Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 Review

Written by Antony Leather

August 15, 2014 | 14:01

Tags: #cube-case #micro-atx-case #mini-itx-case #water-cooling

Companies: #corsair

The interior is where things get very interesting and if anything, the Air 240 is even more intuitive and involved than its larger sibling. The cable routing is excellent and the case is very much focuses here on providing a pleasant home for both mini-ITX and micro-ATX motherboards with the routeing holes being staggered - the two nearest the motherboard are partially obstructed by micro-ATX boards, but are perfectly placed for mini-ITX boards.

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Likewise the three furthest away from the motherboard area are well-placed for micro-ATX boards. The only down side here is that Corsair has only included a couple of small cable ties with the case - there are ample mounts in the rear chamber but as it stands you'll likely need far more to make things tidy and to be able to use the case to its full potential.

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There are two main drive mounts, both located in the second compartment with the PSU. There's a larger triple tool-free 3.5in/2.5in mount - this covers the CPU area cut-out on the motherboard tray but is removable, plus a trio of 2.5in tool-free drive mounts in a cage at the front pointing upwards - if you have the case in its vertical position that is. All of the actual tool-free trays slide out - the 3.5/2.5in ones to the rear of the case and the dedicated 2.5in ones to the top for easy access once you've popped off the top panel. With six drive mounts available, this should be ample for most people's need too.

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Cooling-wise there are three 120mm fans included as standard, which is good to see from a £70 case of this size. Two are located in the front - no prizes for guessing these act as intakes, while the third is in the roof to act as an exhaust. Something that Corsair has employed here, and fair extensively, is the use of adjustable fan mounts. These are are essentially rails that span the length of the base and roof either side of the motherboard, and allow you to mount fans wherever you like.

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This could be useful for avoiding motherboard VRM heatsinks or directing airflow straight into your GPU's fan for example. The rear of the case sports two 80mm fan mounts and Corsair has learned from criticisms of the Air 540 and included a 120mm side fan mount too, which you could use to draw out warm air from the storage/PSU chamber.

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Clearance wise there's 290mm for graphics cards up to the front fans and potentially the one fly in the ointment for air-cooling, which is a 120mm height limit on CPU coolers. As we mentioned earlier, the front panel and both fixed plastic panels are all removable and provide great access to the fan mounts - this of course means that the case is fairly water-cooling friendly too. A lot will depend on which size motherboard and graphics card you opt for - micro-ATX or very long graphics cards will mean that things are fairly limited, with room for half-height radiators and a single row of fans in the front.

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The roof is largely out of action here as it's so close to the motherboard, but if you opt for a mini-ITX motherboard, this opens up considerable potential. Not only do you have room for full-height dual 120mm-fan radiators in the front, but there's also room for a half height dual 120mm-fan radiator in the base too, without interfering with dual slot graphics cards. Again you'll be limited by the length of your graphics card but some of the shorter-length PCB models still give you enough room for a decent sized radiator in the front.

One issue, though, is the length of dual fan radiators in the front. Half-height models seem to be smaller but anything with large bulges at one end for the fittings or top-mounted ports (which need blanking plugs) could mean there's not enough clearance. We had a fairly chunky XSPC RX240 to hand and this has a height of 278.5mm and a little more with the G1/4in plugs, which JUST squeezed in, either with the fans at the front or behind, but we could never secure all the screws.

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This isn't too much of an issue - we usually got two thirds of them in so it was never going anywhere, even bouncing around in the back of a car. However, for a perfect fit, you'll need something less high, such as XSPC's EX240 and sadly this means anything much longer than 280mm including blanking plugs (make sure these are taken into account in the measurement as they often aren't) simply won't fit.

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While there are no 5.15in bays, there's plenty of room for pumps and reservoirs in either chamber - given the choice we'd probably opt for a Laing DDC and reservoir top and located this below the graphics card although the rear chamber is possibly a better option as it wouldn't restrict room for radiators.

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Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 Review Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 Review - Interior
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The tool-free PCI expansion slot latch works well too and the ability to tip the case on its side coupled with the fact each chamber is so shallow makes building a system into the Air 240 blissfully easy, although again, we'd ask Corsair to beef-up their cable routing accessories - some adhesive cable clips or larger cable ties would make a world of difference, especially as the Air 240 sports excellent cable routeing.
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