Corsair Carbide Air 240 Interior

Regardless of the external color of the case, the interior of the Carbide Air 240 is all black, with the sole exception being the grey stock cooling fan blades. The chassis is made from relatively thin SECC steel, but it offers adequate mechanical strength for the small size of the case, which is further supported by the motherboard tray. As we mentioned before, the Carbide Air 240 is split in two sections; the left section houses the main system, while the PSU and drives go to the right section.

There are several holes on the motherboard tray, covered with rubber grommets, for the cables to be routed between the two sections. The design dictates that, for the best possible visual result, the cables should be routed away from the system and into the opaque right compartment. For additional cable management, Corsair punched a few cable tie mounting points in the right compartment of the case. There is a large opening behind the CPU area as well, for the installation of CPU coolers, but it is blocked by the 3.5" drive cage. The cage has to be removed in order to access the rear of the CPU socket.

Motherboards of up to Micro-ATX size can be installed in the Carbide Air 240, but there is a catch: if you do install a Micro-ATX motherboard, you cannot install a liquid cooling radiator at the bottom of the case. You also cannot really install one at the top panel either, since the fan alone is just a hair away from the top of the motherboard. Therefore, you basically need to choose between two GPUs and a Micro-ATX motherboard, or two large liquid cooling radiators and a Mini-ITX motherboard (presumably with one GPU).

There are limitations for those of you who will be using air coolers as well. The clearance for an air cooler is about 124mm, which is ample for many air coolers but not enough for top-tier products. Super-tall air coolers, such as the Noctua NH-D15, will not fit inside the Carbide Air 240. Corsair also indicates that the maximum PSU length is 200mm, but technically there is nothing blocking the PSU compartment and even longer units can be installed. Of course, considering that >200mm units also tend to have a >1.4kW output, that would be the very definition of overkill inside a case such as this.

As far as stock cooling is concerned, the case ships with three Corsair A1225L12S-2 120mm fans installed from the factory. Two can be found behind the front mesh and one at the top of the case, above the CPU area. These sleeve bearing fans have been designed with silence in mind, with a maximum speed of 1300RPM.

Black cables and parts are easily hidden inside an all-black chassis; for visual clarity, we are using an AX760i PSU with a red cable pack and white SATA cables for our pictures. Building a system inside the Corsair Carbide Air 240 is a very simple and straightforward procedure. The spacious format and the tool-less expansion card locking mechanism allow for the very quick assembly of a full system. For those that care about a great visual effect as well, we believe that most of the assembly time will be spent optimizing the routing of the cables.

With a full Micro-ATX system installed in the Carbide Air 240, we found that we had a lot of space available for cable management in the right side of the case, with much of it needlessly taken by the long wires of the Corsair AX760i PSU depicted in the gallery above. We believe that it will not be long before short cable sets become available for specific fully modular PSUs that fit high performance compact systems, such as this one. You will most likely still have to use a long CPU power cable though, as the cable has to be routed above the motherboard and there is no opening at the top left side of the motherboard tray. Also, it is worthwhile to note that a Micro-ATX motherboard will block the first row of grommets, which are obviously meant for Mini-ITX motherboards instead.

Corsair Carbide Air 240 Case Exterior Testing and Results
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  • HisDivineOrder - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    They take up too much space for too little gain. That space could be more 3.5" slots or even an open place for a fan.
  • lexluthermiester - Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - link

    Yup that's what he said. Wake up before you open your flap-trap.
  • Etern205 - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    I guess you haven't been old enough or encounter more, to know the nightmare it was to deal with external optical drives when they first arrived. I still remember when I had to use a external optical drive a few times to reinstall the OS on laptops where their internal optical drives had died or those that don't come with one. The problem is they're not that well built and the laptop itself as well as the bios also played a part.
    So this is what happens.
    1. Not all USB ports plays nicely with USB optical drives, some will let it detect, but after a few minutes it mysteriously disconnects and then I had to power off the laptop and power it back on to let it find it again.
    2. Some USB ports refuses to even detect any USB optical drives even after I changed to different brands, them USB cables, or even use one of those a internal optical drives connected via a SATA to USB adapter kit.
    3. If I was lucky enough to begin the installation, I have to have my fingers crossed hoping the USB optical drive does not crap out during the middle of the installation and if it did, I have to restart the installation. The worst parts is finishing the installation up to 99% and then the USB optical drive craps out, so basically that's like a whole hour or so wasted for nothing.
    4. Some laptops and USB optical drives have a mind of its own. they either want to work or don't work. With all these problems and weird behaviors, what used to be a simple install of the OS, has become a day of hell, just to get something that simple to complete, if their internal optical drive was working or it had one in the first place.
    While they might have now improved, they had left a bad rep, therefore I still prefer a internal optical drive and cases should comes with at least one 5.25" bay. If you don't see the need to use a internal optical drive, then that 5.25" bay can be used for something else like adding a Hotswap SSD/HDD kit. or a LCD fan controller.
    I say Kill USB optical drives with fire and throw them stupid crap built laptops in alone with it.
  • Refuge - Friday, August 21, 2015 - link

    I remember building in the 90's.

    To think external optical drives today are anything like the external drives of old, I guess you are just too old to build computers today?

    Also back then, the simple work around was to take an internal drive, and just set it in the bottom of the case and hook it into the Mobo that way. I think you just lack imagination.
  • Kevin G - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I'll second the idea of additional 3.5" bays behind the motherboard. Also make them hot swap and then the case would be ideal for a DIY NAS or HTPC with redundant storage.
  • lexluthermiester - Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - link

    Totally with you!
  • coburn_c - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Why do they ruin everything with garish plexy. Case windows should be an add-on option, industry wide.
  • Infernus - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I agree, that's the only gripe I have with my 540 (and soon to be 240 when it eventually arrives).

    On a side note, I don't know why Apple doesn't offer the original NeXT Cube case in mATX/ATX format - I know I would pay good money for it.
  • notlurking - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Apple doesn't even have to do it! The NeXT Cube design patents expired years ago. I don't understand why, despite ten years of everyone saying they want a cube, that no manufacturer makes one. The next cube was 12"x12"x12" with a microATX sized motherboard, 1x3.5" bay and 1x5.25" bay.

    The 1x3.5" bay is need for SD slot or fan controller. Every laptop and All-in-one PC for the past ten years has had an SD slot yet only LianLi builds an SD slot in their case. The 1x5.25" bay is necessary because someone needs to do the rips that everyone else downloads.

    Many people have bought NextCubes and modded them into PC's. I don't have time for modding but I'd pay for a 13"x13"x13" cube case.

    The Carbide Air is so close to perfect, but I won't buy a 15.75" deep case that doesn't have a 5.25" bay.
  • zlandar - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    The 12.4" height is too large to fit most entertainment consoles. My console has two fairly large shelves and the max height is 8.5". Not a ding since the author mentioned the case was not specifically designed for HTPC use but something to consider for people considering it.

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