Corsair Carbide Air 540 Reviewred454 - October 22, 2013
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Corsair Carbide Air 540 Introduction:
Corsair has been around since 1994, initially being know as a supplier of top-notch memory. Over the years though, Corsair has gained a strong reputation for SSDs (Solid State Drives), power supplies, CPU coolers, computer cases, as well as a wide range of gaming hardware. OCC readers are no stranger to Corsair products and I'll bet that most of you have at least one Corsair component in your system.
Today we have the Corsair Carbide Air 540, which is the latest addition to the Carbide Series of cases and is Corsair's first foray into the cube style case design. This case uses a dual chamber approach to cooling and Corsair refers to this as its Direct Airflow Path™ design to deliver cool air to your components. They locate the power supply and SSDs in a separate chamber and there isn't a hard drive cage tower to hinder air flow from the front fans. This allows the main chamber to be less cluttered and give the front intake air a nice direct path past your motherboard and PCI-e components. In addition to the case layout change, we also have a couple of internal hot swap bays to check out.
This is certainly a different looking case. Not tall and narrow as most mid-tower (and full-tower) cases are, but short and wide, like a cube. I like it already and I'm anxious to see what is inside.
Corsair Carbide Air 540 Closer Look:
The front of the box shows a plain graphic of the case and we have a plain brown box with black text and a nice graphic on the front and back sides. The exploded view gives you an idea of all the components before you ever get it out of the box. Both sides and front of the box highlight the features. It supports a 280mm radiator in the top and in front a 360mm radiator.
The sides of the box are identical and show the specs as well as three illustrated views of the case.
The large, thick Styrofoam end caps keep everything well protected and instead of the usual clear plastic bag, to my surprise the case is enveloped in a black cloth bag. Even though I know what is in the bag, it still seems mysterious, like this is some sort of colossal unveiling at a special VIP event. No one is allowed to see inside until the proper time. Maybe Houdini is in there? Ok, I'm being silly, but It really does add a touch of class and elegance - like the way the owner's manual for an expensive car often comes in a fancy leather case.
And here we are out of the box, um...I mean bag. The side window really lets you see inside, but first we will look over the exterior, which is our next stop!