Corsair unveils double-wide, ultra-quiet cases

Computex kicked off in Taipei, Taiwan today, and the torrent of product announcements from smaller hardware vendors is upon us. We already told you all about Corsair's updated mechanical keyboards this morning. Now, we have news about the company's latest two enclosures, which are both a little unusual.

The Carbide Series Air 540 is the most intriguing of the two. It stands at a portly 16.5" x 17" x 18", and it features two side-by-side chambers. One of the chambers plays host to the motherboard, which can be as big as Extended ATX, and the 3.5" hard-drive bays, which lie on the floor of the case and are hot-swappable. The enclosure's second chamber sits behind the motherboard, and it's home to the power supply, dual 5.25" bays, and four 2.5" SSD bays.

Corsair claims this two-chamber design allows for cleaner cable routing, lower noise levels, and better cooling than traditional layouts. Speaking of cooling, the Carbide Series Air 540 has room for as many as six 120-mm fans—or five 140-mm ones, if you're more partial to larger spinners. Also, if air cooling isn't enough, you can fit a 280-mm radiator at the top and a 360-mm radiator at the front. I can't imagine what kind of gear would need that much cooling, though.

The Carbide Series Air 540 carries a $139.99 price tag—pretty inexpensive, considering Corsair's Obsidian Series 650D still retails for a penny under $160.

Next up is the Carbide Series 330R mid-tower, which is both more conventional-looking and more affordable, at $89.99. Corsair says it tuned this enclosure for both low noise levels and "excellent cooling." There are noise-damping panels at the top, sides, and front, but Corsair didn't skimp on fan emplacements; there are five of them, including a 140-mm front intake whose airflow purportedly has a "direct path" to the processor and graphics card.

Other features include room for a 240-mm radiator (provided you remove the top panel), Extended ATX motherboard support, rubber feet, and four hard-drive bays, all of which support either 3.5" mechanical models or 2.5" SSDs. The Carbide Series 330R measures 19.5" x 8.3" x 19", so you should have no trouble stowing it under your desk, either.

This isn't Corsair's first case with noise-damping panels, by the way. The Obsidian Series 550D also has them—and it came out last year. The 550D is more expensive, at $139.99, and I think the 330R is better-looking. Too bad Corsair hasn't sent us pictures of the inside.

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