Corsair Showcase a Technology Smörgåsbord at CES 2014by Ian Cutress on January 7, 2014 12:00 PM EST
With another year comes another Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas every January. CES represents one of the three major showcasing events in the calendar, the other two being Computex held during June in Taiwan, and CeBIT held in Germany in March. Typically the North American and Asian shows hit hardest in terms of new releases and previews of upcoming equipment, and this year’s CES is no different. Corsair got in touch with us before the event regarding their new releases and previews, including new power supplies, cases, liquid cooling and keyboards. Here’s a sneak peak before we head on over to their booth.
New Cases: Graphite Series 760T and 730T
Corsair’s Graphite range currently includes the 230T and the 600T in a series of colors, but as of February the higher end full tower sized 760T and 730T will join the ranks. The 760T is shown below, using swing out windowed side panels to look in to the PC – the 730T will be almost identical in design except the side panels which will be steel for a simpler and sleeker appearance.
These cases will feature nine expansion slots for a full on multi-GPU arrangement, six 3.5”/2.5” hard disk mounts can be relocated to any of four mounting locations. This is in addition to four side mounted 2.5” bays to allow the cages to be removed entirely. The front features two LED lit 140mm fans with another at the rear, all with an integrated fan speed toggle (760T only). The front can be adjusted into a 280mm radiator mount, and the top can also be changed into a 360mm radiator mount, alongside the three 5.25” bays.
- 9 expansion slots
- Six 3.5”/2.5” combo bays in two modular hard drive cages, with room for two more cages
- Four tool-free 2.5” side-mounted drive cages
- Three tool-free 5.25” bays for expansion
- Four front mounted USB ports (two USB 3.0)
- Fan Hi/Low controller (760T only)
- Three included high-airflow 140mm fans (2 front LED, 1 rear)
- Room for up to 8 fans:
- Top – 3 x 120mm or 3 x 140mm
- Front – 2 x 140mm/120mm
- Rear – 1 x 140mm/120mm
- Bottom – 120mm
- Radiator compatibility:
- Top – 360mm or 280mm
- Front – 280mm or 240mm
- Bottom – 120mm
- Rear – 140mm or 120mm
Easy to build
- Full swing out side panels release with a single latch,
- Tool-free drive bays.
- Center-post standoff holds motherboard in place while you secure the other screws.
- Thumbscrews included for all expansion slots.
- Cable routing room and plentiful tie-downs behind the motherboard tray
- 22.4” x 9.7” x 22.2”
The 760T should retail at $180 (black) and $190 (Arctic White), while the 730T edition has an MSRP of $140, while both come with a two year warranty.
New Closed-loop Liquid Cooler: Hydro Series H105
Love them or hate them, CLCs are here to stay. I have owned several over the years, including the H50, H80i and H100 – they offer a very reasonable cooling performance without seeming overly bulky and are not restricted by motherboard or large CPU cooler + large GPU designs. The new one in the Corsair family for Q1 2014 is the H105, a 240mm design like the H100 and H110, though this time the radiator is 38mm thick.
Being a fan manufacturer as well, Corsair are keen to promote their use of high static pressure fans (the exact value of the static pressure has been requested) that combine performance and a suitable noise profile, with up to 73CFM (800-2700 RPM) @ 37.7 dBA. All modern sockets (AM2 and up, 1156 and up) are supported.
The H105 will retail for $120, come with a 5-year limited warranty and be available from January.
New Mini-ITX Case: Obsidian 250D
Corsair is finally jumping on the mini-ITX bandwagon with the 250D – a model designed to follow cues from the popular Obsidian series. The 250D is marketed with a ‘no-compromise’ banner, supporting large liquid coolers, full-length graphics cards and full size modular power supplies. Dimensions for all this come in at 11.4 x 10.9 x 13.81 inches (290 x 277 x 351.2 mm) at 9.7 lbs with a brushed aluminum outlook over a steel construction.
The case allows 290mm of internal clearance for GPUs, and 200mm for PSUs. Alongside two 3.5”/2.5” bays and two 2.5” only bays is a full size 5.25” bay on the front, next to two USB 3.0 ports on the polished case frontage. Two fans are included (140mm and 120mm), with room up to five fans.
We have the Obsidian 250D and H105 in for review, so keep an eye out for those. The 250D should be on sale in late January with a two year warranty and an MSRP of $90.
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UltraWide - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkStill not using spring-loaded screws... FAIL
JimmaDaRustla - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkI see no spring-loaded screws???
Aikouka - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkAs an owner of a 550D, 800D and 900D, the lack of a push-button side panel release on an Obsidian case is kind of odd to me. I'm guessing it's because of space given it requires a metal rail to handle the latching. Although, I have two questions about the 250D:
1) Is there a "hidden" fan mount point on the top of the case? It looks very similar to the 550D's hidden panels that it uses on the top and side panel.
2) What size fans mounts are those above the I/O area? They look a little small, but I'm not sure if they're just 80mm. It's kind of funny because I remember when 80mm used to be normal, but now those look small given the prevalence of 120mm and 140mm fans.
Anyway, I'm curious about both of those because this case looks like it could be decent for an open-air GPU given the open vents on the side right by the GPU (I hope they include a magnetic filter), but you'd probably want some fans to help push out the heat from the GPU. Fans on the top or right by the I/O should help accomplish that.
Frozenlight - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkSadly, the thing at the top is a window.
Aikouka - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkAh... that's a bummer. It didn't look exactly like the 550D's fan covers, but it looked a little too opaque in the photos to be a window.
Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkThere are no fan mounts in the top; there are two 80mm fan mounts in the back. Where I think it gets interesting (disclaimer: totally biased, work at Corsair as my day job) is that it supports a 240mm radiator in the side.
extide - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkNote, under the H105 section, you mention the H110 as being a 240mm design, while it is actually a 280mm design.
Kevin G - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkWhat would be news is Corsair reducing the number of series in their power supply line up. There is AX, AXi, CS, CX, GS, HX, RM, and TX series. Killing off a line or two and simplifying their portfolio would do wonders.
I also want to see more Carbide Air series cases. I really like the look of it and appreciate its design philosophy but there is so much more potential I've been holding off of a purchase. It is soooooooooooo close to exactly what I want it is frustrating.
Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkWhat is it missing?
Aikouka - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - linkA few weeks back, I decided to drop water cooling and just go back to air cooling. I figured that I would give the Carbide Air 540 a shot since it has good reviews on its air cooling potential. However, after using the case, I simply cannot recommend it to anyone.
1) The most egregious problem with the case is that it's way overpriced. The case feels cheap, which most likely stems from a lot of it being built out of molded plastic. What really got to me was that I also own an Obsidian 550D, which has the same MSRP, but it feels like it's leagues above the Air 540 in build quality and features. Also, I found that if you use some of the extra fan mount points on the 550D, the temperature differences are nearly negligible. You may say that the 550D also has a bit of plastic on it too, which is true. However, I think in this case, it's the plastic's shiny texture that's reminiscent of cheap $40 OEM cases and the flimsy side panel that make the Air 540 feel cheaper.
2) There is a serious design flaw in the rear case fan mounting. Now, as much as I dislike the detachable grill, that's not what I'm talking about. The problem is that the area is designed in such a way that you cannot properly use many different aftermarket fans -- including fans from Corsair! I originally ran into this problem because my rear fan came with a bad bearing (quality control has never been a strong suit). So, I went to put an AF140 in its place, but I realized that any fan with something in the area between the mounting holes would never fit because of a lip near the back.
I ended up purchasing a nice and quiet Enermax fan, but that wouldn't work for a completely different reason! It also turns out that you cannot use a fan with a square shape, because that blocks the side panel's top thumb screw from threading in all the way.
3) The 2.5" drive carriage doesn't hold 7mm drives (e.g. Samsung SSDs) well. To be fair, I have other third-party items that hold 2.5" drives that also don't work well with 7mm drives.
4) The placement of the hard drives is not terribly good for proper cooling. It's not much of a surprise that the 3.5" hard drive on the left ran 4-5C hotter than the one on the right.
5) Consider a single male SATA power connector for the two 3.5" drives. Although, a user can simply purchase a Y-cable and do this themselves.
If I had to rate the Corsair cases that I've owned, I would rate them: 550D > 900D > 800D > Air 540. I also think that the first two are leagues better than the latter two.