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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  • kyuu - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I love the Carbide Air 540, and have been planning on using it for my next build (or perhaps just transplanting my current one, since I've yet to feel compelled to upgrade my overclocked Sandy Bridge system). The idea of a smaller one is great, since the relative girth of the 540 is one of its only drawbacks, as far as I'm concerned.

    However, the fact that you can't fit radiators unless you go down to a mini-ITX mobo, which only have one PCIe slot I believe, kind of kills it. They also really should have found a way to add a slimline optical drive slot.
  • Antronman - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    No 5.25" inch drive bay?

    I mean, you can't find any room for anywhere in there?
  • Grok42 - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    If they do find room, I hope they add more 3.5" or 2.5" internal bays.
  • notlurking - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    Why would you need a few more 3.5" bays? That's what a NAS is for. The Air 540 looks like a great NAS case from the outside but needs a serious redesign on the inside to make it useful in that function.

    I don't know what Corsair was thinking. There is so much empty space in that case. It looks great on the outside but doesn't work on the inside for any specific role.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    They might be able to fit a slimline above the front fans. Maybe not, it'd be tight due to the 45* bevel on the top edge. The only way they could get a full size bay in without making the case bigger would be to put it in vertically below the 2.5" bays (and shift the front panel connectors around). It'd work for fan controllers or optical drives there; but probably not bay reservoirs. OTOH you could shoehorn in a small non-bay res into that space now.
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    It's 2014, why do those graphs have gradient backgrounds?

    If this was a middle schooler's first powerpoint, then I'd be forgiving. Nope, it's a modern tech blog's technical presentation.

    You don't have to have 100% flat diagrams, but a little minimalism could go a long way.
  • juhatus - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    Thanks for great article, again! Few comment:

    Please post the component listing you used for this? Would be great starting point for build.

    Also please post on conclusion what are the main competitors (even few examples) for this case. I´m right about to order something like this with mini-itx, Z97 and 4790k. I´m kind of liking Cooler Master 130 but it would need to be white so no go. I am having really hard time deciding what case to go for :)
  • know of fence - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    A picture with the cooler mounted would be appreciated.

    People, please stop buying these double shoe-box form factors and closed loop water coolers. Both are inferior alternatives to what is out there: real men buy towers and tower coolers.

    This whole market segment exists because people try to be cute and think "out-of-the-box" making the same mistake, but some alternatives just aren't worth considering. A PC goes on the floor where it's least in the way and furthest from one's ears, this thing you could put on a shelf, but wouldn't you rather have the shelf space?
  • kyuu - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    CLC coolers are a perfectly good alternative to giant, heavy air tower coolers. They're also really, really good for cooling GPUs. I'm planning on using a CLC on both my CPU and GPU for my next build.

    Towers are fine, but cubes work well too, and having two separate compartments for the components like the Air makes a lot of sense. It's also a helluva lot easier to assemble. The 240 is too small, though, unless you're fine with mini-ITX. Have to go with the 540.
  • juhatus - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    If you ask the miss, than you should be buying a ultrabook of the size 11", or why not just buy an IPAD. These are harsh realities some men live. So its mini-itx or ipad, you choose.

    Ill take mini-itx.

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