Corsair Carbide Spec 04 Review
Although the styling might not be to everybody's taste, it can't be denied that the Spec-04 is a cracking case for the money. At a smidge under £50 we weren't expecting bells and whistles, but that said, it does tick all the relevant boxes. First of all, although very light at just 4.2kg, the case is still structurally robust, and it has to be said very well put together with evidence of decent quality control. It has a full size acrylic window, and a nicely positioned front I/O which contains all the basics. Inside there are plenty of cable management holes, with the only exception being the one typically used for the 8 pin CPU power lead. There is a hole, but it's masked by the motherboard, so you'll have to feed the cable through and under the board before mounting. The Spec-04 will take GPUs up to 370mm, CPU coolers up to 150mm and PSUs up to 225mm; there's space for 3x3.5" and 2x2.5" drives, along with seven PCI slots. Cooling wise, the front of the case will take 2x120mm or 2x140mm fans, with a single 120mm fan fitted. The roof will accept a pair of 120s, and the rear will take a 120mm fan, although none is fitted.
Corsair state that the Spec-04 will only take a 120mm or 140mm rad in the front, but from our experience, there's room not just for a 240/280, but also a 360. When we look at the roof, Corsair don't give any compatibility at all, but we were (just) able to get a 240mm rad up there, and so should you if you keep to standard height RAM and have nothing in that area higher than the RAM in the relevant areas. Please note these radiator experiences are ours, and not officially quoted by Corsair, so don't go getting all shirty if your rads don't quite fit.
So there we have it, the Spec-04 is a decent case for the money, and if you're willing to wave the modding wand to coax some big rads in there, it might well be the ideal case for the enthusiast watercooling modder on a budget, and for this reason it not only gets the Value for Money Award, but also the Enthusiast Grade award, simply because it has the potential to deliver much more than is advertised.