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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Jorgisven - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkSpam on a forum board has a special place in hell reserved for it.
idimitro - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkI am still wiping my saliva after reading the article, but the price helped me to sober up. The case is nice but too expensive. I have Xigmatek Elysium and It can also fit comparable amount of radiators, but only for ~150$. The build quality is for sure worse, and yes you might need to do some modding and tweaking, but where is the fun in just putting the radiators in a box if you don't get your hands dirty :)
I think Anand should review the Xigmatek as it is a good case but surprisingly unpopular.
Objective - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkSo this is basically the overpriced cheap and rattly Chinese knock off of Caselabs Cases.
Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkJust out of curiosity, what about this case is cheap or rattly? It was probably manufactured in China (or more likely Taiwan), but the design is American.
Biggestinsect - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkDesign wise the 900 is nothing like anything made by Caselabs. The SMH10 has similar dimensions and that's about it. Completely different internals.
JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkA Good review, however basically the same as what was described in Corsairs Video, expanded slightly and an opinion.
Still does not answer the Questions I have though! Being one of the now getting Fossilised generation, cases have come a long way, as has the cooling technology. but here in the UK unless your a really rich person, or old enough to have the family moved out, space is at a premium. So the computer will have to share the Bedroom or the living Area, making it a Very large noisy lump.
I do like the case! I love the space to work, and the variable structure internally, however How much more space is it going to take up compared with the 800D its pegged to replace?
I already had to modify the desk for the 800D, and only have 2.5" left to play with, I assume here that I am slightly Ferked.
I have plans for 12 Drive bays "8 old Archive Drives" 24 years of acquired computer software & Data crud. But I want to Liquid cool it to reduce the noise. I am interested in how that's going to go lol.
The main gripe with the 800D was in fact the lack of Space, the liquid cooled X58 UD7 board gave the possibility of 10 drives, the case at a push took 7 + 1 DVD Writer, the 3 EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Coppers 's on a Separate loop meant that the pipe work was Horrific to do anything with after! The 900D appears to address these problems!
I have to do more research into this, but it would one first glance appear that the 900D is only 1.5 800D's welded together, and put on a Big Mac diet for the width, (something I was planning to do before the 900D was announced)
One of the best cases I ever tripped across for space was the coolmaster Cosmos, but it was just too Big - and LOUD, even liquid cooled! this would appear to be the same case, with a rear space for cable routing.
So it's really nothing new, just an amalgamation of loads of past cases, built as a Single, All the Mods Done for you.... What I really need is the Manual!!!!
JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkAs an Afterthought.... the BIGGEST REASON! for a case with a lot of space for me, is the fact that I only have 1 working Arm!
It adds an extra Twist to building a computer - hence I only build 1 every 4 years.
After measuring I have to buy 4 copies of Clive Cusslers's The Navigator as well as the case, they are the right size to raise the desk up high enough to get it underneath.
At the moment it only takes 2 copies of Mrs Beaton's Household management for the 800D :).
cjs150 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkThis is simply a bigger, less cute version of the legendary TJ07 case. Looks to have better cable management and I like the way the HD cages work but that is about it. Also looks to suffer from same problem as TJ07 namely limited airflow to motherboard, from experience that is a quick way to fry the RAM!
With a 480 radiator you can cool 3 graphics cards. Then the 240 radiator could cool the CPU and (possibly RAM) leaving another Radiator up top to cool the motherboard chips. Totally insane but fun.
Denithor - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link*Scratches head.
In an era when CPU makers are pushing TDP lower and lower, they bring out this behemoth of a case aimed at supreme cooling? What are they thinking? I just don't get it.
Sabresiberian - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - linkwut?