Corsair Carbide 330R Reviewhornybluecow - September 26, 2013
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Corsair Carbide 330R Closer Look:
Removing the side panel from each side only requires unscrewing two thumb screws; each was very simple and didn't take much effort to loosen. Inside you can see four internal 3.5" hard drive bays and three external 5.25" bays. Corsair's decision to not include a fourth bay has its advantages. Without a fourth bay, it allows for better airflow from the front 140mm fan and the possibility of using an extra long video card. At the rear is a 120mm fan (included) and seven expansion slots. This case has a good amount of openings for cable routing, which is always a plus in my book. It is also worth noting that the motherboard tray does not come out. While this isn't a feature I have ever used, it is still worth a mention that you will not receive this feature.
Once the side panels are removed you can see the silencing foam on the interior for both. The foam itself is fairly thin but does the job well. From my experience owning a few different silencing foam kits over the years, this one is just as good if not better. It's good to see once again Corsair going the extra mile and making sure the "Quiet" marketing part isn't a gimmick. I found with the included fans and air CPU cooling that the sound level was low enough I had to check to see if the power light was on. Once again I still do not have a proper way to measure decibels, but unless you are trying to listen for fan noise, you won't hear it.
Looking at the bays you can see the tool-less design Corsair has incorporated into its case. The tool-less design has become the standard in any case these days and Corsair continues this trend. The 3.5" bays come out by squeezing both handles and pulling. Unfortunately the plastic itself is flimsy and possibly would have benefited from a latch style bay or stronger plastic. The tool-less design for the 5.25" bays is a bit different than other cases and not intuitive to me. Instead of being push button style, these open by lifting the latch, pushing down, and then pulling to release it from the bay. Once you put the DVD drive in, just reverse the order to snap the clip back in. I found it was much more a hassle than using two screws because you need to wiggle the drive back and forth until the pins pop into place.
Inside one of the hard drive bays was a brown box containing all the screws along with a few zip ties. Originally on the outside of the case was the paper manual, which lists all the screws and a blown out diagram of the case. Nothing special here.
Here we see the spacing behind the motherboard tray with the back panel off. Cable wise, you have enough space to run all the cables as long as they do not overlap. The 24-pin motherboard cable will be tricky for most as generally it is very thick. Since the PSU is bottom mounted, the possibility to run the cable directly up without going around the back is the only option for some. I'm not a fan of running cables across the front so I will force the back closed if necessary. Just be warned that not all cables can be run in the back or overlap for that matter.
Finally the computer is assembled and you can see how everything fits neatly into the case; for the the most part that is. My only major complaint is the lack of length for the audio cable. As you can see the cable is being stretched to its limits to the point where I had to cut all the zip ties and run the cable down the front. Any other way of trying to route the cable resulted in being inches away from the motherboard connector. This alone can lead to large problems with more than one video card. This leads to the next subject about video cards itself.
In the picture below is a reference GTX 770, which means that it is using a GeForce Titan/780 PCB and cooler. This video card is 10.5" long and has the space for basically any size currently on the market. If you are planning on using more than one video card, just make sure it's shorter than 10.5" to fit in the other slots.
Lastly fitting the power supply in place had its own issues. I had a similar issue with the Thermaltake S21, in that there is a small metal bar above the power supply to support and hold it in place. Unfortunately, it is a little too nice and snug to the PSU. This in turn caused me to force it into place and allow the fan to face downwards. A simply measure of removing this bar or raising the height is all Corsair needs to do. Maybe we will see this is in a revision later this year.