Back in August, we reviewed Corsair’s Carbide Series SPEC-04 mid-tower gaming case. We concluded it to be a great budget case for $50 that didn’t neglect good looks and functionality, save for its lack of a rear exhaust fan. Today, Corsair is launching the SPEC-04 Tempered Glass for $60. The name is rather self-explanatory for what’s new, but let’s take a closer look to determine if it’s worth that additional $10.
The general design of the SPEC-04 Tempered Glass is nearly identical to its slightly older sibling (CC-9011107-WW Black/Red). You still get the same sleek, angular design, but one with a much more attractive side panel. The SPEC-04 TG measures 17.05” (H) x 7.72” (D) x 19.06” (W). And despite the addition of glass, the case altogether remains lightweight. The rest of the chassis is largely composed of metal. The only significant amount of plastic is on the front panel.
The right panel is likewise unchanged. Much of its surface smartly extends outward to accommodate cabling. We love that feature. Many other cases have purely flat sides. If you’ve got a lot of cables, that means they’re pushing up against and warping the panel. That was never a problem with the SPEC-04/TG. Installation as such went by all the more smoothly. The vertically-placed I/O ports are located next to the right panel, as well. They include 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, power, reset, headphone, and microphone.
The new tempered glass side panel doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s downright gorgeous. Its entirety is made of darkened glass, and thus only a small portion of frame surrounds it at the top and front edges. Furthermore, the panel is easily removed and placed from/onto four rubberized spacers. Inconspicuous black screws keep the panel secure. We paired the SPEC-04 TG with some Corsair-provided Vengeance RGB memory, and the result was a setup we couldn’t keep our eyes off of.
The interior supports ATX motherboards, and is fairly spacious due to the inclusion of only one hard drive cage. There is no support for optical drives, either, but that’s not uncommon to see any price level these days. The hard drive cage can hold three 3.5” drives and is mounted to the floor of the case. The cage is removeable with a bit of effort and a small Philips screwdriver. Two 2.5” SSD mounts are found behind the motherboard tray. The SPEC-04 models conveniently place cable routing holes next to those mounts, making drive installation trouble free.
The only major complaint with the SPEC-04 TG, and it’s one the standard model shares, is that the case only ships with a single 120mm fan. That’s a shame, because many of the SPEC-04’s competitors ship with two or even three fans for the same price. Thankfully, there’s room for a respectable number of additional fans. You can mount a 120mm rear fan, two 120mm fans up top, and two 120/140mm fans in the front. If the drive cage is removed, it can mount up to 240mm. You may want to consider purchasing at least one of those if you buy this case, and therein lies the rub.
Corsair’s Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass is unarguably a sexy case. The angular edges, meshes, and shaded, glass side panel make for one of the more striking cases in its class. It gives you plenty of room to work with, too, and system installation is a breeze. But if you’d like to keep your hot components cool, purchasing another fan isn’t a bad idea. That drives the price up, especially if you buy two or three fans, and then you’re spending money you could have spent on something with a few extra features. That said, there aren’t as many $60 to $75 cases with as impressive a tempered glass panel. If that matters to you, then the SPEC-04 TG earns a hearty recommendation.
Disclaimer: Corsair provided a case for review.