Cases Reviews

Corsair 2500X PC Case Review

The Corsair 2500X is another PC case looking to capitalise on the vastly popular ‘fish-tank’ design, giving gamers the opportunity to show off their PC build in style. As part of Corsair 2500 Series of Micro-ATX cases, the 2500X is more compact than most chassis with a similar layout, making it ideal for those looking to place their PC on top of a desk.

With tempered glass panels along the front and side of the chassis, this variant puts a heavy emphasis on looks. This means the 2500X is bound to appeal to PC gaming enthusiasts that want a system that looks as good as it performs in the latest titles.

But can the 2500X dethrone the likes of the HYTE Y60 and Lian Li O11 Vision as the best case for PC building enthusiasts? To find out, we’ll be diving into the design, support, and features that the 2500X brings to the table, as well as sharing our thoughts on the building experience with this case.

Buy the Corsair 2500X on:

$159.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-04-23 01:39:34 ET

Specification

For a compact PC case, the 2500X comes with plenty of support for the latest components, making it possible to build a high-end gaming PC inside this chassis. Even with the smaller form factor, this case manages to support most graphics cards thanks to the 400mm of GPU clearance.

In addition, the 2500X comes with plenty of cooling support, with a number of slots for radiators and fans. This allows the case to be more versatile than other compact designs, which often restrict radiator mounting to one or two sides of the case.

SpecificationsCorsair 2500X
Form FactorMid-Tower
Motherboard SupportMicro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Case Dimensions (H x L x W)376mm x 479mm x 304mm
Front IO2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
1 x 3.5mm Combo Jack
PCI-E Slots4
ColourWhite or Black
Max Clearance180mm Cooler Height
400m GPU Length
225mm PSU Length
Drive SupportUp to 2 x 2.5 inch
Up to 2 x 3.5 inch
Fan SupportSide: 3 x 120mm
Top: 3 x 120mm
Front: N/A
Rear: 1 x 120mm
PSU Shroud: 2 x 120mm
Bottom: 1 x 120mm
Max Radiator SupportSide: 240mm
Top: 360mm
Front: N/A
Bottom: 360mm
Rear: 120mm
Pre-Installed Fans0
MSRP $129.99

However, the biggest caveat of this design is the motherboard support, as the lack of ATX and E-ATX support severely restricts connectivity options. Luckily for those wanting to use a larger motherboard, the Corsair 6500X is a bigger version of the 2500X, which includes support for ATX and E-ATX motherboards.

Apart from the motherboard support, the 2500X does well to provide a similar feature-set to the 6500X, boasting identical GPU and PSU clearance, as well as support for 360mm AIO coolers. Whilst there are some smaller discrepancies, like having two USB 3.0 ports on the front IO rather than four, the 2500X certainly holds up well when compared to its much larger counterpart.

Corsair 2500X Design

As mentioned earlier, Corsair’s 2500X is a compact chassis that is designed to showcase the parts of a PC build. We’ve seen many iterations of the ‘fish-tank’ design over the past few years, but the 2500X is one of the most intriguing variants. As one of the few cases available to support back-connect motherboards, the 2500X is compatible with MSI’s PROJECT ZERO and ASUS’ BTF. Designed to simplify cable management and remove cables from the front chamber, the 2500X allows gamers to make the inside of their build look as clean as possible, creating a showpiece worthy enough for any gaming setup.

Corsair 2500X Case angled

Aesthetics-wise, the flat tempered glass panels on the 2500X provides a boxier look than most ‘fish-tank’ cases, which often come with a curved glass panel for a less restricted view of components. As a result, the 2500X is more reminiscent of the Lian Li O11 Vision. However, the 2500X is shorter than the O11 Vision, with a wider rear chamber offering more space for cable management.

The front chamber is surrounded by tempered glass on the front and side, which can often raise concerns about airflow and thermals. However, there is plenty of ventilation on the bottom, rear, and back of the case, ensuring that air can move freely around the chamber. On top of this, the 2500X’s feet elevate the bottom of the chassis, allowing heat to escape or enter the case with ease.

Corsair 2500X case bottom vents

Surprisingly, I’d argue that the feet on the base of the design, as well as the panels covering the rear chamber are the design elements that lets the 2500X stand out from other dual-chamber cases. Whilst the seamless glass panels are a welcomed change, the solid panel and angular feet offer a unique contrast that emphasises the blocky nature of the chassis.

What’s more, the look can be elevated further with the optional 2500 Series ELITE panel kits, which alters the finish of the front panel for a more premium or rustic aesthetic. No matter what configuration is used, the results are simply stunning in my opinion. Though these add-ons require , they are certainly worth considering.

Some elements of the design, such as the glass panels, will be more appealing depending on personal preference. But it is worth noting that Corsair have unveiled a number of variants to this chassis. This includes the 2500D Airflow, which includes a ventilated front panel for a greater focus on airflow, as well as the 2500X RGB, which comes with pre-installed RGB fans and an iCUE LINK System Hub. Also, the 6500 Series that has released alongside the 2500 Series, offers a similar design in a larger form factor.

Building in the Corsair 2500X

Even though the look and design of a PC case is important, their primary task is to make the building process as easy as possible, reducing the number of potential errors leading to irreversible damage. To find out what the 2500X is like to build in, we decided to configure a system in this case, making notes of the key tools and takeaways from the experience.

Internal Space

Despite the small form factor of the of the 2500X, this case has a lot of room for PC builders to play around with. As a dual-chamber chassis, the 2500X includes an open space in the front for the components and cooling, as well as a designated chamber behind to hide the PSU, external storage, and messy cables.

Corsair 2500X GPU Clearance

This leads to plenty of space to house the latest components, making it possible to assemble a range of PC builds inside this case. Most notably, the 400mm of GPU clearance allows the 2500X to support flagship graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA.

Radiator and Fan Mounting

In terms of cooling, the 2500X offers ample support for high-end CPU cooling, with the ability to accommodate up to 360mm AIOs. This will be more than enough to keep the temperature of a vast array of PC builds under control, especially with the help of additional fans.

Due to the tempered glass on the front panel, the radiators can’t be mounted onto the front of the case. However, radiators can still be mounted on the side, top, bottom, or rear of the case. Top-mounting will likely be favoured by most builders, as this leaves plenty of clearance for easy installation. Plus, it limits the amount in which the radiator tubing obstructs the rest of the components in the build.

Corsair 2500X side-mounted fans

When it comes to mounting the radiators and fans into place, Corsair’s QuikTurn screws makes this step incredibly easy. Thanks to their spiralised threads, these screws can effortlessly secure fans into place. They are also designed to work with most fans on the market, so Corsair’s offerings are not required in order to fill out the fan slots on the 2500X.

Unfortunately, this case doesn’t include any pre-installed fans, meaning additional fans need to be sold separately. However, Corsair also offer a 2500X RGB variant, which comes bundled with three iCUE LINK RX120 fans, as well as an iCUE LINK System Hub. The major caveat is that the 2500X RGB is unsurprisingly more expensive, and the price of an iCUE LINK system adds up rather quickly.

Because of this, we’re glad to see the option to add or remove the iCUE LINK fans from this case. But on the other hand, we’d expect a premium case like this one to come with some pre-installed fans, as it significantly improves the value of a chassis while streamlining the PC building process.

Ease of Building

Building a gaming PC can be rather tricky in a compact case, which means that manufacturers need to provide methods that simplify the process. Fortunately, the Corsair 2500X includes a number of practical features which makes this design easier to build in. The tool-less panels and mounting hardware allow for the case to be opened and mounts to be removed without having to worry about having all the right tools for the task.

Corsair 2500X Build

In a similar fashion to the tool-free mechanisms in this chassis, a number of design choices have been included to streamline the building process. Along with the aforementioned back-connect compatibility, the 2500X includes flexible grommets and cut-outs in various locations, allowing cables to be tucked away and channelled to the appropriate location.

Additionally, the optional accessories such as the RapidRoute RetroFit kit and motherboard cable cover can be purchased to further cover and channel cables. That being said, it is a shame not to see the RapidRoute cable management system in the 2500X as standard, especially when you consider that most of Corsair’s previous PC cases have had RapidRoute pre-installed.

Features We Like

Back-connect Motherboard Compatible

Back-connect motherboards have been a major innovation within the PC building landscape, which attempts to improve cable management and provide a cable-free aesthetic. This case is one of the first offerings to include support for this technology, allowing gamers to make their PC build look as clean as possible. Plus, there is plenty of space behind the motherboard bracket, making it easier to plug connectors into the right place.

Corsair 2500X case back-connect

Rear IO & Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the 2500X comes with two USB 3.2 ports, a USB-C 3.1 port, and a 3.5mm Audio Jack. This set of ports is expansive and versatile enough to support the necessary gaming peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, and gaming headset. Also, the ports are located at the top of the case, making them easier to hide away and preventing them from obstructing the view into the case.

ELITE Panel Kits

With the ‘fish-tank’ design adopted by the 2500X putting such a heavy focus on aesthetics, having the option to elevate the look of the build further is always welcomed. However, the optional 2500 Series ELITE Panel Kits go beyond simply enhancing appearances, as it allows PC builders to transform the look of the chassis. With a number of different materials to choose from, including brushed metallic and wooden finishes, these panels provide a premium modernised look that is hard to find on any other case on the market.

Features We Don’t Like

Motherboard Support

One of the biggest issues that comes with the smaller form factor of the 2500X is the limited motherboard support. This case only supports Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, which typically offer less connectivity than their ATX and E-ATX counterparts. Though most gamers will be satisfied with the amount of PCI-E slots and ports on offer on these smaller designs, enthusiasts looking for the best connectivity possible may want to look at Corsair’s 6500X instead, as this case supports a wider range of motherboard form factors.

Lots of Additional Purchases

The amount of accessories available alongside the 2500X is somewhat of a double-edged sword. It’s nice to see a PC case with so many customisation options, allowing gamers to assemble a PC build that is truly their own. But, it also begs the question as to whether any of these add-ons should be included in the base design?

We wouldn’t expect Corsair to include the aforementioned ELITE Panel Kits as standard, but the other accessories are certainly up for debate. Most notably, the RapidRoute RetroFit Kit is very similar to the cable management systems found on other Corsair cases, all of which came pre-installed without the need to pay more for the privilege. In addition, a number of competitors include a vertical mounting kit for the GPU in their cases out of the box, which makes us question why the 2500X couldn’t do the same?

Corsair 2500X rear-mounted fans

No Pre-Installed Fans

Multiple pre-installed fans are often included with a PC case, in order to provide a better value proposition and optimise thermal regulation. However, the 2500X does not include any fans out of the box. This means anyone using this case will have to source their own fans, which can significantly bump up the price of a build, as well as lead to complications during the installation process.

It is worth noting that the 2500X RGB, a variant of this case, comes with three iCUE LINK fans and a iCUE LINK System Hub controller. However, this comes with a hike up in price, potentially making market alternatives a cheaper solution.

Corsair 2500X case bottom vents

Conclusion

Corsair 2500X

Product Name: 2500X

Brand: Corsair

  • Features
  • Design
  • Versatility
  • Value for Money
4.5

Summary

The Corsair 2500X is simply stunning! Putting the ‘fish-tank’ design into a Micro-ATX form factor has resulted in a chassis that can easily be displayed on a desk, whilst offering the support needed to house high-end components. This case also includes plenty of features that streamline the building process, such as the QuikTurn screws and compatibility with back-connect motherboards. 

However, there are a few setbacks to consider when picking up this chassis. The main concern with the 2500X revolves around the around the overall cost of this case with all the additional accessories. Though the pricing of the base design is reasonable, the amount of add-ons causes the price of this case to add up quickly, with the lack of pre-installed fans only piling on more expenses.

But on the whole, the 2500X is amongst the best PC cases on the market, especially for fans of the ‘fish-tank’ design.   

Pros

✅ Beautiful design

✅ Component clearance

✅ Easy building process

Cons

❌ Lots of additional purchases

❌ Motherboard support

❌ No pre-installed fans

editor
Aled Wheeler is part of our technical writing and reviews team, focussing on PC components, console gaming and peripherals such as keyboards and monitors! With a degree in journalism and experience working for publications in the sports and gaming sectors. Aled is our in-house news and gaming writer, with his finger on the pulse of game devs around the world. Aled is currently rocking a solid mid-range gaming PC build, with a Ryzen 5000 processor and RTX 30 series graphics card.