Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX

Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX

Line of computer cases Corsair Graphite company recently enlarged the first model is designed to fit motherboards standard Mini-ITX. The model is not the most simple and accessible in this series is probably why she decided to name 380T, although earlier in the range of the company was already a model 230T, involves the installation including full-size boards standard ATX.

Corsair Graphite 380T refers to the Mini-ITX-shell, which puts emphasis on ease of assembly and good cooling and thus prefer not to pay attention to the fact that he was going on the basis of a miniature PC motherboard must remain as compact. Housing equipped with a comfortable handle, abundant lighting, as well as quick access to system kit to the owner of 380T was more convenient to take it to the so-called «LAN Party», which, however, in our latitudes, and have not found any significant popularity.

The housing is available in three color options: all-black with red lighting, black and white with white backlight and black and yellow and white backlight. We tested was black and white version, which is subjective, looks less aggressive, but very stylish and futuristic.

Corsair Graphite 380T comes in a box of unremarkable ordinary cardboard, lacking handles or even slots for easy carrying. Inside, apart from the case and cooling system elements can be found only a brief instruction on one piece of paper, a set of mounting screws and 4 disposable tie.

The proportions and dimensions Corsair Graphite 380T is reminiscent of the line model 250D Obsidian, which has very similar specifications, but done in a completely different stylistic design.The main problem of such buildings, unfortunately, remained: Graphite 380T is too low and beautiful to put it on the floor or in a corner out of sight, but too wide to put it on the table next to the monitor, if the effective surface area not too big. It would be interesting to know what the interior, according to the designers should have a good fit these models. Perhaps then settle on a very large table with auxiliary elements, stone or special wall brackets or shelves.

Arrangement

Over the last year a similar arrangement corps Mini-ITX has become increasingly common, it is not a unique name. Power supply Graphite 380T is located in the lower part of the body. The model involves the installation of a full-size PSU with a depth of up to 160 mm inclusive.

Directly above the power supply is a substrate for mounting the motherboard format Mini-ITX. Free space on the card is enough, the housing can be installed CPU cooler height of 150 mm, inclusive.There is a place in it for the dual-slot graphics cards up to 290 mm.

Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX

Small Double basket for 2.5 “or 3.5” drives located in the front of the case. Another two noutbuchnogo disk format can be set in a separate bin, disposed in the recess between the power supply unit compartment and the left side wall of the housing.

From the optical drive in this model decided to abandon that, in general, it is logical – to “LAN parties” have a network and Internet access, and to build the HTPC with the possibility of watching movies with Blu-ray and DVD this case and is not positioned.

Design

Dimensions Corsair Graphite 380T is 292 (W) × 356 (V) × 393 (D) mm Weight without power supply – 5.6 kg. At first glance it may seem that the case is completely made of plastic, but in fact it is based on a solid steel chassis thickness of 0.8 mm, although plastic clothes around it is really very much.

Most of the front panel holds a removable plate. It is based on a solid plastic, followed by the dust filter and fine steel mesh on the outside. Similarly, the same principle constructed both lateral housing wall. This box is a quick release, it is based on two spring-loaded catch myself falling out of low-energy housing after clicking on the panel in its upper part. Spontaneous loss of the grid when moving or installing the housing not observed.

Controls, and all input / output ports are located in front of the top wall of the housing.The power button with the caption Start / Stop is located in the center of the composition, a reset button located on the right and place the left takes control button integrated controller rotation speed DC fans. The housing allows you to connect simultaneously two large-sized device USB 3.0, as well as microphone and headphone jacks through the traditional 3.5 mm.

Block front connectors qualitatively highlighted white LEDs. Light begins signature on buttons and icons hints to all connectors. The scale of the controller around fans highlighted in a circle on one, two or three divisions, thus indicating the current operating mode of the connected load. His memory of the controller is not, so it always starts with a minimum speed, which is not very convenient.

Hard drive activity light is located between nests audio connectors, it is almost inaudible against the background of general illumination. But the second indicator – Power_LED – can be seen very well. It is built into a small “peak” hanging over the front panel, the light from it is really soft and beautiful.

Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX

Carrying handle is made very high quality, for it can safely tolerate even the most downloaded body kit, without fear of what she might break or fall off. The reverse side of the handle is specially coated plastic knobs to make it less slippery as possible. There could be placed insertion of rubberized material such as soft-touch, but this was not done.

Both side panels are absolutely symmetrical, they can easily be interchanged. The foundation wall, as we have noted, is a translucent plastic, which consolidated the dust filter and fine steel mesh.The side walls are fixed solely by massive plastic latches in the upper part, inside which there are two springs. The mechanism resembles the door handles on some cars – apparently including the power button so the designers decided to stylize button engine start.

Job specific mechanism raises no objections, the walls are removed very quickly and almost as quickly set in place. Although, of course, the use of plastic instead of metal and the lack of opportunity to fix the wall with screws at least not like all potential buyers.

Corsair Graphite 380T is set to wide-leg runners with a dense rubber lining. It should be very confident body, back and forth once again not riding. Here on the lower wall is removable dust filter for the power supply fan.

The back wall of the housing looks the most familiar. Instead, the next portion of the plastic is a traditional steel seat for the body of the fan, standard plugs and slots and a removable plate at the bottom, after the removal of the body of which can make the power supply.

Cooling system

Body involves the installation of three case fans, and 2 of them are already in the package. A first fan mounted on the front of the chassis, immediately behind the removable plate. It has a size of 140 mm, but if desired it can be replaced by an analogue of size 200 or 120 mm. Front fan is equipped with a four-white backlight, it can not be switched off or adjusted separately from the rotational speed of the cooler.

The second cabinet fan size 120 mm on the rear wall of the housing. This seat is not designed for fans of a different size, built-in backlight “vetroduya” either. If desired, the Graphite 380T can add another 120mm fan, placing it on the right side of the chassis. It can help you improve the air flow through the CPU cooler, and further cooled video card back side. Here it is possible to install one of the compatible liquid cooling systems that use heat sink 240 or 120 mm.

As dust filter on the side walls and a detachable front panel is used fine-meshed plastic net. The grid can not be removed from the design, but that is not required – these parts can easily be vacuumed or washed under the tap, just as important to be all dry before returning back into the housing.

Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX

Another dust filter mesh of plastic quick-release frame is on the bottom wall of the housing. To extract it does not necessarily put the body on its side, it is enough to grab the ledge and push the frame guides. Thus, the body is well protected against ingress of large particles of dust and debris, but fine dust still eventually settle on the components, because the width of the holes in the filters is about 1 mm.

Corsair Graphite 380T is equipped with a controller for controlling the case fans, you can connect to it using a standard 3-pin connectors. Powered by the controller SATA-type connector “daddy”.The modes are selected in a circle, while turning the controller always automatically sets the most peaceful option.

Assembling the system unit

The side walls of the housing removed in seconds, as we mentioned earlier. All four racks to install the system board, bear in advance, garbage not need to spend time on it. The basic basket of disk drives equipped with a pull-out plastic trays, only two of them, and each can be configured as a full-size hard drive and format the drive noutbuchnogo. Format discs 3.5 “installed without using a screwdriver – just a little bend the side wall of the tray and secure it using the HDD small metal pins.

It should be noted that these pins are not too firmly in the tray and can be easily uprooted from the right place, but to put a pin in place will not be easy. These trays can be found in buildings of many manufacturers, and their embodiment in Corsair, unfortunately, is not particularly successful.

If installing a 2.5 “drive, it is placed on the bottom of the pan and fastened to it with 4 screws Phillips screwdriver. It turns out a little longer, but just do not break. The trays are fixed in the basket exclusively due to weak plastic spacers, screws fixing the trays are not available. Play tray even after installing the 3.5 “drive is very large – it goes badly in both the horizontal and vertical plane.

Two more storage noutbuchnogo format can be set in a small plastic tray between niche power supply kit and the left side wall. Drives are installed right next to each other and nominally fixed plastic stopper. Put in the HDD bay for sure will not be the best idea, but more are tolerant to heat and vibration SSD is quite suitable accommodation.

Plugs for installing expansion cards are removable perforated. For fixing boards meet single L-shaped plate, which is necessary to remove one unscrew the thumbscrew. If desired, you can further enhance the fixation of each board screw Phillips screwdriver.

To install the power supply, unscrew the 4 thumbscrews to separate from the body of the steel frame on the rear panel. This frame is screwed power supply, then the PSU is put into the body through the back wall, and the frame is fixed again with 4 screws. Free space within the housing is more than enough, so that all the wires can be neatly sum up to the corresponding connectors without creating unnecessary interference airflow from case fans. In fact, a lot more places, which inadvertently pose the question: why the basic basket in Graphite 380T is made only 2 disc, and not, for example, at 4?

Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX

USB 3.0 ports on the front panel are connected monolithic block to the system board, adapter for USB 2.0 and the possibility to connect to the ports on the back panel I / O no. Terminals for connecting the audio jacks are also solid, with support for HD Audio with no backward compatibility with AC’97. The buttons and indicators on the front panel using a standard bulk of separate wires.

Note also that on the left side of the body, in the upper part you can see a small on-off switch that turns on and off an additional diode illumination components. During the day, the difference is almost imperceptible, but at night it can be clearly seen through the translucent plastic sidewalls.It is a pity that this switch can not completely turn off all lights housing that would be very useful in some situations.

In general assembly of the system unit in the Corsair Graphite 380T is simple, convenient, and does not cause any difficulties commonly encountered during assembly of the system in a compact package.

Noise measurement

Noise measurement is carried out in accordance with our method using a sound level meter Octave-110A Eco soundproofed room with a typical noise level of 20 dBA. During the measurement, all appliances in the room are turned off.

To regulate the voltage-controlled fans used standalone converter.

The noise level of the cooling system housing varies widely from 25 to 39 dBA, in the same range as wide changes and performance. When powered fan 5V noise level is low even when the microphone placement in the near field. However, with increasing voltage the noise increases markedly. Typically, the range of voltage regulation 7-11 in noise varies from low (29 dBA) to high (37 dB) level with respect to typical values ​​for premises in the daytime. However, even when powered fan nominal voltage of 12 V, the noise of the cooling system does not exceed 40 dBA, but in this mode, it is already clearly visible especially in the near field.

The housing is equipped with a full-time three-point single-channel fan controller, which is electronically controlled and executed, most likely, based on the PWM controller and connects via connector SATA Power. The algorithm of the controller carousel – by pushing the button, it switches between 1-2-3-1. You can connect with the fans as a three or four-razhemom with. Any noise from the controller has been recorded. The front fans are white backlight, which is implemented by four white LEDs arranged at the corners of the framework of the fans. LED brightness is proportional to the supply voltage.

When you connect the fan to the controller noise varies in the range of 27 to 37 dBA at DESKTOP body, which roughly corresponds to a change in the power supply fans from 6 to 11 volts with intermediate position at 9 volts. Thus, the controller is not fully implements fan possibly in terms of noise reduction and work at minimum speed. In fact, fan start and operate stably even when powered from the 4.5 volt level of noise in such circumstances is about 24 dBA.

Quality fans unequal. The front fan noticeably taps at a low supply voltage, while the fan located on the rear panel does not have this drawback and publishes a constant sound of quiet.

Rate acoustic ergonomics of the body can be positively: the minimum supply voltage noise is low, and at the maximum supply voltage noise, though noticeable, but quite moderate. However, to achieve minimum noise levels, the fans will connect directly to the motherboard, rather than through a controller.

Positioning and conclusions

Corsair Graphite 380T turned out beautiful, comfortable and quite functional body. Most likely will buy it because of extraordinary design and a relatively large capacity for such a compact size. However, the case has been very successful and some particularly notable failures has not.

The advantages of the Graphite 380T include quality cooling system with the controller and dust filters, crafted futuristic design, the ability to install a full-size power supply, virtually any graphics card and high CPU cooler. In turn, the shortcomings of this model can be written uncomfortable for most installations body size, a large number of plastic parts in the places where the metal is normally used, and the lack of opportunity to fix the side walls with screws or some semblance of the castle.

For an interesting design and demonstration of the high level of consumer qualities of body deservedly receives editorial Original Design award for the current month.

Review Corsair Graphite 380T: very interesting solution for the size Cube Boards Mini-ITX updated: April 24, 2015 author: John Malkovich