Our favorite full-tower case gets a little more affordable
If you’ve been paying attention at all to case reviews lately, Corsair’s 700D should look familiar. That’s because it’s a slightly stripped-down version of the 800D, Corsair’s debut chassis (reviewed March 2010). We awarded the 800D 9 out of 10 points and a Kick Ass award, lauding its roominess, features, and design. The 700D only differs from the 800D in two respects: Its side panel has no window, and the 800D’s hot-swap SATA bays have been replaced with four HDD trays.
The 700D eschews hot-swap bays in favor of sliding hard drive trays and a lower price point.
Like its predecessor, the 700D is huge—24 inches high, 24 inches deep, and 9 inches wide—and painted in a matte powder-black inside and out, except for the brushed-aluminum faceplate. It has five toolless 5.25-inch bays and six hard drive bays with slide-out trays, which can accommodate 3.5-inch hard drives without the use of screws, or 2.5-inch drives with screws. Two of the hard drive bays are in the case’s lowest compartment. The 800D had two 3.5-inch bays there too, but they were less accessible and did not feature slide-out trays. The remaining four hard drive bays take the place of the 800D’s hot-swap bays.
The 700D is divided into thermal zones, just like the 800D. The lowest part of the case holds the power supply and filtered intake ports (with room to mount fans). The power supply vents directly out of the case, so hot air from the PSU doesn’t go to the rest of the case. Air from the rest of the case’s lower compartment is drawn into the motherboard compartment via a 14cm fan and exhausted via a 14cm rear exhaust fan. A third 14cm fan draws air up from the base of the chassis to cool the hard drives. The air from the hard drive compartment exhausts behind the motherboard tray and exits through the rear panel of the case. The top panel of the case includes mounting brackets for three 12cm fans or a triple-fan water-cooling radiator, though no top exhaust fans are included.
The 700D supports micro-ATX, ATX, and EATX motherboards, and makes the most cluttered configs look spartan with its generous interior dimensions. It’ll easily accommodate the longest videocards on the market with room to spare.
The Corsair 700D's front-panel connections (four USB, FireWire, audio) are hidden in the compartment next to the power button.
Corsair’s commitment to well-managed cables continues to shine through—with so many rubber-grommeted cable-routing holes in the motherboard tray, and such a roomy interior, it’s actually harder to achieve a bad-looking wiring job than it is to achieve a good one. That’s one reason we kinda miss the 800D’s side window—what’s the point of a pretty build if you can’t ogle it? But getting rid of the window and the hot-swap SATA bay helped Corsair knock $50 from the 700D’s price, so we aren’t complaining too much.
The one awkward thing about the 700D is its airflow. By default, the case only intakes air from the bottom, and for that reason the bottom of the case is raised an inch above the ground. If your computer room has thick carpet, you might need to keep your rig on a desk. And who has room on their desk for a monster like the 700D? Other than that, the 700D is a hell of a chassis, succeeding where the 800D does, at a lower price. If you can do without the hot-swap ports and the side window, and want to save $50 on a great case, here ya go.