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Getting inside
The sheet of tempered glass that makes up the left-side panel of the Spec-04 TG rests on four rubber-grommeted standoffs, and it’s held in place by four padded thumb screws. With this panel removed, we can see the case’s three 3.5” drive sleds in the removable HDD cage.

The motherboard tray already had all the standoffs installed for an ATX motherboard and can support ATX, microATX, and Mini-ITX form factors. Corsair says the case can accept graphics cards as long as 14.6” (370 mm). The spec sheet also claims the case can house CPU coolers as tall as 6.7” (170 mm), but other documentation suggested a 150-mm maximum. I pulled out my tape measure and determined the actual space for tower-style CPU coolers was in fact 150 mm. 

At the bottom of the case, there are four rubber contact points to help reduce vibration and noise transferring to the rest of the chassis. Thanks to its open and shroud-free design, the Spec-04 can handle power supplies as long as 8.8” (225 mm), although builders will want to leave some room in mind for extra cabling.

As we've already seen, the right side of the case is covered by a metal panel held in place with two thumb screws. Loosen those fasteners, and the panel comes off with a pull towards the rear of the chassis. With the panel removed we can access the back side of the motherboard tray.

The Spec-04 TG provides a medium sized cutout for installing aftermarket CPU coolers with the motherboard in the case. The back of the motherboard allows for some cable management with a rounded channel for cables and plenty of tie-down points. Two spots for 2.5” SSDs or hard drives hide out behind the main wall of the interior, as well.

The build
While the Spec-04 TG offers an open and inviting layout, my build experience didn’t quite live up to my first impressions of the interior.

The first problem I ran into concerned our Cooler MasterLiquid 120 all-in-one cooler. I ran into trouble when I tried to line up the radiator on the rear exhaust panel. The mounting points for the glass panel are riveted to the chassis, and these rivets extend far enough from the chassis to potentially skewer the radiator, preventing its proper installation. I took a 120mm fan of the shelf and verified it was in fact able to line up without a radiator in the picture, at least.

Since the Spec-04 TG’s top panel can’t accommodate a radiator stack, the only other place I could mount the radiator was behind the front panel on the top-most fan mount. The radiator did line up properly in this position, and it had all the room I needed for the MasterLiquid 120’s push-pull setup.

I also ran into a bit of a snag when I went to install our test system’s power-supply unit. The rear panel has fin-like guides punched out of the chassis to help the PSU into position. The Aerocool P7-850W PSU in our test system initially seemed too wide to fit into these guides, but a little elbow grease helped it into place.

When I went to install the test system’s graphics card, I had to pull on the back panel to line up the mounting bracket on the graphics card with the mounting holes for the expansion slots the card stood ready to occupy. This issue occasionally rears its head even with more expensive cases, but it’s still an annoyance.

Overall, I was able to install every component of our test system inside the Spec-04 with some trial and error. The clearance issues I ran into with our 120-mm radiator weren’t encouraging, and the elbow grease I had to apply to get my PSU and graphics card installed weren’t endearing, either. Now that our test system is up and running in the Spec-04, let’s run some tests.