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Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Corsair Carbide SPEC-02 Review and Specifications

Corsair is a brand that is synonym to the word performance in the PC hardware industry especially if you consider its long range of AIO CPU Liquid Coolers from the Hydro Series. The cabinets are no less and to complete its global domination they came up with the Corsair Carbide 100R which I had the pleasure of reviewing a few months back. Today I have yet another Corsair product with me and this time its the more aggressive looking cousin of the 100R, the Corsair Carbide SPEC-02.
The SPEC-02 is Corsair's attempt to cater to those who want a cool looking cabinet with all the bling intact without throwing away a load of cash.
The Corsair SPEC-02 certainly looks impressive for its price tag of around $70. So before I jump to any conclusions lets take a quick looks at the specifications of this beauty:

All of that sure sounds interesting and quite promising for sure.
In my methodical manner we'll start the review in the following way so you can skip to any portion you deem fit for your preferences just in case you don't want to read the whole review.

  •         The Packing
  •         Inside and Out the Carbide SPEC 02
  •         Testing: Load tests and Noise Levels
  •         To Buy or not to buy? 

The Packing

The Corsair Carbide SPEC 02 comes in a standard cardboard box packing kept in vertical face up position in contrast to the standing horizontal position that most of the cases come in. This is a move made by Corsair to reduce the price of the cabinet to a bare minimum by reducing the cost of cardboard used but is wisely compensated by Styrofoam blocks that are on either sides of the packaging.
The Styrofoam is thin, but this case is not heavy so there is plenty of shock value to this packaging. The case is actually really lightweight so this amount of foam is plenty for the Corsair Carbide SPEC-02. Its small but very compacted Styrofoam that is really tough to break.

I received mine in a no damage no broke condition so I'll say that the packing can withstand any kind of ordeal during transit that are quite common in India. So I'd consider it as a welcome move by Corsair to keep the money concentrated on the main module and not wasting it on fancy packaging by keeping it simple and efficient.

Also it includes a standard manual for the cabinet, a warranty card and four zip ties along with ample of screws for your radiators, fans, SSDs etc.

Inside and Out the Carbide SPEC 02

Inside: Much more than Expected

On the inside the Carbide SPEC 02 is black coated and has ample of space with a rear 120mm exhaust fan pre-installed along with mounting space for two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator liquid cooling setup on top. In the front just behind the fascia plate we have the options for two 120mm or two 140mm fan mounts. It comes with a red LED 120mm fan pre-installed in the front which gives the SPEC 02 its signature red Hades like look on the front.  For storage Corsair has given two cages for 5.25' optical drives and a cage for installing three 3.5' storage drives along with two for using 2.5' drives.
The SPEC 02 can support a maximum of ATX form factor motherboards anything above that will not fit inside at all. The PSU mount has a dust filter installed underneath to keep the insides clean and dust free. The filter can be pulled out even when the cabinet is upright and running. Also there are no rubber grommets on the slots and cavities but that doesn't make the cabinet look ugly or leaves any sharp edges, this not only a sign of good cost cutting but also shows that Corsair managed to pull up a decent design control system on this cabinet to give the user a balanced feel.

On removing the rear panel we see that the wire management options are good enough and can support a decent build inside. The removable motherboard back plate is present to ease the user in changing cooling kit brackets as per the need without pulling out the whole motherboard out. For proper wire management its adviceable that you use ribbon cables as you have around 10mm of  clearance from the back-plate and thanks to the convex shape you can squeeze in another quarter inch or so of clearance for routing and bundling your wires.The Graphics Card clearance is virtually infinite as you can fit any graphics card available in  the market today but the second GPU has a limit of about 280mm or 11 inches which means that big graphic cards like the Sapphire R9 270X Toxic or the Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 gaming edition will not fit inside for a dual CrossfireX or SLI configuration.
Its worth mentioning that if you use air coolers for your CPU then you'll have around 150mm of clearance which can be stretched upto 155mm thanks to the convex side panel.

  •     Ample of space for a decent configuration.
  •     Looks elegant and clean with good customization options.
  •     Can support powerful cards in SLI/CrossFireX configuration.

  • The CPU power cable routing hole is a bit misplaced.
  • HDD/SSD cages are a bit flimsy.
  • No clearance for you to remove a fan connector or RAM modules once a radiator is placed on the top mounts.
Exterior: Spacious and Dust free!

At only 493x215x426mm the SPEC-02 is only a little bigger than a few of the  mid tower cases we've looked at recently.  It also has a full size acrylic window on the left.  The window is mounted into a slightly raised area of the case side to mimic the bulge on the right side of the case, thus maintaining the symmetry of the design.

The upper front is made of plastic with a matte black finish housing two 5.25' drive bays hidden by flat and smooth removable panels which blend into the front I/O panel on top that consists of 1xUSB2, 1xUSB3 and the usual Audio sockets.  The power and reset buttons are of the short throw type, giving a nice click when pressed.  Along with the HDD activity Light, there is also a slim LED strip running across the bottom of the I/O area.

The front fascia has been carved into thick plastic grills that not only give the Corsair SPEC 02 a very aggressive look along with its red LED illuminated fan on the inside but also provides plenty of ventilation to the components resting inside. At the back of this fascia you'll find a non removable layer of dust filter like mesh which in couple with the front grills manage to stop most of the dust. You can easily remove the whole front panel and dust it clean occasionally.
Round the back there's a pre-installed 120mm fan. Corsair have also included a generous seven expansion slots with vented covers.  These are removed via external screws pretty much same as the Carbide 100R design.  We're guessing it's little things like this that help keep the costs down.  There's also a PSU aperture able to accept standard ATX PSUs.

The top has provision for dual 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator mount with a spacing of 15mm. These are not only fully covered by removable dust filters but also are off set by 35mm to provide maximum clearance to the motherboard heatsink and CPU power cord while mounting a radiator. At the bottom the SPEC 02 rests on four plastic feet that are sturdy and give enough clearance for the PSU and another 120mm fan to breath in cool air. This entire facility is yet again covered by another removable dust filter which is more than what one can expect!
  • Looks aggressive making it ideal for gaming builds.
  • Build quality is good.
  • Transparent side window is big enough but still hides the PSU.
  • Dust filters on top and bottom.
  • Front fascia doesn't have a proper dust filter. 
  • Bottom feet don't have a rubber padding leaving room for vibrations.

Testing: Load tests and Noise Levels

For the load tests I manged to fit in the following components inside the Corsair SPEC 02. The build came out to be really clean and roomy.
CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 liquid cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" SSD
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB
Case: Corsair SPEC-02 ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply: Corsair CS 750M 750W

Also I kept installed the pre-supplied rear 120mm fan on top as exhaust and kept the front LED fan intact. You can obviously install another 120mm fan as intake on the bottom and one in the front for better air flow. I did manage to mount a 140mm H90 and even a 280mm H110 liquid cooler on the front but that required me to remove the HDD cage completely leaving me with no space to mount my HDD/SSD. This is a noticeable feature as you can do this if you have a 5.25' adapter to convert a 5.25' bay into a combined 3.5' and 2.5' drive bay.
I tested the Carbide SPEC-02 for temperature and noise levels by keeping the CPU at stock frequency and the RAM overclocked at 2133Mhz, running Prime95 64 bit to stress the CPU and MSI Kombustor to stress the graphics card for half and hour and then measuring the temperatures using HW Monitor and Core Temp.
As you can see the Corsair Carbide SPEC 02 performs well and is causing no bottleneck in the cooling of either the H60 or any of the other components installed. The ventilation is optimum and impressive.
The acoustics of the case are well near the silent range due to its well build quality that eliminates any vibrations. The ample of dust filters provided also reduce the noise levels substantially.

To Buy or not to buy?

Well it appears this particular Corsair not only has sails but cannon also, as it's blown everything else in the price range clean out of the water, and scared of a few of the bigger vessels to boot.  Basically if you've only got $80 or Rs. 5000 to spend on a case you'd be nuts to buy anything else. With a sturdy build quality, cable management options, ample of dust filters and room for accommodating any CLC cooler in the market today, obviously with a little presence of mind, the SPEC 02 is the case to go for.
The Corsair SPEC-02 is perfect for the home builder who's starting out on a budget and wants functionality, features and quality as well as a well-known, well regarded name on the front, but can't afford the pay the earth for it, preferring instead to focus his hard earned wedge on the components within.
I give it a 9.5/10

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  1. The Spec 02 & 03 are 493x215x426mm (45L).
    It is the Spec 01 that is 447x200x428mm (38L)

    1. Thank you for bringing it to my notice, the needed corrections have been done.

  2. Hi,
    I have tried to read al your cabinet reviews but I have ended up with conflicting decisions, so I thought best to ask the expert himself :)
    Considering my budget is around 5-8k for a case and my most important requirements are
    1. Hyper 212 Evo cooler has to fit
    2. Gtx 950 and 1060 gpu have to fit
    3. Best cooling (air cooling only, liquid cooling isn't an option for now) options
    4. The most dust-proof I can get (I live in chennai and there is tons of dust as you would well know!)

    Haf 912, antec gx 900, spec 02/03 are all some of the recommendations I got from your articles but like I said I would like to directly ask you for a recommendation.


    1. Hello,
      First of all thank you for taking out the time and going through my reviews.
      As for your requirements there are presently two cases that fall in the same price range as of the ones you've shortlisted & will satisfy all the aforementioned criteria --

      1. Cooler Master MasterBox 5
      2. Corsair Carbide SPEC Alpha

      They are both excellent cases with almost similar feature sets, if you are looking for something very peppy and distinct in appearance then the Alpha is a good choice or else if you like elegance and exceptional build quality then the MasterBox 5 should be your pick.
      I'm yet to review the MasterBox 5 so stay tuned but for the SPEC Alpha here is the link for your reference:

      Feel free to ask any further questions.

  3. Thanks for the response but in your article "Best gaming cabinet...." you mention the Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced and C70 as having pre-installed dust filters and being the most dust-proof. So why are you recommending the master box and Alpha? Just curious...

    Also I need some help with completing my upgrade that I did recently, so I need to ask you a couple of things... can we connect over email.... I guess you already know my email ID, so if that is ok with you please do hit me over gmail....

    Thanks again for the response,

    1. That list is ageing now and will be updated soon, thank you for bringing it to my notice.
      The HAF 912 will be replaced by the MasterBox 5 only by Cooler Master. As for the C70 its discontinued but still is one of the very competent cases if you can at all find one from any seller in India.
      You can discuss about your build or anything else through Facebook messages on my Blog's Page there by the same name as Computers and More. Its easier that way.

  4. Also CM Master Box 5 is 12K

    1. Amazon is drunk leave it...its way overpriced over there.
      The actual cost of the MasterBox 5 ranges from 6K-7K tops.

  5. Or is it this.. prices are too high, can you let me know the model number, there seems to be too many masterbox 5 variants :(

    1. Yes this is the one, you can have it either in white or black.
      The price is also correct over here.

  6. And this...

    Sorry for the bunch of comments, just want to buy the right thing....

    1. Sadly this one is out of stock but yes this is the correct one with the right price tag aswell.
      You can have in in white and red aswell like the one I'd reviewed.

  7. Thanks for all the responses...... I belong to the small group of "anti" social media folks - so I am not on FB, Twitter etc etc. So my only recourse is email, hence the request :)

    So from all your messages I guess it is MasterBox, C70 or SPEC Alpha - give my gtx 950 temps are quite high even at idle, will these cases solves that issue? Also dust issues would be resolved? If all 3 cases would cater to these requirements then I can just pick the cheapest one, so let me know and I will get down to shopping :D

    1. If that's the case then I'll shoot you mail soon.
      All these cases are very good and will solve your dust issue aswell, airflow wise they are well designed so nothing much to think about in that area aswell.
      A decent case with well configured fans should bring the temps down on your card if its due to bad air flow rest depends upon your card's cooler and other conditions such as aged out thermal paste etc.
      I'll suggest you get the MasterBox 5 since its cheaper aswell as easily available right now.

  8. Also one other thing - considering future proofing, is it wise to invest in a bigger tower or is mid tower good enough?

    1. A mid-tower is good enough for a majority of people.
      Full towers are only recommended if you are going for big coolers or custom liquid cooling loops. Also if multiple video cards are being used such as the very long Zotac GTX 1080 AMP Extreme edition then also a full tower can be opted for but not in your case.

  9. I dont even know if this site is reliable

    1. I'm not sure aswell, never bought or heard anyone buying anything from them.
      Look out at popular e-commerce sites or even at The IT Depot or Prime agbg for prices and then make your decision.

  10. Thanks for all the responses, the C70 is out as I cannot reliably source it. One other case I want to throw into the mix is the phantom 410 - it can take 7 fans too and it comes pre installed with 3.... how would you rate this wrt to the other 2 (Masterbox 5 and Spec alpha). Also from your spec alpha review I am not sure how many fans I can fit in.....?

    1. The NZXT Phantom 410 is quite old now and comes with obsolete functions such as a 5'25' drive bay and an exterior door to cover it up which a majority of users might find useless now whereas the SPEC Alpha supports upto seven fans (3 front+ 1 Bottom+ 1 Rear + 2 Top) and by eliminating the 5.25' bays gives you superior air flow which is more important for you since you'll be going for a Hyper 212 Evo air cooler. Plus I somehow don't like the side fan support and tiny little transparent window on the 410. Maybe coz the side panel has no dust filter making it more of a dust sucker fan than a ventilation fan.
      The MasterBox 5 on the other hand is very solid case and can house all your components without supporting too many fans and is very efficient in stopping dust particles. I'd still ask you to choose between the MasterBox 5 and the SPEC Alpha due to their overall package.

  11. Great, I would like the option of having a lot of fans to do a push pull configuration or something like that. If MasterBox 5 does not have that then I guess my only option is the SPEC Alpha.... will see how to source that....

    About that mail.......?

    1. Push Pull configuration is basically used for liquid cooler radiators. Having too many fans is not the best cooling method every time but using good quality fans in the optimum configuration is always the best way to cool your case.
      What you need is positive air pressure inside your case with at most a dedicated fan to just blow fresh air on your CPU cooler fan for this both the cases have enough fan options. You can mount upto three 120mm fans in the front as intake which is more than enough. A rear exhaust fan spinning at higher RPM than the front ones is a decent way to get rid of the hot air that builds up.
      Rest you can decide according to the case that you purchase in the end.

  12. I have decided on the SPEC Alpha. In fact I am going to the IT depot show room to procure it in the next couple of hours..... So in that case what do you recommend for fan configuration and what fans do you recommend I buy?

    1. Happy to hear about your decision, do take a look at the MasterBox 5 aswell in person before making the final call.
      If I were you then I'd swap the front LED fans with a pair of Cooler Master Silencio FP120 120mm fans and connect them to the fan controller that it comes with. The two LED fans can be used as an exhaust at the back and also as an intake from underneath to provide air to your graphics card since you said it gets too hot sometimes.

  13. Unfortunately IT depot did not have a masterbox 5 for me to see and I was in a hurry and did not want more confusion anyway !! So I did get the SPEC alpha.....
    Instead of Silencio I ordered 2 Noctua F12 from primeabgb, the price diff is around 200 buck but the Noctua have some amazing reviews. I intend to do the following
    1. Put the LED fans in the exhaust like you said
    2. The Noctuas go the front
    3. One CM sickle flow I got will go as the top exhaust
    4. One Corsair AF 120 which I bought will be the bottom fan for intake
    How does that sound?

    1. Its alright what matters is that you got yourself a new case and that also a good one, so congrats for that!
      The Noctua F12 is a good fan aswell so no issues.....what you've decided is a near ideal configuration for this case and your components just a few tweaks are required.
      Make sure that your top exhaust fan isn't spinning too fast since that might deprive your air cooler from the cold air that your front fans would be blowing towards it so keep the top fan a little slower since you already have a rear fan pushing out hot air.
      Rest we can see when you finish building up your system in that case.
      Do update me when its finished.

  14. I wonder if I can control the speed of the top fan alone.... Not sure how...

    Also if you mail me, I can ask about the other issue I am having which your site has not covered :(

    1. Just checked the CM Sickleflow is not PWM so you can't control the speed via the motherboard. I suggest you connect the Noctua fans to the motherboard directly since they are PWM and can be controlled via the BIOS or a third party software. The top exhaust fan can be connected to the fan controller so that you can control the speed through voltage supply.
      Why don't you send me a direct message through Google+ Hangout that'll be best I suppose. Its quick and easy.

  15. Is a safe shopping site for IT needs? Just wanted to hear from you if you have any experience....

    Also regarding your last message about the fans - I am a little lost, dont all fans go to the mobo? In fact my z97-hd3 only supports 3 fan headers but thankfully my noctuas came with the Y splitter cable, so I can get 2 fans into one fan header slot. But I dont understand this bit about the fan controller, is that a direct connection? Please let me know, I am going to assemble tomorrow and it would be helpful to know beforehand....


    1. Its a very reliable retailer both online and offline. SO if you are planning to buy something from them then go ahead without any second thoughts.
      Not necessarily you can connect fans directly to the PSU via a molex to three pin header or in case of the SPEC Alpha the case comes with a fan controller so you can connect two fans to the wires of the case's in-built fan controller.
      The former option makes the fan spin at full speed whereas the latter gives you some control over the spin via voltage regulation. Connecting the fans to the motherboard, in case the fan has four pins like your Noctua one's, gives the user to control their speed in a very comprehensive manner via the BIOS or third part software.

  16. OK, now I am thoroughly confused.. if I connect 2 fans to the controller, how does the controller get power? Via the mobo? Where do I connect the fan controller?

    I dont have molex cable, so I have to use the Y splitter only - can you please tell me how to go about doing this?????? What configuration do you suggest - can you give me some detailed steps, I dont want to screw this up... please help out...

    1. The fan controller doesn't need to be connected anywhere for power. When you'll connect the case's power button cable to the motherboard that will also power the on-board fan controller, this means when you power on your system you'll also be providing power to the two fans connected to your fan controller.
      The best way for you is that you connect the two Noctua fans directly to the motherboard using the provided Y-splitter, this will spare you two fan header on the motherboard out of which one will be occupied by your CPU cooler and the other one can be used to power the rear exhaust fan.
      The two cables coming out from the cases' fan controller will be best for the top and bottom fan, so simply plug them to it and you're fan configuration would be complete.
      Hope this cleared your doubts.
      Now for the other

  17. Now for the other... what?
    My bad - BESIDES the CPU fan header there are 3 fan headers - 2 4-pin and 1 3-pin fan. So I got a total of 4 fan headers..... I still think I can use the same idea as you said except that I dont need the Y splitter cable.
    2 Noctua fans in the front going into the 2 4 pin fan header
    Bottom and Top fan to the fan controller (speed to be kept at medium/low?)
    Rear fan to the 3 pin fan header


    Also it is ok to connect more than two fans to a single fan header right? In terms of power draw/voltage etc etc?

    1. That's great then you can surely go with what you've said. Top and bottom fan will be at medium correct.
      There is no issue if you connect two or more than two fans to a single fan header its just that it takes away the flexibility of controlling each fan's speed since all of them would spin at the same speed due to a common connection that's all nothing else.

  18. Thanks man.
    You left off your last message with "Now for the other ".... that is what I was referring to :)

    1. Oops! That was a typing mistake! Kindly ignore & excuse me for that.

  19. No problem man. I will let you know when I am done assembling....
    I would like to sincerely thank you for all the patient answers, you have been most helpful in clearing my confusion..... once again, thanks :)

    1. Yes please I would be eagerly waiting.
      Happy to know that I could be of some help to're welcome :)

  20. I got 2 problems :(
    1. There are 2 pins that go to the fan controller. But where does the other end go in the mobo? What am I missing here?
    2. Also - I am just not able to figure out how to fit the bottom fan. There is no way to tighten the fans (even with the long screws provided with the spec alpha)?

    I am new to this assembling, so my questions might be dumb, so apologies in advance. I had so many problem just fitting the 2 noctua fans in the front, the screw keeps slipping off the cabinet bracket.... I just dont know what I have messed up :(

    1. The fan controller has two wires and both are male connectors that you supposed to plug in your fans with. That's all, as I've mentioned earlier even the fan controller will not be connected anywhere else not even your motherboard. It draws its power from the same PCB that houses your case's power button, USB ports etc.
      Bottom fans are fitted using the thick screws with prominent threads. You've got them with the case itself, just put the fan, remove the bottom dust filter and tighten the screws to the fan from the base of the case and not from the top since these screws are short in length. Put back the dust filter in place.
      If you are facing trouble then I suggest you take the help of some professional in your area who'll assemble everything for you. I can only help you in written but not physically.

  21. My bad man.... it was actually just a SATA connect that powers the fan controller, I eventually figured that out... thanks for all the help.

    And what is even more stupid is that for the bottom fan, I just did not realize that the mesh had to be removed and I was trying to fit the fan from inside... Duh !!! I figured all that out eventually and your instructions reaffirmed it..

    Now for the issue... my entire rig is up and running with all 5 fans in the case and all of them running... But the issue is there is no difference in the temps... during load and idling it still the same as before... so pretty much where I began.. so all i can conclude is the ambient temps of Chennai is not going to make things better irrespective of the number of fans I put in... :(

    Any advice?

    1. Happy to know that you've finally got everything up and running.
      Presuming that you've set the cooler fan as well as the front intake fans at high RPM the best bet would be to buy a good thermal paste and reapply it on the CPU possibly the Cooler Master MakerNano Gel and believe me you won't be disappointed.
      For you GPU just keep the bottom fan spinning high and reset the card's fan curve to higher RPMs since I'm not sure if your card is under warranty or not so opening it up and reapplying the thermal paste on the GPU might void the warranty.
      But try it for the CPU first and see if there is any difference in temperatures or not.

  22. Thanks man!
    I applied the AS5 man, probably the best thermal paste out there..... I dont think that is making a difference....

    As for the GPU it is an EVGA 950 with a BIOS switch..... so the fans kick in only when the GPU reached 60-65 degrees. For example, now the temp is at 43 with fan speed at 0..... If I put the BIOS switch in the performance mode, then the fans spin at around 16% and the temps are at 43 (this was before the new case and fans when the idling temps were close to 50)....

    Do you think these temps are a problem, it has been horribly hot in Chennai for the last few weeks :(

    1. The Arctic Silver 5 is a great thermal paste even I use it most of the time but the CM MakerGel Nano is something entirely different, second only to the Grizzly. Here is the review link for your reference --

      Give it a try the next time.
      43°C is a fine reading for a GTX 950 considering its summer season and you've said that it was really hot lately so nothing to worry about.

  23. Its idling at 50 today but today is hotter...

    Even the 4690K is averaging at 45, I know these are all far below the critical temps but the case and the 5 fans have been completely ineffective for the temps... I dont know if I did something wrong (I even asked a professional to double check what I had done and I confirmed that all 5 fans are operational :( )

    1. Its not the fault of the case fans or anything, the components will stay at those temperatures since the ambient temperature is high.
      I've reviewed GTX 960 and they touch over 65°C under load during summers when its on an open bench with all the air the card cooler can ask for so there is nothing you can do about it. Wait till winters and see the temperature difference since what you tell me seems fine to me for that processor and graphics card.

  24. That is so reassuring boss, thanks for that message. I was so sad that all my efforts have been in vain - glad to know that it is the SUN !!

    One more request - you know my rig very well, so what would be an appropriate monitor to buy? I have an old samsung 2233SWPLUS that does not even have an HDMI in, so I have upgrade everything except for the monitor and the choices are terribly confusing, what would you recommend? I dont see that you have done too many monitor reviews on your site, hence the question :)

    1. Yes in India its the sun most of the time!

      According to your rig I'd suggest you get the Dell 21.5 inch S2216H Monitor since its perfect for 1080p gaming and comes at a very affordable price.
      The contrast ratio is very good and with 6ms of response time its quite accurate aswell plus you get inbuilt speakers which is not a bad addition to the bundle and are a good backup just in case.

  25. I really want to invest at a minimum of 24''

    1. Have you checked the Dell 24' S2415H LED Monitor?
      Its quite good with all the right technical specifications and is 24' in size.

  26. Hello
    I've read other reviews on this case, and it pointed out a problem that you don't, it said that, if you install an aftermarket cpu cooler, you'll have problems doing it or just downright won't be able to install the top case fans, due to the mb placement being quite high.
    Did you experience this same problem, or is it doable? I'M getting a CM 212X, and for the top fans, if needed, CM Sickleflow 120mm.

    1. If you are referring to the after market cooler install itself, then thats not true, somehow the specs seems to be wrongly stated in many reviews. Even after I put in my CM Hyper 212 EVO, I still had a few mm left, so if the 212X dimensions are around the same there should be no problems at all....
      But if you are referring to the placement of 2 top fans after installing a cooler, then you are right... I ended up being able to place only 1 top fan, placing another seemed to be just too close to the cooler for my comfort, so I ditched it!

    2. Hello,
      I'd personally not tried fitting in a air cooler into this case as you can see from the review since at that moment I didn't have one so went with a AIO Liquid Cooler.
      But as Anantha Krishnan has said and from what I'd personally observed from the dimensions and design of the case a air cooler such as the Hyper Evo or 212X can be mounted by compromising one of the top fans closer to the CPU area.
      The catch however is that you can only mount the cooler in a vertical fashion with the cooler fan facing the front fascia of the case and not in any other orientation.
      Do update me when you fit in the cooler and the fan.

    3. Thanks for the answers, I'm referring to the placement of the fans.
      It is bothersome that I wouldn't be able to install both fans, but since I don't plan to do nothing but gaming and moderate overclocking, I don't think it would be a problem to have only one top fan, in addition to the rear fans for exhaust, correct me if i'm wrong, but the gains of having more than 2 intake/2 exhaust case fans on the temps are really low.
      I can post the youtube link to what I just said being tested, if I'm allowed to.

    4. That's true since no matter how much air you push in or out of your cabinet the temperatures won't be affected as long as the CPU/GPU cooler isn't effective. You would be fine with two exhaust and two intake fan combination along with the Hyper Evo on your CPU. I myself follow the same fan configuration for my personal system so its more out of personal experience.

  27. I have a Spec-Alhpa case, with a Zalman CNPS10X Performa heat sink on AMD FX 8320. This case can handle 2 120mm fans at the top, so i have only 1 installed at the rear position, the fit is tight, prob. 2 mm space between the Zalman and the Fan, but it works beautifully.

    Keeping the CPU low, even at moderate overclocking, im getting 51 c on heavy use.

    Airflow setup is as follows,2 LED fans in front (intake), 1 fan at the back (exhaust) and one on top (exhaust). I have been contemplating installing a intake at the bottom, but so far dont need it, GPU is running at 57 c max so far.

    Love the Spec-Alpha case, only gripe was i didn't notice that there was no space for CDrom drive, need external.

    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback about the SPEC Alpha case. Its a beautiful and very competent case for sure, makes it into the list of one of my personal favorite cases aswell.
      True the optical drive area is missing but I can live with that considering the amazing looks that it offers in return.
      Thanks for visiting would love to hear back from you on anything else aswell.