Carbide Air 740 mirrors the dual-compartment internal layout of its predecessors, but with sizeable chambers for each section, so it has a hefty footprint. It measures 340mm wide – a good 100mm more than your average ATX tower, and its depth of over 510mm means you’ll need some serious desk or floor real estate to house it, although it’s still more compact than Corsair’s Obsidian 900D.
Corsair has made good use of that space, though, as the Air 740 is a fantastic case for housing all-in-one liquid coolers or custom water-cooling systems. Externally, it isn’t the prettiest case in the world, with ridges crisscrossing the front and top sections – it looks as though Corsair was simply trying to jazz up the grey plastic exterior a bit, but it still doesn’t look particularly attractive. There’s a large side window, though, and its panel swings out on a hinge for easy tool-free access.
Meanwhile, the front panel sports the usual ports and buttons, although there’s sadly s no fan control here. Thankfully, the trio of included 140mm fans are very quiet, producing a low thrum and steady airflow through the case from front to back. The front, roof and base all have excellent ventilation too, with large mesh sections backed with removable dust filters.
Despite its size, only ATX boards are supported in this case – there’s no E-ATX support. That isn’t to say you couldn’t build a monstrous system inside the Air 740, though, as the internal space on offer is substantial. All the external panels are removable, revealing a swathe of adjustable fan mounts that are begging to house large radiators. There’s a good deal of clearance if you’re thinking of air-cooling the case too, with 170mm of CPU cooler clearance and 370mm of space for graphics cards.
You can house a double 140mm fan radiator in the front, or up to a triple 120mm fan model, and there’s essentially no height limit on the radiator here, with the motherboard and graphics card resting several inches away from the fans. You can house up to a double 140mm-radiator in the base and roof as well, with the option of fitting 60mm-thick radiators in both locations, depending on your motherboard and graphics card setup. It seems a shame, then, that there are no dedicated water-cooling hardware mounts – you’ll need to find your own way of mounting a pump and reservoir.
Corsair’s drive can be a little flimsy too, although it’s good to have three 3.5in bays and four 2.5in tool-free mounts included. Interestingly, the 2.5in mounts can also be removed individually, stacking on top of one another in the rear section. However, we didn’t find our SSD fitted particularly well, and ended up with a loose fit, despite having a standard size. Meanwhile, the PSU sits below this section and is secured in place by the usual rear screws, but as it placed on its side, there’s an adjustable plate included, which meets the PSU to provide some extra lateral support.
As you’d expect from Corsair, there’s ample cable-routing options – perhaps even too many given the lack of reservoir mounts that could also have been situated in this case. Build quality is reasonable too, with a steel and plastic construction, although the far side panel and some aspects of the interior feel a little tinny, at least for a case costing upwards of $130.
We suspected the Air 740’s cooling would be fairly potent with the large areas of mesh and three 140mm fans, and we weren’t wrong – the case’s CPU delta T of 49°C betters the results from SilverStone’s Primera PM01 and In Win’s 805, and also knocks a few degrees off the temperatures we saw from Corsair’s Carbide 600C. It was a similar situation with the GPU delta T; the result of 46°C easily beat most of the cases we’ve tested recently.
While the fans are relatively inconspicuous, especially under the din of an air-cooled graphics card and CPU, the extensive mesh did allow a fair amount of noise to escape the case. However, the Air 740 is clearly geared towards liquid cooling, and the ability to use several large radiators means you could use slow-spinning fans, yet still get great cooling without allowing too much noise to spill into the room.
If you want a case with loads of room for water-cooling gear, or to get as much airflow as possible, then Corsair’s Air 740 is undoubtedly deserving of your shortlist. It packs nearly as much radiator support as Corsair’s huge and much more expensive Obsidian 900D in a much more compact chassis. That isn’t to say the Air 740 is small though – it’s a big case with a sizeable footprint, but it offers excellent support for water-cooling gear, and the airflow performance is fantastic.
There are some niggles, though, such as the slightly flimsy construction in some areas, the lack of dedicated mounts for water-cooling gear (especially given the case’s focus) and the lack of fan control. It’s not great-looking either. If its price was closer to £100, it might have been in line for an award, but with better-looking cases such as In Win’s 805 retailing for the same price, and the likes of NZXT’s H440 and SilverStone’s PM01 costing £40 less, it’s up against some stuff competition. However, the Carbide Air 740’s unique design and roomy interior enable it to carve out a niche that still makes it worth buying if large-scale water cooling or serious air cooling are your priorities.