In and Around the Corsair Vengeance C70

While I've generally appreciated Corsair's aesthetics (even the Vengeance branded keyboards have a nice, simplistic design to them), the Vengeance C70 enclosure threw me for a loop. I'm not sure when the military styling became popular, but the C70 looks like an awfully good place to store an ASUS Sabertooth (just like in the reviewer's guide!) or one of Gigabyte's G1 series boards. The "Military Green" finish is probably the most garish of the three; I suspect the "Gunmetal Black" is probably going to be the one everyone will want to shortlist, but I could be mistaken.

The front of the C70 boasts a trio of 5.25" bays, with the power, reset, and I/O occupying the space that ostensibly would've been a fourth. The stylistic choice is clean enough, but the power button has a distinct "this-belongs-inside-a-tank" look, and you actually have to flip up a tiny plastic door to access the reset button. It's a cute touch, but also practical, ensuring nobody ever accidentally hits the reset button. Beneath the drive bays is a honeycomb-style vent with a honeycombed grate pattern behind it (honeycomb is pretty much the pattern of choice across the C70), and there's room beneath the fascia for two 120mm fans.

When we move to the top of the case is when we see the oddest parts: the two 120mm/140mm fan mounts (and corresponding ventilation) are dead center of the top, flanked by the clamps for the side panels and the two carrying handles. Centering the fan mounts (and thus the internal mounts) is actually a smart move; if the end user wants to install a 240mm radiator, the radiator winds up being out of the way of the AUX12V line and some of the power circuitry. The only way this could be improved would be to shift its alignment closer to the left side panel as SilverStone did with the Temjin TJ04-E.

While the back of the C70 offers no surprises (eight expansion slots, a bottom-mounted PSU, and a couple of rubber-lined radiator holes), the left side panel features a large window with two vertically aligned 120mm/140mm fan mounts. Corsair offers rubber grommets for all of its case fan screws (and extras are included in the package) to prevent issues with fan vibration. Removing the side panel is accomplished similarly to opening a toolbox: flip the latches up on the side panel, then release the clamps. Panels hinge out from the bottom. The clamps are remarkably snug, leaving me with none of the reservations I had with the panel mounting system used on the 550D.

Of course, the inside of the C70 is par for the course for Corsair at this point; in fact there's surprisingly little variation in here, and that may be this design's Achilles' Heel. The pair of removable drive cages each supports three 2.5"/3.5" drives on sleds, but they also each include a 120mm intake fan on the inside similar to Antec's design with the P280 and Eleven Hundred. In fact, Corsair opted to include the intake fans here instead of behind the front fascia. The 5.25" drive bays are toolless, but you can secure drives with screws anyhow if you so choose.

The rest of the interior is traditional Corsair, with rubber-lined cable routing holes in the motherboard tray along with a cabling "channel" that saves on case width while allowing you to tuck cables neatly behind the tray. In fact, when you check behind the tray you can see the other major addition to Corsair's internal design: latches that open and lock closed to help keep cabling neat. Cable ties, begone! This is a fantastic feature that makes Corsair's traditionally clean interior assembly even easier to manage.

I'm not totally displeased with the C70's design, but the exterior is unusually gaudy for them. The build also seems a little fragile in places; I get the impression my review unit was roughed up in shipping, as one of the bottom fan filters was cracked and bent, and one of the long bars the C70 uses for feet was dented inward. The drive trays are also nice and flexible, but at the same time it seems like they almost need to be occupied to maintain their shape enough to stay in the cage.

Introducing the Corsair Vengeance C70 Assembling the Corsair Vengeance C70
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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 - link

    Without 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 - link

    Bought 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 - link

    We 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 - link

    Wouldn'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 - link

    This 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 - link

    If I didn't list that spec, the case doesn't support it.
  • GullLars - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    This 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 - link

    The 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 - link

    Dear 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.

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