Hello this is a guide to mod the Corsair Carbide 200R PC case.What I hope to accomplish with this modifications are the following:
- Improve airflow substantially inside the box .
- Optimize the flow of cool air circulating inside.
- Prepare the case for maximum overclock possible.
- Give a better look to a standard 200R box.Materials:
- Standard Corsair Carbide 200R Case.
- Aluminum adhesive tape.
- Round hole "speaker" metallic grill (40cms x 15cms piece).
- Sandpaper 0.3 & 0.7 grit.
- x2 unused or damaged DVD/CD-ROM drives.
- Leather gloves to avoid cuts & injuries.
- Scissors for cutting metal up to 2mm.
- Rotary tool (Dremel) or soldering iron to cut thru plastic.
- Drill and bits of different sizes.About this project.
I remember how not so long ago the range of cases to choose from was limited to a standard beige box, only Thermal take and A Open being the best you could find at that time (Circa 2005). Now finding a good case is easier given the wide offer, however functional most boxes are not very attractive from a design standpoint (See images 001, 002) and functional and good looking cases are often expensive or not available where I am located.
I was mainly looking for good functionality with some style at a good price (Less than $60 that is). So I decided for the ATX Corsair Carbide series the entry level 200R model
. This case is very interesting inside but outside looks somehow simple (Not bad at all just simple), I guess at that price point one can't ask for more. An improved version of this case the 500R (Image 003) is far better on the outside but its cost is out of my budget.
The 200R however is easily modifiable, achieving the same benefits of a high-end case with the slick look of a high end workstation.Heat Problems.
The main drawbacks of the 200R is the little flow of cool air from the front, the case has vents at the base for a 12cm fan, on top and back for one and two 12cms fans and even on the left side panel (Also 12cm fan).
But on the front inside of the case there is just one 12cm fan and no front holes and to make the matters worst the box for up to 8 hard drives (x4 2.5 and x4 3.5) is near this fan making the HDD box a heat source and a turbulence generator.
To fix this we have to relocate the HDDs mounts, to do this just unscrew them from outside the case (First take out the front panel see image 007).
Don't worry just yet about where to put your HDDs, we will relocate them in the area of the 2 remaining 5.25 bays below the DVD drive, Plenty of space there, just use a 5.25 to 3.25 inch adapters as seen on image 008 or even better reuse any unused or damaged 5.25 DVD/CD-ROM drive to mount x1 3.5inch HDD or x2 2.5inch HDDs as show below on image 009.Old hardware reuse
You can adapt x1 3.5 HDD or x2 2.5 HDDs on the same space, it is however important to cover with plastic the area where the HDD's PCB faces the metal enclosure to avoid any shorts.
We have now removed the HDD support box from the case and leave lots of room for a second 12cm fan and maximun airflow as shown below.
Let's modify the front panel to achieve optimum air intake.Air flow
We want positive air pressure within the case to avoid dust buildup and keep a constant flow of cool air both are ideal conditions for maximum overclocking. We aim to get the airflow in "S" shape from the bottom up.
My main air inlet is the front panel. To take advantage of 60% frontal area we need to replace the plastic with a Round hole "speaker" metallic grill.
To achieve positive pressure is necessary to cover all unneeded holes with aluminum tape.
The best cooling scenario would be to place the PC in a tube with a huge fans on both sides. This constant flow of cool air without obstacles or turbulence as in the case of type U servers would be awesome but the reality is that cables and other obstacles on the way generate turbulence. Is necessary to "hide" the wires , this is easily achieved thanks to the cable management support that the design of the 200R case allows.
Workstations and high-end servers cool their insides with the same principle: huge frontal grills for optimum air intake to bring fresh air into the box as shown below.
Ideally, use a rotary tool like a Dremel type drill but if you don't have one at hand is cheaper (And less dangerous) to use a soldering iron to melt a hole and sand the edges to achieve a good finish. The plastic melted by the soldering iron looks awful but do not panic it will not look bad after a couple of sanding session.
The metallic grill I used is a common grill used for big speakers you can get one from almost any hardware or audio store, I used black steel mesh roughly 1.5mm thick to have good strength and frame, 7mm holes are placed in a honeycomb fashion very similar to the original holes on the sides of the 200R.
The metal grill stays in its place with just pressure.
This grill can be cut easily with the metal scissors, the advantage of this grill is that lets a lot of air in, do not worry about the dust, behind the grill a tight urethane grill
with much more smaller holes will "filter" the air, preventing dust from getting inside while easy to remove for cleaning.
Here we can see the difference between the standard 200R case and our modded 200r box or as I call it, the 200R+
With this simple mod we have substantially improved the cooling.
On the 200R, on the front, just below the front fan, another 12cm fan can be installed. I used a 7 blade high pressure blower.
Do not forget to put sorbothane
pads on all fans to absorb vibrations and noise.
It is important to use similar front and rear fans to achieve CFM equilibrium.
Although in theory I have the same CFM input and output in practice I'm getting more air out than in and that creates vacuum inside the case, you must avoid that because in vacuum there is no heat transfer.
To avoid this situation I relocated the most powerful fans in the front so I get positive air pressure all the time while avoiding dust buildup.
You can make various designs to the front panel but I preferred to take advantage of the maximum area possible below the x3 5inch bays leaving only room for the logo at the base.
I'm happy with the results, with clocked CPU, GPU & RAM temperature dropped at least 17 degrees Celsius (Average temperature here between 30c) over stock case and thermal solution.
What's in the box?
Remember that the keyboard, the mouse and the case most times will be with you for at least 10 to 15 years while the rest of your hardware changes at least every 3 years, hence the importance of a good case.Thanks for reading.