Performance Analysis

With an additional 120mm fan at the front, the intake airflow is essentially double that of the Carbide 200R, which also lacked the mesh front panel of the Graphite 230T we're looking at here. The results are one of the best examples we've seen of just how much you gain in cooling if you opt for a mesh front and not a sealed one; the Graphite 230T bettered the Carbide 200R's CPU delta T by 7°C and the GPU delta T by a massive 10°C.

Corsair Graphite 230T Review Corsair Graphite 230T - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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The results were enough for it to earn a place in the top 15 cases we've tested too, levelling with other sub-£75 cases such as the Antec One, NZXT Source 210 Elite, with only the large, expensive high-airflow cases such as the SilverStone Raven RV04 able to perform noticeably better. The exceptions were Fractal Design's Arc Midi R2, albeit with its hard disk cage removed and Core 3000, both of which were marginally better.

With no fan control, you're left to deal with the noise the case automatically produces and thankfully this was nothing more than a gentle thrumb along with a little bit of airflow noise, with our CPU cooler and graphics card making far more noise.

Corsair Graphite 230T Review Corsair Graphite 230T - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Conclusion

While mesh-fronted cases might seem like they've been done to death, only drastic measures such as SilverStone's rotated ATX cases have managed to offer cooling that's noticeably better than the likes of the Antec One or Corsair Carbide Air 540. The fact that adding a blanked-off front section like Corsair did with the Carbide 200R, hampers cooling so much does raise the question why produce a case like that at all?

There's a simple reason for that, of course, which is some people prefer the look this offers, and larger examples such as the Obsidian 750D do manage to strike a balance as well. Smaller cases, though need all the help they can get and Corsair has done exactly what it needed to with the Graphite 230T.

Corsair Graphite 230T Review Corsair Graphite 230T - Performance Analysis and Conclusion Corsair Graphite 230T Review Corsair Graphite 230T - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Its cooling is excellent and a match for the competition, it's well-made, has plenty of expansion and a modicum of water-cooling support too. Coupled with a sharp, snazzy paint job, LED fans and dust filters all for £65, there's little not to like. Alternatives such as Fractal Design's Arc Midi R2 offer fan speed control but the Graphite 230T's trade-off is that it's far less plain-looking and stands out from the line of ordinary black boxes without looking garish.
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  • Cooling
    22 / 30
  • Features
    18 / 20
  • Design
    27 / 30
  • Value
    18 / 20

Score guide
Where to buy

Overall 85%
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August 14 2020 | 10:22

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