Corsair Carbide Air 240 Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on August 15, 2014 6:00 AM EST
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Corsair Carbide Air 240 Interior
Regardless of the external color of the case, the interior of the Carbide Air 240 is all black, with the sole exception being the grey stock cooling fan blades. The chassis is made from relatively thin SECC steel, but it offers adequate mechanical strength for the small size of the case, which is further supported by the motherboard tray. As we mentioned before, the Carbide Air 240 is split in two sections; the left section houses the main system, while the PSU and drives go to the right section.
There are several holes on the motherboard tray, covered with rubber grommets, for the cables to be routed between the two sections. The design dictates that, for the best possible visual result, the cables should be routed away from the system and into the opaque right compartment. For additional cable management, Corsair punched a few cable tie mounting points in the right compartment of the case. There is a large opening behind the CPU area as well, for the installation of CPU coolers, but it is blocked by the 3.5" drive cage. The cage has to be removed in order to access the rear of the CPU socket.
Motherboards of up to Micro-ATX size can be installed in the Carbide Air 240, but there is a catch: if you do install a Micro-ATX motherboard, you cannot install a liquid cooling radiator at the bottom of the case. You also cannot really install one at the top panel either, since the fan alone is just a hair away from the top of the motherboard. Therefore, you basically need to choose between two GPUs and a Micro-ATX motherboard, or two large liquid cooling radiators and a Mini-ITX motherboard (presumably with one GPU).
There are limitations for those of you who will be using air coolers as well. The clearance for an air cooler is about 124mm, which is ample for many air coolers but not enough for top-tier products. Super-tall air coolers, such as the Noctua NH-D15, will not fit inside the Carbide Air 240. Corsair also indicates that the maximum PSU length is 200mm, but technically there is nothing blocking the PSU compartment and even longer units can be installed. Of course, considering that >200mm units also tend to have a >1.4kW output, that would be the very definition of overkill inside a case such as this.
As far as stock cooling is concerned, the case ships with three Corsair A1225L12S-2 120mm fans installed from the factory. Two can be found behind the front mesh and one at the top of the case, above the CPU area. These sleeve bearing fans have been designed with silence in mind, with a maximum speed of 1300RPM.
Black cables and parts are easily hidden inside an all-black chassis; for visual clarity, we are using an AX760i PSU with a red cable pack and white SATA cables for our pictures. Building a system inside the Corsair Carbide Air 240 is a very simple and straightforward procedure. The spacious format and the tool-less expansion card locking mechanism allow for the very quick assembly of a full system. For those that care about a great visual effect as well, we believe that most of the assembly time will be spent optimizing the routing of the cables.
With a full Micro-ATX system installed in the Carbide Air 240, we found that we had a lot of space available for cable management in the right side of the case, with much of it needlessly taken by the long wires of the Corsair AX760i PSU depicted in the gallery above. We believe that it will not be long before short cable sets become available for specific fully modular PSUs that fit high performance compact systems, such as this one. You will most likely still have to use a long CPU power cable though, as the cable has to be routed above the motherboard and there is no opening at the top left side of the motherboard tray. Also, it is worthwhile to note that a Micro-ATX motherboard will block the first row of grommets, which are obviously meant for Mini-ITX motherboards instead.
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blackmagnum - Friday, August 15, 2014 - linkCool case. I hope the Lan gaming boys receive it with open arms, but without a handle it won't be moving anywhere.
The_Assimilator - Friday, August 15, 2014 - linkWith one hand Corsair giveth, with the other they taketh away... Air 540 had no 3.5" mounts behind the motherboard but two 5.25" bays; this case has three 3.5" mounts but no 5.25" bays.
What we really need is an Air 550, which would be the Air 540 with 3.5" mounts behind the motherboard tray. GET IT RIGHT CORSAIR.
3DoubleD - Friday, August 15, 2014 - linkI have the opposite opinion. Kill 5.25" with fire. Never use it and it takes up tons of space. Optical disc drives now belong outside the case - especially one this small (if you even bother to get one! - I haven't used mine in 4 years).
3DoubleD - Friday, August 15, 2014 - linkI don't think I drank enough coffee before I posted, you aren't saying they should put in a 5.25" bay into this case, my bad.
notlurking - Friday, August 15, 2014 - linkMany still need the 5.25". Someone needs to do the rips that you download. If this were a tiny case, I'd understand the lack of an external 5.25. But it's 15.75" deep!
HisDivineOrder - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - linkMany may still need 5.25", but "most" of them only "need" it occasionally. As such, "most" are fine using a USB optical drive for that occasional need.
The_Assimilator - Friday, August 15, 2014 - linkIt takes up a lot of space, but some people (e.g. those with fan controllers, like me) do require it. And I also haven't used an internal optical drive in half a decade or so.
Grok42 - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link99.9% of the cases still have a 5.25" bay. If you are still living in 1999 then by all means don't buy this case. For a lot of people, this case will be on the short list of just a few rare cases that leave behind physical media.
MadMan007 - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - linkI don't understand the whole push against 5.25" bays. They are *universal bays* that can be used for any number of things, including a HDD, fan controller, optical drive, card reader, etc etc or just left empty. What's the problem with having them in a case that isn't ultra-compact to begin with?
nissefar - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - linkBecause most people do not have an use for it anymore and makes cases larger than necessary.