Video Perspective: Corsair Carbide Air 240 Micro-ATX Case Review
It's so cool, and so tiny
Corsair continues to march down the path of making a PC case for just about every user imaginable. At Computex this past June, Corsair announced the Carbide Air 240 case, which is a smaller version of the very popular (and well reviewed) Carbide Air 540. These unique cases include two separate compartments: one for the motherboard, CPU, and graphics card and another for the power supply, storage, and miscellaneous cable clutter. The result is a sleek cube-shaped form factor that is easy to build inside.
Available in both black and white (with UV resistant paint), the $89/99 case fits both Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX motherboards allowing quite a bit of component flexibility.
A quick look at the front of the case shows the cube-like shape that both the Air 540 and Air 240 share, a form factor resulting from the dual-compartment design. The Corsair logo in the center can actually be rotated depending on the orientation of the case which itself can be rotated to allow the windowed case door to be the top of the case rather than the side.
A pair of USB 3.0 ports, power and reset buttons, and headphone and microphone connections are easy to access in either orientation.
The windowed side panel is quite large, comprising nearly the entirety of the side panel, allowing users to show off most of their PC hardware. Also, it only takes the removal of a couple of thumb screws to get the door off.
This view clearly shows the two compartment division of the Carbide Air 240 with the power supply on the left (along with SSDs and HDDs) and motherboard, GPU, and CPU on the right. If you have a properly built mATX motherboard you could actually still run either SLI or CrossFire in this system.
The opposite side panel doesn't have a window but does have support for a 120mm fan (internal) and also has an easily removable magnetic fan filter.
Removing the door shows the power supply, the HDD cage (top right), and the SSD cage (top left) as well as the cable routing for power and data through rubber grommeted openings between compartments.
If you take the cage cover off the back of the Air 240 you can easily access the three 3.5-inch screwless hard drive trays.
Turning back to the primary component section of the case, we were easily able to fit a powerful system inside. We have a Micro-ATX motherboard, Haswell processor cooled by a Corsair H80 self-contained liquid cooler, and a GeForce GTX 780 graphics card all while keeping the three included fans installed and working. There is plenty of room for a longer graphics card, and installation of a 240mm radiator is possible along the front of the case. (You can install one on the bottom as well if you are using a Mini-ITX motherboard rather than Micro-ATX.)
Further, the expansion cards use a screwless design where you can simply snap this rotating bracket in and out of place to lock cards in place. If you worry about movement during travel or shipping you can still use a screw for added security.
The top of the Air 240 comes off with a pair of thumb screws, revealing the installation location for top mounted fans and/or coolers.
The top of the Air 240 case also where you access the three 2.5-in hard drive / SSD tool-less trays for even more storage options.
Corsair ships the Carbide Air 240 without rubber feet pre-installed on the bottom of the case (though I show them after installation here). The reason: you can rotate the case 90 degrees to bring the window up top, allowing for a different case orientation completely. It's a great idea that allows some more customization options for your PC!
As a final parting shot, I thought I would show you the Radeon R9 295X2, one of the longest GPUs on the market, installed in the Carbide Air 240 with room to spare even with the 120mm water cooler required for this GPU. In fact, you could easily move the GPU radiator to the front of the chassis as well to make room for a dedicated CPU liquid cooler.
The truth is, the Carbide Air 240 is a great little case that you can pick up for under $100 that will accommodate just about any combination of hardware you can think of. The primary restriction is in the motherboard: it needs to be a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX design. Considering you can get Z97 as well as X79/X99 motherboards in mATX already, that means your options for filling the Air 240 are better than you might believe considering its small size.
A dual compartment design helps keep things cool by improving airflow over the hottest components while also making sure your design is clean when you want to show it off to your friends. The white color is sharp though it will show scratches and scuffs a bit easier than the classic black. You can find the Corsair Carbide Air for $89, shipping in early September.