In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 650D

Externally the Obsidian 650D is basically the mid-tower version of Corsair's larger 700D and 800D enclosures, and people who aren't fans of the Graphite 600T's curved design are liable to appreciate the monolithic black style. About the only thing that might seem out of place is the window on the left panel; I have a sort of "take it or leave it" feeling about windows on cases and would probably prefer either a solid panel or a 200mm fan intake.

The front of the enclosure is very spare and clean. It's almost entirely black aluminum, with four drive bays. The power button and HDD indicator light are both above the bays along with a door that hides the front I/O. It's a nice stylistic touch but I'll admit I found myself wishing that door was an external 3.5" bay for a card reader; your mileage may vary and I certainly can't ding Corsair for the decision since inside and out, it looks good. Behind that door is also the reset button and frankly that's probably a perfectly fine place for it. Below the bays is a removable fan filter for the front 200mm intake fan.

When you get to the top of the 650D, you'll find the SATA hot-swap bay and fan controller hidden by a sliding plastic door. The door on my review unit was a little bit stiff, but it did work fine otherwise. The bay will easily accommodate a 3.5" or 2.5" drive. Behind it is the massive vent for the top-mounted 200mm exhaust fan, and this is a big improvement on the 600T's design. The vent here is perfectly flat and can accommodate a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans instead of the 200mm fan for larger water-cooling radiators. What I really appreciate here, too, is that the removable filter on the top of the 600T is gone and the vent is just built into the case. That filter was a nice enough touch, but over the last few months mine has actually developed a bit of a rattle that requires "concussive maintenance" to silence from time to time. On boutique builds it also had a habit of getting stuck.

Finally, the back and bottom are pretty standard fare. The bottom of the case has a removable filter to go under the power supply's intake fan and is lifted off of the ground to allow you to place the case on carpet, while the back has a small hole for routing the USB 3.0 passthrough cables along with a generous eight expansion slots (one more than the pricier 700D and 800D cases), a 120mm exhaust fan, and two rubber-lined holes for passing water-cooling tubing.

Internally, the 650D is an exercise in deja vu. I have been inside this case before. Corsair retains the latched side panels found on the 600T and these are still one of the best features I've ever seen on any case, period. Getting into and working inside the 650D remains just as easy as the 600T was, so if you're the tinkering type Corsair has your back. Unfortunately, though, the side panels on the 650D don't feel quite as secure and don't go back on quite as easily as the 600T's did, and I could see with the 650D where they might develop a rattle over time.

But the inside design is stellar. The two three-drive cages both feature tool-less drive trays that can support 2.5" or 3.5" drives, once again making a strong argument for using drive trays in modern designs. The top cage can also be removed and placed alongside the bottom one to allow for extremely long video cards, though I doubt that will be necessary: there's already 13.5" of clearance to begin with. Corsair also includes a generous opening in the motherboard tray for mounting heatsinks, and there are an abundance of openings with which to route cables behind the tray.

If I have one complaint to really carry over from the 600T, it's the power supply mounting system. Corsair includes an additional, movable support for the power supply, but it's held in place by two thumbscrews and frankly it's extremely awkward, can be difficult to line up, and is ultimately superfluous. This is an extra piece of complication the case just doesn't need, and hopefully in a future revision they'll just eschew it entirely. It allows for tool-less power supply mounting, but it's just not necessary.

Introducing the Corsair Obsidian 650D Assembling the Corsair Obsidian 650D
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  • The Sorcerer - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    NZXT Gamma and now Shinobi. Both brilliantly made cases for that price. Get a good set of fans and that's all one needs for a mid-end gaming rig.

    Just a question, wouldn't filling up the HDD bays and doing the required cable work (SATA Power connectors and SATA cables) give more clear idea about how good the cable management should be? MATX layout boards are bundled with shorter SATA cables, whereas a full-fledged atx motherboards (Like...890GPA UD3H) comes with bit longer cables.

    Its been a very long time since I got my hands on those prebuilt systems with "slim" unit linueups, but back in the days negative pressure enclosures were nicely made and well thought construction to hold the adds-ons nicely.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    I can actually comfortably say cable management in the 650D will still be stellar even if you load the whole thing up. Why? Because internally it's nigh identical to the 600T and I did exactly that with my primary machine. Reply
  • randinspace - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Why doesn't Corsair just produce a model that comes with one of their popular (?) water cooling units? Reply
  • AlexKitch - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    I'm a big fan of this case but had such problems getting my hard drives into the hard disk bays. I felt like I was about the snap them every time.

    Also, make sure you get the update to this case which upgrades the fan controller and mounts the front intake fan on rubber standoffs rather than the original screws - this solves a lot of noise/resonance problems.
    Reply
  • darckhart - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    what's the model number for the "update?" Reply
  • AlexKitch - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Corsair's website has it listed as product SKU# CC650D-FANKIT . When I bought the case, it had already been included in the box (but not fitted) Reply
  • Locklear - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    The front fan is a real offender in noise. Something to do with the pitch of the fan-blades in combination with the front mesh. Just built a new comp with this case, and switching the 200mm fans with Cooler Master Megaflows worked wonders on noise. The annoying "whirling" disappeared completely. The fan change will come at a slight price though. You have to sacrifice one drive cage and move the other to the middle position in the cabinet due to the added 10mm depth on the megaflows (200x30mm). Using other 200x20mm fans should also work fine. Reply
  • rbg08 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    Good to about this fix. I own this case and just yesterday ordered a Xigmatek XLF-F2004 White LED Black Case Fan (200x20mm) on sale from Newegg to match the fan on my Dark Knight-S1283W CPU heatsink. I was debating whether to install it in front or on top. Sounds like I may decrease noise as well by mounting it in front. Reply
  • malignate - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    This is my biggest complaint about this case since I've set it up! If you do a search on youtube for 650d and noise, there is a video demonstrating this problem. I went back and forth with Corsair on a solution and the best they could come up with was to send me another fan. As mentioned, it has to do with the combination of the fan and the front mesh.

    I tried replacing the front fan with the XIGMATEK CLF-F2004 White LED fan, which is also 20mm so it still fits without drive cage modification. This took some adjustment because the fan screw mounts on the fan are facing for an exhaust fan, not an intake fan. I ended up using wire ties and attaching it to the front mesh. Not pretty but it still works. Unfortunately, this fan has the same problem with this case but is slightly muted. I think I'm going to have to go the Cooler Master Megaflow route and move the hard drive cage as has been recommended by others. This is a ridiculous design flaw for a case that costs this much and seems otherwise well thought out. Corsair needs to fix this.
    Reply
  • flong777 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I own the 650D and the case is not noisy - nor does the Anandtech review reflect excessive noise. I don't think that I have the updated fan kit either. No case that moves air is going to be entirely silent. Read the reviews on the Fortress FT02.

    People should not be misled into thinking that this case is noisy. I mean if you are really sensitive about noise, turn the fans to low and you will have trouble hearing the system at all.

    With the fans on low I hear my CPU cooler but not the case - I have the Noctua NH-D14 cooler.
    Reply

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