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
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  • Icehawk - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    I'd love to see how these cases do with a more focused quiet build - I used a Fractal Define Mini on my last build (OC'd i7/670/SSDs only/AIO water/fanless PSU) and without too much effort or compromise have a near silent machine under any load. Would be interesting to see how such a build would work in the various cases.

    Not sure about the rest of you guys but the best thing I ever did from a sound standpoint was to move all my HDDs out of my box and get them remote.
  • Laststop311 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    Good comment. Seems this is overlooked in many quiet pc articles. Get a NAS box or even just attach a drive to your wireless router via usb if you can't afford a nas box. Keep only SSD's local in your machine. This has 2 bonuses not only does it make your system quieter it also increases air flow and removes some of the heat generation in the case lowering temps and noise win win.
  • Grok42 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    Couldn't agree more. There isn't any downside to keeping your bulk storage in the closet other than a light bit of cost for the separate system, NAS system or External drive enclosure. This is so outweighed by the up sides. Just having a single local SSD means the sound and heat are less in your main system. You can run much smaller boxes or have better airflow through a normal size one. Most important of all is security. I build new systems all the time and reload my current ones. Having all my data on a separate box means that I am never taking chances with it or taking it offline for others that use it in my house.
  • JDG1980 - Sunday, August 25, 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. If the motherboard is inverted, you've got both intakes blowing directly over the motherboard, providing extra cooling to the CPU and video card(s). This seems like a no-brainer, so why do most companies stick to the old ways?

    By the way, it looks like Newegg has the Nanoxia Deep Silence cases back in stock. Who knows how long that will last, though - last time it was about 2 weeks before they were marked "discontinued".
  • Grok42 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    I think the trick is to build boxes without optical and that have the PSU at the bottom.
  • JDG1980 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    Or you could put the optical drives on the bottom, and the fans at the top, giving the motherboard direct airflow. But no one does that either.
  • inighthawki - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    Hot air rises so you generally want intake fans at the bottom to blow cold air in and exhaust fans near the top/back to push hot air out.
  • JDG1980 - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    That's largely a myth. Unless you are running case fans at a *very* low speed, they are going to overpower any convection effects. Having cool airflow directly over the motherboard is far more important than a strict bottom-to-top path.
  • inighthawki - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    I've seen reports of people seeing noticeable reductions in temps by doing it. It's not really a myth. If your fans overpower the convection too much you just end up getting a more average overall case temp, and thus the exhaust does a worse job moving out hot air, just warm air. Effectively requires your fans to push more air to achieve the same goal.
  • ShieTar - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I think it is a semi-myth. Inside of the case, once the air is heated up it should never slow down enough to be affected by convection, but rather the GPU/CPU fan should move directly to the closest exhaust fan.
    But outside of the case, the exhausted air still needs to be removed so it can't flow back to the intake. What works here depends on where you place your case. If it is under a table, top exhaust might be just reflected down. If it stand besides a table, with the back to a wall, top exhaust is the more efficient option, as convection will set in as soon as the hot air is hanging over the case.
    Of course, there can be areas inside the case that are bypassed by the main airflow, e.g. RAM, SouthBridge, HDDs. For those parts, convection can play a role, but the better option here is to make sure that these parts can participate in the airflow rather then rely on convection.

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