Corsair Vengeance C70 Case Review: Going for the Gamersby Dustin Sklavos on May 17, 2012 5:45 PM EST
- Posted in
Introducing the Corsair Vengeance C70
Corsair has had an excellent run as a case designer, showing growth with each new enclosure by adding some features, subtracting other ones, moving things around, and generally continuing to experiment. The Obsidian and Carbide lines in particular have shown healthy progress, but today Corsair launches a fourth line under their popular Vengeance gaming brand: the Vengeance C70.
While the exteriors of the Obsidian and to a lesser extent Carbide cases have all been fairly austere, the Vengeance C70's target is pretty clear: they're going after gamers. Thus far, products in the Vengeance market have generally been of high quality and haven't been particularly ostentatious, but the C70's external design is an unusual step for Corsair. Is the C70 as a whole part of Corsair's continued evolution as a case designer, or is this their first major misstep along the way?
For the first time since I've started reviewing Corsair's cases, I'll admit I experienced trepidation when I saw the press materials for the C70. Military green? Handles on the top? Industrial-style power and reset buttons? This wasn't the Corsair I knew, the company whose most ostentatious design so far was the Carbide 500R (or, arguably, the well-received Graphite 600T). Sure, the C70 is available in white and gunmetal gray (a personal favorite) as well, and the interior is vintage Corsair, but it still feels to me like an odd bird in their lineup. Before we get to the detailed analysis, we'll start with the regular specs table:
|Corsair Vengeance C70 Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25”|
|Cooling||Front||2x 120mm intake fans behind drive cages; 2x 120mm fan mounts|
|Rear||1x 120mm exhaust fan|
|Top||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|Side||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|Bottom||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||Standard ATX|
|GPU||12.5" / 320mm|
19.72" x 9.13" x 20.98"
501mm x 232mm x 533mm
USB 3.0 connectivity via internal header
Toolless side panels
Support for up to 11 fans
Removable drive cages
"Military Green" finish; also comes in "Gunmetal Black" and "Arctic White"
On paper and without seeing the case, there's not a whole lot that stands out with the C70. The one area that looks unusual is the sheer number of fan mounts available. While testing the Vengeance C70, the enclosure that remained fresh in my mind was the Corsair Obsidian 550D, their case engineered for silence. In terms of expansion and cooling potential, the 550D isn't actually all that different from the C70; with the C70 you lose a 5.25" external bay but gain three fan mounts, which would be more impressive if the flexible 550D wasn't already capable of supporting eight. That owes to Corsair's positioning the C70 as a potential go-to for watercooling, with two different places to mount 240mm radiators. Indeed, all of their review materials present the C70 with Corsair's own H100 closed loop liquid cooler installed. We didn't have a watercooling kit for review, unfortunately, so we're looking at the C70 primarily as a typical desktop chassis.
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clarkn0va - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link"the fans on the processor and graphics card wind up not having to work anywhere near as hard."
That's like telling us that a vacuum cleaner sucks.
Dr_b_ - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkWithout having the case yet some things that I would do:
-Offer for sale a side panel with window that does not have ventilation/mount points for fans, or ship the product with one that doesn't and offer for sale one that does.
-Make the front mounted ports optional, so that if a user does not wish to use the front USB/Audio, the cable for them can be easily removed.
-Make sure there is plenty of room for the cables to stick out of the hard drives such that they have clearance for the right side panel (if there isn't already, necessitating angled SATA cables)
Other than that you do have a winning design, a lot of people I talk to like the case design and aesthetics, unlike the reviewer, who did state it was a matter of taste.
Myself, like a lot of other people who will be buying the case, will install their own fans and additional fans ontop of that, and a fan controller -- so cooling with factory default setup and fans is a mute point but a valid review consideration I suppose, but not a factor in my buy decision. By the time I put in two top 120's and change out all the factory fans, I don't think I am going to have an air cooling problem, but on the other hand i don't want to put my kit in an oven.
cyberguyz - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkBought Carbide 500R case. Liek most of Corsair's cases it wasn't cheap. In most respects it seems a decent case. I did some research on it and by all intents and purposes seemed the operfect case for me. Until I got it home, opened it up and tried to fit my Asus Maximus IV Extreme Z into it.
See that sunken motherboard pan that the motherboard nestles into? Well if you have an E-ATX motherboard, it barely fits into that. What end up with is the lip along the side of the sunken pan making the whole bottom row of SATA ports UNUSABLE. If you have a high-end E-ATX board like a Gigabyte X79-UD7, look at other options guys. Most of Corsair's cases won't work with your board without some creative metalwork.
What really bugs me about this site (Yes YOUR site Anand!) is that case reviews like this one are routinely done here showing off how well a MICRO ATX motherboard fits in it. Impressive! Look at all the room I have around it! Get serious guys! How many guys really go out and buy a FULL SIZE case to turn around and pop a mATX motherboard into it?
Except for the dodgy paint and styling, this case review could almost clone the one that was done on the Carbide 500R right down to the mATX motherboard used to 'test' it.
Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - linkWe use a MicroATX board because it allows us to compare acoustic and thermal results between ATX and MicroATX cases, and because there's very little reason to actually use an ATX board for testing other than to make sure it fits. Which wouldn't even necessarily help with your little "issue."
You're also complaining about how you couldn't fit your E-ATX board into a case that isn't specced for E-ATX, so clearly that's Corsair's fault.
Olaf van der Spek - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkWouldn't mounting the fans at the side (by default) provide better cooling? Intake would be unrestricted and airflow would be directed at CPU & GPU.
hu_willy - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - linkThis case looks really good. But is it able to but in a MSI Big Bang XPower II (X79)which is a XL-ATX(or E-ATX, can't remember. ) ?
Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - linkIf I didn't list that spec, the case doesn't support it.
GullLars - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - linkThis is related to the part of the conclusion
"I'm reasonably certain that an end user willing to tinker and test different cooling configurations in the C70 will be able to get better results than I did, but by extension Corsair should've had this figured out before the case even shipped. Whatever the optimal fan configuration might be, I'm pretty sure this isn't it. The fans that come preinstalled are actually fairly quiet at full throttle, but they don't seem to be moving a whole lot of air either. As a result, the case's performance is severely short-changed. Slightly better airflow from the case fans can actually do wonders for reducing thermals and noise<...>"
What is tested here is a basic configuration of the case thermal wise. It's clearly made to be expanded if needed, with a strong hint towards H100 if you have a decent CPU.
I guess it's not what Anandtech does, but i think this could recieve a favourable review if you swapped out the CM 212 for an H100, and if you go for a high-end GPU also put in a couple of Noctua fans.
awg0681 - Monday, May 21, 2012 - linkThe only way to make fair comparisons between cases is to test them at stock configuration (with the same internal hardware and testing methodology obviously). Yes, it's true you could do X, Y, and Z to any case and achieve better thermals than what you find on review sites.
Dustin would be here all day testing different configurations and coolers if that were done and we would be left with far fewer case reviews. Then Anand and Dustin would also be inevitably faced with comments of people saying "well if they had done [insert suggestion] on this case instead of [whatever] that case would have beaten this case" and being called unfair, etc, etc.
This is meant to be a "this is what you can expect out of the box" review, as are all the reviews of all cases at Anand. That way you know when comparing cases based on reviews here that for X amount of money you get Y from your case out of the box. Then it's up to you if you want to spend extra for whatever else that might improve the performance, such as spending an extra $150+ on H100 and fans for a $140 case. A lot of cases could end up with a more favourable review if the reviewer added to them. Perhaps manufacturers should give more attention to how a case ships if they'd prefer a better review. ;-)
Gunbuster - Monday, May 21, 2012 - linkDear Corsair,
Why did you send units out for review (Anandtech and LegitReview) while having no availability with the major online sales channel? Newegg and Amazon have no stock or availability dates.