Introducing the Corsair Obsidian 550D

We've been keeping track of the evolution of Corsair's line of enclosures since the Graphite 600T was released. Even as the newer enclosures generally found themselves lower and lower in price, there was a clear evolution as Corsair's engineers gained more experience and confidence with their designs. Yet each new design up to this point has been a little bit of refinement and a little bit of experimentation without any specific specialization. That changes with the 550D.

There's definitely some experimentation going on here, and there has to be: the Corsair Obsidian 550D is the first case Corsair has engineered specifically for silent running. That's not all they've experimented with, though, as you'll soon see.

Corsair's case isn't the only thing new about this review, though; we've also gone back and substantially revised our testbed and testing methodology to correct for some abnormalities and issues that may have affected the results of our previous tests. We're including some new data that should hopefully prove useful in both the short and long term. But first, let's get the skinny on the 550D:

Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro ATX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25”
Internal 6x 2.5"/3.5”
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust (supports 140mm)
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts
Side 2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts (or 1x 200mm fan mount)
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 8
Front I/O Port 2x USB 3.0 (via motherboard header), 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Clearances HSF 180mm
PSU 180mm
GPU 12.5" / 318mm
Weight 16.5 lbs.
7.48 kg
Dimensions 20.9" x 8.8" x 19.5"
531mm x 224mm x 495mm
Special Features Acoustic dampening foam
USB 3.0 via motherboard header
Dual removable drive cages with three drive trays each
Price $139

Corsair's design essentially falls into the same market as Antec's P280, but theoretically it's a step up from other silent-engineered cases like NZXT's H2. It has all the same accoutrements you've come to expect from a Corsair enclosure (including remarkable ease of assembly) while cribbing some ideas from Fractal Design's very successful Define R3. How successful this experiment was remains to be seen.

In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 550D
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  • Nje - Friday, March 30, 2012 - link

    The side panel can also fit a 200mm fan, would be interesting to see if it is possible to fit a 200mm fan and a NH-D14.. Reply
  • stratosrally - Friday, March 30, 2012 - link

    I have SLI'd GTX580s and a Corsair H60 with push/pull 120mm fans in my Scout. It is a noise machine - and that is with a custom solid side window - no vents or fans on it. I added a second 140mm intake in the 5.25"bay area under my single ODD so there are 2 front 140mm intakes, 1 top 140mm exhaust, and the 2x120mm push/pull rear =exhaust.

    I'd really like to try this case, the only change from as AT tested would be add an additional 120mm bottom fan next to the PSU, and keep my push/pull on the rear exhaust. I'd want to leave the solid side and top panels installed to keep noise at a minimum.

    I wonder if I'd see a temp rise? My Scout is just crammed full, it has 1 SSD and 2 HDD and an audio card.
    Reply
  • jimmyzaas - Saturday, March 31, 2012 - link

    I like everything about this case except for the Front IO/power button position. If you have something plugged in to the USB port, like a usb cable for your cellphone or a usb thumb drive, you won't be able to open the door to access your optical drive or other 5.25" devices without first unplugging your device. This is just stupid IMHO.

    Many cases out there got this simple thing right by placing IO and buttons on TOP of the case. Why do you have to be special and put it in some ugly color-mismatched rectangular cutout in front of the case that feeds through a hole in the front door?

    Sure you can remove the front door completely but why would you want to go that route? If I wanted something that looks like a Silverstone RV03, I would have bought that. I'm getting this case for the minimalistic look with the door in tact.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, April 01, 2012 - link

    It is, as you correctly denote in the graphs, "Degrees Celsius". Which is not "C" but rather "°C". But since you are dealing with deltas here, it would be much simpler to just use "Kelvin", "K", as most people do. :-)
    Thanks for making the switch to deltas though! :D
    Reply
  • 1ceTr0n - Sunday, April 01, 2012 - link

    But you honestly do the worst case reviews with the worst reviewer possibly Reply
  • helvetio - Monday, April 02, 2012 - link

    I just built a new system with this case and I really like it. The door can open to both sides, but the clips that allow this to happen are a bit delicate and I already broke one. Fortunately two spares are included.
    Since I keep the PC on the desk, it is important to me that the front ports and buttons are on the front, not on the top.
    The PC is very quiet, even to my hypersensitive ears, the loudest part of the build as an evga GTX 460 but the sound proofing further lowers its noise.
    Reply
  • Mosab - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    1- From what I have seen the GC is Zotac not ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP.
    2- (GPU thermals are at the 90C) that is toooooo much for the GTX 560 Ti. I have GTX560Ti and I think that 90C is extreme even for over clocked one
    Reply
  • cyberguyz - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    They sink in the motherboard pan appproximately 1/4". If you are using a mATX board like the one in this article, you are fine, but if you have a full size board like an ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Z that has that lovely bank of 'lay down' SATA ports right at the edge of the motherboard, get set to break out a hammer and do some remodelling of that case.

    You see that raised area surrounding the motherboard pan area? It is just high enough that it blocks access the bottom-most sata ports on these motherboards. You just can't get a SATA connector into them. In short, unless you want to ding up your case to fit that really expensive full size motherboard with SATA connectors facing to the edge, I would suggest steering away from any of the Corsair Obsidian, Carbide and possibly the Graphite series cases.

    As you can guess, this is from bitter experience after buying a Carbide 500R, getting it home and being faced with this conundrum.
    Reply

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