Corsair Air240: Ditching the Prodigy

Earlier this year I decided to step out of my Z77 based system to go with a smaller form factor.  Often times I find myself travelling,  driving to LANs, and even visiting my parents often for long periods of time (especially during Holidays).  At the time I had a Corsair Air540.  The case was absolutely what I was looking for back then.  The separation of the PSU/Drives/and cables made so much sense and made cable management an absolute dream.   However, when switching to Z87 and MiniITX there wasn’t a lot of choices in case design that appealed to me.  The closest thing that had almost exactly what I wanted was the BitFenix Prodigy.  I had seen this case almost everywhere, especially at LAN events, so I decided to go with it.  While I have never owned a Bitfenix case before, I heard good things about them.  However, while the case from BitFenix wasnt horrible,  the quality wasnt exactly what I would say top notch.  The case bobbled and shook whenever you bumped into it with something.  The plastic handles up top weren’t very comfortable to carry the case around for me,  and I wasnt able to see the components that I purchased.   Most cases in this form factor really hide a lot in terms of seeing your build.

Enter the Corsair Air 240.  Taking the best parts of the Air540 and shrinking it down for people that utilized smaller form factor motherboards.  The Air 240 is very simliar to the 540 with a few key differences.   Below you’ll see the unboxing of the 240 as I recieved it and the size/profile comparison against the BitFenix Prodigy.

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The Air240 features support for both a mini-ITX and a MicroATX motherboard.  This is pretty awesome considering its the same size as many Mini-ITX cases, but also supporting MicroATX options that house Crossfire and SLI setups!  That’s right you can stuff two GPUS into this case that has a smaller footprint than a Prodigy.  The Air 240 has pre-spaced holes for a 240mm rad on top, bottom,  and the front.  If you choose to use a Mini-ITX board, you can add both front and bottom 240mm rads.  If you choose the dual gpu route you can install a front 240mm rad.  From the photos above, you can already tell the Prodigy has some serious competition now, and Corsair has provided a new choice to system builders.  However, the Air 240 wasnt exactly “perfect” by any means which Ill go into my Pros and Cons list at the end of the overview.  But first, let’s go into my install of the mother board and GPU and show you my H100i configuration.

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As you can see from my build photos, the Air 240 provides a lot of room and plenty of routing points for the motherboard 24pin cable/gpu power cables/etc.  There’s also a good 1 inch of clearance left inbetween my 780 and the push/pull setup radiator.  However, if we get to the cable management side of the case, that’s where I started noticing a few things I wasn’t a huge fan of.  In the photo below, you can see the 3.5HDD cage removed exposing the back of the motherboard.  The cables that Ive routed behind there have an extremely tough time fitting while reinstalling the HD cage and I ended up having to reconfigure where the fan cable routing went in order to put the 3.5HDD cage back in.  It would have been nice to see a rubber grommet routing point just above the CPU location to route all the fan cables and CPU power cable.

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gpu

PROS

– Ability to support many radiator mounting options and sizes.

-Ability to support SLI/Crossfire GPU setups with appropriate motherboard.

– Case construction is fairly solid considering its price point.

-Case keeps uncessary components out of the cooling portion of the case by seperating the psu and drives.

CONS

– The side panel dust screen seems a bit on the cheap side.  While on the case you don’t really notice, but moving the case will cause you to possibly lose grip due to the magnetic shield moving during the process.  I would have liked to have seen a slide out dust cover design.

– No 5 1/4 drive bays . Althought by design and to keep size appropriately small it still would have been nice to see at least one.

– Rear 3.5HDD cage will rub against routed cabling behind the motherboard.  There are no routing options other than the upper right hand corner of the motherboard (grommet location)

– Window panel is easily prone to scratches.  While not very visible normally, cleaning with even a microfiber towel was enough to put some fine scratches on the display.  But this is not completely related to the 240 alone, as I’ve had cases with panels from all manufacturers with this issue.

The Corsair Air 240 will begin shipping in August and will be priced at $89.99 – $99.99

Retail Site Page:  http://www.corsair.com/en-us/landing/air240

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