Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The specifications chart looks kind of bare for all the hype I just talked about the 550D, but let's cover this section and then I can move on to the hidden goodies.
The 550D is all steel, but uses ABS plastic for tool-less clips, drive trays and the frame of the front bezel. To spice things up a fair bit, a sleek and simple, brushed aluminum panel gets anodized black and works as the front swinging door of this mid-tower. Inside the chassis supports both ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards and has eight expansion slots in the back. in the front you have a set of four 5.25" bays with tool-less clips and room for up to six 3.5" or 2.5" drives via the cage and tray system incorporated in the 550D that is also half or fully removable.
The cooling is handled with three black 120mm fans, the same ones that come in all the Corsair cases. It doesn't stop there, however. Also designed into the chassis are two removable panels to allow air flow into the left side of the chassis and/or out of the top of the chassis. That brings the total of fans to use in this chassis up to seven and we haven't even covered that there is room for 200mm fans if you should choose to install them.
On the flip side of that coin, as the case is shipped, the removable panels, inside of the front of the case and the entirety of the door panels are covered in sound isolating material. So with all the sound proofing in place, there isn't a peep, hum, or a buzz to be heard coming from the chassis. I have seen this sort of thing before, but rarely does any company think about sound levels and air flow in the same design - usually one comes at a high cost to the other, here that simply isn't true.
If you are one of the many I think are going to seriously buy this chassis, I do suggest you shop around a bit. Directly from Corsair you can find the 550D listed at $159.99 and we haven't even added in the shipping yet. Tasking an extra few seconds to get Google on line and type in the case name, it doesn't take long to see that the top ten listings all beat the MSRP that Corsair is showing on their site.
Amazon and Newegg are both listing the chassis for $139.99 with free shipping as I write this, so right off the bat those few precious seconds just saved you $20. There are literally tons of places to purchase one, so even though I know quite a few of my readers will be going to locate these, it won't be any issue at all to get one to your door in a reasonable amount of time. On the biased opinion side of things, for $139.99 you are going to be hard pressed to find a case so willing and accepting of any sort of configuration or build you plan to do.
The line "Designed by builders, for builders" really rings true in this chassis design.