Cases for gaming desktops are a matter of personal taste. Some want huge edifices the size of a main battle tank with enough gaudy neon lighting to be the centerpiece of a personal rave party. Others may want something classier, more compact and understated. Corsair’s Crystal Series 280X RGB casing falls into the latter category.
Available in Malaysia with an all white finish, the Corsair Crystal Series 280X case is surprisingly roomy, well designed and classy looking to boot with a trio of smoky grey tempered glass panels creating a nice contrast from the white painted aluminium and plastic chassis.
Belying its size, it has more than enough space within, with some judicious placement, to cram in a host of drives, a mini or micro ATX-sized motherboard, a dual GPU array, and enough cooling to keep your setup chill even through intensive gaming.
Up close with the Crystal Series 280X
Designed with an emphasis on accessibility with a modicum of good looks, the Crystal Series 280X, befitting its moniker is predominated by a preponderance of smoky grey tempered glass which take up one entire side of the chassis, more than half of the front facade along with a good two thirds of the top section. The rest of the chassis is hewn of sturdy stamped aluminium painted in white. The whole affair weighs a hair over 7 kilos and is about the size of three or four phonebooks stacked up.
The tempered glass sections aren’t just there for show and to show off any RGB lighting you have within the rig. They protrude out slightly from the main chassis on account of integrated spacers to provide ventilation.
Up front, the Crystal 280X has a stylish facade made of both tempered glass and plastic. It looks inaccessible but lo and behold, it pops out once you gently pull the front tabs away from the chassis. Doing so reveals space to mount two fans which Corsair have already done ahead of time. To protect against dust, it also mounts a magnetically attached metal dust filter.
The right side of the chassis consists entirely of the aforementioned tempered glass and can be removed by simply unscrewing four thumb screws to gain immediate access to the gubbins of the chassis.
The smoked glass panel on the top section of the chassis is also similarly designed with a set of thumbscrews for easy removal along with another magnetically attached dust filter and bays to mount two additional fans. Placed next to it on the edge are a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an audio and mic jack and the power button.
The base of the 280X also has a similar setup with a metal vent cut out of the chassis protected by another magnetically attached dust filter as well as two additional bays for two more fans to offer a grand total of six possible fan or three radiator mounting positions in the chassis.
There is also a fan hub that allows you to hook up to six fans as well as a Corsair Lightning Node PRO unit integrated into the base which, as you’d likely surmise, allows you to tweak a number of factors with compatible Corsair kit that include synchronised lighting, power and cooling parameters. If you have something like the H100i Pro RGB AIO cooler and a set of their RGB lights, you can put on quite a light show.
Internally, Crystal 280X bisects the chassis into two neat sections for neater component and cable management while still allowing space for graphics cards up to 300mm in length. One section has a cage for two 3.5-inch hard disks while another has a cage for up to three 2.5-inch solid state drives.
The base of the Crystal 280X chassis hosts a dedicated slot to mount a power supply unit up to 180mm in length while the rear has space for four PCI card slots, a neat space for the motherboard rear IO plate and a screw-on panel that allows for rear access to the hard disk bays. Also bundled with the Crystal 280X are an Allen wrench, several screws, rubber grommets and zip ties for cable management.
What’s good with the Crystal 280X Micro ATX Case
The Crystal 280X chassis is well thought out in terms of how its bays are spaced and emphasises tool-less access with a host of thumbscrews everywhere and neatly allocated bays with options aplenty for how you want to mount your fan and radiators as well as other kit.
As any seasoned gearhead would know, dust is the enemy of hardware and Corsair have covered that conundrum, quite literally, with the addition of magnetic dust filters wherever they’re needed which is a nice touch. The fact they’re magnetic makes it very handy indeed as they’re easy to remove and slap back on with minimal chances of them falling or sliding off. The hard disk and SSD bays are also well designed and facilitate easy deployment. Slide it into the provided tray within the cage and you’re good to go.
Getting all the important hardware installed will need a bit of knowhow but if you’re already chunking out for a chassis like the Crystal 280X, you’re likely not a neophyte when it comes to building gaming rigs.
As it stands, Corsair’s Crystal series 280X offers a beautifully presented design that holds up well if you are wont to bling it up with RGB lighting and has a host of options within its roomy chassis to accommodate a good many configurations and some of the latest hardware available.
Case dimensions 398mm x 276mm x 351mm
Maximum GPU length 300mm
Maximum PSU length 180mm
Maximum CPU cooler height 150mm
Case expansion slots 4
Case drive bays 3.5-inch X2, 2.5-inch X 3|
Case material tempered glass, plastic, steel
Cooling fan bays 2 x front fans (2 120mm fans included), 2 x top fans, 2 x bottom fans
Radiator compatibility 120mm; 140mm;240mm;280mm
Ports 2x USB 3.0, 1 x headphone jack, 1 x mic jack
What we liked Ergonomic and roomy design, good placement of bays, throws in two free 120mm fans, excellent air flow in chassis, efficient tool-less access
What we didn’t No space to include optical drives, not enough USB ports
What we say Corsair’s Crystal series 280X micro ATX case offers a beautifully presented design that holds up well if you are wont to bling it up with RGB lighting and has a host of options within its roomy chassis to accommodate a good many configurations and some of the latest hardware available.