Launched as part of Corsair’s new lineup announced later in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, their new iCUE line-up, following up on the success of their earlier tempered glass designs but following their new design language. Preceded by the admirable iCUE 4000 chassis, the iCUE 5000-series bring a larger case to 2020’s 4000-series.
Corsair also followed up with an even larger case recently in mid-2021 with the larger 7000-series chassis. We’ll cover that in another review but just know that if you’re looking for a large case to build exotic cooling configurations or demanding multi-GPU solutions for both gaming and workstation usage, both the iCUE 5000- and 7000-series offer larger space for more cooling options as well as parts configuration which is its primary difference versus the earlier iCUE 4000 series.
Focusing on what we have right now, the Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB chassis. The iCUE 5000 series itself consists of 3 chassis options: the iCUE 5000D standard chassis, the iCUE 5000X Airflow and the iCUE 5000X RGB chassis. The standard 5000D has a standard metal front while the airflow version has a triangle mesh pattern for increased airflow, the one we have for review is the Corsair iCUE 5000X features some additions which, as expected, will drive the cost for the premium inclusions but to name just a few, you’ll be getting a tempered glass in nearly all sides plus some Corsair SP RGB Elite fans, those alone is an $80 3-pack value on retail.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s proceed to the rest of the review to see what’s hot and what’s not on the Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB chassis. Read on!
Features & Specification
- The 5000X RGB makes a stunning, showpiece-worthy PC easy to build and easier to keep cool with the space and flexibility to mount multiple 360mm radiators, all surrounded by beautiful tempered glass on four sides.
- House your system behind four stunning tool-free tempered glass panels that highlight your components and RGB lighting.
- The CORSAIR RapidRoute cable management system makes it simple and fast to route your major cables through a single hidden channel, with a roomy 25mm of space behind the motherboard for all of your cables.
- Includes three 120mm CORSAIR SP RGB ELITE fans, utilizing AirGuide anti-vortex vanes to concentrate airflow and enhance cooling. Each fan is equipped with eight individually addressable RGB LEDs for brilliant customizable lighting.
- Fully control and synchronize the RGB lighting for up to six fans out-of-the-box with the included iCUE Lighting Node CORE and CORSAIR iCUE software.
Corsair ships their chassis in simple cardboard boxes with illustrations of the products rather than full color print. This has been their M.O. since day 1 and you’re not being shafted despite buying a premium case if this is your first time getting a Corsair case. The front side indicates the actual model of the case with a little sticker on the side denoting the color
The case is lined with styrofoam to protect from bumps during shipping while the case itself is wrapped in plastic.
Included with the case is a little baggie that contains the user manual, a replacement cover for the front area, a ton of screws and a ton of extra straps for cable management.
Closer Look – iCUE 5000X External
Taking the iCUE 5000X RGB case out of the box we are greeted by a beautiful chassis and all its tempered glass glory. The entire side panels are lined with tempered glass along with the front and top. Curiously enough, Corsair has an intricately designed side panel behind the motherboard try which also hosts an exhaust grate. The glass has a little frame border so its not full transparent on the main side. Both glass are secured via thumbscrews and have a sort of safety stop to prevent them from dropping.
The front showcases the three included Corsair SP Elite RGB fans with the case. At the back we can immediately we have no rear exhaust fan included. We do see we have spare for a vertical GPU mount, a single 120mm rear fan and some slack space on to the top. The case is a standard 7+2 expansion midtower case so please take note if you’re using XL-ATX boards.
The top has a tempered glass cover as mentioned and the bottom has a simple dust intake filter for the PSU.
The dust filter for the PSU slides out towards the back and can be washed for cleaning.
The magnetic fan filter on the top vent just drops in place and you can remove it if you prefer as there is already glass covering the area.
I have to point out that the glass area for the front and top have some space on the side for airflow duties so its not totally covered. I’ll discuss this more later.
For front IO we a bunch of USB3.0 ports, a Type-C port, audio combo port and a power and reset button. To use the front panel Type-C port, your motherboard will need to have a connector for it.
Closer Look – iCUE 5000X Internals
Removing the main glass panel shows us the amount of space we can work with. It also shows us the subtle touches that Corsair uses to dress this case. I haven’t mentioned it yet but on the white version, they alternate between white and grey. The grey serves as highlight colors and dons the feet, front trims and the PCI slot covers.
Back to the internals itself, there’s not a lot to talk about here as Corsair really kept it clean with the wires tucked behind a panel. The wiring can be improved but out of the box it is quite good.
The lower area features a PSU chamber cover with a mesh grate on top that can be used to mount 2.5″ SSDs.
As mentioned, the Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB does not include a rear exhaust fan. The 5000D and 5000D Airflow has two regular Corsair fans (non-RGB) included, one for the rear and the one in the center area of the front intake for both 5000D and 5000D Airflow version. The omission of a 4th fan for the iCUE 5000X RGB could be mainly a price issue as that would easily be another $30 which would push the case upwards of $200.
Here’s a view of the top exhaust area and you immediately see how its really open. Aside from just radiator mounts and the magnetic filter on top, it will immediately expose the top tempered glass for a near full-open chassis vent. I have mixed feeling about this but its mostly positive as I do prefer venting out the top so a radiator would be in there to cover it up but the dust filter is totally unnecessary aside for aesthetics if you’re exhausting topside.
In a pure performance standpoint, the glass front does prove a little restricting but in most cases its going to have good intake regardless.
Here’s where the fun begins for the iCUE 5000X: the rear. If you noticed earlier, the glass rear panel doesn’t expose the wires themselves. That’s because Corsair has a nice swing-out panel that covers the actual cables on the back but the stock management themselves is excellent.
To control the lighting on the RGBs, Corsair includes a Lighting Node CORE and a separate hub. We built this case with a Commander CORE so the lights where shifted to that module but if you’re not using a Corsair AIO cooler, you use up to 6 Corsair fans that area iCUE compatible using the built-in controller. Both the fan hub and RGB controller must be powered off a SATA power cable.
The case also has a 3.5″ drive bay for up to 2 drives. You can mount a 3.5″ hard drive or 2.5″ SSD on the trays for storage. You can also remove it for increased space for a reservoir or a thicker radiator.
The front tempered glass is secured with clips and once removed allows us to also release the front dust filter.
All glass on the Corsair iCUE 5000X clip on the case via these mounting mechanism that secure the glass in place.
The low-profile bottom shroud can be installed once the drive-bay is removed on the bottom.
Here’s the low profile shroud installed.
The side radiator mount is covered by a shroud so you’ll need to remove a couple of screws to remove that. This is the most involved part of the case disassembly process but is still very easy just make sure you don’t pull on anything until you are sure that the screws holding it down are removed.
Both fan mounts on the front and side can be removed for the user needs. You will need to mount them back for fan and radiator installation.
Installing an AIO would be pretty much the only thing I can call involved in the actual installation process in the iCUE 5000X RGB case. The system installation itself only needs to have the motherboard, PSU and if needed, the drives installed on the provided trays.
You can mount a 240mm or 360mm on top. This is officially the largest radiator this case support with a 280mm option on top and front for 140mm fan options. If you need larger radiator support, the iCUE 7000X RGB is the next step up in sizing.
And here’s out final build! The case is fully supported in iCUE but as you can see we’re using the Commander CORE from the H100i Elite Capellix. Its a very spacious case and allows a lot of building potential especially watercooling.
User Experience & Conclusion
The Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB chassis is a spacious case that marries the beauty of tempered glass but also allows the expansion on a standard design case. With the popularity of dual-chamber cases from Lian Li and how it shows off its a great RGB showcase, Corsair has stepped up and shows us that they can still design a case that have the same brilliance but don’t have to rely on a glass-cube design.
In terms of looks, this will be subjective but my personal opinion is that it looks clean and elegant. It bears a classic design but elevates on top of the 5000D by employing a lot more glass and a nice array of their all powerful Corsair SP RGB Elite fans to double down on intake and style.
There’s really nothing technical to discuss about the iCUE 5000X RGB chassis but if you are asking if you should get this versus the likes of the Lian Li O11 Dynamic or the NZXT H710i, the choices are actually quite clear. This case is intended for those looking for a spacious case that can mount plenty of hardware as well as watercooling radiators but still retain that more traditional footprint versus a dual-chamber. It can house up to three 360mm simultaneously which should be enough cooling for a large variety of application.
Its not perfect though, some nitpicks here and there but if there’s a glaring fault in the iCUE 5000X is its relatively advanced stacking of case components on the rear side which really requires users to be a bit more on the technical side or at least be ready to take on a project when fully building up the case. The upside of this is straight out of the box, this is an easy case to work with if you just want to build a case with a top-mounted AIO. No muss, no fuss as the cable routing tools on the back is simply impeccable.
In terms of mod-friendliness, again, there’s plenty of space inside. Aesthetic modes though, the glass panels can probably be replaced or if just for pure looks, decal works would be a nice way to start. Other than that a paint mode would need to have the glass panels bezels also repainted while the rubber lined grey bezels on the White version of the case would probably need to
Another nitpick and one I would probably close this review with is the lack of an extra exhaust fans. Corsair could easily create an iCUE 5000X RGB Max Edition featuring all Corsair SP RGB Elite and there would still be a market for it and should allow using a more proper Commander CORE or even a PRO module for fan control and RGB control duties to fully allow users the ability to build in a Corsair ecosystem.
The Corsair iCUE 5000X is an elegant case, plain and simple but belies a high-performance monster should you choose to really pack it in to teeth. An easy recommendation for anyone looking to spend more for watercooling.
Corsair backs the iCUE 5000X RGB Tempered Glass smart chassis with a 2-year warranty. I give it my B2G Recommended Seal!