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Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 RED LED Black ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: -Compact
-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
-Inexpensive

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.

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Thermaltake Core V31 CA-1C8-00M1WN-00 Black ATX Gaming Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Great bang-for-the-buck case 03/06/2015

This review is from: Thermaltake Core V31 CA-1C8-00M1WN-00 Black ATX Gaming Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: -Compact
-Water cooling friendly
-Air cooling friendly with 8 fan spaces
-Dust filtered
-Great storage options
-Inexpensive
-Modular design with all disk and optical bays removable, and even the top of the case can be removed via screws to ease integration
-Large window to show off your components

Cons: -Paint could be better, care must be taken
-Front optical bay screws aren't easy to remove/replace
-Metal is thin and light, though strategic rigidity folds help keep it from flexing
-Bottom dust filter should be of the "slide out" variety
-Only two grommets for cable management holes

Other Thoughts: This case is excellent accomodating needs of air or water-cooling lovers. With 8 fan spaces (2 bottom, 2 front, 3 top, 1 in back) you can easily run it in positive air pressure mode to keep dust out, all the while keeping your components nice and cool, and it helps that the bottom, front, and top fans are all dust-filtered, and the front and top support both 120 and 140mm fans. Only the rear fan is not dust-filtered, but this is generally used for exhaust. The front and top dust filters are easily removed for cleaning, and in good spots to vacuum out if need be. The top dust filter hides screws and fans to some extent and actually makes the case look better. It is magnetically attached to the case so removal is extremely easy. The front dust filter is integrated into the front panel, but the front panel does not hold any I/O cables or secure any fans, so pulling it off is easy because the I/O ports are secured to the metal chassis, not the panel. The bottom dust filter is the same plastic perforated mesh as front and top filters, but it is secured with metal tabs and you really have to lift the case to remove or vacuum it out. A filter that slides out towards the front would be preferable in this scenario, but this does look to be a cost-cutting measure for an economy case.
In terms of water cooling, a 120mm based radiator will fit at the top as long as there are no components sticking out of the motherboard taller than the I/O shield, so low profile RAM is a good idea in this scenario. Up to a 360mm radiator can be top-mounted with a limit of 35mm for the radiator and 25mm for the fans, and this allows both optical bays to be occupied, or a front-mounted 360mm radiator, which requires removing the optical bay trays via thumbscrews. For top mounted 240mm radiators, almost any thickness is supported regardless of what radiator you mount in the front or what you have in the optical bays. In addition the top of the case comes off via 8-10 screws to help mount a radiator and fans, and then re-attach to the case. The only place you can mount a 280mm radiator is in the front, as the top fan mounts are for 140mm FANS ONLY. The manual is explicit with that, so a Kraken X61 or Corsair H110 radator are only supported in the front! A bottom mounted 240mm radiator is only supported with power supplies 165mm or shorter to have enough room for modular cables.

Storage options abound. There are 4 SSD/2.5" hard disk slots behind the motherboard tray, but only two SSD/2.5" sleds. Hopefully more can be bought here or straight from Thermaltake in the future, as this is a really handy feature allowing up to 4 SSD or 2.5" drives out of sight, and with good cable management room behind the motherboard tray. The front 3-disk cage can be removed or relocated in cases where you want a 240mm radiator at the bottom of the case.
My only nitpicks with this case are that the paint is thin, the metal is slightly thin, though still rigid, and the bottom fan-filter. Awe

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Galaxy 78XNH5DV8PXV G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 780 HOF 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card - Retail
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Quiet, Fast, only 780 with a white PCB, , looks good,overclocks well

Cons: Noisy with Hyper Boost

Other Thoughts: I bought this card last week from Newegg even with some of the dubious reports of throttling and VRM issues. I can't be happier. The card is extremely quiet at load, and I received one with the latest BIOS which solves the down-clocking issue. The card at stock with Hyper Boost OFF goes to 1.11 ghz on load and doesn't exceed 64 celsius on my open test bench. I overclocked it to 1.2 ghz with MSI Afterburner and it stayed quiet. I needed to turn on HyperBoost to get this going, but Hyper Boost turns the fans on 100% which gets noisy. The fans are quiet, but the sound of the rush of air is overwhelming. I have a water block for this for a custom white build from EK and I look forward to having a quieter card. Without Hyper Boost though, the card is cool and very quiet. It is one of the quietest cards I've ever used.

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Demosthenes E.'s Profile

Display Name: Demosthenes E.

Date Joined: 06/07/10

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 08/15/12
  • Last Review: 03/06/15
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