Corsair Carbide Air 540 Reviewred454 - October 22, 2013
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Corsair Carbide Air 540 Closer Look:
The Air 540 is a mid-tower case, but it reminds me a little of a mini fridge you would take to college and not in a bad way. It just departs from the typical computer case architecture, which I believe Corsair's plan was to break the mold, and in a big way. Immediately you notice the short, wide stance. Regardless of the manufacturer, there is really a common flow to the usual upright case, so the shape of the Air 540 catches you off guard. Even after a quick glance, you can't really mix the Air 540 up with any other case.
Across the front, you can see two large intake fans hiding behind the front panel. I am really curious about how the inside is laid out. I really like the design of the front and top panels, they just scream "Air Flow!".
Now when we look at the rear of the case, again we have a major departure from the standard, which may throw you off balance. You know what everything is, but it still takes you a moment to take it all in. I see eight expansion slots, one exhaust fan, two small and one large vented panel, the mother board rear I/O opening, and the spot for a side mounted power supply.
The side window is huge and you can show off everything but your power supply. The back panel is vented for the power supply intake. Both panels are secured with thumb screws. The side covers are painted metal and have a durable finish. The top and front fascia are black plastic and have a very nice matte black finish, but be careful as the matte finish can be easily scuffed.
Below the top cover you can see the top mounting provisions for up to a 280mm radiator. There are holes on top for two 120mm or 140mm fans (not included). With the power supply mounted on the side, you won't find the typical bottom air filter. But there are some fairly large holes to allow air to circulate past your two Hot Swap hard drive bays. There is a recessed area that looks like a filter location, but no filter. The case sits on four rectangular rubber feet. There is about a half inch of clearance from the bottom of the case to the ground. We aren't really relying on that area for air intake, like you do when your power supply pulls air from the bottom, so the clearance isn't an issue at all.
Just below the optical drive bays (from left to right), we have the reset button, hard drive activity light (white LED), and then the power button (with center mounted white LED). Next there are the microphone and headphone jacks and finally two USB 3.0 ports. The intensity of the LEDs is just right.