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Pros: -Excellent ventilation out of the box with quiet but powerful 200mm front fan
-Spectacular modular design with 60% of the case being removable
-Great cable management with rear mounted velcro straps to hold cables
-High quality grommets that don't come out easily when running cables through
-PSU shroud and side plate both functional and aesthetically pleasing
-Excellent air and water cooling options
-Great storage capability that can be expanded with additional drop-and-lock trays for behind motherboard use
-Nice powder coated interior and exterior finish
-Front mounted I/O and USB for desktop and floor placement
-8 PCI-E slots for triple SLI and EATX motherboard support
-Filtration on top, bottom and front
-Long graphics card support with water cooling and front 3.5" disk cages installed
-PWM hub turns 3-pin fans into PWM controlled and works fine with PWM fans too (although uses voltage to control speed)
-Price is best-in-class
Cons: -Case becomes fairly flexible with Phanteks labelled side plate removed
-PSU shroud has grommet in strange spot for running graphics card PCI-E cables
-PSU rubber pads come off easily
-Motherboard tray not as rigid as I'd like
Other Thoughts: If you are in the market for a super-flexible full-tower case, this is probably the best choice. I personally love the boxy exterior and the black model has a nice faux brushed look to the front and top panels.
A large, high quality 200mm PH-F200SP fan is included in the front and another good PH-F140SP fan is included in the back for exhaust. You can go whole hog on it by putting two 140mm fans in the front quite easily by just removing four screws on the 200mm fan, sliding the 140mm fans in, and connecting them to the included PWM fan hub behind the motherboard tray. You can also use the top fan slots with up to 3x140mm fans as intakes for extra ventilation without worrying about dust because the top is filtered.
The front supports dual 140mm radiator with the optical bay and disk cages removed, or even a triple 140mm radiator if you don't attach the top fan to the case, as well as a top triple 140mm radiator for super water cooling. Since the optical bay, side plate, and all disk cages are removable via screws this is quite easy to do, and I have had an Alphacool Monsta 85mm thick 360mm radiator in front with a top mounted Alphacool 3x140mm (420mm) radiator up top. Top radiators only support push but that isn't an issue with the huge amount of water cooling available. If you want to keep some of the 3.5" disk cages you can remove the bottom drive cage and use the bottom dual 120mm fan mounts for another 240mm radiator. You can probably do a dual 140mm (280mm) radiator but I haven't tried that yet. The top of the case is fully removable by snapping off the front and top plastic panels and removing all the retaining screws for those water coolers who want to open the case, install their components and DiY loops and then re-install the top panel.
I love the black satin powder coating of the side panels and interior, and the finish is smooth and not glossy. The PSU shroud does a great job of helping to hide extra cables and there is ample cable management space behind the motherboard tray with a number of velcro straps to hold the cables tight to the motherboard tray so you don't have to force the right side panel on. My only issue in cable management is the cable grommet on the PSU shroud which is in a weird spot. I'd expect it would be top facing so that PCI-E power cables could be run straight to the video cards.
I've had dual water cooled Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X video cards in this case that are 290mm long and had ample room for a thick radiator and reservoir in the front, which is quite a feat.
My only gripe with the case, is that the motherboard tray is not as rigid as I'd like, and general case rigidity could be better. If the Phanteks labelled side plate is removed, the case twists a bit more than I'd like when the side panels are removed.
Also, the black version comes with a clear acrylic side window, but the white one with a tinted one, which is weird.
Otherwise, awesome case, easy to use, and joy to own.
-Feels generally well constructed
-Compact with nice proportions
-With a Mini ITX board fits up to 8 fans in motherboard chamber or up to dual 240mm radiators
-Large acrylic window
-Dual chamber design in a smaller form-factor than the Air 540
-Lots of storage options
-Three different orientations
Cons: -Too compact, needed to be between 1 to 2 cm wider
-Flimsy side panels
-Average filters in motherboard chamber
-Dual chamber design doesn't seem to keep a lot of things as cool as it should
-Scratch friendly acrylic window
Other Thoughts: First things first, they made a HUGE mistake in making the motherboard chamber so short! They needed to add 1-2cm in height as most normal video cards with top mounted PCI-E power cables have the cables touching and scratching the acrylic window! How did this pass design QA? Also any video card with a common water block will likely not fit in the case, or if it does, the top mounted water ports also scratch up the window. They needed to put a slight bulge in the side panel, side panel window, or just make the case another 1-2cm wider. I guess they just thought everyone would use an AIO with one of their HG10 brackets (which weren't available at the time this case came out) and it wouldn't be a problem, but they were wrong.
The side panels are pretty weaksauce, and sometimes vibrations can cause them to resonate a bit, so you have to make sure they're properly fastened, sometimes a bit tighter than usual. Also the PSU/storage chamber needs better airflow. Be careful of orienting the case with the PSU on the bottom and the window on top, as the warm air might rise into the motherboard area, which isn't a big deal if you have good exhaust fans, but be warned.
It's a very good-looking, possibly even cute case that has a lot of potential, but if you're going to go Mini ITX just get a Graphite 380T which is a better built, and generally better thought out case than the Air 240. If you are heart-set on getting a cube case, the Fractal Design Node 804, while a bit less attractive, is a much better designed cube case that has fewer compromises with Micro ATX boards, supports lots of cooling, and is generally a lot easier to work in.
This review is from: Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 RED LED Black ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
-Full size window
-Bump on left side panel for extra cable management space
-Bump on right side panel for larger air coolers
-USB 3.0 port on front
-Fine mesh dust filter on front
-Top dual 120mm fan has H100/H100i support providing motherboard and RAM height does not exceed I/O shield height
-Nice red bar on top
-Case is painted then assembled, rare in cheaper cases, making it more mod-friendly than other cases
-Cable holes for both ATX and Micro ATX motherboards
Cons: -Only one included fan
-Somewhat ugly and garish bezel
-A bit on the flimsy side
-No provision for front mounted 240mm radiator whilst keeping 3.5" disk cage unlike Spec-02/03
-No removable top panel like Spec-02/03
-No cable grommets on cable management holes
-Some more flexible cases for nearly the same price.
Other Thoughts: I have used this as well as the Spec-03, and there are subtle differences. The bump on both side panels is not as pronounced giving it a slightly more refined and conservative appearance.The front bezel is also not as overdone stylistically as the Spec-02/03 and is a bit flatter, so it doesn't look as much like Bane from Batman. It also has a built-in fine dust filter. There is space in front and on top for dual 120mm fans, and space in front for dual 140mm fans if needed for better cooling. Keep in mind, that the front does NOT support 280mm radiators like the Corsair H110 or NZXT Kraken X61, only fans. Corsair does not indicate H100/H110 support anyway.
For water cooling, the top can support an H100/H100i or any other 240mm based radiator as long as you are using low profile memory and don't have any components that exceed the height of the I/O shield as the fans are off-set towards the left to maximize motherboard clearance in this fairly narrow case. Unlike the Spec-02/03 the top fans do not have a dust filter, but they would usually be used for exhaust anyway. My one pet peeve with this case is that if you want to fit a front radiator like an H100 or H100i you have to remove the 4x3.5" bottom drive cage. Unlike the Spec-02/03 it doesn't allow you to place a radiator between the disk cage and case frame and put fans in the bezel. You can put fans in the bezel but there is only 10mm of space between the disk cage and case frame. The Spec-02 and 03 support an H100 in the front by having you remove the disk cage, install the rad/fans and then replace the disk cage because there is 30mm of space between the disk cage and front of the frame.
I do like the fact that the case is painted and then assembled. A lot of cases these days are assembled, then painted so if you want to remove a component, like I did with the optical disk bays, you are left with ugly, unpainted steel. With the Spec-01 I removed the optical bay by drilling out rivets, but was pleasantly surprised by a fully painted front metal panel in the chassis. Well done! I plan on putting a 360mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator on top for a compact and powerful gaming system. Unfortunately I have to find a way to double sided tape my SSDs somewhere, or find an alternative disk cage assembly to install on the bottom further from the front panel to have storage. The 4x3.5" cage is too tall to allow me dual graphics cards if I place it set back on the floor, so a dual 3.5" like the Obsidian 350D would have been better. The metal is thin in some places, but the case is fairly rigid for such a light box. In this price range, I'd probably recommend the Silverstone PS11, NZXT S340 (if you don't need optical bays), or Fractal Design Core 2300/2500. This is still a good case, just not up there with the best. For those interested in a more reserved version, the upcoming Carbide 100R is the exact same chassis with nicer front bezel like the Carbide 200r.
Display Name: Demosthenes E.
Date Joined: 06/07/10
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