the 500R. It adds a 200mm fan mounted on the side panel’s mesh screen for extra GPU cooling, a multi-channel fan controller, and removable and relocatable hard drive cages. The ability to move and remove hard drive cages not only improves airflow — it also allows you to install graphics cards of up to 452mm in length.


Warranty: Two years
Dimension: 20.5” x 8.1” x 20”
MB Support: ATX, mATX
Expansion Slots: 8
Form Factor: Mid-tower
Material: Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces
Drive Bays: (x4) 5.25", (x6) 3.5"/2.5" Drive Caddies
Cooling: (x6) 120mm/140mm fan mounts, (x4) 120mm fan mounts, Includes (x1) 200mm side panel fan, (x2) front-mounted 120mm fans, and (x1) rear 120mm fan
Front I/O: (x2) USB 3.0, (x1) IEEE1394, (x1) Headphone, (x1) MIC, Power, Reset, Lighting toggle switch
Power Supply: ATX (not included)

Closer look at the exterior

Corsair has had great success with the color white when we saw the Graphite 600T in white. The case was gorgeous and started a new fad with the color white been the basis of a rig. To be the new 500R looks better than the 600T and offers some features that the 600T does not.

The 500R is considered a mid-size tower but it can easily handle pretty everything you need in a computer. Whether you are a gamer and require multiple video cards, need a bunch drives for a file server or need something that is professional looking in an office. Yes, the Carbide has it all and more.

The front of the case begins with the I/O panels and ends with a series of mesh plates. The panel includes two USB 3.0, audio jacks, the often forgotten firewire power and a power/reset buttons. Added are a LED switch and fan controller.

Below that are a total of four 5.25” optical drive bays followed by a large mesh area that protects two 120mm cooling fans.

The left side panel has a rather large vent panel that is used to support a very large 200mm cooling. The fan when powered up glows white making the case more neutral when it comes to color coding. Returning the fan can result in the user being able to mount dual 120mm/140mm fans. The side panel is partially convex in order for the fan not to interfere with the components of the system.

The right side panel has no openings or vents but convex as well to support cables being routed to the back of the motherboard.

The top of the 500R contains no bling whatsoever. And to many that is a good thing. The lack of shine and bling makes the case more appealing to the masses. Upfront is a small dock to sit items one while the rest is a long mesh area. The mesh can be easily removed from the chassis simple by pressing it in and it pops up. Can you say room for a dual fan rad?

The rear layout is sort of basic except for the four holes for routing water-cooling tubing. The case also offers a 120mm exhaust fan which can be replaced with a 140mm. There is a preventive measure to not lose the screws of the side panel when they are removed.

Looking at the bottom of the case Corsair covered both the power supply and extra fan vent with dust filters.

Closer look at the interior

Unlike the Switch 810 from NZXT we reviewed not too long again, the 500R’s interior is painted black. Granted the black on white style of the 500R is sweet to look at but so is the white on white.

The large rectangle cut into the motherboard tray is to give easy access to the CPU cooler when it comes time to change it out. There are also plenty of opening for routing the cables to the rear of the tray.

The four 5.25” optical drive bays are all completely tool-less. The six HDD brackets are tool-less when installing 3.5” bays but needs tools when it comes to the mounting of 2.5” drives. Six drives are divided between two cages which are totally removable to allow expanding on your cooling preferences or supporting longer video cards. With the cages removed the case will support a GPU up to 17” long.

The top of the case has the perfect housing to fit the H100 and its dual fan configuration also from Corsair.  


The PCI slots are laid with vented covers for better air circulation. The rear mounted 120mm fan also helps a little bit.

The backside of the motherboard is slightly short on territory for the routing of cables. But there is an L-channel to aid with these along with the bulge in the side panel.

Build Images

Plenty of room for any size power supply.

Crucial M4 mounted into HDD bay. Side pins have to be removed for a comfortable fit.

Carbide 500R accomodates motherboards up to standard ATX.

H100 installed into the top of the 500R.

Complete build.


Corsair has seen the world just what they are made of since they introduced the Obsidian 800D. They seems to not care much about the competition as cases after the 800D like the Obsidian 650D and the Graphite 600T saw just able the same success. This alone is telling us that Corsair is listening to the gamer and enthusiast when they speak of features and wants in a case.

But you can win the war of cases if you only are willing to paid attention to the people willing to pay $160 or more for case. There is a larger market out there. One that do not want to spend much more than a $100 when looking for the ideal case. That’s when the Carbide line comes from. The case was the 500R which comes in black and white. We reviewed the white model here today and the case is sweet.

The Carbide 500R is a suave looking case that is very hard not to look. The front facial has the mesh look that many gamers have come to like but also has very simple lines with broadens its appeal.

Cooling-wise, the case only comes with three fans which is enough to maintain good airflow. But one has to also remember Corsair has a line of all-in-line water-cooling kits that can be mounted in the top of the cases where there are two 140mm openings.

Easy drive installing, good cable management and support for longer gaming cards are all pluses this case has to offers.

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