I've said this before: when I'm feeling tired and need to work but don't want to exert myself too much, I review a Corsair case. The Carbide 330R continues Corsair's greatest tradition and achievement: cases that are fantastically easy to build in. If you read my review of the Carbide 300R from some time ago, a lot of this is going to be pretty familiar to you.

As I mentioned, the motherboard tray comes with a stud in the center for aligning the board, and the standoffs are all extruded out of the tray itself. That all makes installing the motherboard an incredibly simple affair. Getting things wired up early on proved to be fairly easy, too. This is nothing new.

There are toolless clamps for the 5.25" drive bays, and the quartet of 3.5"/2.5" drive sleds snap in around 3.5" drives; 2.5" drives must be manually screwed into the bottoms of the sleds. I appreciate that the 2.5" drives are aligned on the sleds in such a way that it's very easy to line up cabling between 2.5" and 3.5" drives. I don't mean to be dismissive here, but there isn't too much to report. My experience with the clamps on the 5.25" drive bays is that they're mostly sound, but could stand to be a bit more secure.

The power supply and expansion cards are all easy enough to line up, and cabling is really only complicated by the amount of hardware you plan to stuff into the Carbide 330R. I could be mistaken, but it seemed like the hole in the frame for the AUX 12V line was widened ever so slightly since the initial review of the 300R. I didn't have as much trouble routing that cable as I did the last time, but I've also reviewed another twenty or thirty cases since then.

It's hard not to sound dismissive of the Carbide 330R's assembly, but the reality is that this is pretty par for the course for Corsair. Since we're dealing with a variation on an existing chassis, there isn't anything new where assembly is concerned; this is extant hardware being adapted to serve a slightly different market and purpose. The result is that the assembly inherits all the strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor, and assembly is happily one of the things Corsair continues to get very, very right.

Introducing the Corsair Carbide 330R Testing Methodology


View All Comments

  • kmmatney - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I think what matters is getting the airflow going across the motherboard, and low-high fans do that. Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    The traditional mid-tower even in the AT days actually has the PSU at the top and often the 5.25" drives above the motherboard, the negative about the drives in front of the board is actually that you need a very deep case, especially to fit say EATX and deep 5.25" drives such as optical drives or hot-swap drive bays, and even worse with SSI-EEB boards so to say. It's the same reason why there are removable hdd-cages in smaller cases, long cards – in these days graphics cards would not really fit in some cases otherwise. Traditionally you have the exhaust fan just behind the cooler in the back of the case rather than the failed BTX-design with air tunnels that didn't work for various reasons and tying up the use of the front of the case for air-tunnels was just one of the worst ideas ever. Even inverted cases don't have a clear air path for the cpu hsf. There is no going back to BTX and Prescott air-tunnel days. The important thing is to change the air in the case, a case fan isn't directly forcing air on the cpu cooler. I guess you love the good ol' days when cases had side fans above the cpu socket area too?

    Don't repeat past mistakes. Air flow is important to keep the case temp, and the ambient/case air inside the case cool. There is no need to have forced air or turbulent air everywhere and a front fan doesn't really do that either. And is quite far away from the cpu in modern cases to begin with.
  • JDG1980 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    The test results don't bear out the statements you are making. The reviews of the Silverstone Raven RV04 and Corsair Air Series 540 demonstrate that having fans blowing straight onto the motherboard is far more effective than the indirect cooling favored by conventional ATX cases. Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I don't understand why the inverted motherboard design hasn't been more widely adopted. The "standard" ATX tower design seems pretty dumb: you've got the CPU cooler in a dead spot behind the optical drives (with no airflow from the intake fans), and one of the two front intakes is largely wasted by blowing at the back end of the PSU.

    Actually, the "standard" ATX tower had the PSU up top behind the optical drives. The dumb idea was to move the PSU down to the bottom while leaving the optical drives up top. The SilverStone Temjin TJ08 would be similarly effective with the board inverted or in a standard layout as the fan is large enough to provide airflow to a CPU cooler regardless of where it is located at on a microATX motherboard. Though to be fair, the Silverstone Fortress FT02 and FT04 (and Temjin TJ08) have largely proven that 90 degree rotation and inverted motherboard designs can be very effective.
  • OCedHrt - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    I don't get what the big deal is? How is this any better or different than my Antec P180 (and mini's). Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I have a Antec P182, and it's basically dead silent once it's configured correctly. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    I really wish Anandtech would re-review some Antec cases so they could be compared with these others. The P183 V3 and the p280 are both still available.

    I'm still happy enough with my p182, but for friends building new systems, I don't know if I should still recommend Antec over the newer offerings.
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    Also the build quality of my p182 is extremely good, and I wonder how it compares to the Nanoxia, etc. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    nanoxia deep silence still is the superior choice. Extremely low temps + extremely quiet. It's got it all. I'm big on silent computing and every article i read i never see a case beat the nanoxia cases. I've been waiting for years to see them beat but they still represent the best choice for silent + good temps Reply
  • EnzoFX - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    I have my fair share of problems with the case reviews here, but measuring "silent" cases has to be the biggest. Can't imagine the noise floor being ideal. I also wouldn't call 30dba silent, if you want silent, it's pretty easy to go below that. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now