Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review

May 3, 2017 // 2:11 p.m.

Tags: #atx #corsair #corsair-carbide-series-spec-04-review #mid-tower

Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review

Manufacturer: Corsair
UK price (as reviewed):
£54.98 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $49.99 (ex tax)

The Spec-04 is a new budget offering from Corsair that comes in three colour options whereby the front panel highlights can be either grey, red, or yellow. We've been furnished with a sample of the former, which has the most neutral colour scheme, but the other two could certainly be useful if you're planning a colour-coordinated build, especially given that the Spec-04 has a large side window.

Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review
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For the price, build quality impresses. The steel roof is riveted in place, and both side panels are extruded. The left is a little weaker than the right and has a bit of flex to it on account of the massive window, but both are sturdy and securely attached to the case. You even get rubber feet – it's common to see foam instead at this price, but rubber provides much better grip. Meanwhile, the plastic front panel is stronger than it is on many other cases of similar ilk, and the angular design with mesh sections makes for something that's not too boring and allows for airflow.

Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review
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Speaking of, a single 120mm fan is provided with the Spec-04. It's mounted as a front intake, which isn't the best choice for cooling – the rear exhaust position is – but Corsair is obviously prioritising aesthetics, as it's also an LED fan, and the white lights shine out clearly through the mesh. Users can boost case airflow by using the additional fan mounts – there are two more 120mm fans mounts in the roof, one in the rear, and one extra in the front, although you can potentially install a total of three fans up front provided you remove the internal HDD cage.

Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review
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Corsair has opted for a single front USB 3.0 port backed up by a secondary, slower USB 2.0 one alongside the must-have audio jacks. These connectors are neatly implemented down the right side, but while this makes for a clean look when looking at the case from its window side, it could be problematic for access if your setup would have the right side of the case against a desk leg or a wall.

Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 Review
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A second layer of tightly woven mesh is installed behind the porous parts of the front panel for dust filtering purposes. These filters are not independently removable, but it doesn't matter given that the front panel itself comes away cleanly from the case without dragging any I/O panel cables with it. A cheap but functional dust filter that protects the PSU intake fan is removable, but sadly the unfilled roof fan mounts are left unfiltered.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 201 x 492 x 433 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic
  • Available colours Black/grey, Black/red, Black/yellow
  • Weight 4.2kg
  • Front panel Power, reset, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
  • Drive bays 3 x 3.5"/2.5", 2 x 2.5"
  • Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
  • Cooling 2 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts (1 x 120mm LED fan included), 1 x 140mm/120mm rear fan mount, 2 x 120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 150mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 370mm
  • Extras Removable dust filters

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