Corsair Carbide Series AIR 540 Computer Case Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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Corsair Carbide Series AIR 540 Computer Case Review - Corsair is adding a somewhat nonconformist computer case design to its product stack with the AIR 540. Its product features tout better cooling, easier adaptation of high end air and water cooling, all while being a quieter solution. The AIR 540 looks to be a simple cube shape, but inside it holds an uncommon dual chamber design.
 
It seems like a great case, but I'm thinking they could have used the space behind the mobo quite a bit better. You should be able to fit some more hard drive cages back there, but oh well, can't have everything.
 
i'm guessing they looked at the haf xb and had to make their own version of it....only this thing has some vent holes in the back of the second half "chamber"

the 3.5" layout kinda ticks me off as theres only 2 in front and you gotta figure out something for the year just like the xb....definitely something to mod though

although i'm wondering if its possible to add a printer view so i can read everything on one page
 
It's a nice case, but a very interesting design choice to have 4 SSD/2.5" slots but only two standard 3.5" bays. Sure, it would work for most people but still kind of funny.

I'm still very impressed by the handling of the 3x SLI temperature wise. I think I'm going to need to add a side suck-hole to my case after just going to a 2x SLI.
 
I've had mine for a couple weeks and actually got to use it a good bit because of the holiday. I wasted some money on the Corsair Link Kit and configured it...it's great to have relative silence while surfing the net and then have the appropriate fans kick in when gaming.

I didn't actually like the stock fans very much. I had a rattle in one of mine that I'm sure I could have gotten replaced but I replaced them with 4 pwm fans for the control.
 
Am I the only one asking how practical it is to have vertical 5.25" drive bays if you have a tray-loading optical drive? :)
 
I was all for this case until i got to the part of it having only 2 -3.5" drive bays. Come on they could have given more and still keep that 2.5 rack. I've got 4 2 terabyte drives, plus my ssd boot drive so that kills this case for me. Too bad, I really like the design...:mad:
 
When does this case currently come out? Amazon says like 1-4 months for shipping :(
 
I really like this case, and since I'm only sporting a single SSD and a single spinning HDD, it should work fine for me.
I'm not really in need of a new case, but if I get the itch, this will be on my short list of options.
 
This is definitely my next case. I been drooling over it since I first saw the announcement. Thanks for the review!
 
Wow, this a really nice case!! Need to convince the wife to buy it for me!
 
I bought this case last week. It's really nice and all but the lack of dust filters on the bottom (below the hard drives) and power supply are a little nerving. Does anyone know of a good dust filter that can fit in these open areas? Doing a search on newegg only comes up with silverstone magnetic dust filters. Anyone have any opinion on those? Thanks.
 
Bought 1, thanks. Wish I could have waited for Amazon to ship.
 
When does this case currently come out? Amazon says like 1-4 months for shipping :(

Amazon can be weird with computer related stuff. Almost pulled the trigger a few times in the past on a video card, only to ultimately pass on it as ship time ranges often exceeded mail in rebate time windows! Wonder what is the true reason why something would be listed as 1 - 4 months shipping. Fun to imagine it is because of some variant to those Coors Light commercials. :D
 
I bought this case last week. It's really nice and all but the lack of dust filters on the bottom (below the hard drives) and power supply are a little nerving. Does anyone know of a good dust filter that can fit in these open areas? Doing a search on newegg only comes up with silverstone magnetic dust filters. Anyone have any opinion on those? Thanks.

Without measuring (anyone who has there, could you?) I'm going to guess the indent is about 140 x 2 in size... Try this from DEMCiflex. I have them on my HAF 922 and they work well, and are pretty easy to clean.

http://www.xoxide.com/demciflex-magneticfandustfilter-fordual140mmradsorcasevents.html

If I'm off on the size they make others, and can do custom sizes...
 
i'm guessing they looked at the haf xb and had to make their own version of it....only this thing has some vent holes in the back of the second half "chamber"

the 3.5" layout kinda ticks me off as theres only 2 in front and you gotta figure out something for the year just like the xb....definitely something to mod though

although i'm wondering if its possible to add a printer view so i can read everything on one page

Actually the Air 540 was in development for months before the XB was released.

We knew a lot of people would complain about having only two 3.5" drives, but we also know that less and less people are stocking up on storage drives in their main systems.

With the availability of 4TB drives, NAS boxes, and cloud storage like dropbox or google drive, a lot of people aren't storing HUGE amounts of data in their main system anymore.

I realize we're going to alienate some people, but the Air 540 was never designed to be a file server. We designed it to be a great case for overclocking and cooling.
 
Thank you for changing the text on the CPU coolers from 'largest' to 'tallest'.
 
Actually the Air 540 was in development for months before the XB was released.

We knew a lot of people would complain about having only two 3.5" drives, but we also know that less and less people are stocking up on storage drives in their main systems.

With the availability of 4TB drives, NAS boxes, and cloud storage like dropbox or google drive, a lot of people aren't storing HUGE amounts of data in their main system anymore.

I realize we're going to alienate some people, but the Air 540 was never designed to be a file server. We designed it to be a great case for overclocking and cooling.

Hey Redbeard any comments about a possible magnetic cover for the openings on the bottom? Just wondering. I ordered mine today, thanks!
 
Hey Redbeard any comments about a possible magnetic cover for the openings on the bottom? Just wondering. I ordered mine today, thanks!

In months of testing we never saw dust come in from those openings. However, since it's a popular request, we'll look into it for any future revision of the case.
 
Redbeard, another question for you if you don't mind...the way Steve oriented the case in the following photo:
image.html


Would the Air 540 be able to run like this consistently? Would it cause issues with the cooling? Assuming it's elevated a bit above the ground like in the picture as well.
 
I really, really like the Air 540 now that [H] has published a very thorough and detailed review. I'll be transferring my main system into this case as soon as I get one. Thanks for the review, [H]! :)
 
I'd really like to see a nice review of the 330R, it seemed like the 540 and it came out at the same time. Any chance you've gotten to use one yet, Redbeard, and if so what are your thoughts?
 
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Actually the Air 540 was in development for months before the XB was released.

We knew a lot of people would complain about having only two 3.5" drives, but we also know that less and less people are stocking up on storage drives in their main systems.

With the availability of 4TB drives, NAS boxes, and cloud storage like dropbox or google drive, a lot of people aren't storing HUGE amounts of data in their main system anymore.

I realize we're going to alienate some people, but the Air 540 was never designed to be a file server. We designed it to be a great case for overclocking and cooling.

You've made it on my short list for cases for my next build. I've been only optical and SSD drives for about two years now for my main rig. Moved all the hard drives to the freeNAS machine and been loving it.
 
Can you get it with a solid side instead of the window? I never have my computer where I can see the window and might throw in some sound matting.

I'd be interested to see what happens to the temps if you close off the top fan holes that are not being used in the test configs. I'd think you'd get more pressure and better temps near the vid cards.
 
Actually the Air 540 was in development for months before the XB was released.

We knew a lot of people would complain about having only two 3.5" drives, but we also know that less and less people are stocking up on storage drives in their main systems.

With the availability of 4TB drives, NAS boxes, and cloud storage like dropbox or google drive, a lot of people aren't storing HUGE amounts of data in their main system anymore.

I realize we're going to alienate some people, but the Air 540 was never designed to be a file server. We designed it to be a great case for overclocking and cooling.

i stand corrected then :)

it would be great to see a matx version of this design if thats at all possible....i'm going between getting this thing and a silverstone tj08-e case

only thing thats missing is a hinge design for easy closure like the one used on the 600T....i tend to bend standard door posts over time :(
 
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Does anyone know if an H100i would fit in the top? I have a crosshair v formula-z in a aerocool open case, which I really dig, it just takes up so much space in my room and have been thinking about this case.

Thanks!
 
a corsair product not fitting in a corsair case would be quite silly

it appears to fit 120 and 140mm types so it'd fit
 
Thank you for the review. I went ahead and ordered one straight from Corsair.

I had originally ordered one from Amazon, but the indeterminate shipping date scared me away.

If there was any change I would like to see, it would be for optional mounting of fans on the bottom of the case. It may be pointless, but it is still something I would have liked.
 
Just got the 350D which is a nice case as well. I'm not a big fan of the cube shaped cases. It seems you could add maybe a bit more depth and maybe shorten the width so it's between what it is and a regular size type case.
 
I have read and watched other reviews and the biggest complaint about this case was the build quality and the price. Many reviewers stated that the side panels were VERY flimsy and weakly constructed. There is also a lack of dust filers on the top, side PSU intake, and bottom where the HDD mounts are. The drive bays are rotated sideways, ensuring that any drive bay reservoir will not be compatible. The price tag (retail) is rather steep as well considering the build quality is lacking compared to other Corsair cases, and the lack of dust filtration on numerous areas. I love my Corsair 550D, but after reading reviews of recent corsair cases, I am starting to think they are sacrificing too much in the build quality to try and bring the price down (although not down far enough, considering the build quality). $100+ for a PC case is quite a lot and I really wanted to like the Corsair 540, but after comparing it to other cases out there in the same price range, I decided to get an Aerocool Xpredator X3 on sale for $80. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in Corsair. I am just hoping they "wow" me some time this year, like they did when they first introduced the Obsidian Series. But until then, I am going to have to stick with the best bang for my buck, and unfortunately, it isn't with Corsair. Come on Corsair, surprise me.
 
Almost found my true love, but 2x 3.5" bay is just not enough for me. I find it weird that they have more 2.5" bay for SSD than the standard HDD. Would have been perfect if it had 4x HDD and 2x SSD bay.
 
h100i fits easily. I'm uploading some photos of what I did with mine over the weekend. I took out the stock fans from the case and the h100i and replaced everything with Corsair's SP120 PWM fans. It worked out extremely well...I used the Corsair Link software to setup custom fan speeds for the 2 lower front fans. Their speed is based on the temperature of my hottest graphics card. The machine is under my desk right now and I can't hear it while I'm typing this up. When I'm gaming, it'll ramp up but even then it's extremely quiet compared to my past systems. (alot of that has to be credited to the very nice tone coming out of the 780gtx's fan when at full throttle)


I'm too lazy to go through and edit/comment the photos right now but here's a link to the album:

Corsair Carbide Air 540


Does anyone know if an H100i would fit in the top? I have a crosshair v formula-z in a aerocool open case, which I really dig, it just takes up so much space in my room and have been thinking about this case.

Thanks!
 
I have read and watched other reviews and the biggest complaint about this case was the build quality and the price. Many reviewers stated that the side panels were VERY flimsy and weakly constructed. There is also a lack of dust filers on the top, side PSU intake, and bottom where the HDD mounts are. The drive bays are rotated sideways, ensuring that any drive bay reservoir will not be compatible. The price tag (retail) is rather steep as well considering the build quality is lacking compared to other Corsair cases, and the lack of dust filtration on numerous areas. I love my Corsair 550D, but after reading reviews of recent corsair cases, I am starting to think they are sacrificing too much in the build quality to try and bring the price down (although not down far enough, considering the build quality). $100+ for a PC case is quite a lot and I really wanted to like the Corsair 540, but after comparing it to other cases out there in the same price range, I decided to get an Aerocool Xpredator X3 on sale for $80. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in Corsair. I am just hoping they "wow" me some time this year, like they did when they first introduced the Obsidian Series. But until then, I am going to have to stick with the best bang for my buck, and unfortunately, it isn't with Corsair. Come on Corsair, surprise me.

I originally ordered this from Amazon then changed my mind and cancelled.
The sideway orientation of the drive bays keeps this case from being great. No bay reservoir option for such due to this oversight/design flaw is inexcusable. What the hell was corsair thinking here. Even if you use it as a bluray/dvd drive the discs will fall out every time you eject.
Externally it looks killer. I would still get this but at a little less around $25-30 should be about right. As you said the build quality is not up to par compared to other Corsair cases.
 
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