Corsair Carbide Air 540 Reviewred454 - October 22, 2013
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Corsair Carbide Air 540 Conclusion:
The Corsair Carbide Air 540 sets your idea of what a computer case should look like on edge. This is a bold step for Corsair, and they have done it with near perfect execution. The quality is top notch, which is certainly no surprise from Corsair. The fit and finish, particularly the way the top and front vent covers fit together impressed me. The compact case size is deceiving - there is plenty of space for an attractive build. The included AF140L fans are quiet and move plenty of air. The two-chamber design indeed improves air flow and helps to keep temps down. It took me a little while to get used to the sideways optical drive, but that was no big deal. Don't let the compact size fool you, as the Air 540 can handle an E-ATX (Extended ATX) motherboard with ease.
After you build enough systems, it really becomes hard to differentiate one case from another - what I mean is that from one case to another, things aren't that much different. Sure, each manufacture tries to put a little different spin on it, but at the end of the day, for the most part, the layouts are similar. What the Air 540 does is break up the usual flow and allow a different approach to your build. Corsair brings a fresh alternative to how things are done, and that is what excites me about this case.
I really like the Air 540 - so much that I have decided to use it as the case for my current personal system. I can add the Air 540 to my other list of Corsair components - memory, power supply, fans, CPU cooler, and solid state drives. So what is it about this case that draws me to it? Is it the shape, the unconventional dual chamber design? The space? Well, yes, yes, and yes.
Through the entire review, I didn't come across anything that gave me any problems. No grumbling during the system build, no awkward cable stretching, or rerouting to get a plug to reach a socket. No "gee, it sure would have been nice if they did it this way." Nope - just a lot of fun and a really clean build. The Air 540 is available at Newegg for $129.99 and if you like something beyond the status quo, then this is certainly a case you should consider.
- Great air flow with Corsair's Direct Airflow Path™design
- Support for up to a 280mm top and 360mm front radiator
- Hot Swap bays (2)
- AF140L fans (3)
- Great cable management/space
- Tool-free drive bays
- Support for long GPUs
- Easy filter cleaning
- Compact size but not short on useable space