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Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA Mid-Tower Chassis Review

The Corsair Carbide SPEC-OMEGA Mid-Tower Chassis is one of the best mid-tower chassis' on the market, for its price it has very minimal downside.

@chad_sebring
Published Mon, Oct 15 2018 10:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:57 PM CST
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Corsair has been keeping us so busy with all of the latest and greatest they have to offer, that we had to put some of their products on the back burner until we could catch up with our to-do list.

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This review is one of those instances, where a few months back we had been shipped a chassis but were not able to get to it at that time. While you may have already seen this chassis out in the wild by now, we still wanted to give it a fair shake, and deliver our opinion on this very uniquely styled chassis.

Up until recently, the Carbide Series of cases from Corsair were all linear designs with cubist forms of design, which were more about business and less about play. However, in recent months, Corsair brought out the "SPEC" designation to the series, where angles, lighting, and aggressive designs have not only come out to play, but in all of the newer cases that have been made available, there has to be one of them in this lineup that anyone will find pleasing. While advancements have been made, even to the chassis we are about to name, we will be bringing forth one of three color options in a chassis that has since been made with RGB lighting as well.

We are speaking of the Carbide Series Spec-Omega Mid-tower Chassis which has quite a bit going for it. Angles, bright colors, plenty of ventilation, and a feature set on the inside that is rich, but does not come with a PSU cover. However, we do feel that there is enough in this chassis to overcome the loss of the PSU cover, and is a chassis we think you should have a long hard look at if you are in the market for a new mid-tower chassis.

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The chart provided by Corsair has much of what you need to know about the chassis in it. It starts with defining the maximums for the chassis, where the GPU can be 370mm long, the PSU can be 200mm long, and the CPU cooler can be 170mm in height. We then move to the back of the chassis and the seven expansion slots, then to the inside, where three 3.5" drives can be installed, and also a set of trays specific to 2.5" drives as well.

The left side includes a tempered glass panel, and while Corsair Link does not support the Spec-Omega, it is backed by a two-year warranty. On the right side, we can see that the chassis is made of steel, and weighs 7.65 kilograms, but you have to look on the box to see that the chassis is 495mm from front to back, 233mm wide, and stands 516mm tall. The last thing we need to mention is that this chassis is mostly black, but you do have the option for red highlights, white highlights, or black on black.

Cooling the front of the chassis is a single 120mm fan, but there is room for up to three 120mm fans or a pair of 140mm fans, with room for a radiator as well. The top of the chassis can hold a couple of 120mm or 140mm fans, but it is not tall enough to fully support a radiator there. The back of the chassis is actively cooled with a single 120mm fan, and it too can support a single 120mm radiator. If you plan to use a Corsair AIO to cool the CPU inside of this chassis, Corsair provides a list of all of the compatible coolers that will fit inside of the front of the chassis, as well as a couple that can be hung at the back.

One look at the product page, and we instantly see that Corsair is asking $99.99 for the Spec-Omega, no matter which of the three color options you choose. At Amazon, we see only the black on black option, and the price there is $99.99 as well. When we look at Newegg, the pricing wanders depending on which version you want. The black and red versions is $99.99, the white version is $89.99, and we can also see the RGB versions listed, which tend to hover in the range of $140 to $150 for a pair of RGB fans as well as an RGB light bar on the front of the chassis as bonuses. For the remainder of this review, we will be sticking to the MSRP as a reference, as we see just how well the Spec-Omega from Corsair holds up against other mid-tower cases at this price.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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Keeping things simple on the outside, Corsair opts for plain cardboard. On it we see the Corsair name and logo at the top, some stickers blocking the rendering of the chassis in the middle, and the full name of the chassis at the bottom of the panel.

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The right side of the box begins with a sticker denoting which of the three options is inside of the box. Under the handle, we see three sets of specifications, as well as renderings showing the front of the chassis and the left side, both with measurements shown.

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The back of the box has the company and product name at the top, with an exploded diagram of the chassis using up most of the space. Across the bottom, we see fix features wrote out, which are marked in the diagram above.

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The last exterior panel is nearly identical to what we saw on the other side of the box. The only difference is that the specifications shown on this side are in three different languages that what we saw previous to this.

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The chassis comes with plastic on the front of the chassis as well as on both sides of the tempered glass, before the whole enclosure is placed inside of a plastic bag. It is then almost entirely protected by thick, dense foam, with caps at the front and back, as well as a section covering the window. Everything was done to ensure the Spec-Omega shows up in perfect working condition, and as expected our chassis showed up without a single blemish.

Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the chassis is angled at the top to a point, various angles are making up the rest of the bezel as you move down it, and the bottom looks like Dart Vader's mouth. On the left is the red section of plastic, while on the right is clear plastic, surrounded with a thin black frame, and we can even see angled bits of the frame through the glass with the ghosted Corsair logo near the bottom.

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The front I/O can be found near the top of the front bezel, and in it, we see the power button at the top, which is backlit white. Below it, there is the two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of 3.5mm HD Audio jacks, a small HDD activity LED, and a slightly larger reset button.

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The top of the chassis uses a similar design to the front, with a high ridgeline running front to back, and most of it is red, and some are black. However, this time, the transparent window is replaced with mesh to allow the chassis to breathe.

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Even from the side, the design is angular, both with the way the top is, as well as the use of the feet at the bottom. The left side of the chassis is covered with tempered glass, which is painted at the top and bottom to block the view of the frame and is held in place with flatter screws that use an Allen wrench to remove them.

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At the top, there is a pair of thumbscrews to release the top portion of the chassis, and the rear I/O and adjustable fan location below it. There are seven expansion slots with passive ventilation to the right of them, and the PSU fills the hold at the bottom.

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The right side of the chassis is more subdued than the left. The visible plastic is black but still angled, which matches the steel door that covers this side of the case. The door swings open like a car door does, and it is held in place with a pair of thumbscrews at the back.

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Under the chassis, we see a dust filter under the PSU, which is removable out the back. The rest of the floor is solid, except where the removable HDD cage is tabbed and screwed into place. We also see just how big the feet are from this angle, and only the tips of them have rubber pads applied.

Inside the SPEC-OMEGA

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There is a tab at the top, and three on either side, which once released will allow the front bezel to come off, but be mindful of the cable at the bottom which powers the light bar. The front I/O panel stays with the chassis, and we can see that single 120mm LED fan sitting at the bottom.

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The inside of the chassis is wide open except for the HDD cage at the bottom. We do wish there was a PSU cover to help clean things up, but the layout looks promising.

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The front of the chassis has room for three 120mm fans in total and can accommodate a pair of 140mm fans as well. The HDD cage is set back to allow room for radiators here, and all of the wires can go through a couple of holes without grommets, to be tended to behind the motherboard tray.

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The HDD cage is removable and will house a pair of 3.5" drives. We also see that this is where the hardware is shipped inside of the chassis, but oddly, we never did find the third HDD location in this chassis.

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If you remove the pair of thumbscrews at the back and gently pull the cover towards the back, it will release to be lifted off. Under the cover is a section of honeycomb mesh with holes drilled for 120mm and 140mm fans. However, the gap above the motherboard is not sufficient to use a radiator here with them.

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The motherboard tray is labeled, three of the twelve holes have grommets in them, and we see twenty tie points. The CPU cooler access hole is large enough that it can be used for wire management if a Mini-ITX motherboard is fitted.

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The area for the PSU is compact due to the HDD cage location, but there is ample ventilation and a set of four rubber pads for the PSU to sit on. In the motherboard tray, there is an opening, which allows the wires to exit the central area quickly and cleanly.

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The fan in the back of the chassis is not LED, but it is 120mm in size. Both fans have long leads and are powered with a 3-pin fan connector. We can also see that the expansion slots are screwed in from the inside, and the rail of the chassis has holes in it for direct access.

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Behind the motherboard tray, just below the access hold for coolers, we see a rack for three 2.5" drives. It is spring loaded so that it forced the drives to clip into place, and can be easily wired due to its proximity to the PSU and lowest grommet for the SATA cables. As for the HDD bays, they are accessed from this side and are drilled to allow for 2.5" drive mounting as well.

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The wires from the front I/O panel are black to help them blend into the chassis once the ends are exposed. We have the power, reset, HDD LED and power LED wires, there is the HD Audio cable, and we also see the native USB 3.0 lead.

Hardware & Documentation

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All of this hardware is bagged by type, and Corsair made sure we had more than enough. There is a standoff to replace the stud already in the motherboard tray, a handful of standard fan screws, and a bunch of countersunk M3 screws for 2.5" drive mounting. At the bottom, we have four long fan screws, screws to lock the HDD trays into the cage, and 6/32 screws for the motherboard and PSU installations.

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Inside of the box, there is also a set of six zip-ties to help with wire maintenance, and we also see an Allen wrench which is used to remove the tempered glass. The wrench is found with the paperwork, inside of a bag, which is outside of the case. This way you have access to the glass removal, without having to figure out how to get it through the PSU opening or something.

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The manual is thorough and will get anyone through the build. There is a parts list, exploded diagram, step-by-step instruction, and a wire guide to ensure any questions that could come up are answered. In the US there is a two-year warranty, and we all know this is against defects or failures of parts, but Corsair included the warranty information for Australia in another little booklet.

Case Build & Finished Product

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Not much had changed from when the chassis was removed from the box until now when it comes to the front. We did have to remove the intake fan to fit our AIO, which is also blocking some of what we were able to see through the window initially.

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We did have to opt to remove the HDD bay to make it easier to use the modular PSU. Outside of that, everything we installed fits, and the build looks quite good considering there is no PSU cover.

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The PSU fit without issue, and the video card slid into place without having to flex the chassis or force it in. The dust shield also clipped into place without any hassle, all told, the build was smooth as silk.

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With plenty of locations to tie the wires to the motherboard tray, even the back of the motherboard tray is clean in its appearance. We were able to find room for all of the cables, although we did have to use an SSD tray to run some wires through to the bottom, overall, we are pleased with the results.

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With everything ready to be powered on, we can see that there is a slight bit of tint in the tempered glass. Not enough to block the view, as we can see all of the components, but once they light up, things look even better.

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Once powered, the Spec-Omega comes to life, not only on the inside with the LEDs from the cooler, RAM, and the video card but also on the outside. Not only does the power button glow white, but there is a line between the black and red sections that glows red as well. While the design is aggressive, we like it.

Final Thoughts

The list of things that Corsair did right is quite full. The front of the chassis seems blocked off, but Darth Vader's mouth at the bottom does reasonably well at introducing a source of colder air to the intake fans. We did replace the stock fan in the front of the chassis, but none the less, the thermals inside of the chassis are still in the average range. The styling is hit or miss with people, but we love it, and applaud companies that move away from the standard cubist designs.

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The interior offers grommets, room for plenty of storage drives for most users, plenty of places to tend to the wires, it has a few grommets where they are needed most, and the chassis is built well so that your components look very appealing inside of it. We even like the exaggerated feet that support the chassis. Not only do they extend past the frame of the chassis for added stability, but they also continue the angular design theme throughout the entire chassis.

There are limited downsides to such a chassis, but it would not be right to gloss over them. The most significant feature we wish was incorporated was a PSU cover. Sorry, but we are so used to them, their ability to close off the PSU and wire mess, that we feel that all cases should have them. While the front of the chassis will accommodate many peoples liquid cooling needs, we do wish the top of the chassis was also capable of housing a radiator.

For those with an AIO on the GPU as well as the CPU, the back of the chassis is the only option for a secondary system to be hung from. There are the listed three locations for 3.5" drives, where we only found two, and the fact that the HDD cage will need to be removed for most power supplied to fit unless you make the conscious decision to buy a smaller unit.

While we do like the chassis for what it is, we have to knock a few points off for the lack of a PSU cover. Most cases offered now, in this price range include them, and is the only thing aside for wanting more intake ventilation that we feel could have been changed to make an outstanding mid-tower chassis that we could rant and rave about. At around $99.99, depending on the choice of retailers, we feel that you do get quite a bit of bang for the buck, especially in styling and overall presence. Keep in mind too, there is an RGB version of this chassis out in the wild, although there is a price hike to obtain it. Overall, we feel that many can overlook the lack of a few minor details, and will happily house they system inside of the Carbide Series Spec-Omega Mid-tower Chassis. If we had a reason to build another system, we would have no qualms with using this chassis.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality100%
Features90%
Value93%
Overall95%

The Bottom Line: With a larger intake and a PSU cover, the Spec-Omega chassis could have gotten a perfect score. There is plenty to interest the masses, room for all of the components, style for days, and a price most anyone can accept. This is a mid-tower chassis worthy of a long hard look!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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