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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  • MichaelD - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I've been looking for a small-ish case to build my new gaming PC in and this was looking so promising, until I saw that it has no 5.25" bay. For a daily-use PC at least one optical drive bay is mandatory. Some of us actually still buy our games on physical DVDs and it's nice to be able to burn a DVD or CD when you need to.
  • kmmatney - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Between my wife and 3 kids, and work, I have 10 computers in the house, and most of them share an external USB drive - and the need for that is rare. it would be nice if this supported a slim optical drive, though - those take little room.
  • brbubba - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I thought the same thing about my Air 540 because my water reservoir takes up the two 5.25" bays, but now that my DVDRom/CDRom is gone I haven't missed it. If you are still living in the 90's and haven't made the switch to Steam then just rip ISOs of all your games.
  • romrunning - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Take a look at Silverstone's SUGO series - specificially the mini-ITX SG05 model. It can take a very decently sized GPU, and you can buy the case with a 450W PSU. It has a 5.25" slot for a slimline SATA disc drive; buy the slimline SATA power adapter cable 'cause they don't include it. The Silverstone case is also significantly smaller than this case. Great gaming case for a single GPU!

    I bought it, and I love it. I use the disc drive for when I buy CDs on sale; it's cheaper to get whole CD of 11-14 tracks when on sale than it is to buy individual tracks as MP3 downloads. I can then rip the whole disc & add it to my music library.
  • Grok42 - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    Mandatory? I'm not sure that word means what you think it does. Do some people still buy physical media? Sure, but I can't understand why. Every game is available online and it doesn't require you juggle disks when changing games. If you don't have good Internet I could understand but then just use an external drive. Rip them as ISO files so you don't need it connected all the time. It really isn't that difficult. You can upgrade more important parts of your system with the $20 you save.
  • hapkiman - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I really like my Air 540, in fact its been the best case I've ever had. This one looks like its just going to be too cramped in there for good airflow. Plus its too wide to fit under an entertainment center.

    I'm not sold on this one.
  • brbubba - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    "We cannot really claim that it is a unique case, both because many cubic cases are available"

  • SirGCal - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I don't understand the non-need for an optical drive. I use mine for system images, backups, etc. I constantly use it nearly every day. Not to mention just to watch a movie while I'm working... Even on my laptop, I use the optical drive with some regularity. External drives never have interested me but with a case this huge, why isn't there one slot somewhere, even on the side? I just don't get it. I also have micro-ITX builds, smaller then this, but they still have an optical drive.
  • SirGCal - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    err Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX. I actually have both right now. Not a fan of the ITX honestly. One PCIe seems to be a problem when I want to use a PCIe SSD setup along with a deticated GPU. But that's another topic. Still, micro builds, for many of us, still need optical drives just for daily usage.
  • ZeDestructor - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    For most people, backups, system images and all manner of not commonly accessed data (like movies, game installer and the like) goes on external drives or NAS boxes, if only for the convenience.

    Meanwhile, a 100pc DVD-R spindle costs $23.68, which works out to $94.72 for ~2TB. A single 2TB 7200rpm HDD costs $93. In addition, the HDD is faster, rewritable and takes significantly less space, and much more convenient since you don't have to swap disks as often.

    Just yesterday I was helping a friend wrap up his NAS4Free install with ZFS (inside ESXi, fuck you VMware for removing RDMs from the vclient ui!), something he's doing to get a nice, always on, accessible anywhere library of media, mostly so that he can brick his PC(s) while watching movies on his projector.

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