Assembling the Corsair Obsidian 650D

Amusingly, installing the testbed into the Corsair Obsidian 650D gave me a serious case of Groudhog Day (the movie). I'm so used to working inside the 600T, and the 650D's internal layout is nigh identical.

First, installing the motherboard was a breeze. I've been championing pre-installed motherboard standoffs for a while and Corsair delivers, with standoffs in place for a standard ATX board. Not just that, but the centermost standoff isn't a standoff at all, but a nub that will actually help hold the board in place and makes lining the rest of the mounting holes up a breeze. It's a simple addition that goes a long way towards easing the process.

Once again, with installing drives, ease of use is the name of the game. There's a tool-less mechanism that snaps into place when you install a 5.25" drive in one of the four external bays; to remove the drive, just push the lever down and the drive pops out. It's nice and secure, but just in case, there are also easily accessible mounting holes on the opposite side of the bay. The drive trays for 2.5"/3.5" drives are just as easy to use: they're plastic with four metal nubs surrounded by rubber, and the trays flex open to accept 3.5" drives and lock them into place. They also snap in and out of the drive cage with just the right amount of resistance. For mounting a 2.5" drive you'll need to use screws, but there are holes in the bottom of each tray explicitly for this purpose. It's not as easy as mounting a 3.5" drive, but I have yet to see a better 2.5" drive mount in an enclosure.

The vented expansion slot covers are held in place by thumbscrews, and are simple enough to remove. Installing our Zotac GeForce GTX 580 was a breeze, and the extra expansion slot at the bottom below the motherboard is such a welcome feature that I wish it was included in more enclosures: even the 650D's big brothers (the 700D and 800D) don't have it. I actually use the one in my 600T, having placed my secondary card (a GeForce GT 430) in the bottom-most slot. The card's cooler is a half a slot too wide, but fits in just fine in the 600T and would be perfectly fine here as well.

Getting the power supply in place required a bit of finagling as it almost always does, but in the end it wasn't too difficult. In fact the worst part of the entire installation is the same thing it's always been: routing cabling, specifically power cables. I feel like the opening in the motherboard tray next to the power supply for routing cables is actually a bit too small and this is one place where a revision would be appreciated. Still, getting all of the power cables routed was a bit more painless than it usually is, and with the ports of the 2.5" and 3.5" drives facing behind the motherboard tray, all of the data and power cables are lined up neatly and kept behind the tray.

Installing the testbed in the 650D reminded me of just how clean Corsair's internal design for it and the 600T really is, and you can really see it in our photos. Space behind the motherboard could be a hair more generous but is still ample, and the interior of the 650D remains remarkably clean. In fact my 600T with two occupied optical drive bays and all six drive trays occupied is still an extremely tidy build. Corsair's engineers made things as easy to keep neat as they conceivably could, and it shows.

In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 650D Testing Methodology
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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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