Corsair 550D Case ReviewBluePanda - May 17, 2012
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Pulling away all the packing and protective plastic stickers and the case is finally in full view; it is a beauty! The front panel is a nice chunk of aluminum, flat with no annoying breaks for all those unused bays, however I suppose that would be a downfall if you do use an optical drive still or have a reservoir that needs to be monitored. The front panel does pull off for access; it just may be a little annoying if you need access on a daily basis. For me, that is not a problem and I love not seeing the stupid cuts for “possible” drives.
The back of the case is pretty simple; your usual 120/140mm reverse-fan mounts come with a pre-mounted 120mm fan. Four holes for water cooling needs, and 8 PCIe slots are included for your heart’s content. Two buttons at the top edge are for simple release of the side panels – we’ll take a closer look at these ahead; it is so nice to not deal with clumsy thumbscrews.
Looking at the sides it is a very basic case. It was designed this way and really pulls it off well without looking cheap and low end. The inset panel is flush with the rest of the case leaving only a small edge to see where it is in the side panel. Pushing in the edges a spring release is activated and allows the panel to be removed. Exposed are holes for mounting two 120/140mm fans of your choice. Otherwise the panel clicks back on with the same simple press to re-engage the clips.
The other side of the case shows what it would look like without the removable panel. It really isn’t that much different. Nothing much to say other than it is a very smooth finish and looks great. The front of the case has a nice bevel edge to get your fingers on to remove it when you need to as well as break up the sides of the case into more than just a black rectangle.
The top of the case is similar to the side panel with a removable panel for either sound dampening or more airflow, it becomes your choice. It again fits nice and flush with the rest of the case so that it doesn’t look like a foreign item – it looks just as if it is another part of the case. The panel clicks in and out just as the side panel insert and supports either two 120mm fans or two 140mm fans of your liking.
This back shot of the case to show the two “PUSH” buttons for the side panels really shows off how well the top removable panel is done as well. It is just so flush with the case, I have a hard time getting over how well it was done. The “PUSH” buttons are really what I want to show off here though; they really revolutionize the concept of thumb screws. Most cases I’ve dealt with have thumb screws and require awkward placement to hold the panel and hurry to insert the screw. Corsair has fixed this, no more thumbscrews, just push the button on the respective side to release the panel. When you are done connecting cables and working just slide the panel back on and DONE! I love it.
The front of the case up close is elegantly simple. Two USB ports, a mic jack, headphone jack, small reset button and a nicely centered power button. It is well balanced and just humble in appearance. I can’t get over how much I really like the simplicity of the case. It is going to be a great case for anyone looking for a home theater case, or just something remarkably quiet and bare.