So today Corsair is introducing their new Spec case and typically I would check it out in one of our traditional case reviews. I’ve done this so many times in the past, in fact I counted, we have done 112 case reviews over the past 9 to 10 years. To do something different this time around I decided rather than do a review that we take a look at the case then do a build in it. So like the original Spec-04, the Spec-04 Tempered Glass model is a budget case. It has an MSRP of $59 so to go with that I thought I would put together a budget build to go along with it. I can’t wait to see how well it performs!
Article Name: Corsair Spec-04 TG Budget Build
Review Sample Provided by: Corsair, Gigabyte, AMD, and MSI
Written by: Wes Compton
Pictures by: Wes Compton
Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE
The Corsair Spec-04 TG
Okay so before we dive into the build I did want to take a look at the new case. I’m building in the Corsair Spec-04 TG. So the Spec-04 isn’t really new, but this model has a tempered glass side panel hence the TG at the end. The Spec-04 is a budget case from Corsair that has been out for a while now and while they have added the glass this version would still be considered a budget case as well. In fact, the price difference between the two is $10. So it ships in a standard brown box with line drawings of the case on the outside. Inside the box, it comes wrapped up in a plastic bag and protected from damage with foam.
So here is the main look of the Spec-o4 TG. You have that same angular front panel with the red trim. The big change is the move to a tempered glass side panel. Now because the case was designed for a sheet metal side panel with a window the glass side does stick out more than it would on a case designed around it. Even on a budget case like this, the glass is still thick, you can only go so thin before it breaking is a concern.
The glass is mounted using extra wide thumbscrews screwed into a standoff with a rubber mount around it. This works with the large hole in the glass to keep it from rattling or touching any of the metal panels. They also painted the top and bottom edge of the glass, a really nice touch that helps hide the original side panel mounting, something that some of the other manufacturers have forgotten to do when adding a tempered glass model of an already existing design.
The mesh on the front of the case really caught my eye as well. Corsair went with a dual mesh design. If you look closely at it you can see a mesh with small holes in the back but a honeycomb design on the outside with much larger holes.
The right side of the case doesn’t have tempered glass though so you have the thin metal side panel. They have gone old school here and added a bevel to the panel to give more wiring room and to give the otherwise boring side panel a little style. This side does also have our front I/O as well right on the front edge. You get a square power button with a white LED backlit logo up top then a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port for USB, microphone and headphone jacks, and an LED indicator for the hard drive down at the bottom. Then down at the bottom is a tiny reset button.
As a reminder that this is a budget case and you can only get so fancy the Spec-04 TG doesn’t have much styling up top. It is basically part of the squared off metal shell that by the way is made of a really thin gauge metal like any other budget case. You do have the two 120mm fan mounts up here if you need more airflow and fingerprints that I added for styling!
The back of the case has a traditional layout. This means it has an ATX power supply down at the bottom then directly above that the PCI slots. You get a total of 7 PCI slots and they all have the same larger mesh styling that was on the front of the case. There is a 120mm fan mount up above that next to the rear I/O. The only confusing there back here is why there is a square hole up near the top of the case.
Down on the bottom Corsair did slip in a slide out fan filter for the bottom mounted PSU fan. You can pull it out via a small tab at the back. The feet are all large but then have smaller rubber pads on them, it’s a little weird that they didn’t use the extra space for more grip, not that the case needs it at all. Beyond that, the feet hold the case up off your desk or floor high enough for that PSU fan to have good airflow.
Okay so here is the interior layout. You get full ATX support with a large CPU bracket access hole. There are holes for cable management but some of them are in weird spots. The three to the right of the CPU access hole, the one near the rear I/O, and the one to the right of the sixth PCI bracket down are all covered up by an ATX motherboard. There are holes a little farther to the right though so it's not to big of a deal.
While there are vents and mounts for two 120mm fans up top and one at the back as well, the case only comes with this one fan. This is where they save money to keep the costs down. One is enough for a basic build like what I have planned and there is a lot of room including another fan on the front for expansion in the future. The top fan mounts are offset to the left side of the case to help get around your motherboard and this is needed because it mounts directly at the top of the case. This also means that you can’t use the top of the case for a radiator install, it will be too thick so your only option is right on the front.
As for storage capacity, you basically get the three slide-out drive brackets. They are toolless for 3.5-inch drives but they also have 2.5 inch SSD mounting holes as well. The flexibility is nice and given the budget friendly price three drives should be enough. The drives are offset a little to the front to allow for more wiring room in the back but I will get to that in a minute.
So unlike most new cases, the Spec-04 doesn’t really have a ton of room in the back. In fact all of the holes that are under the ATX motherboards anyhow are hardly useful given the amount of space directly behind the motherboard. You get less than a half an inch total. Space does open up a little more to the left with a small channel than you can route cables up. This is where the additional room behind the hard drives helps. Plus it should make getting at those plugs easier. Beyond that, there are zip tie mounts but mostly in the no-go zone. The overall design on this side is like looking back 5 or 6 years, but I guess you are saving money on the case at the expense of wire management.