Corsair Obsidian 900D Case Review: Think Big, That's Only HALF as Largeby Dustin Sklavos on April 16, 2013 11:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Water Cooling
In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 900D
I'll cut right to the chase, this thing is enormous. It was shipped to me freight, on its own pallet of one, and the FedEx guy bellyached constantly about getting it up to and into my apartment. And it's absolutely huge. Just to give you some idea of the scale, this is the 900D's box hanging out next to the unboxed BitFenix Shinobi XL I use for cooler testing. Please forgive the mediocre cameraphone quality.
Yeah, they're not screwing around. If you're a particularly tiny man (like, for example, me), know what you're getting into. Thankfully it's only 40 pounds, and I say that knowing that it could be worse.
Corsair uses a combination of aluminum and steel for the chassis that's both attractive and sturdy. The brushed aluminum is on the front fascia of the 900D, and it's very thick and really demonstrates the best qualities of using aluminum for a chassis. The top 5.25" segment of the case is a drop-down door that hides the USB and headphone connectivity along with the reset button; the notch above the door is the power button, and the power and activity LEDs are embedded in it. The shields for the four 5.25" segments below it are secure, but easily removed from the interior, and when removed there's an attractive finish surrounding them (you'll see in assembly later on.) Below all of those is a single panel that pops out to reveal the front fan mounts along with their removable filter. That filter has enough space inside it to comfortably fit around a radiator.
The top of the 900D is much simpler: a large, removable filtered grate bookended by steel on either side. Corsair has done a good job of producing something dense enough that the fan mounts beneath it aren't unsightly while allowing air to pass through easily enough. Interestingly, there's virtually nothing on the bottom of the 900D. Though the 900D is able to stand a healthy distance off of even a carpeted floor, Corsair elected not to offer cooling options on the bottom of the case. This isn't a mark against the case, just something worth noting.
Get to the back of the 900D and you'll see it's almost all ventilation, but the patterns are tasteful and stylish, and it's obvious there's a lot of room behind the motherboard tray for routing cables. You can see the two power supply bays in the bottom, but I think Corsair missed an opportunity by not also allowing the user to install a power supply in the top of the case. The clearance is there, and though it would intrude on the radiator space somewhat, it would also free up radiator space in the bottom. Note that near the top are two wedges on either side; these are buttons that release the latches holding the side panels on, similar to the Obsidian 550D.
Big case, tiny photographer.
The sides of the 900D are a dual door affair. There are side panels for the top chamber that are hinged at the bottom, and the left panel has a large window. Ordinarily I'm on the fence about windows, but with something like the 900D I think it would be ridiculous not to have one. These hinged panels are easy to remove, secure when in place, and a godsend for builders. Meanwhile, the two bottom doors are also hinged at the bottom, and though they don't come off, they're easily pushed open from behind. In the photography they're blocked off, but they actually have magnetic filters behind them, and the blocked off panels can be removed to turn them into vents if you install radiators and/or fans in the bottom chamber.
Open up the 900D and Corsair has a heck of a lot going on with effectively a smart two chamber system. The 5.25" bays are toolless (and pretty secure), and the drive cages are all some degree of removable; they're all held in place by screws behind the motherboard tray. Corsair only includes three cages with three trays apiece, but you can order two more directly from them to fill the whole thing out. The bottom right cage also includes a SATA backplane and the trays themselves will line up both 3.5" and 2.5" drives to connect to it. To use the fan/radiator mounts in the bottom chamber you'll have to remove both cages, though; do so, and then there's a panel of mounts that flips up from the bottom.
There are plenty of well-placed holes in the motherboard tray for routing cables, and Corsair very smartly sets the one for connecting SATA cables to the motherboard a couple of millimeters out. This corrects for the extra clearance that side-oriented SATA ports require, something few case manufacturers actually account for. Finally, behind the motherboard tray, Corsair actually includes latches for cable routing.
The Corsair 900D is ultimately an exceptionally well built enclosure. It's sturdy and fairly thoughtfully designed for its intended purpose, though not totally flawless. The four fans Corsair includes are all revisions of their popular AF120 and AF140 case fans. As a whole, the package screams quality and I don't get the sense that Corsair ever really cheaped out.
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Subyman - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkI have a 800D and would not purchase something like this again. I really like the case, very well built, and so forth but with boutique manufacturers like Case Labs making thick, aluminum cases that weigh half as much with ridiculous customization, it seems a serious watercooling enthusiast has better choices out there. The 900D looks great and well built, but steel at $349 + 41lbs dry is rough. Believe me, a fully loaded 800D was is ***** to move! No wheel option is a little disappointing as well with something this large.
hero1 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkThis. I had absolutely forgotten about Case Labs as of late. And you do have a good point here and I think most people ought to know that they can have better cases for similar price or slightly more.
Blindsay04 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkCase labs makes some quality stuff but their pricing is a lot more. SMH10 is $500 and that is probably the closest to the 900D
pensive69 - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - linksee? Subyman picked up on the need for wheels...
and the case didn't seem to have what i might term
non slip handholds either.
that's where my insurance kicks in.
DanNeely - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkit would require changing the appearance slightly; but to make installing cards easier I'd suggest putting holes in the frame at the proper screw location and extending the side panel to cover them. It worked well in one of the more plebeian cases I've used.
I've had trouble with hinged toolless latching mechanisms not being compatible with dual slot GPUs before and am leery about suggesting them for something like this; although with a watercooled card the obstruction might not be an issue.
minijedimaster - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkSo they basically just took a Fractal Design XL R2 and modified it, slapped their name on it and called it a day.
santiagoanders - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkThe interior is much more similar to the CoolerMaster Cosmos II
JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkWhich is basically Just an Antec Performance case re-jigged
Sabresiberian - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkNot sure why someone would question the "need" for this over the 800D. It's pretty simple:
800D - 7 Expansion slots
900D - 10 Expansion slots
The 900D will simply hold a much larger mainboard. The 800D might well be crowding a third graphics card, and a fourth one would be out of the question.
Aikouka - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkI already own an 800D, and it's nice to see that they addressed the cable routing shortcomings in that case. It annoys me that I spent $300 on that case to see the side panel bow out because I'm routing a fairly common number of cables behind the case. While the side panel bowing doesn't really hamper you, I have found another issue with it that makes me reconsider ever buying another Corsair case. The other issue is that the 800D is limited in regard to the radiator sizes that it supports. Why is it that Corsair designed the 800D, their previous flagship case, to only support up to a 240mm radiator? If I had to guess, it's probably because Corsair was only selling a 240mm solution at this point (their H100 all-in-one). However, a few months ago, Corsair released a 280mm all-in-one solution called the H110i, which isn't even supported by the 800D!