Corsair Carbide Air 540 Compact ATX Case Review

Corsair Carbide Air 540 Compact ATX Case Review

Corsair has designed this case with airflow in mind. If you’re looking for a compact ATX case that still has a spacious interior, this is the one for you.

In this post, we’re going to be taking a look at one of Corsair’s best compact ATX cases, the Corsair Carbide Air 540.

Pros:

  • Steel frame
  • Great airflow
  • Dual chamber design
  • 3 140mm fans included

Cons:

  • Flimsy side panels
  • No PSU dust filter

Case Design

The Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 has taken second place on our list of the best smallest atx cases.

In fact, we like it nearly as much as the Corsair Carbide 400C - these two cases are probably our two favorite cases in this category.

It’s an ATX Cube chassis, meaning the motherboard, CPU and GPU were compartmentalized from the rest of the build.

In order to achieve this feat, Corsair had to widen the chassis. The case is actually using a dual chamber design.

One chamber is for your motherboard and 3.5” drive bays, while the other chamber houses the power supply, solid state drives, and 5.25” bays.

Both chambers streamline airflow to provide the best possible cooling solution. On top of the compartmentalized interior, Corsair has also left room for water cooling compatibility and HDD bays with back planes.

Despite being a small ATX case, the Carbide Air 540 is very well designed.

Its two compartments keep cables and components neat and tidy, which promotes airflow, thus keeping the entire rig looking good and staying cool.

The case is mostly constructed of steel on the inside, but Corsair decided to use ABS plastic and steel mesh to give the cube ATX case a unique and good-looking style.

The case measures 415 x 332 x 458mm (HxWxD). Surprisingly, this case can house motherboards as small as Mini-ITX all the way up to full-sized E-ATX boards, and has eight expansion slots in the back.

Corsair Air 540 Side

It can house two 3.5-inch drives on the floor, and has a drive rack in the back which supports up to four 2.5-inch drives as well.

It even supports two 5.25-inch drives.

This is the smallest ATX case on our list, yet its interior seems more spacious than most mid-tower ATX cases on the market, thanks to Corsair’s ingenious design.

Beneath the ODD bays, you’ll find two USB ports in addition to the HD Audio jacks.

Features

The case ships with three AF140L 140mm fans, one near the rear of the motherboard compartment which serves as the exhaust, and the other two are up front, mounted behind a dust filter.

They serve as the case’s intake fans. Together, the fans intake cool air and exhaust the case’s warm air out the back of the case.

The left side of the case has thick plastic lines seperated by mesh, with a Corsair logo in the center.

The right side of the case has flat textured plastic, where you’ll find a pair of 5.25-inch bays and the front I/O panel. The left side of the case is mostly a tempered glass window, allowing you to see inside the case.

The glass is lined with steel, ensuring the panel is sturdy.

Air 540 Interior

Behind the glass panel, you’ll find the motherboard tray which can house anything up to Extended ATX motherboards, with nine cable management cutouts, eight of which have grommets in them.

It also offers five tie points. You’ll even find an incredibly large access hole for sockets on the EATX boards.

The rear of the case is well ventilated, allowing air to escape thanks to the 140mm rear exhaust fan.

There are several other companies offering case’s with a similar design, but many of the other options out there are overpriced.

The Air 540 is the first case of this style on the market from a reputable company with a reasonable price tag.

Installation

There’s plenty of clearance inside the case because Corsair has removed drive cages altogether from this case.

It ships with 3 140mm fans, but it has room for 3 more 120mm fans if you want to install them as well, making this case great for cooling your components.

The 3.5-inch drive bays are kept at the bottom, and they’re hot-swappable making it easy to switch out your drives.

Even a 360mm radiator can be installed in this case thanks to its spacious interior. Corsiar is really making use of what they have here, considering it’s a small ATX case.

The optical drive cage can be removed if needed for extra space inside - I love this feature because I never use an optical drive in my builds, but for those of you who do, the option is there.

The SSD cage sits atop your power supply and is completely tool-free, supporting up to 4 SSDs.

Conclusion

The case is aesthetically pleasing, delivers solid acoustic and thermal performance, and its design is truly revolutionary.

If you’re looking for an affordable and small ATX case, definitely check out Corsair’s Air 540.