Introducing the Corsair Obsidian 650D

Corsair pretty much stormed out of the gate when they entered the enclosure market, starting at the top with the Obsidian 800D and gradually working their way down, and each case has been well-received. Their first "budget" offering was still fairly pricey, but the Graphite 600T reviewed well and took home the bronze. Corsair recently added a similarly priced offering to their premium Obsidian line with the 650D. But is it another winner or are we left with a feeling of deja vu?

If NewEgg's customer reviews and the other reviews out for the 650D are anything to go on, Corsair would seem to have another winner on their hands. I'll admit to being a bit more skeptical, though, and as we go on you'll see why. Since reviewing the 600T last year, I've actually moved my primary computer into it. I stand by my original review and would still happily recommend it, but since playing with more and more cases and really wearing in the enclosure, there have been a few things that have begun to bother me. I still love the design and ease of use, and the cooling system and acoustics are still among the best, but the top of the enclosure actually winds up being questionable for mounting a 240mm water-cooler due to the slight curvature of the ventilation, and the negative air pressure design is next to impossible to improve as a result of how the enclosure is built.

So again, why bring up the 600T? Because the 650D, at least internally, is nigh identical to its predecessor. When we look at the spec sheet, though, we see that's not exactly a bad thing.

Corsair Obsidian 650D Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro ATX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25"
Internal 6x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 200mm fan
Rear 1x 120mm fan
Top 1x 200mm fan (compatible with two 120mm or 140mm fans)
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 8
Front I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, headphone and mic jacks, 2x USB 2.0, 6-pin FireWire
Top I/O Port SATA hot-swap bay, fan controller
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 13.5" with drive cage, 18" without (Expansion Cards), 185mm (CPU HSF), 300mm (PSU)
Weight 24 lbs.
Dimensions 21.5" x 9" x 20.5"
Price $189

At $189 the 650D still ranks among the more expensive enclosures we've tested, to the point where it's really more an investment than anything else. A good enclosure can last you a long time, and roughing the 650D around a bit I never get the sense that it won't last.

The main differences in I/O against the very similar Graphite 600T are the loss of two USB 2.0 ports and the addition of the external SATA hot-swap bay at the top of the enclosure. I'm honestly a pretty big fan of these bays, and between the USB 3.0, FireWire, and SATA bay connectivity the only thing you're really missing is a card reader.

In and Around 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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