CORSAIR iCUE 220T RGB Airflow Mid-Tower Case Review

Manufacturer: CORSAIR CORSAIR iCUE 220T RGB Airflow Mid-Tower Case Review

CORSAIR announced the iCUE 220T RGB Airflow case back in July, breathing some fresh air into their case lineup with a combination of a ventilated front panel and a trio of colorful ARGB fans.

And these aren’t just any old case fans, as CORSAIR pre-installs three of their SP120 RGB PRO fans (each offering 8 individually addressable RGB lights), along with an iCUE Lighting Node CORE unit for customization via (you guessed it) iCUE software.

Considering the cost of this fan setup ($79) this case feels like a bargain at $99 USD.

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We received the white version of the iCUE 220T Airflow case for review some time ago, and while we featured this in our look at CORSAIR’s iCUE QL RGB fans, we had not documented our build process and observed thermal/noise performance – until now.

Product Specifications
  • Material: Steel, Tempered Glass
  • Form Factor: Mid-Tower
  • Windowed: Yes (Tempered Glass)
  • Expansion Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch, 2x 2.5-inch
  • Power Supply Support: ATX
  • Radiator Compatibility: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm
  • Compatible Corsair Liquid Coolers: H55, H60, H75, H80i, H90, H100i, H105, H110i, H115i, H150i
  • Component Clearance:
    • Maximum GPU Length: 300mm
    • Maximum PSU Length: 180mm
    • Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 160mm
  • Lighting: RGB
  • iCUE enabled: Yes
  • Case Dimensions: 395 x 210 x 450 mm / 15.55 x 8.27 x 17.72 inches
  • Weight: 6.5kg / 14.33 lbs
  • Warranty: Two years
Pricing

$99.99 USD

Manufacturer Description

“The CORSAIR iCUE 220T RGB Airflow offers PC enthusiasts the cooling they need for high-powered systems along with stunning visuals to stand out from the crowd. Meticulously designed for powerful and efficient cooling, the 220T RGB Airflow sports a distinctive removable steel front panel allowing for high airflow into the case, and an internal layout that directs that cool air to your PC’s hottest components.”

iCUE 220T RGB Airflow Design

Case Exterior
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The iCUE 220T Airflow is available in both black and white finishes, and offers a unique appearance with its asymmetrical ventilation slots on the front panel.

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Beyond the ventilated steel front, the component side consists of a single piece of tempered glass, while the back is a traditional solid steel panel.

The front of the case pops out easily to access the fans and a full-length screen filter, and there are also removable dust filters for the top and bottom of the case.

Case Interior
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The component chamber uses the typical open layout with no external (or internal) drive bays to protrude into the system, especially important with a more compact design like this.

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Around back the storage options include a pair of 2.5-inch trays below the motherboard cutout, and a 3.5/2.5-inch HDD cage with two plastic trays to the left of the PSU at the case bottom.

The usual lower shroud hides drives, power supply, and cables from view.

iCUE 220T RGB Airflow Build Notes

While on the smaller side the iCUE 220T Airflow supports mITX, mATX, and ATX motherboards. I installed a standard ATX board (12 x 9.6 inches) and there was plenty of space to the right side (along with three nice grommeted cable openings), though space above the system will be at a premium.

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If you plan on installing additional fans up top you might run into space issues above the motherboard, as I experienced when attempting to attach the CPU power at the top left (after the fact). The fan mounts on the top are offset to provide a bit of clearance from the motherboard, but it is still pretty tight.

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It’s certainly possible to mount fans and even radiators up top (as I did with the QL RGB fans here)

Connecting everything to the board before embarking on top fan mount installation helps, but this really seems like a front/rear fan case with the top there if you really want to force the issue. Just a pair of 140 mm fans up top was tight enough that I would personally avoid a 280 mm radiator/fan combo (240 mm would fit much better).

The only other notable item in the build process was power supply installation, as this compact design affords little space between the PSU and (removable) HDD cage.

This is an example of a case that works better with a non-modular PSU – unless you have a compact model or choose to remove the storage cage. I have to point out that this cage can be moved, slightly – but the lower front fan prevents it from sliding very far to the left.

With the test system in place this was a very clean looking build without too much trouble routing cables:

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While cable management is fine, there isn’t much depth behind the motherboard tray so I had to push pretty hard on the rear panel to slide it back on – though afterwards there wasn’t any noticeable bulge. Flat ribbon-style PSU cables certainly help here.

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iCUE 220T RGB Airflow Performance

PC Perspective Enclosure Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-9700K
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 FE
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-3200 32GB (16GBx2)
Storage CORSAIR Neutron Series XTi 480GB SSD
Power Supply Fractal Ion+ 860W Platinum
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit

Comparing against temps from these components in an open test bench we see only a slight rise at idle, and reasonable temps under a sustained gaming load.

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These temps are well under control, and the front fans were pushing quite a bit of heat out of the back of the case during testing, pointing to effective positive airflow.

Noise levels were similarly controlled, with this rather quiet build producing a recorded 33.8 dBA at idle, rising to 35.5 dBA under load. Component selection makes a difference, as always, but the included front fans were nice and quiet.

CORSAIR iCUE Software

The included lighting controller connects to an available USB 2.0 header on your motherboard. After installing the latest version of the iCUE software, the customization process begins by selecting the controller, then the SP120 RGB PRO fans, and then telling the software how many are connected (in this case, three).

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, CORSAIR’s iCUE is a very polished piece of software. It’s easy to install and configure, and I have no complaints about its features or design. (I also appreciate that it’s available as a standalone download from CORSAIR that does not requires any account creation/login to use.)

Conclusion

The most compelling aspect of the iCUE 220T Airflow case to me (other than the aesthetics, which I like) is value, as the street price for the case is only $20 above the cost of the fans and lighting controller alone.

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Thermal performance was better than expected for a smaller design like this, thanks to those three intake fans and ventilated front panel (along with the mesh top). The “Airflow” in the name isn’t just marketing. The build process can be a little tight, but that is to be expected from a compact design.

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Overall this is a great option for a case that doesn’t take up much space, offers good airflow and component temps, and looks great doing it. Style is subjective, of course, but if you are a fan of RGB then the included fans and software lighting control help make this a tempting buy at $99.

Review Disclosures

This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.

How Product Was Obtained

The case is on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The case remains the property of Corsair but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Corsair provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Corsair for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Corsair has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases made through those links.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

5 Comments

  1. Operandi

    Ugliest case I’ve ever seen, aside from the 15 others that look exactly the same and just as equally ugly. Like most cases that follow this design ideology this is really just bad ID, this one is worse than average (or better depending what you are tyring to achive).

    It has sort of clean and minimal in shape and geometry but not really?; too many angled edges and cutouts for the basic shape to considered clean and minimal (think NZXT). Then there is the chaotic ventilation pattern on the front panel which is way too busy looking to the point where that is supposed to be the design element that catches your eye but no that can’t be it because of the tempered glass / rainbow sherbet nuclear diarrhea RGB light show. Yeah….. ugly.

    And the fact that Corsair is selling this case at this price is more telling about the cost/value of their RGBs fans than it does the value of this case….

    Reply
    • Caleb Cooley

      So. You don’t like it then?

      Reply
      • Sebastian Peak

        Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like they don’t like it.

        Reply
      • Operandi

        Nah, not so much lol.

        Reply
  2. Rob Rights

    I have just purchased the Corsair iCUE 220T, built my newest system, and believe Sebastian’s review is on the money. Airflow was the impetus after selecting a 95 watt Ryzen, air cooler, X570, tempered glass and 2 graphics cards. The viewable area for the mb and all has excellent design and access for air cooling . The backside access panel not so much except for the additional slots for CPU power. I would not recommend the case for any mechanical drives (I knew this going in) unless the power supply was dimensionally smaller and had the flat or even shorter cable lengths as Sebastian mentioned. The ICUE RGB is simple and functional. Yes, I can grate cheese on the front cover, but at least I have a filter to protect those fans.

    Reply

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