Corsair iCUE 465X RGB Mid-Tower Smart Case Review
The Corsair iCUE 465X RGB
Tempered Glass and ARGB Highlight This Mid-Tower
Earlier this year we took a look at CORSAIR’s Crystal Series 680X, a large dual-chamber design with three tempered glass panels and addressable RGB fans. So what happens if you scale this aesthetic down to a traditional mid-tower form factor?
Released today, CORSAIR’s new iCUE 465X RGB case offers plenty of style. It has a list price of $149.99 USD, and this price includes an integrated command module providing full user control of the three included LL120 RGB fans on the front intake via, as the name indicates, CORSAIR’s iCUE software.
Features of the iCUE 465X RGB from CORSAIR:
- 4mm-Thick Tempered Glass Side and Front Panels: A strong, durable steel chassis equipped with two tempered glass panels showcase your components and RGB fans, with ventilation gaps for plentiful airflow
- Versatile Cooling Options: Room to install up to 6x 120mm cooling fans or multiple radiators in sizes up to 360mm
- Expansive Storage: Drive trays accommodate up to two 3.5in HDDs and two 2.5in SSDs, with two additional 2.5in mounts
- Three CORSAIR LL120 RGB Fans Included: Powerful airflow up to 1,500 RPM and 16 vivid RGB LEDs per fan, with seven mesmerizing preset iCUE lighting profiles
- Smart RGB Lighting Out-of-the-Box: Fully control and synchronize your RGB lighting with the included iCUE Lighting Node CORE and CORSAIR iCUE software
- Direct Airflow Path: An obstruction-free layout channels cool air to your PC’s hottest components
- Easy Cable Routing: Intuitive routing channels and tie-downs make for simple and tidy cabling that helps optimize airflow
- Removable Dust Filters: Three filters in the front, roof, and floor keep your system clean after the build is finished
iCUE 465X RGB Specifications
- Material: Steel, Plastic, Glass
- Expansion Slots: 7 + 2 (vertical)
- Motherboard: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
- Cooling Layout:
- Front: 3x 120mm, 2x 140mm (3x 120mm included)
- Top: 2x 120mm, 1x 140mm
- Rear: 1x 120mm
- Radiator Compatibility:
- Front: 360mm / 280mm
- Top: 240mm
- Rear: 120mm
- 2x 2.5″ SSD Trays, 2x 2.5” SSD Mounts
- 2x 3.5″ HDD/SDD Combo Trays
- PSU: 180mm
- CPU Cooler: 160mm
- GPU: 370mm
- Dust Filters: Front, PSU, Top
- Front I/O: USB 3.0 (x2), 3.5 mm Headphone, 3.5 mm Mic
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 467 x 216 x 465 mm
- Warranty: 2 Years
LL120 RGB Fan Specifications
- Quantity Included: 3
- Speed (RPM): 1500 ±10% RPM
- Airflow (@ rated speed): 43.25 CFM
- Static Pressure: 1.61 mm-H2O
- Sound Level: 24.8 dBA
$149.99 USD list
We are looking at the white version of the iCUE 465X RGB for our review, and between its bright appearance, non-tinted glass panels, and three colorful fans up front, it should offer a striking appearance when the build is completed.
While tempered glass cases – with glass front panels, specifically – are generally maligned for airflow and thermals, CORSAIR’s approach to this solid glass front panel should help mitigate these concerns. Airflow is not an afterthought with this design, with relatively large air gaps on both sides of the glass front panel, as well as a pair of air ducts on the upper edge flanking the case IO.
The top of the case offers ventilation as well, with a mesh dust filter that’s held in place with magnets, and the bottom of the case offers a slide-out screen filter for the power supply’s intake fan.
The glass side panel is secured with a large round bolt at each corner, and these are easily removed as they are designed to be finger tightened as with most tempered glass cases. With these removed and the glass set aside we have our first full look into the component chamber.
Looking first to the back you may notice that, in addition to the 7 expansion slots we are accustomed to seeing in a mid-tower ATX design, CORSAIR has implemented an optional vertical GPU mount. There are solid white blanks covering these slot openings, and a mounting kit will be required for vertical GPU installation.
Looking towards the right side of the interior we see the three LL120 RGB fans pre-installed on the front intake, and these fans offer a whopping 16 individual LED lights each in a dual-loop design – with 12 outer and 4 inner LEDs per fan. (Considering that a 3-pack of these fans with the lighting controller sells for $119.99 the $149.99 pricing of this iCUE 465X RGB case starts to look a lot lower.)
And, unlike some cases we’ve seen with tempered glass front panels, CORSAIR provides a full screen filter for the fan intake.
For our white version this screen is white, which does soften the RGB effect as it creates slightly diffused light from the front fans. The black version has, naturally, a black screen instead.
The build process with the iCUE 465X RGB is as straightforward as you might expect from a case with a modern open layout like this one; where there are no external drive bays, and with storage and power supply hiding behind and beneath the component chamber.
The included hardware kit is very basic (a quantity of required screws and some zip ties), but everything was included for a standard build. After installing an ATX motherboard (complete with some very colorful CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB memory and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition cooler), it was a simple matter to add the graphics card and route cables through to the back of the motherboard tray.
In addition to the space beneath the PSU shroud – which hides the HDD cage and power supply mount – there is are a pair of brackets below the motherboard cutout for 2.5-inch drives, and a closer inspection of the left side shows another pair of SSD mounts for placing drives flush with the wall on the component side.
The power supply fit is a little tight if you have a larger modular unit like the one chosen for this build (a CORSAIR RM1000x, 180 mm in depth before modular cable connectors), but it worked without removing the HDD cage. This was the only part of the process that introduced any slight difficulty, and a simple air-cooled build like this one will go like a breeze.
There isn’t much to note with a simple air-cooled build like this from the component side of things, and while radiators of up to 360 mm on the front and 240 mm up top are supported (making this a potential home for the Hydro X Series custom liquid cooling system I recently assembled on an open test bench) I didn’t go down the liquid cooling road for this review.
Looking at the rear of the completed build things are relatively organized, and there was just enough space to slide the rear door on without much trouble. I would always like to see a generous amount of clearance behind the motherboard tray, and I can only describe the clearance here as average.
I ended up using a single SATA SSD for this build, and between support for up to four of these 2.5-inch drives as well as a pair of 3.5-inch hard drives storage doesn’t exactly feel like an afterthought, but you’ll want something bigger if your large internal storage needs are greater than a pair of 3.5-inch HDDs.
CORSAIR lists this as a smart case, and this is due to the inclusion of the Lighting Node CORE board behind the motherboard tray; an iCUE-enabled RGB lighting controller that connects to an available USB 2.0 motherboard header (with a SATA connection for power).
Using CORSAIR’s iCUE software it’s a simple matter of selecting the compatible fans installed in the system (in this case we have triple LL120 fans pre-installed) and then customizing the colors and patterns to your heart’s content.
The possibilities with so many addressable RGBs – 16 LEDs per fan – is kind of crazy. I finally stopped playing with lighting long enough to see how the iCUE 465X RGB performed, which we look at next.
Thermals and Noise
|PC Perspective Enclosure Test Platform|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9700K|
|Graphics Card||ASUS GeForce RTX 2070 Strix Gaming|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-3200 32GB (16GBx2)|
|Storage||CORSAIR Neutron Series XTi 480GB SSD|
|Power Supply||CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit (1903)|
Since this group of components was recently used to test the NZXT H510 Elite enclosure I included those results on the charts below, and you’ll see that thermals were very similar between these two tempered glass cases – most within the +/- 1 C margin of error.
It’s worth noting that CORSAIR does not ship an exhaust fan with the iCUE 465X RGB, and adding one should help noticeably with thermals as the accumulation of warm air inside the case seemed to be more of a thermal challenge than intake with this case. Still, for a glass-fronted case the numbers on the chart are not bad.
Noise levels using the included LL120 fans (and our test motherboard’s standard fan profile) were very low, with soft fan noise that was barely audible rising to a high of just under 35 dBA under load. Your results will vary based on the components used, but we see here an example of how a tempered glass case does not need high speed fans when there is sufficient front intake.
Overall I was quite impressed with CORSAIR’s latest case, and the iCUE 465X RGB is a competitive new option in the tempered glass and RGB enclosure space. In fact, the $149.99 USD list price is actually pretty aggressive considering the inclusion of a $119 trio of LL120 RGB fans, a software-enabled lighting controller, and dual tempered glass panels.
Build quality is top notch, and while the thermals we recorded using our test system were only average (as tempered glass cases go), adding an exhaust fan would doubtless improve things there as none are included. Noise levels, on the other hand, were anything but average, as this is a very quiet case with standard profiles set for the included front intake fans.
Bottom line, while cases with solid glass front panels can’t offer the raw cooling power of high-airflow designs, this new iCUE 465X RGB case is a great option if you have set your sights on an eye-catching design like this. The lighting and its requisite software control is excellent, the build experience is easy, and the quality is outstanding. In short, a solid case in this category for the asking price.