A unique enthusiast chassis
The Corsair Carbide Air 540 is a very unique case. It fits a full size ATX motherboard and up to four dual-slot graphics cards but it's shorter than you might expect thanks to a design choice that splits the active components from the mostly passive ones. The result is a case that is more square than rectangular yet still combines the charm of Corsair designs with the performance enthusiasts want.
For the best view of the case check out the video review below and then continue on for some additional photos and commentary.
Divided into two side by side compartments, the Air 540 has a unique front style merging a mesh look on the left with matte black paint on the right.
The right hand side includes two 5.25-in optical drive bays turned 90 degrees to fit in the smaller right hand compartment. Honestly, I am looking forward to the day that a case vendor is gutsy enough to leave off optical bays completely in an enthusiast design as I just think they take away from the overall appeal and looks.
Quick look at a low cost Carbide
Corsair continues its push into the case markets with yet another option, the Carbide 200R, bringing the price of entry down to sub-$50. Currently selling on Newegg.com for $45 with a coupon code, check out this quick video walkthrough of the latest case from Corsair!
After spending a bit more time with the case I can tell that for the price, the 200R is a pretty solid option. I am not a fan of the 2.5-in drive arrangement that puts the power and data cables out into the case rather than towards the back (like the 3.5-in drives have) just from a cleanliness point of view, but that's somewhat minor. Also worth noting is that even though we have a $50, and very light chassis, there aren't any sharp edges to cut you; Corsair did a good job rounding off the edges and having the metal fold back for a safe environment.
There are a TON of case options in the price range so it might be hard for the Carbide 200R to stand out with a simple Newegg/Amazon search, but I think the Corsair brand will help sift it to the top.
Corsair Carbide Series
Corsair's successful entry into the case world has taken quite a few people by surprise including consumers and many competitors in the case market. With the first Corsair Obsidian series, the 800D, Corsair standardized many features that were only seen in much more niche products like cable routing openings on the motherboard tray and fan filters. Since that release in September of 2009 we have seen the 600T in the Graphite series as well as the 700D and 650D added to the Obsidian.
When Corsair showed us the first versions of the Carbide series in Taiwan during Computex 2011, it was finally addressing the primary complaint that many had about its cases: price. The Carbide 500R can be found today for about $139 and the 400R for under $100.
The Corsair Carbide 400R (left) and 500R White (right)
Check out our video review of the pair of Carbide cases below!
You can find the Corsair Carbide cases for sale directly on the Corsair.com website or at Newegg.com:
My preference would be to get the 400R model with the noticeable price difference (relatively speaking) as it offers nearly identical performance and features, minus the larger side fan, very basic fan controller and removable drive cages. Both are top notch designs for the low-cost gamer though and earn our PC Perspective Gold Award!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 31, 2011 - 01:44 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, mid-tower, corsair, carbide
Corsair today launched a new series of mid-tower ATX computer cases aimed at budget gaming rigs. The 400R and 500R respectively, are the first of the Carbide series and will be available from Corsair and various online retailers starting in July.
The 400R is a dark gray steel structured, molded ABS plastic mid-tower enclosure that carries an MSRP of $99 USD. The case supports a 240mm radiator on the top of the case- which conveniently supports Corsair’s new Hydro coolers (LINKY)- as well as 4 120mm fan mounts and 6 120 or 140mm mounting points.
The 500R features the same construction materials; however, it differs in it’s configurations. The case features removable hard drive cages, multi-channel fan controller, 200mm side-mounted fan in addition to the aforementioned 400R’s fan options. The 500R has an MSRP of $129 USD.
The Carbide 400R's internals
Both cases include eight PCI-E slots for multi-graphics card setups. The 400R can fit GPUs up to 316mm long, whereas the 500R can accommodate graphics cards up to 452mm in length when one of the two hard drive cages are removed. Further, both cases feature a native SSD 2.5” drive bay, as well as two USB 3, one Firewire, one headphone and one microphone ports.
What do you think of the new Carbide cases? Will these become popular in budget DIY rigs?
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