Now I know there are a couple other companies that make cases that flow a similar concept. The two I can think of are from companies that will charge you extreme amounts of money for them as well. That being said, this is the first version of anything like this I have ever had in my hands, and it now comes to you from a mainstream company that can deliver it with an acceptable price point. You do get something a bit unusual to look at, but once I got to the testing phase, I can see why Corsair chose a word like revolutionary to describe the Carbide Air 540. While it makes a lot of sense when we see it in this proof of concept design, the real question is why did it took so long to get this to the people without having to shell out a month's salary to do so?
While Corsair hits all the major points, and passes most of the testing with flying colors, there is that sticky issue with the USB 3.0 cable length. I did send over an email explaining my findings, but it is possible maybe mine is the only one like this as well. I really think that every chassis is like this, and I do think Corsair will be going to work on a replacement panel or at least a longer cable. It just seems rather strange that this detail got looked over, as if they never tried connecting it to a board. It is a good thing that the amount of air flow allowing for lower temperatures also does not make much more than a 35dB hum coming from any side of the chassis. The aesthetics really help out as well, but none of what the chassis offers can make me overlook the cabling, it just seems so obvious.
The Carbide Air 540 could have easily been a ten out of ten when it came to the scoring, but as it sits, I have to knock some points off for just not providing things the way they need to come to work inside of the chassis. While the chassis is at a great price point, for those where front panel USB access is a must, and with a lack of USB 2.0 support, or even a USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapter, things could have worked. For my money, I would wait until you hear of news from the Corsair team to say if this is a fluke that only happened in my chassis, something they screwed up on, or if it is something where they want to offer free replacement kits for all the customers who want a larger motherboard inside of this chassis, so they will not run into the same issue I did.
If or when that day arrives, and there is a suitable solution, I would then say that this chassis is worth every penny, but for now, I am still a bit reserved in saying that.
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