Popping open the side panels reveals a huge area in which to work. However the most surprising thing was how few 3.5in bays there are. There's just two. That's it. Clearly this is going to be enough for most people, and they are hot-swappable too, but even the Carbide 200R
can house four hard disks. When we first saw it the Carbide Air 540 struck us as prime workstation and server territory, but clearly this isn't the case.
Cooling isn't something we can lecture Corsair on, though, as there's an awesome amount of potential here. We're not talking Obsidian 900D topping stuff, but the Carbide Air 540 has room for a dual 120 or 140mm-fan radiator in the roof, and either a dual 140mm or triple 120mm radiator in the front, with a 140mm fan mount providing a willing home for a 140mm-fan radiator at the rear. Something else that impressed us was the inclusion of three Corsair AF140L 140mm fans, which normally retail for around £15 a piece - not bad in a case that costs less than a £120.
As standard two of the fans are located in the front as intakes with the third fan acting as an exhaust at the rear. The top and front grilles pop off for easy access when installing radiators and there are plenty of places to mount a tube reservoir or pump internally too. As we've already eluded to, cable routing in the Carbide Air 540 is excellent, with plenty of rubber grommet-lined holes surrounding the motherboard tray. Installing a system and routing cables is made beautifully simple thanks to the fact you just pop the cables through from the power supply next door.
The dark side of the case, as it were, houses the two rotated 5.25in bays and a nifty tool-free SSD cage that can cater for up to four drives. This was blissfully simple to use, with the heavy-duty clips at the top simply snapping into place when you slot your SSD in. The PSU is housed in the base, and is supported on several stands, once of which is a adjustable and acts to secure it in place.
The 5.25in bay cage is a bit of an eyesore but could provide a handy place to mount a pump or 3.5in to 5.25in bay adaptors if you're desperate for another couple of hard disks. There's simply so much room here that even our ten second effort at cable routing doesn't look horrendous. Even the most impatient of us should find it easy to end up with something you'd be proud to take to a LAN party.