Corsair Graphite Series 380T Review

August 29, 2014 | 14:00

Tags: #best-mini-itx-case #best-mini-itx-chassis #graphite-series #lan-party #mini-itx #mini-itx-case

Companies: #corsair

Interior

With the front panel clips and side panel latches, it couldn't be easier to get inside the 380T. This is a good thing for working with it when upgrading, but it also means easy access for any ne'er-do-wells when you're AFK at your favourite LAN gig. Nevertheless, the panels all come away cleanly, with no wires to hold them back, and reveal a solid steel interior with a good paint job and neatly rounded edges all over.

The internal cables are all sleeved in black so you won't have any funky colours ruining your rig's look. Another neat touch is the pre-installed set of motherboard mounts. There's also a suitably sized cutout on the motherboard tray for CPU coolers, but really with horizontally mounted motherboards you're likely to install your cooler externally anyway.

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There isn't a whole lot of room for your PSU by default (up to 160mm), but thankfully you can remove the mounting bracket from the chassis using its four thumbscrews. This allows you to attach it to your PSU before slotting it straight into position, where it sits atop four small rubber feet that give it additional clearance and also reduce vibrations.

As well as your PSU, the lower section will house your storage devices and the majority of your cables. As with any case this size, cable management may be trickier than you're used to, and a modular PSU is recommended. Even so, Corsair has done a good job, offering a series of hooks along the case floor which you can use with zip ties to keep things fastened down. There's also space on both sides of the motherboard tray to route cables up to their appropriate connections.

Corsair Graphite Series 380T Review Corsair Graphite Series 380T Review - Interior Corsair Graphite Series 380T Review Corsair Graphite Series 380T Review - Interior
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For storage, Corsair provides two drive cages, one for a pair of 3.5-inch drives and one for a pair of 2.5-inch drives, and both are designed to be used tool-free (though you can use screws to install smaller drives in the larger cage). The former is found at the front of the case, and hard drives are installed simply by bending the plastic trays around them, whereby the pins will lock them in place. If you don't need this cage or want to install a longer PSU, it can be easily removed by releasing a single thumbscrew and sliding it out. Meanwhile, the SSD cage is tucked away at the rear on the left of the PSU. You can slide drives straight into it, and a little tab will keep them in place.

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The tool-free nature of the storage system certainly speeds up the build process, but it also makes it very easy to remove drives. This isn't a problem in and of itself but it could be one if you ever need to leave your rig unattended at a public event, especially given how easy it is to unlatch the side panels.

As mentioned previously, the left hand side of the chassis has a pair of metal struts, and using these you can install two 120mm fans. They can also be used to install 240mm all-in-one coolers, or even perhaps a radiator as part of a custom loop. There's only 55mm of clearance, but that should just be enough for a skinny radiator with a single set of fans. The only other place to install a radiator is the rear 120mm fan mount.

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To this end, it's a shame that Corsair didn't make the front section of the motherboard tray (i.e. the part from which the 3.5-inch drive cage hangs) removable by default. Without it, you'd be free to install 140mm, 180mm or even possibly 240mm radiator set-ups at the front with a fair bit of depth to play with (for the latter you'd probably need to do some modding to make way for the tubing sections). It's not a huge flaw given the included 240mm radiator support on the side, but the added flexibility would have been nice. That said, you could always use this section of the chassis as a mounting point for a pump or reservoir.

The final thing of note is the internal LED, which hangs from the roof and gives the case a pleasant white glow to match the white LEDs of the front fan. If you don't like it, an internal switch along the side of the roof lets you turn it on and off. In the black version of the chassis, the LEDs are red, but white in the white model.
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