Announced over four months ago, Corsair's Carbide 500R has finally hit store shelves in the US (the lesser-specced 400R has been available for a while). Although it's pricier than most enthusiast mid-towers at $139, the Carbide 500R should serve as a more affordable alternative to Corsair's esteemed Obsidian series, which starts at roughly $190.
Offered in gray and white, the Carbide 500R measures 20.5 x 8.1 x 20 inches and supports mATX and ATX motherboards. It has room for up to six 3.5-inch hard drives via two removable cages, four 5.25-inch devices, a full 240mm radiator and eight expansion slots with support for graphics cards up to 452mm long (sans HDD cage, mind you).
The enclosure has positions for six 120 or 140mm fans and it ships with a 200mm unit on the side, two 120mm fans in front and one rear 120mm exhaust. The fans can be configured with a supplied multi-channel fan controller. As noted, there's plenty of room for internal liquid-cooling systems, while four rubberized holes provide external access.
On that note, Corsair has also launched two self-contained liquid-cooling loops. The Hydro H40 and H70 Core support the latest Intel and AMD processors. The former is set at an entry-level $59 and has a 120mm radiator with an integrated fan, while the latter is $89 and has 38mm double-thick radiator but it lacks a fan so you can pick your own.
Corsair's announcements were rounded off by fresh additions to its solid-state drive lineup. The company has unveiled new Force Series 3 and Force Series GT units with a SandForce SF-2280 controller and SATA 6Gb/s connectivity. The Force Series 3 now has 180GB and 480GB capacities capable of 550MB/s read speeds along with 520MB/s writes.
Meanwhile, the Force Series GT 480GB packs snazzier ONFI synchronous flash memory chips and touts peak reads and writes of 555MB/s and 525MB/s (quicker than OCZ's Vertex 3 240GB Max IOPS edition -- on paper, anyway). All three additions seem to be available now for $249, $799 and $999 (other previously launched sizes are available too).