Dear Corsair and Friends of Corsair,
I consider myself a friend of Corsair, as I have used a good amount of Corsair RAM in many builds for myself and family with nary a single problem. In fact, I've received every single rebate I've ever sent in. (Thanks!!
I hope as a newcomer, I won't attract too many flames with the following post, but I really wanted to chime in on this new case and some observations I've made. I realize my observations are based solely on press releases and pre-production sample videos and photos, so some of the issues I present may have already been resolved for the production model. If that's the case, I apologize for the redundancy. If not, please at least take a gander at the following thoughts:
1. Wasted 5.25 bay. Four front USB ports, firewire, and a reset button ... why not integrate two somewhere else in the case, and integrate the reset button and audio ports elsewhere, too, so that we can use that space for something useful like a card reader or fan controller. At least engineer a way that we can install a 3.5 inch external device up there. If you use your 5 5.25 bays you will have zero 3.5 external bays available. Look at Lian Li, CM, and other popular cases that have them seamlessly integrated into the top, sometimes even with a nice cover panel, and the back ends of the ports don't drop down enough to interfere with anything in the case. There are several things people could use a sixth bay for up there that wouldn't block the use of a triple radiator at all.
2. Four USB ports, firewire, and NO ESATA? (Edit: just realized we're not supposed to mention competitor products - I was just mentioning it for reference!) Most of the newer, more desirable "enthusiast" full tower cases are going to have eSATA. This is 2009 and Corsair's brand new $300 flagship case doesn't have eSATA???
3. Negative pressure. If you install the recommended three fans or triple radiator up top, you're in for some serious negative pressure cooling unless you suck the air down rather than exhaust out the top. With a water cooling setup it's not as critical, but if you're using air cooling on your video cards, they are going to be more "air-starved" because of that negative pressure. And as if it wasn't bad enough, why'd they have to go and do this now, too??
So now the 140mm hard drive fan has even less access to fresh air. I really just wonder why ... This case needs more intake to better match those four big exhaust fan possibilities or it's going to have some serious "fail" in air cooling potential. Even if it has decent temps, imagine how much better it could be if these things were fixed!
Those are major issues to me and will be to other enthusiasts. Now, I realize that this is merely a pre-production sample, so it's still being ironed out, but PLEASE, if you can, forward my words to someone who would read them and at least seriously consider my concerns. Even with these glaring flaws, I am still hoping that they are resolved. Now, if they aren't this case shines in so many other ways that it will still be a consideration and a contender for my money, but it's no longer a sure sale. If these issues are resolved, then it's a done deal, and this is my next case.
And from a marketing standpoint, you know as well as I do that "Six 5.25 inch bays!" looks a LOT better than "Five 5.25 inch bays!" A case with soooooooo much room, as the reps on the videos point out, has NO EXCUSE for not having 6 external bays of some kind. 5 total bays is worse than a lot of mid tower cases.
Now one minor issue:
Some cases make it easy for a second radiator install. The 840, for example, requires minimum effort to but a 2x120 on the bottom. I recommend making the optional 3.5 inch internal drive holder on the bottom completely removable, and leaving space, or even pre-drilling holes (at least leaving enough flat surface) for a 2x120 radiator on the bottom. Most enthusiasts, even very wealthy hardcore ones (not like me! :kaola: ) still have only four drives or less, so that bottom area should be easily configured to whatever setup the enthusiast needs.
Another suggestion is to put a grill on the side panel next to that window so the 140mm fan for the drives can pull in fresh air from the outside, rather than suck away the already limited air available in this extremely negative pressure system. It could be a very professional and translucent fabric grill or filter of some kind, neatly mounted flush with the black metal. It would add a minimal amount to manufacturing cost, but increase cooling substantially. Some nice, machined holes would do the trick. It's a black 140mm fan, so it's not going to look bad at all. Many other enthusiast cases employ a similar strategy to increase air intake by allowing some air to be sucked in from the sides.
Now, those gripes aside, I am loving this case.
2. All black, inside and out - very well done!!
3. Window included!! Yay!!
4. Triple radiator easy to mount on top ... shoot, why not make it double thick while you're at it??
5. Hole behind CPU for easy removal. Every "enthusiast" case should have this. Enthusiasts are always changing stuff out, and moving stuff around!
6. Did I mention it's attractive as all heck? It's extremely sleek and subdued, yet impressive-looking at the same time.
7. Last, but not least, BEST cable management setup I have EVER SEEN on ANY case in my entire life.
Wow, that was long, sorry! Hopefully it's helpful to someone though, and I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears. If you know anyone else I can send this to that would be better, please let me know and I will be happy to forward my suggestions to him/her. And I do realize that it's not in production yet, and they may have already figured out how to fix all of these things. If so, THANK YOU! If not, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!