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Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Gaming Case Review

Updated on January 15, 2018
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I'm just a small time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.

Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am reviewing a PC case from Corsair. In this review, I will discuss the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 mid-tower case. This is a gaming case per Corsair and it has a sleek look to it, that even enthusiasts would like, despite the low cost. So, let’s get to it.

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Gaming Case

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Corsair Carbide SPEC-04
Corsair Carbide SPEC-04
Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 | Source

Case External Appearance

The Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 gaming case is a gaming PC case for beginners and enthusiasts alike but at a low cost of just $49.99. The case comes in a base color of black across the board but the front valance of the case ranges in colors from yellow to red to gray/silver as well as mesh to increase airflow. Looking at the case from the front, the left side of the case has a tinted side window. One the front, from left to right, about half of the front is mesh with those aforementioned colored accents. The right side of the case is a full metal side with an “outpouching” area that allows for pretty decent cable management. On the top, there is an open, mesh area near the rear of the case for top mounting fans. The back of the case is standard design as with other cases. However, one thing that cannot be overlooked in a budget case such is this is the PCI slots which are normally the type you break out but on this case, those PCI slots have removable metal place holders that can be replaced. Nice touch by Corsair, especially with a budget case.

Internal and Cooling

The case has plenty of cooling capabilities. The front of the case offers space for up to 2 fans up to 140mm each and can support up to a 240mm radiator (2x120mm). The top of the case supports up to 120mm fans in 2 x 120mm configuration. The top, though it may be tight fit with some motherboards will support a 240mm radiator (2x120mm). The rear of the case offers the ability to place a 120mm fan or a 120mm radiator. Finally, when it comes to cooling, Corsair has included as white LED lit 120mm fan in the front of the case.

The Corsair SPEC-04 supports ATX, MicroATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. The dimensions of the case are 492x201x433mm (LxWxH) which gives a fairly decent sized space to work in. The SPEC-04 supports a GPU of up to 370mm in length, a CPU air cooler of up to 150mm and a maximum of 225mm in length power supply. Inside the case there are three (3) 5.25” drive bays and two (2) 2.5” drive bays. There are dust filters on the front and PSU intakes.

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My Experience with the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04

So, now that all of the lengthy talk of what’s going on inside and outside of the case, let’s get down to the business of how it is to build in this case. Well, I chose this case for a build I was planning for my daughter as a Christmas present this year. I chose the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 because of the black and yellow color scheme and the decent price on this case. I build an AMD Ryzen 3 1200 build inside of this case. Everything from the MSI Bazooka MicroATX mother board to the GPU installation to cable management went real smooth. The only issue I experienced came well after the computer was built and I decide to upgrade the mechanical hard drive to a solid state drive. It still wasn’t that hard but was more tedious rearranging the cables to support the mounting location of the SSD. There were no issues with room inside of the case and fan placement and removal was extremely easy. I removed the included white LED fan and replaced it with a Thermaltake Riing12 fan in the front and also added one in the rear for exhaust; both Riing fans were yellow in color to match the “bumblebee” color scheme of yellow and black.

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Specifications

Angular Exterior Design with large, tinted side panel window. The asymmetrical, hard-edged design brings bold styling to your build. Cable routing cutouts and tie-downs: Hide your cables behind the motherboard tray to keep your build looking tidy and out of the airflow path for improved cooling. Room for up to five 120mm fans: Excellent cooling potential with one 120mm LED front fan pre-installed. Ample storage: three HDD and two SSD drive cages are easy to install and keep your system and cables looking clean. Clean side I/O panel: Feature a high-speed USB 3.0 port and additional ports for all modern connections. Removable, built-in dust filters: a clean case keeps your components cooler and running longer. Stunning style: the carbide series SPEC-04’s angular hard-edged exterior features bold styling for a remarkable look. Look sharp, stay cool: The slep, tinted window shows off the roomy interior, which fits up to five (5) 120mm fans and can accommodate ample storage configurations. Ready to build: the clean, side I/O panel and USB 3.0 port, cable routing cutouts and tie downs, and built-in dust filters combine for you to build a system that’s as bold as the SPEC-04’s design.

Package contents

  1. Carbide Series SPEC-04 Mid-Tower Gaming Case
  2. Accessory Kit
  3. Quick Start Guide

Compatibility

  1. Motherboard: ATX, MicroATX, Mini ITX

Technical specifications

  1. Dimensions: (LxWxH) 492x201x433mm
  2. Maximum GPU length: 370mm
  3. Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 150mm
  4. Maximum PSU Length: 225mm
  5. Expansion Slots: 7
  6. 5.25” Drive Bays: 3
  7. 2.5” Drive Bays: 2
  8. Cooling Layout
    1. Front: 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm (1 x 120mm white LED included)
    2. Rear: 1 x 120mm
    3. Top: 2 x 120mm
    4. Radiator Compatibility
      1. 140mm: Front Only
      2. 120mm: Front or Rear
  9. Dust filters on front and PSU intakes
  10. Front I/O panel includes: USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, Headphone and Microphone jacks, Power one and Reset Buttons
  11. 2 year warranty

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 for $50 on Amazon

Corsair Carbide SPEC Series Cases

Thoughts and Conclusions

Overall, this is a fine case. It was a pleasure to build in and extremely easy. There is plenty of room if you use a microATX motherboard but I do believe that even using the standard ATX motherboard would be fairly easy to put in this case and build around as well. The biggest complaint I have is that I was unable to route the CPU power cable through the back panel cutout as the motherboard covered the cutout so much that I could not get the motherboard mounted with the pre-routed cable; motherboard covered the cutout completely once installed as well. Other than that one small thing, I must say that I am impressed with the builder-friendliness of the this $50 budget case. I would absolutely pay around $75 for this case. This is another example of the superior quality of Corsair products and a reason why I continue to use so much of their product. If you are in the market for a new budget or semi-budget build, this is the perfect case for you. Fantastic job Corsair!

Building in the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Courtesy of PCPartpicker

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