NZXT, Corsair launch new wallet-friendly enthusiast casesBy Matthew DeCarlo
System builders have received four new chassis to pick from courtesy of NZXT and Corsair. At a meager $40, NZXT's Source 210 is among the finest cases available for frugal gamers who want the core essentials of an enthusiast chassis without paying for excess amenities.
The steel mid-tower doesn't skimp on wire management and boasts an interior paint job, a cutout for easier processor heatsink installations, a bottom-mounted power supply, support for up to seven expansion cards, as well as 330mm-long GPUs and 160mm-tall CPU coolers.
It also has room for three 5.25-inch drives alongside eight 3.5-inch drives and as many as seven 120mm fans (it's unclear if any actually come with the case, but dual 120mm front intake fans are mentioned). The front panel is outfitted with audio/mic jacks and two USB 2.0 ports.
At first glance, it seems the Source 210's greatest weakness is its lack of USB 3.0 support, but this is addressed with a second model. For a $10 premium, the Source 210 Elite trades one USB 2.0 for 3.0, gains a tool-less design and comes with a 140mm top-mounted exhaust.
Folks with a little more coin to spare should consider Corsair's new Carbide 400R and 500R, which also aim to bring luxury-grade comforts to mainstream pricing. Corsair says its sub-$150 Carbide cases adhere to the same "builder-friendly philosophy" as its Obsidian series.
The $99 Carbide 400R features tool-free installation, Corsair's solid wire routing system, room for up to eight expansion cards, 316mm-long GPUs, four 5.25-inch devices, and six 3.5-inch drives. It's also worth noting that all of the 3.5-inch bays natively support for 2.5-inch drives.
Along with pre-drilled holes for a bevy of 120mm and 140mm fans, there's also support for dual 240mm radiators. The front panel includes two USB 3.0 ports, one FireWire connector, audio/mic jacks, and a switch to toggle lighting, though Corsair doesn't include any lights.
At $139, the Carbide 500R offers a few more features, such as removable hard drive cages, a multi-channel fan controller, and it ships with a 200mm fan mounted to its left panel. Additionally, with a drive cage removed, there's a 452mm clearing for PCI Express cards.