Corsair Carbide 600Q Inverse Tower

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System Configuration:

  • AMD A10-6800K APU - 4.1 GHz, 32nm, 100W, socket FM2
  • Scythe Mugen Max CPU cooler
  • Asus F2A85-M Pro motherboard - AMD A85X chipset, microATX
  • Asus Strix GeForce GTX 980 graphics card - 165W
  • Kingston HyperX LoVo memory, 2 x 4GB, DDR3-1600 in dual channel
  • Seagate Desktop SSHD hybrid drive - 2TB, 7200 RPM, 8GB NAND Flash, SATA 6 Gbps
  • Cooler Master Silent Pro M700 power supply - 700W, modular, ATX
  • Microsoft Windows 7 operating system - Ultimate, 64-bit

Test system device listing.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Prime95 processor stress software.
  • FurMark stability test to stress the integrated GPU.
  • Asus GPU Tweak to monitor GPU temperatures and adjust fan speeds.
  • SpeedFan to monitor system temperatures and adjust system fan speeds.
  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system power.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower

Testing Procedures

The system is placed on load using Prime95 (large FFTs setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. This puts more demand on the CPU and GPU than any real life application. Throughout testing, system temperatures, noise levels, and power consumption are recorded. During the load test, the system and GPU fans speeds are adjusted to various levels in an attempt to find an optimal balance between cooling and noise while maintaining a GPU temperature of 80°C (assuming an ambient temperature of 22°C).

Baseline Noise

For our baseline noise tests, the system is left idle, the CPU fan is set to its minimum speed under PWM control, and the GPU fans are off by default. The system fans are connected to controllable fan headers and are set to a variety of speeds using SpeedFan and the case's fan controller, if one is provided. This gives us a good idea of what the stock fans sound like at different speeds with minimal interference from other sources.

Baseline Noise Level
(Idle, CPU fan at 400 RPM, GPU fans off)
Fan Speed Setting
Avg. Fan Speed
SPL @1m
Two Fans
Three Fans
14 dBA
440 RPM
15~16 dBA
16 dBA
580 RPM
18 dBA
19 dBA
720 RPM
20~21 dBA
21~22 dBA
770 RPM
21 dBA
22~23 dBA
810 RPM
22 dBA
23~24 dBA
980 RPM
26~27 dBA
28 dBA
1060 RPM
29 dBA
30~31 dBA
1130 RPM
30~31 dBA
32 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle side/front of case.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 [email protected]

The 600Q seems to be inherently quiet as our system produces just 14 [email protected] with all the fans at minimum speed or off, as opposed to the typical 15 or 16 dBA that most cases generate under the same conditions. With the system fans running, the noise emitted can be anywhere between 15~16 and 32 [email protected] depending on the speed and whether the third fan is installed. Connected to the provided fan controller, the fans run at an average speed of 580, 770, and 1060 RPM on the low, medium, and high settings respectively.

The model number of the 600Q's stock fan is A1425L12S-2, making it a lower speed (1000 RPM) variant of Corsair's Air AF140 Quiet Edition. However, the acoustics produced by these fans is rather different. The sound is smoother overall but it has an underlying wobble/unevenness that makes it almost as unpleasant as the buzzy/tonal AF140 we reviewed a couple of years ago. At higher fan speeds, this effect is a bit less noticeable as the additional turbulence and buzzing helps mask it somewhat.

The electric twang of our 7200 RPM SSHD is audible at close proximity, possibly due to it echoing off inside the plastic PSU compartment surrounding it. Vibrations from the drive can be felt at the top of the case but it's confined there for the most part rather than being transferred to the rest of the chassis. The 600Q's lack of modular components means there are fewer parts susceptible to rattling.

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