Big Announcements From Corsair at CES 2011

Alan Fackler

Corsair has come a long way from making L2 cache-on-a-stick modules back in 1994, and the company has even bigger plans for the future, including extensions to their existing product categories, a pending IPO, and a brand new software layer of integration across all their component-based and audio products.

The beginning of the company’s presentation gave PC nerds like us a nice walk down memory lane, as Corsair talked through the evolution of the company. Once Intel started dropping L2 cache into its own CPUs in 1996, Corsair switched to DRAM add-in products, and you know the rest. Performance DRAM. Water cooling. Blinky lights. Flash Voyager. LED Display DRAM. Power supplies. Solid State Drives. Cases. Etc.

Corsair made it clear that it remains devoted to the performance and val-performance memory categories—one of the presentation’s slides indicated that the company’s Vengeance memory will be fully forward-compatible with Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 parts, as well as SSDs, with support for native SATA 6 gbps and 480 read/320 write and rapid TRIM garbage collection. The company has split its product divisions into two to allow it to focus on memory while a components division focuses on cases, cooling, and the audio products detailed below.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the key announcements of the day:

HS1A headset upgrades audio quality, reduces price . One of the biggest surprises out of Corsair has been the high quality of the company’s audio products. Maximum PC reviewer Alex Castle found the HS1 headset to be of surprisingly high quality . Corsair will up the ante a little this month with a brand new HS1A headset that sports analog inputs for high-performance boards and a reduced $79.99 price.

New low-end 2.1 speakers : Corsair also announced that, in addition to the Kick-Ass SP2500 speakers we reviewed in the February issue, they will be adding some lower-end speakers to their lineup. These speakers will lack the TFT-LCD display of the higher-end model, and put out 45 watts per channel.

Case enclosures : If you’ve been keeping up with our reviews and build-it stories, you know that our chassis guy Nathan Edwards thinks highly of Corsair’s 600T case. On the heels of this chassis’ success, Corsair is announcing two new cases: A Special Edition version of the Graphite 600T ($150) that features a white finish with glossy and satin black accents, and a brand new Obsidian 650D mid-tower. Available in April 2011 for $200, this case will boast tool-less drive bays, a 200mm front-mounted intake, 8 PCI expansion slots, the same high-end cable-routing system Corsair has used in its other cases. One of the coolest features is a SATA 6Gbp/s hot swap dock.

CPU Cooling : Corsair also announced a new H60 CPU Cooler, with a brand new design featuring a copper cold plate contact with higher fin density, a higher pressure pump, and a novel new split-flow cooling system that should greatly increase cooling capacity. This new cooler will be available in March 2011 for $80.

Corsair Link : Corsair’s final announcement is the culmination of a few years of work and will be a boon for PC enthusiasts who have multiple Corsair products in their system and/or on their desk. The name of the product is Corsair Link, and allows for integrated, enhanced software control and monitoring across all Corsair components. A simple software download will unlock the ability to connect all Corsair devices together and create automated controls that can adjust cooling capacity, adjust audio output, and more.

As we learn more about these products and get some hands-on time, we’ll report back, so stay tuned for our CES 2011 coverage right here, at

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