CORSAIR SPEC 06 RGB
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.corsair.com