Corsair Crystal 280X Review

The Corsair Crystal 280X is a top rated micro-ATX case that comes with tempered glass and a dual RGB fan setup. An ideal case for any MATX computer, you can choose from three different styles upon purchase:

  1. RGB
  2. Standard
  3. Tempered Glass

And there’s the choice between a black or white case.

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Specifications

  • Micro-ATX / Mini-ITX support
  • Space for 2 x 3.5” drives
  • Space for 3 x 2.5” drives
  • 3, 240mm radiator supports
  • 6 total fan supports
  • 8 x 10.9 x 15.7-inch dimensions
  • 300mm graphics card clearance
  • 150mm CPU tower clearance
  • 16-pound weight

Corsair Crystal 280X Review

The Corsair 280X provides a minimalistic design, amazing cable management and an RGB controller so that all of your fans can be illuminated.

Clear tempered glass allows you to see inside of your computer for a neat look that turns your case into a piece of room décor.

But unlike most small form factor cases, the 280X offers superior cooling and a direct airflow design that keeps even the most compact setups cool.

There are six total fans available, too, with the option to have up to three radiators to truly customize your cooling experience.

External Design

Steel, plastic and tempered glass are key components of the case’s design. Total weight is 16 pounds, with the dimensions being 13.8” x 10.9” x 15.7.”

The exterior and interior of the case are painted, so the tempered glass panels will show a perfectly painted interior, too.

Tempered glass would normally impact airflow, but not with the 280X.

The design includes two-thirds tempered glass and a third of metal. Glass panels are slightly elevated to allow optimal airflow through the chassis.

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In addition, the steel portion of the case will has the following key features:

  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Power button
  • Reset button
  • Headphone port
  • Microphone jack

What’s a nice about this case is that you can remove the tempered glass panels if you wish. When trying to access the motherboard or if you just want to clean the glass thoroughly, this is extremely helpful.

The chassis has thumbscrews which allow you to unscrew the tempered glass and remove it easily.

One thing I do want to mention is that it’s very easy to drop one of these pieces of glass. Turn the case on its side prior to removing the panel so that it doesn’t fall and break.

There’s a traditional place for a 120mm / 140mm fan on the back, with a 10” x 6” ventilation hold featuring a magnetic filter to keep dust from entering the case.

The bottom of the case has four rubber/plastic feet that can be placed on any type of flooring without moving.

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Internal Layout

The internal layout of the Corsair Crystal 280X is well-planned. Filtration is optimal, with key filtration points that add to the case’s cooling abilities.

The internal layout features several dust filters (more on that in the cooling section).

You’ll have about 300mm graphics card clearance and 150mm CPU tower clearance. In terms of drives, you’ll have bays for:

  • 3 x 2.5” drives
  • 2 x 3.5: drives

Four total card slots are available, and there are ports or jacks available for 2 x USB 3.0 and audio / mic jacks.

A dual chamber internal layout allows you to keep cables tidy while also separating your components for easy management. You’ll be able to keep your drives and PSU in the rear chambers while keeping your other components in easy reach.

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When you look at the price of this case, it’s easy to get turned off by the 280X – it’s expensive.

But then you need to really look at the internal layout. You’ll find little features built into the case that are simply intuitive.

There are cable port grommets, minimal buttons in the front and also quick release bays.

If you don’t use one of the drive bays, there are color-matched plates that can be used to block off the bays.

In terms of cable management, this is a great case that offers superb cable management and is very aesthetically pleasing. The exterior is solid, and the dual chamber design keeps components cooler than traditional designs.

Lighting

Lighting has become a major component of the computer case. You either love or hate the RGB trend, but a lot of people will decide on a case based on these key lighting features. The 280X RGB does come with an RGB controller.

You can hook your fans into this controller to offer an array of color options when using your computer.

Tempered glass allows you to see the internal components of your computer. RGB lighting enhances this look even further so that your computer looks as good as it runs.

Cooling

Cooling can be extensive, but it’s up to you to fill in all of the fan supports. The unit has impressive cooling potential, and with a smaller design, it’s important for you to maximize all of these cooling supports.

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You have the option of the following:

  • 6 x 120mm cooling fans
  • 3 x 240mm radiator

If you go with the radiator setup, you’ll be placing three 240mm radiators in key locations: top, bottom and front. The unit will come with two 120mm fans already attached: one on the front and one on the roof.

The RGB setup allows you to connect to the RGB controller which is located at the back of the case.

Direct airflow path cooling is offered which means that the unit is designed to direct the cold air to the unit’s hottest components. Drive cages do not interfere with this process.

Dust, a common heat-enhancing component, is kept at bay with the fully filtered design.

There are dust filters on the front, floor and roof of the case.

And there’s also dust filters on the PSU to keep your power supply cool even after a long gaming session.

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