Completed Build, Performance, and Conclusion

The completed build looks pretty good without much effort thanks to a good array of cable routing openings. The bottom cover over the PSU and hard drive bays does help make it look clean.

The back shows some typical cable mess, which is obviously hidden behind the solid rear panel. Not a ton of room back here, but I managed to cram my cable extensions in and get the panel on without bowing out. Success!

Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix H270I Gaming
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport 4 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Card AMD Radeon R9 290X (Reference)
Storage SanDisk 64 GB SATA 6.0 GB/s SSD
Power Supply SilverStone Strider ST55F-G PSU
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U9S (PWM)
OS Windows 8.1 64-bit

The Intel i7-7700K runs pretty hot compared to my old i5-6600K enclosure platform, and should provide a better test of the thermal design of a given case, and I chose to stick with the Radeon R9 290X - even though it has a blower-style cooler - as it still provides a good challenge for enclosures with regard to temps and especially noise levels.

Temperatures and Noise

Temperatures in the Crystal 460X were impressive, and are a testament to the excellent airflow the case provides. This case marks the first time my toasty Intel Core i7-7700K has actually tied the R9 290X for load temp (I had to go back and double check, but it did!), but that delta 49.2 C is actually really good for my Noctua U9S cooler.

As the included 3-pin fans spin at their stock - and somewhat loud - speed at all times during these tests, the idle and CPU load noise was the same as the installed cooler could not be heard over these front fans. Still, GPU noise was lower than I expected from my very loud AMD R9 290X reference blower, and any time you can shave even 1 dB off of that is impressive.

Conclusion

I like the aesthetics of the Crystal 460X, and the glass front panel really adds to the impact of the RGB fans. The colors and effects are easily adjustable with the top panel buttons, and lighting can be disabled entirely if you prefer. The build process is relatively painless (just that slightly involved PSU installation to contend with), component clearance is good, and the finished build looks great. Attention to detail is evident with the full complement of filters and easy to remove glass panels, and the overall quality of the case is very high.

I will point out that there isn’t a lot of room behind the motherboard tray for cable management, but I mainly felt cramped because I have to contend with the chunky plastic connectors of the cable extensions I use. The other thing to note is that the included fans are not PWM, and at their default speed generates a pretty noticable amount of noise (though they do provide great cooling). Unless your motherboard offers voltage adjustment for the fan headers or you have a fan controller, you are definately trading quiet performance for good airflow.

In the end, you have to consider that for just under $130 currently you're getting a very well made case with the addition of tempered glass on the side and front, as well as three RGB fans with a built-in color controller on the top of the case. The Carbide 400C is a $99 case, and $40 more seems pretty reasonable for what you're getting here. This might be one of the best values in tempered glass/RGB right now, and it's a solid performer as a compact mid-tower as well. Just don't expect silence.

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