November 02, 2013

Corsair Carbide Series 330R - Unleashed

The Grand Entrance

Known to almost any PC enthusiasts and gamers out there, Corsair offers varies of award winning quality PC cases and just to name a few: Obsidian Series, Graphite Series, Vengeance Series and the Carbide Series which offers almost any high-end features alongside with great expandability without leaving out the cooling performance.

In today's unboxing, we're going to look into the Corsair Carbide Series 330R, a mainstream yet affordable silent case offered by Corsair into their Carbide series case line.  (SRP of Corsair Carbide Series 330R : 349 Malaysian Ringgit)

Here's the first look on its packaging, presented in a large Eco-Friendly box which can be recycled after discarded, pretty much the Corsair way of packaging their cases. We can clearly see each and every part of the 330R in detail from the diagram printed at the rear side of the box, which I give a double thumbs up for it as consumers is able to get a clear detailed view on the structure of the case itself without having to unbox everything in first hand.

Inside the box, is our 330R covered with a layer of plastic to minimize the chance of getting scratches and flanked with two pieces of polystyrene to minimize or even prevent shock that will do damage to the case, if anything goes wrong during the transport. well, let us put these aside and get on with our case here.


Warranty2 Years from Corsair
Dimension495mm x 210mm x 484mm
Motherboard Supportextended ATX, ATX, mATX, ITX
Expansion Slots7
TypeMid Tower
MaterialSteel, Plastic, Sound Dampening Material
Drive Bays(x3) 5.25”, (x4) 3.5”/2.5” Drive Caddies
Cooling Option140mm fan at the front panel (included, can support up to 2x fans in front)
120mm fan at the rear (included)
2x 140mm / 120mm fans at the top (not included)
Front I/O2x USB 3.0 Ports
1x Speaker/ headphone
1x Microphone
Power SupplyNot included


Out of the box, showing a slight resemblance to the Corsair Obsidian 550D silent case - Metal brushed texture on the front panel - dat texture :E , except that the IO panel are now black instead of grey/silver. Okay now, let's see what's behind the door shall we?

So here's what is hidden behind the front panel cover: honeycomb shaped filters, a 140mm fan and a layer of noise dampening material.


The sound dampening material isn't really something Corsair exclusive though, it has been used widely in most silent cases to absorb noise and vibration produced by moving parts inside the case, keeping most noise within the case. It's not a total silence, but at least it's less audible to anyone nearby. This is pretty much similar to sound dampening curtains in movie theaters we've been to, where the sound is nearly inaudible outside the theater, but blasting loud when we're inside the theater.

The front panel cover uses a snap on type lock to keep it in place. Do bear in mind that it will worn out since it is made of plastic, so you might want to take good care of it.

By removing the front panel, we can see these familiar looking metal spring clips - especially if you own a 300R before. Unlike some other PC cases which uses a plastic type clip, the metal spring clip on the Corsair 330R we're looking at is much  easier to remove and snap with less tendency to break.

Another thing that caught our attention is the removable covers for the optical drive slot - it's removable!
In most case we have encountered, these covers are usually made of metal and stuck onto the case itself where you must remove it before you can install any optical drive. Upon removal, there's no way you can stick it back onto its original position.

Putting aside the front panel, we can see that there's a 140mm fan pre-mounted by Corsair as intake fan to feed the components inside the case with plenty much of fresh air. Do ignore the small dent on the top right of the case, something might have went wrong during the transport, but thanks to the polystyrene earlier, it's just a small dent which will not affect anything.

Other than the included fan, there's option for you to install a second fan at the bottom of the fan included. In the photo above, we're using the fan included from the Corsair 300R and you can see that they're pretty much the same fan. Well Of course, you may go for two 120MM fans instead of 140MM fans as well.

Top of the case is covered with a snap on panel that has noise dampening material on it for silencing and it helps to keep the top mesh covered, which we think is great as it helps to reduce dust intake if you don't need to install additional fans on it. You can easily remove it without needing any tools if you'd prefer to feed your rig with plenty amount of fresh air.

Removing the top panel, reveals the top mesh hidden beneath. As you can see, Corsair has done a fine job by including rubber mounts on each holes for case fan installation which helps absorbing vibration caused by moving parts (fans mostly) thus reducing noise emmision.

Here's a close up view on the noise dampening material on the top panel, it's pretty thick based on our observation.

let us take a look at the bottom of the 330R, comes with a filter which helps to keep dust away from your Power Supply Unit. What's best is that, unlike its predecessor 300R which uses a slide in like mechanism for its filter, the 330R uses magnets to stick the filter to the bottom of the case. The magnet is pretty strong to keep the filter in place and it's very convenient.

Here's the removed filter, each round shaped sides contains a magnet which helps to keep the filter attached to the bottom of the case.


Despite of having such convenient design, what's confuses us is that Corsair left a big space there with no option for mounting another fan, yet the filter included covered the whole spaced area. Wonder what went wrong with the design or did Corsair did this purposely?

Let's move on to the inner of the case, so here's what securing the side panel, standard black metal thumbscrews which doesn't requires any tools to tighten or loosen it.

Removing the side panel, we can see that there's a large layer of noise dampening material attached to the side panel for noise reduction. The side panel is somewhat flimsy compared to the test rig borrowed from Tech Eden for the radiator fan round up we did earlier.

Looks just like its predecessor - 300R, there's hasn't much change on the layout except for the visible noise dampening material on the other side of the panel. HDD cage features tool free installation, everything is done with just a single snap, cable routing holes to let you route all those cables behind the motherboard tray and more features of a high end case. Included with the case as well, is a box containing all the screws, required for fans, motherboard installation.

Screws included for fan, SSD, motherboard installation, as well as the cable tie for cable management.

Previously we've came into 300R users who complained that there's not enough space for them to install a 240MM radiator on top of the case. Corsair seems to have noticed those complain and made a come back for 300R with 330R and there it is - the extra spaces on top of the case ready for 240MM radiator with either push or pull setup. 

Now, let us take a look at the dark side  motherboard tray. These cable routing holes are specially tailored for those who wants a neat and great looking cable management. Everything is good, except for the rubber grommets - none. We were curious about this as other mid tower case from other brands with lower price did come with rubber grommets ( the Cooler Master Scout II is a good example ). 

Some might wonder if the noise dampening material on the side panel of the motherboard tray might affect cable management, the answer here is ... not quite. The depth of the motherboard tray (as seen in the photo above) is quite sufficient for any power supply cables if done correctly.

This took quite a while but here it is, we present you - THE THING.
Thanks to Corsair AX650 Power Supply with full modular design, we were able to keep things as neat as possible despite not having any rubber grommets for a cleaner look in between the cable routing slots.
Not only we were able to make a clean cable routing with the Corsair 330R, the extra spaces above allows us to install a Corsair H100 Hydro Series Liquid Cooler with two Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 1850RPM fans without any issue.

Let's take a look on what's behind the scene - plenty amount of spaces available for cable routing, but here's something we have encountered and would like to advice anyone who owns or planning to get one:
  1. First of all, the noise dampening material attached to the side panel will somewhat makes the job slightly difficult as it has already took up some spaces on the side.
  2. Be extra careful will closing the side panel on the motherboard tray as you don't want to damage the noise dampening material with any unwanted violence or brutal force applied.
  3. Try to keep the cables as low as possible so that you will gain some extra spaces to make the job for closing up the side panel easier, single sleeved power supply cables will did a great job in this kind of situation.

Testing Method

Moving on to the testing methodology, our main test rig mentioned earlier when we first started Tech Critter is now ready for action! Here's the list configuration of our main test rig:

Some additional info: Mounting a radiator on top would render the top panel useless as the screws would prevent the top panel from snapping into the right place. So in the end, we removed it.

The test was carried out in a room with ambient temperature of 28ยบC, the only air intake is from the front 140mm fans, whilst the exhaust consists the H100 set to push configuration and the rear fan. Stress test is done using Prime95 on CPU and FurMark on GPU and each stress test is conducted with side panel closed and opened  in a separated test and each test took 30 minutes in average and the final result data collected from the test is presented in a graph and table as following:


From the table above, it shows the difference in temperature for both different scenario: closed side panel and opened side panel. The difference in temperature is very minimal, better than what we have expected before running the test. In addition, we have configured the Corsair H100 to performance mode for maximum airflow through the radiator and to measure the noise level - Check out both videos below for the noise level

Without Side Panel

  With Side Panel

The result is very obvious - the noise dampening material works like a charm in reducing the noise output created by moving parts enclosed in the 330R.


Our final verdict is that Corsair's attempt to exploit the silent case market with their 330R priced at a sweet spot and offering the same features as a 300R with enhanced expansion slot is indeed tempting, but we're not totally over the moon with it. It's not to say that it is bad, the 330R offers the same features as the 300R with enhanced expansion such as the space for 240mm radiator and silencing features, but what comes in between is that is that the 330R will contain much of the noise if you are having a silent setup. A setup with fully ramped up fans wont likely to have that much of noise getting contained, the short coming might hold some enthusiasts with picky ears back to think twice before getting a 330R for their setup. Still, if you're into a budget silent build, the Corsair Carbide Series 330R is your pick.

  • Great silencing features at its price range, SRP 349 Malaysian Ringgit
  • Tool free setup for hard drives and optical drives
  • Rich features of a 300R with much expansion slots, including mounting space for a 240mm radiator without touching any parts of the motherboard
  • Much spaces behind the motherboard tray offers pleasant cable routing experience with less hassle
  • Magnetic filters below the case which is much easier to remove for cleaning and installing
  • Simple and clean appearance 
  • The noise dampening material behind the motherboard tray makes closing the side panel difficult and might damage the noise dampening material if not handle with care
  • Top panel is render useless if a 240mm radiator is mounted as the screws is preventing the top panel from snapping into it's place without damaging the noise dampening material .
  • The side panel is somewhat flimsy, not as sturdy as what the 300R has to offer
  • Bottom filter is somewhat oversize, covering an area with no holes for ventilation nor fan mounting

Many thanks to :
Corsair for their Carbide Series 330R

Reviewed by: Lucidlts