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Corsair's Spec-Alpha Is Edgy, Carbide 400 Is Minimalist

There won't be a major computer electronics trade show without Corsair showing off at least one fancy new enclosure, and this year's CES is no exception. This time around, Corsair's cases on display are the minimalist 400Q and 400C, and the most intriguing Spec-Alpha.

Corsair's Spec-Alpha Is Edgy

Corsair's Spec-Alpha is an ATX enclosure with a rather unremarkable interior design. The interesting part of this case is its exterior design, as you can clearly see in this picture.

Spec-Alpha comes in two color choices, the red and white (pictured above) and black and gray option (pictured below). Cooling wise, the case ships standard with three 120 mm fans and a three-speed fan controller. The front fans are LED lit in either red or blue, with the rear exhaust fan being a plain black unit. If you want to mount a radiator in this case, you'll be able to pack up to a 240 mm water cooling radiator at the front of the chassis.

The case comes with USB 3.0 connectivity and HD audio ports, but it lacks an optical drive bay. That's not such a bad thing, though, as optical drives don't get much use these days, and removing it affords the case this extravagant look.

Overall, the Spec-Alpha is a budget case with room for the basics; the only real extra is its unique appearance. It is built using a steel frame, has a simple acrylic side window, uses plastic for the front and top panels, and that's it. At $79.99 it's also affordable and will be available in March. 

Carbide 400C And 400Q Are Clear And Quiet

If the Spec-Alpha is a bit too extravagant for you, the 400C or 400Q may suit your fancy a bit better. These are perhaps the most minimalist ATX cases that Corsair has ever built.

Inside these cases there is room for an ATX motherboard and a couple of large graphics cards. Cooling is handled by a 140 mm intake fan and a 120 mm exhaust fan, with room for expandability. The front of the chassis can hold up to a 360 mm water cooling radiator, while the top will hold another 240 mm unit. From the photos however, it looks like the space is tight, so you would need to be careful when fitting a top radiator; not all motherboard/radiator combinations may work.

The power supply and hard drive storage areas are covered up.

The C in 400C stands for Clear, meaning that it has a side panel with a large window. This side panel also sits on a hinge, and has a handle that allows you to open it up quickly. The 400Q is the Quiet model of the case, which comes with sound dampening material on the completely uniform side panels. Pricing will sit at $99.99 for both the Carbide 400C and 400Q with availability slated for early February.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • TechyInAZ
    Finally corsair got smart and put a PSU cover on their cases!! Looks great!
    Reply
  • okcnaline
    Hopefully the Spec-A comes out at $69. That would be the most unoriginal case at the price range, not to mention beautiful.

    And looks like Corsair finally caught up to trends.
    Reply
  • CBender
    Not impressed by either. Saw logan's review of the 400c. Everything looks crammed at best. Corsair has been of their game for quite some time. All their designs are limited by corporate thinking, like how many times are they going to reuse the same trays or side panels etc. etc. I wish that corsair for once would let their designers free of those limitations.
    Reply
  • Gurbo
    Call me boring, but I love the looks of the Carbide. If the prices drop a bit by the time I make a decision, it might be my next case.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    I would have liked to see more intake fans included on the 400C/Q.
    Reply
  • RCguitarist
    Finally corsair got smart and put a PSU cover on their cases!! Looks great!

    What is the point of a PSU cover? Most suck air in from outside the case and vent to the rear and they aren't noisy.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    Yeah, usually these ones have the intake fans facing downwards and pull air in from below. I like having PSU covers, it's just nice aesthetically.
    Reply
  • CBender
    It could also be highly functional as seen in the h440/s340, the cases that started that whole open intake/shroud design. Also for the love of god i can't understand why someone would put the psu fan faced up. I know about carpet and such but besides that is completely stupid, especially if you have a non reference gpu with top flow fans.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    Well yeah, if you put it face up then you have the PSU cover blocking all the air from being taken in. But if there's a case with a solid bottom and bottom-mounted PS, the fan has to face upward.
    Reply
  • CBender
    Yeah i guess you're right. I have never seen such a case though.
    Reply