Corsair Carbide SPEC-ALPHA Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅24-04-16

We’ve become quite accustomed to minimalistic designs from Corsair over the years and with only a few exceptions they’ve presented to us a multitude of elegant enclosures but with today’s release, we have a bold, futuristic and almost flamboyant design.

SPEC-ALPHA may divide with its outlandish exterior but there is a market for such an approach. Gamers will favour such a design and it won’t look out of place in a contemporary setting either.

By following a traditional layout inside, SPEC-ALPHA can host a variety of hardware. We particularly like the fact that Corsair has decided to tear out the customary optical cage – a design move we’re seeing more manufactures adopting. The exclusion of such a feature means there is more space for other hardware; in SPEC-ALPHA’s instance, the front cooling system has a clear pathway to direct airflow across the system. Such a decision can only improve the effectiveness of the cooling for critical components within an enclosure.

SPEC-ALPHA can house 2.5” and 3.5” drives in a variety of locations, some of which feature tool-free mechanisms which are helpful for efficient system building. Although adding a water cooling radiator at the front does require the removal of the only hard drive cage, we can still install a single 2.5” drive in its place or even add in another two SSDs on the reverse side.

As with any case its only right to also comment on the shortfalls too and there are a few with SPEC-ALPHA. For a mid-tower at this price-point there are certain features which are to be expected and yet they are absent – there are no rubber grommets on the cut-outs for cable management, the dust filters resemble those found on entry-level cases; just a thin sheet of material without any option to easily detach. Both these aspects of SPEC-ALPHA are at the top of the list, and then we also have the lack of radiator support at the top and rather tight spacing for cable management on the reverse side – both of which aren’t necessarily disastrous to the overall outcome.

Sitting at £70 GBP, $80 USD, the SPEC-ALPHA is still within the realms of affordability for many but there is quite a lot of competition at this price-point - well-established cases which could highlight SPEC-ALPHA's weaknesses. However, SPEC-ALPHA does offer up an interesting option which breaks away from the discreet and subtle designs which are appear to be saturating the marketplace.

Gamers with an affection towards unorthodox styling will find the SPEC-ALPHA appealing. This case can house an assortment of hardware, features good cooling performance but does have areas which require attention.


+ Aggressive, futuristic design
+ Can accommodate high-performance hardware
+ Water cooling support at the front
+ Plenty of storage options throughout
+ Good cooling performance
+ Includes a fan controller

- Lacks rubber grommets on cut-outs
- Poor quality dust filters
- Problematic cable management
- Lacks radiator support at the top

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