An ideal home for flashy builds—if your reti­nas can take it


RGB LIGHT­ING HAS con­quered its fi­nal fron­tier. Af­ter in­vad­ing the ter­ri­tory be­low your key­board, the sides of your head­set, and even the ra­di­a­tors on your mobo, this un­stop­pable scourge—er, trend—fi­nally makes it to the front panel of your case. Um, thanks, Cor­sair.

OK, per­haps we’re be­ing a bit harsh on the Spec 06’s look. And RGB light­ing in its en­tirety, come to think of it. We’re ac­tu­ally quite fond of that col­or­ful flour­ish on the front, a swoop­ing line of il­lu­mi­na­tion, as though the case has suf­fered a war wound and is now bleed­ing pure Las Ve­gas Strip. And, yes, it’s to­tally pro­gram­mable and cus­tom­iz­a­ble, via a smartly af­fixed light­ing con­troller at the rear (just be­low the GPU ex­haust slots). Three but­tons con­trol the speed, color, and mode, of which there are seven. It’s cer­tainly con­ve­nient to have that con­troller on the out­side of the case—not al­ways a given.

While the RGB func­tion­al­ity is well im­ple­mented—and it should be noted that there’s a non-RGB model avail­able, too, if il­lu­mi­na­tion’s not your thing—we’re much more im­pressed by the fun­da­men­tal space and lay­out within the case than what’s go­ing on out­side it. Al­though its di­men­sions re­main rea­son­able enough to fit un­der any desk , there’s an abun­dance of space for builders within the case once you pop off the tem­pered glass panel. (And it’s a small point, but we’re de­lighted to see that the rub­ber stays around each hole are glued in place here. These touches are what we live for.)

A com­part­men­tal­ized PSU en­clo­sure keeps the in­te­rior look­ing smart, and the ca­ble feed-through cutout on the top panel of that en­clo­sure is an es­pe­cially nice touch. Keep­ing GPU power ca­bles ti­died away out of view just got that tiny bit eas­ier. Mean­while, cav­ernous clear­ances for CPU cool­ers and GPUs make build­ing fairly ef­fort­less. In fact, we’re fairly sure we’ve stayed in smaller ho­tel rooms than this, but this isn’t a re­view of our poor life choices. Thank good­ness.

So gen­er­ous is the GPU clear­ance in both di­rec­tions that the Car­bide Spec 06 also has a cou­ple of ver­ti­cal mount­ing brack­ets for builders who re­ally want to put their prized com­po­nen­try at cen­ter stage. Do­ing so does mean cre­at­ing quite a nar­row space be­tween the GPU fans and glass panel, but as the DIY sys­tem builders are no doubt al­ready scream­ing, this doesn’t seem to af­fect air­flow or GPU core temps sig­nif­i­cantly. Not all the gear is provided if you want to ori­ent your GPU ver­ti­cally, though—you’ll need to shell out for a riser ca­ble separately, and it looks like a bit of case mod­ding is re­quired to ac­tu­ally af­fix it to the PSU en­clo­sure.

If you’re re­ally wor­ried about cool­ing, you could al­ways make use of that space to fit a 360mm ra­di­a­tor at the front, a 240mm on the roof, and a 120mm at the rear. We’ve tested sev­eral other cases with sim­i­lar the­o­ret­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity for ra­di­a­tors this size, but few look so easy to in­stall them in. In terms of air cool­ers, there’s room for a to­tal of six 120mm fans, and two are sup­plied. We’d say that’s one ad­di­tional front panel fan away from great value.

It won’t come as a tremen­dous sur­prise to hear that there’s room for four SSDs and two HDDs in­side the Spec 06, po­si­tioned at the rear side of the mother­board mount, and again, easy to keep ti­died away, along with their ac­com­pa­ny­ing ca­bles. It’s a case just beg­ging for clean lines and gaudy lights, and it makes it easy to achieve it. Yes, from cer­tain an­gles the front panel pro­trudes too far, in or­der to give the fans breath­ing room. And yes, the fin­ish could be bet­ter—our re­set but­ton was stuck in a de­pressed po­si­tion, for ex­am­ple. But if you can live with those mi­nor im­per­fec­tions, you’re re­warded with a show­stop­per aes­thetic in wide fo­cus. –PHIL IWANIUK

Cor­sair Car­bide Spec 06 RGB

SPECCED OUT Spa­cious; wellex­e­cuted RGB.

B-SPEC Some fin­ish is­sues; no PCIe riser ca­ble.

$ 80, www.cor­

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