They’re BACK – CORSAIR 4000X RGB Case Review | Hardware Canucks

I have to be honest, I was not expecting to like the new case releases from Corsair. They are going through a bit of a brand redesign, they are using a different font, and I’m not a fan of the new yellow colour they are using. I liked the older slightly more vibrant yellow, while the new yellow is muted and leaning towards the green spectrum. It is really interesting though that with this new brand direction, the case direction feels fresher, it feels like the old Corsair that we used to know in terms of delivering beautiful quality and wanting to stand out.

Models & Price

This is where the new 4000 series of cases comes into play. There are three models starting with the 4000D, the 4000D Airflow, and the one that I have the 4000X RGB. Price-wise you are looking at $79 USD for the 4000D and the 4000D Airflow, which is not bad at all because you were competing in the air force segment and the case itself is pretty excellent.

However, the 4000X RGB comes with a $40 premium gets you three RGB fans at the fronts and the Corsair Lighting Node CORE. If you were to buy that separately the equivalent product is the $80 iCUE SP120 RGB PRO kit, which has the three fans and the Lighting Node CORE, so the $40 premium isn’t too bad. However, since the case itself is $119 USD it isn’t very competitive, and I don’t expect it to be the most popular within the 4000 series. I expect the 4000D Airflow to be the sellout because it’s $79, and that means it is competing directly against the be quiet! Pure Base 500DX and also the Phanteks P400A. Time to see exactly what this new 4000 case series offers and whether or not it should be your next mid-tower case.

The Exterior

First of all, I want to say that working with the 4000X RGB reminded me of the early days of Corsair with their Obsidian series. This case kind of follows in the footsteps of the Obsidian in terms of clean lines, those chunky case feet, and the front paneling. Size wise I would consider this to be a standard mid-tower, basically identical to the be quiet! Pure Base 500DX, so normal sized, not too large nor too small. All models will be available in either black or white, and I really the white approach here with the grey accents. There is some grey not only on the PCIe slots, but that whole front panel and the feet.

And now they are adding their brand colour into it as well, with tiny yellow slivers on the top of dust filter and tiny rubber grommets around the side panel thumbscrews. I have to be honest and say that the new yellow is not my favorite shade, but I like the little touches of colour. I also appreciate the consistency of all the ventilation patterns, not only the PCIe slots and top of the power supply shroud, but the bottom, top, and everything kind of feels cohesive. It really seems like all the teams talked to each other, and a result this case looks unified from both a design and build quality perspective.

The black model is all black with really tinted side glass panels for that blacked out effect. That is why I went with the white model instead, because not only does the RGB spill into the interior, but I feel like the white and gray looks so much more fresh. Honestly, I’m tired of just plain black boxes.

Ports / Filters / Fans

The brand colours continue into the top I/O as the USB port is coloured in yellow, which is a first for me. But why did they have to follow the pattern of giving us only a single USB Type-A port? It’s great that there is a USB Type-C Gen2 port in there, but they are using a regular full-sized connector for the motherboard that supports two USB Type-A ports.

The front glass panel on the 4000X RGB model simply pops off, and behind it there is a really fine dust filter with the 4000X model name printed on it, which I was quite impressed to see simply because we don’t normally find the model name of the case somewhere else on the case. And behind the filter we find the triple RGB fan array, which are the new SP RGB Elite fans.

As you can see below they are beautiful and can be configured to whatever colour or effect you like, because they are connected into the Lighting Node CORE. At first I thought it was a fan controller since it looks like one, but no the Lighting Node CORE’s sole purpose is to control RGB lighting. You do have to plug all three fans via their 4-pin PWM connectors into your motherboard, but that is up to you. The Node CORE connects to your motherboard with a USB 2.0 cable, and then you install the iCUE software, and from there you have all the control. The fans themselves are quite good with a max 1,4000 RPM and a pleasant sound profile and 33dB noise level at full blast.

The power supply dust filter easily slides out the back, while the top dust filter is your standard magnetic flexible one that you can remove. Up top there is space for a 280mm radiator and dual 140mm fans or a 240mm radiator with a dual 120mm fans. You can obviously also install your liquid cooler at the front of the case, but we will go over that shortly.

The Interior

As for the inside, we have seen this type of layout before. It’s super safe with ATX motherboard support and E-ATX support if you move the cable cover slightly forward, which is super easy to do. The Corsair Rapid Route cable management system is just a fancy marketing term for that curved plastic bit that collects all the I/O cables at the top, and it features your standard common velcro straps all along the way. It’s a good and common system, but with a fancy name. the dual SSD brackets at the back can be moved on top of the power supply shroud if you want to showcase your SSDs.

The bottom hard drive cage with two slots can be moved slightly forward to give you more clearance for the power supply or removed completely if you’re not using any 3.5-inch hard drives. Now what I find strange is cutout in the power supply shroud for the front radiator. It is only enough to house a simple 25mm thick radiator and a set of fans, nothing in push-pull configuration especially if you are doing a 360mm radiator at the front.

The assembly procedure was flawless and took about 10 minutes to complete the whole system, including cable management. By the way, the side panels are interchangeable, so if you want to showcase your beautiful cable work with that glass panel you can do so. And that’s for the interior, I like the cable bar and I particularly like how high it is so your USB cables, SATA cables, and power cables are not touching it, they just exit freely.

There is an optional vertical PCIe mount with dual slots, but it is fairly close to the side panel and there is no riser cable included. For the price of the 4000X RGB model it would have been fantastic for Corsair to at least include the vertical mounting plate that you install on top of the power supply shroud, just to have some value-add for the more expensive model.

Temperature Testing

Let’s get to some testing, and regrettably the temperatures for the 4000X RGB model are not fantastic simply because there is that glass side panel blocking airflow. Even though it is spaced out from the fans that is still not ideal. The 4000D Airflow model is probably going to be a really good performer, because when I move the front glass panel we do drop both the CPU and GPU temperatures quite significantly. And then further when I removed the dust filter that actually drops our GPU temperatures even further. Clearly the case has cooling potential, as long as you remove the front glass panel barrier. I really think that if you’re using the 4000D Airflow that will be a totally different story.

When you compare the 4000X RGB in its stock configuration versus my entire case stack it falls to the bottom of the chart, nothing special there. Now since I expect the 4000D Airflow to perform similarly as this case without the front glass panel, my estimation is that it would bring the 4000 cases into a really competitive space temperature wise. However, this RGB model is still fine as long as you have two fans in the front for intake and maybe one for exhaust, because that does help with GPU cooling.

Conclusion

For my concluding remarks, the 4000X RGB is a really pretty enclosure. However, with that pretty glass at the front you have to expect that temperatures will suffer. I think that the 4000D Airflow – which was supposed to come instead of the black 4000X RGB that was sent – will achieve much better results. I will be testing that later, so make sure to stay tuned for that review/analysis to see how it compares to other roughly $79 USD airflow-focused cases. I will give Corsair a thumbs up on the 4000 series’ release, because design wise it feels consistent, the build quality is excellent, and the assembly experience is flawless. Plus I really like what they did with the white model, incorporating some gray accents, which I think would have looked really cool on the black model too. My only complaint here with the price is that the 4000X RGB is priced a bit too high when compared versus the Phanteks P500A RGB model, which is only $10 more but seems to offer a lot more in terms of airflow. And you can find the P400A with the triple fans for under $100.

I actually think that a high airflow front panel should be included with the 4000X RGB, then you would have an awesome value adding feature and the ability to choose between pretty glass or high performance mesh. The fact that they didn’t think of that is a little unfortunate, but stay tuned for my review of the 4000D Airflow, hopefully it will at least check off the high performance box while the 4000X RGB checks off the pretty box. Let me know what you think of this 4000 series release, I like the new naming scheme, I think will simplify things because the Eclipse-Obsidian- Graphite series lineups from Corsair were getting a bit too complicated. Hopefully this new number model scheme works better for consumers.

Buy items in this review from Amazon at the links below:
Corsair 4000D – https://geni.us/4000D
Corsair 4000D Airflow – https://geni.us/4000DAir
Corsair 4000X RGB – https://geni.us/4000XRGB
Phanteks P500A – https://geni.us/P500AM
be quiet! Pure Base 500DX – https://geni.us/PB500DX
Phanteks Eclipse P400A – https://geni.us/PhanteksP400A-white
Phanteks Eclipse P600S – https://geni.us/P600s
Cooler Master H500 ARGB – https://geni.us/CMH500ARGB