UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £109.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $149.99 (exc. tax)
Pitched as a mid-tower ‘smart case’, the iCUE 465X is the successor to the Crystal Series 465X (now nearly three years old!), although all mention of the Crystal Series has been eviscerated from the marketing materials. That said, the tempered glass and RGB fans that were the signature of that family are still very much present, as the iCUE 465X has front and side 4mm tempered glass side panels and a trio of RGB intake fans.
The focus now is of course on iCUE and the case being ‘smart’, both a reference to the case’s bundled iCUE Lighting Node Core controller which can tap into Corsair’s iCUE ecosystem to enable software control of the RGB lighting of the three LL120 RGB fans, which are an upgrade over the SP120 RGB fans from the original 460X and come with 16 addressable LEDs per fan. Note that speed control is not an option unless you use a separate controller or your motherboard, and these are three-pin fans without PWM control and a top speed of 1,500 RPM.
Keeping fans ventilated when they are behind tempered glass is always a key concern, and Corsair says it has improved on the side ventilation gaps compared to the 460X. Certainly, to our eyes, they appear nice and spacious. The fans are also protected against dust intrusion by a full height filter, though you need to remove the front glass panel (via four screws) to gain access to it.
These three intakes are the only ones pre-installed with the chassis, though that’s not a criticism. A trio of intakes will generate significant positive pressure that will help heat escape through ventilated areas, primarily the roof. That said, you can also install an extra two fans here (either 120mm or 140mm), and this portion of the case is also protected by a dust filter, this time a simple magnetic one.
The sixth and final fan position is the rear exhaust and is limited to 120mm. This mount has mounting struts that make it possible to fine-tune the position of any fans or radiators you install here. We do usually like to see this position filled, but only because exhaust airflow is so important for CPU cooling – if the same effect or similar can instead be achieved with positive pressure, we’re not against that. Note that while it looks like the case supports vertical GPU mounting, this is only because Corsair is apparently doubling up on tooling, and the iCUE 465X has no official support for this.
A look at the bottom shows us that the case has full dust filter coverage, although the PSU is guarded by one that pulls out to the back as opposed to the more convenient front-accessible filters that are becoming more popular.
It’s unfortunate Corsair has excluded USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity from the front I/O panel, where you’ll instead find the standard pair of USB 3.0 ports (AKA USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.2 Gen 1… sigh). Power and reset buttons are both included, and headphone/microphone duties are combined into a single jack.
The limited use of plastic plays out well when it comes to build quality. The core steel chassis combined with rigid tempered glass panels makes for a robust-feeling case. Note that a white version is also available as well as our black one.
September 18 2020 | 18:30