Noise and Thermal Testing, Overclocked

The Corsair Obsidian 650D may be extremely easy to use, but thermal performance has been somewhat lacking so far. Still, cases like SilverStone's RV03 have acquitted themselves particularly well under more extreme duress than they did at our stock settings. Hopefully the 650D will be a similar high performance champion.

While the 650D's different fan settings once again prove to have negligible differences, the overarching theme continues to be mediocre thermal performance. CPU temperatures are among our worst, with the other heavy duty cases able to produce results as much as eight degrees cooler. This bears out my chief concern: the 650D's negative pressure design just doesn't seem able to keep enough air flowing through the chassis to move the heat off of the processor or the graphics card.

Thankfully, though, Corsair's design still remains among our quietest. Though the different settings measure very similarly, in practice the higher fan settings do create an audible "whoosh." Idle noise isn't great, but it's not terrible either: just about anything under 40dB is livable and easy enough to drown out with white noise.

Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock Conclusion: Everything But Performance


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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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