Introduction and Packaging

Corsair Cobra 266LE Gaming System

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This is a review of the Corsair Cobra 266LE Gaming System. This system is put together in such a way that anyone could use this system. Whether you are an avid overclocker, a general pc enthusiast who likes being different with some mods built in or someone who just wants a great barebones pc that still allows you to choose most of your add-in components but still want the best parts put together already, the Corsair Cobra is for you.

This review is going to be a little different for me as I’m not going to focus on any one part. It wouldn’t be fair to Corsair or to you to make this simply a case review because this is a full system without the drives and add-in cards or CPU. Those are for you to decide. The rest of it however in part and in whole is simply outstanding and I don’t want to detract from the system as a whole. So let’s see if I can start off with some basic specs:

  • M/B: EPoX 8KHA+
  • Drive Bays: External 4 x 5.25″, External 2 x 3.5″, Internal 3 x 3.5″
  • Drive Bays Used: 1 x 5.25″ for Temp Sensor, 1×3.5″ for Floppy Drive
  • Cooler: Alpha PAL8045 with 36cfm Sunon fan
  • Case Fans: 3 x 80mm fans by Power Logic (39cfm@32dBa)
  • Rounded Cables: 2 x ATA100 (2 device), 1 x floppy (single device)
  • Access: Side Panel Access Front Panel Ports: USB, Audio, Volume, Game, Firewire all with passthru cable Power Supply: 400w Sparkle
  • Temp Sensor: 2 LCD Displays, 1 for Case, 1 for CPU
  • Additional Features: 12″ Blue Cold Cathode Lighting, Custom Side Window, Aluminum Case with Motherboard Tray, Thumbscrews, Wireloom on all power cables

I don’t know about you, but I certainly think there is allot of stuff included in the package, along with a well written manual for installation and all other documentation necessary for your system. There is also a one year warranty for your system. There are a few differences I think I should mention between the more expensive Cobra 300GT and the Cobra 266LE shown here today. I think the biggest difference is the 300GT is verified to work @ 300 MHz while the 266LE is only verified to work at the default 266 MHz. That doesn’t mean you can’t push the 266LE that far, it just means it’s not verified. Two other items that differ is the amount of memory. The 266LE gets PC2400 ram, but its only 128Mbytes. The 300GT gets 256Mbytes of PC2400 ram. I’m not sure you can order an upgrade to this, but if not, you can order separately. The last difference is there is no video card in the 266LE. You must provide your own. Some people like this idea and others will not. If you want 256Mbytes of ram and a GeForce3 Ti500 video card, the 300GT has it all.

Well, let’s get onto the graphical presentation part of this review. I want to tell you this. I did not modify this board, nor update the BIOS. I added an Asus GF3 Ti500 video card, NIC, ATA100 hard drive and CD-Rom. The default BIOS I received does have a warm reset bug in it, but I wanted to test the system as is. But if you receive this system with that BIOS dated 11/02, I would recommend updating it. So let’s get on with the show.


The case I received did come in a relatively plain box. However it was one of the best packaging I have seen so far. No break apart style Styrofoam in here. Everything was quite snug in the box and nothing appears to have moved in shipping. It contains a bag of cables, screws and other parts, including thermal grease. You will also find at the top of the box the binder with all of the documentation including the instruction manual.

As I stated before, the documentation for the Cobra 266LE is exemplary. It is well laid out with clear cut directions and Driver CD. You will also find the PSU power cord, front port cabling to attach to the rear of the system, screws, washers, hold-downs and thermal grease. What I didn’t mention is that they provide Arctic Alumina from Arctic Silver.

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