Corsair Crystal 680X Detailed Review
Corsair has upscaled the tiny Crystal 280X PC case to give us the Crystal 680X. What looks like a cousin to the Corsair Air 740, the inside is quite similar in that it follows the two-chamber design. One compartment houses the main components attached to the motherboard, while the other compartment houses your storage devices and PSU. Not only does this make the build process easier, but it also contributes to better airflow potential. We received the black variant of the Crystal 680X and here’s what we think of it.
Motherboard form factor: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Power supply standard: ATX standard (max. length of 225mm)
I/O ports: 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type-C, 1x Microphone, 1x Headphone
Ride bays: 3 x 3.5″ HDD, 4 x 2.5″ SSD
Cooling support: 3 x 120mm (front), 2 x 140mm (front), 2 x 120mm (top), 2 x 140mm (top), 1 x 120mm (rear)
Radiator support: Up to 280/360mm (front), up to 240/280mm (top), up to 120mm (rear)
Clearances: CPU Cooler – 180mm, Graphics Card – 330mm
Dimensions (H x W x D): 423mm x 344mm x 505mm
Exterior of the Corsair Crystal 680X
As mentioned before, the Crystal 680X is a larger version of the Crystal 280X. Around the cabinet are three panels of tempered glass. All these panels are removable, although the front panel takes a little more time. The side glass is equipped with a hinge mechanism, so that you can reach your components faster. It can also be removed using the screw that secures it to the housing on the top hinge. All glass panels have a faint black tint.
Dust filters can be found everywhere except at the top, which always remains open. If the user chooses not to install fans on the top panel, you will not have an option to shut it down. While you can narrow the gap between the top glass panel and the case, it’s still not enough to keep the dust out. It would have been better if Corsair had included a dust filter to seal it off.
To keep up with the advancements in ports, the 680X has a USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type-C port on the front, along with two USB 3.0, headphone/microphone ports, and power and reset buttons. The only problem ports present on the housings become easy targets for dust to collect and eventually fail.
Inside of the Corsair Crystal 680X
Corsair has made sure that almost every part of the Crystal 680X delivers immense build quality. At the time of writing this review, the case scored the highest in build quality compared to any previous cases we tested recently. They have gone with thick steel plates inside for the motherboard and fan mounting plates, where some manufacturers tend to cut costs. You will be able to notice most of the system when you pick it up, a good sign of high build quality.
However, we found the HDD and SSD trays to be incredibly delicate. The build quality of the main body of the case is on one side, while the plastic trays are on the other. It’s similar to the one we found in the Air 740, and it seems Corsair hasn’t really improved durability here.
Three Corsair LL120 RGB intake fans are pre-installed on the front panel. They are installed on a fan mount that can be removed for easy installation.
The fans connect to the Corsair Lighting Node PRO, enabling lighting and speed control using Corsair’s iCUE software. You can individually change the addressable LEDs on the fans according to your preferences.
A two-room layout works well to separate the components and give you less headaches when building a system. The HDD and SSD trays do not require any tools to install the storage devices. The cable management is well implemented and we were able to quickly build our test setup into it. There are plenty of mounting points to route your cables to each component and plenty of room to store the extra PSU cables.
To check how the case performs out of the box, we test it with the pre-installed fans. For a better idea of our testing process, check out our review of the Corsair Obsidian 500D. In the second part of our testing, we installed two 120mm fans on the bottom panel and then two more on the top panel. This configuration allowed us to get a better idea of the cooling capacity of the case, aside from the default setting.
Our test configuration is as follows:
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-4960X
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme9
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7790
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-L9x65
RAM: Corsair Dominator 2x8GB DDR3 (16GB)
Hard Drive: WD Red 2TB
SSD: SanDisk Extreme II (240GB)
Power supply: Antec HCP-1000 Platinum
The Crystal 680X keeps things pretty cool. After being idle for 15 minutes, the Intel Core i7-4960X dropped to 34 degrees Celsius, while the Radeon HD 7790 stayed at 34 degrees. Keep in mind that the case comes with three intake and one exhaust fans, so such low temperatures were not surprising. When we put a load on the system, the CPU reached 51 degrees and the GPU 69 degrees. The CPU temperature seemed to be lower than our usual records, so we repeated the tests again and found almost the same with little variation.
To determine if the case could do better with more fans, we filled the remaining slots with the bottom panel for the inlet and the top panel for the exhaust. While extra made some difference to GPU temperatures, we didn’t notice much change in CPU temperatures. Another observation was that whether we occupied the top panel or not, the temperatures didn’t change much. The only notable difference was the impact of the lower intake fans lowering the GPU’s maximum temperature by three to four degrees.
We can say for sure that you don’t really need extra fans for cooling. As for aesthetics, the three fans on the front panel are already lit with RGB lighting. You may want to replace the exhaust with an RGB fan to complete the look.