Corsair Vengeance C70 Case Review: Going for the Gamersby Dustin Sklavos on May 17, 2012 5:45 PM EST
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Introducing the Corsair Vengeance C70
Corsair has had an excellent run as a case designer, showing growth with each new enclosure by adding some features, subtracting other ones, moving things around, and generally continuing to experiment. The Obsidian and Carbide lines in particular have shown healthy progress, but today Corsair launches a fourth line under their popular Vengeance gaming brand: the Vengeance C70.
While the exteriors of the Obsidian and to a lesser extent Carbide cases have all been fairly austere, the Vengeance C70's target is pretty clear: they're going after gamers. Thus far, products in the Vengeance market have generally been of high quality and haven't been particularly ostentatious, but the C70's external design is an unusual step for Corsair. Is the C70 as a whole part of Corsair's continued evolution as a case designer, or is this their first major misstep along the way?
For the first time since I've started reviewing Corsair's cases, I'll admit I experienced trepidation when I saw the press materials for the C70. Military green? Handles on the top? Industrial-style power and reset buttons? This wasn't the Corsair I knew, the company whose most ostentatious design so far was the Carbide 500R (or, arguably, the well-received Graphite 600T). Sure, the C70 is available in white and gunmetal gray (a personal favorite) as well, and the interior is vintage Corsair, but it still feels to me like an odd bird in their lineup. Before we get to the detailed analysis, we'll start with the regular specs table:
|Corsair Vengeance C70 Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25”|
|Cooling||Front||2x 120mm intake fans behind drive cages; 2x 120mm fan mounts|
|Rear||1x 120mm exhaust fan|
|Top||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|Side||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|Bottom||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||Standard ATX|
|GPU||12.5" / 320mm|
19.72" x 9.13" x 20.98"
501mm x 232mm x 533mm
USB 3.0 connectivity via internal header
Toolless side panels
Support for up to 11 fans
Removable drive cages
"Military Green" finish; also comes in "Gunmetal Black" and "Arctic White"
On paper and without seeing the case, there's not a whole lot that stands out with the C70. The one area that looks unusual is the sheer number of fan mounts available. While testing the Vengeance C70, the enclosure that remained fresh in my mind was the Corsair Obsidian 550D, their case engineered for silence. In terms of expansion and cooling potential, the 550D isn't actually all that different from the C70; with the C70 you lose a 5.25" external bay but gain three fan mounts, which would be more impressive if the flexible 550D wasn't already capable of supporting eight. That owes to Corsair's positioning the C70 as a potential go-to for watercooling, with two different places to mount 240mm radiators. Indeed, all of their review materials present the C70 with Corsair's own H100 closed loop liquid cooler installed. We didn't have a watercooling kit for review, unfortunately, so we're looking at the C70 primarily as a typical desktop chassis.
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SilthDraeth - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - linkBut then again, I am a sucker for that ammo can military green.
kyuu - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - linkPretty sure the "ammo can" was actually the basis for the aesthetics, with the military green, the clips for the side panels, and the handles on top. I actually rather like it as well (though I'd personally probably go with the gunmetal grey instead).
The cooling performance is disappointing, unfortunately. However, didn't I see the reviewer state that the ambient temperature was higher than normal, which would skew the results...?
Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - linkThermal performance is listed as the delta above ambient, so all of the thermal results are adjusted to compensate for differences in ambient temperature.
Arghem - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - linkBut as the base temperature of the CPU goes up it will draw more current and produce more heat. So making the temperature relative to ambient does not correct for a higher baseline temperature. If this was done in hot conditions then the thermal performance data for the chassis is not accurate relative to other chassis.
I realize they are doing as good as they can here but making the temperature relative does not remove bias created by lower or higher environmental temperatures.
JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkIt removes a large portion of the bias. It's not like Dustin is testing at 19C for one case and 30C for another; the temperatures are relatively constant at 23~26C (25.5C for this review). A 2C ambient difference should not create a 5C delta, which is basically what we're seeing with this case.
Now, you could stuff more fans into the C70, and that might help. I also think Dustin is right in that the initial positioning of fans is poorly selected -- I'd say at the very front of the drive cages would be better at least. Or you could use a watercooling setup and that would likely help tremendously. The thing is, you can do all those same things with a P280 or Eleven Hundred, and you should still end up with superior results.
kevith - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkYou nailed it!
Arghem - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkYour certainly right that the front fan placement is highly questionable. I wasn't meaning to imply that the higher ambient accounted for the entire difference in thermal performance only a portion of it. And yes probably a small portion in this case.
I was just pointing out that presenting the temperature as relative to ambient isn't perfect. It's simply the best that can be done without a perfectly controlled environment.
BMAN61 - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - link" Or you could use a watercooling setup and that would likely help tremendously."
Yes; watercooling any setup vastly improves temperatures, but still requires air cooling to expel air from within the case (via the radiator), and a balanced amount of air coming into the case to create positive air pressure. So if the chassis has dismal airflow; it doesn't matter if you're using water cooling or not, temperatures will still be bad.
Being one that owns a (water cooled) Corsair 700D; I can say that airflow is what has been the problem with many of these cases, the 140mm fans that were shipped with the 700/ 800D cases are all garbage, but neither of these cases had (have) any fan mounts (other than one fan mount on the bottom) to bring fresh air into the chassis.
m0n5t3r - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - linkOut of the box, yes the cooling performance isn't great. The stock fans really don't contribute in the cooling, they are pretty shitty. But as you can see that is a lot of ventilation and fan mount options.
Chaitanya - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - linkI still own a Ammo, I kept it aside just because of the looks were awesome.