Corsair Obsidian 250D Exterior

Externally, the Obsidian 250D can be easily described as the cubic variation of the Obsidian 350D, the micro ATX case that Corsair introduced last April. The Obsidian 250D is 16 cm shorter and 9 cm less deep as its larger micro ATX brother, yet it is about 7 cm wider. As a result, even though the case is shorter and not as deep, the volume of the case is reduced by about 30% (≈0.028 cubic meters against the ≈0.042 cubic meters of the Obsidian 350D). Although Corsair has not officially disclosed the weight of the Obsidian 250D, the sample that we received tipped the scales at about 5 kg, which is about half the weight of an average simple ATX tower case.

Corsair went with a modern, post-minimalistic design with the Obsidian 250D. It is a case of clean lines and basic geometric shapes, with an addition of a top panel window and a brushed aluminum fascia with the company logo imprinted on it. The frame of the case and the side/top panels are made out of 1 mm SECC steel, while the front panel is made out of 2 mm thick plastic. The front panel also forms the two front feet of the Obsidian 250D, while the rear plastic feet are each attached to the metallic chassis. Considering the size of the case, the feet are quite tall, elevating the metallic frame of the Obsidian 250D about 2 cm above the surface. The aluminum front covers are no more than thin sheets of metal attached to the plastic frame beneath them and have been added for aesthetic purposes only.

Two USB 3.0 ports and two 3.5" audio jacks (headphones, microphone) can be found at the top right side of the aluminum fascia. The top right side is also home to a tiny circular reset button and the power on button, a ≈4 cm long stripe with the two case LED lights (power and HDD activity) integrated inside it. In between the buttons and the front I/O ports, there is a single 5.25" bay for an optical device.

The rest of the aluminum fascia actually is a large door, which can be opened by applying pressure to both of the top corners simultaneously. Once opened, the door will lean forward by about 45 degrees, giving direct access to the intake fan filter behind it, making cleaning of the front filter a trivial procedure.

Both side panels of the Obsidian 250D have large openings with integrated fan filters. Cleaning these fan filters will unfortunately not be as easy as the front filter, as the panels will have to be removed in order to access them. Both openings are about 280 mm wide by 140 mm high, with the right side panel opening right next the exhaust fan(s) or liquid cooler radiator and the left side panel opening right next to the intake of the GFX card fans. This design allows a powerful GFX card to draw cool air directly from the exterior of the case, which will definitely improve its thermal performance; however, it can also backfire if the user is far too negligent, as the filter could gather so many particles that it may become entirely clogged, leaving almost no space for the GFX card cooler to draw air from. This does not mean that the filters of the case require cleaning too frequently; depending on the environment, the filters may require cleaning anywhere between some weeks and up to several months.

The rear side of the Obsidian 250D is rather interesting, because it not only illustrates the internal design of the case but also gives access to the installation of disk drives and the PSU. The Obsidian 250D is split into two compartments; the bottom half is home to the HDD cage and the PSU partition, while the top half is meant to hold the main system, with the motherboard placed horizontally. Obviously, the orientation of the motherboard is why the window has been installed on the top panel of the case as well.

Corsair Obsidian 250D: Introduction and packaging Corsair Obsidian 250D Interior
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  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    I like the idea of using synthetic thermal loads for reliability, but I'm curious how heat is dispersed from these. Do they have metal heatsinks on them like actual components would? If so, do they have pins or fins - and if the latter, what kind of orientation? That can make a big difference - you'll get much better cooling if the airflow is parallel to the fin direction rather than perpendicular. A case with direct airflow (like the Corsair Air 540) will do very well if the video card's fins are parallel to the long side of the card, while a tower with a side fan (like the NZXT Phantom 630) will probably do better if the fins are perpendicular to the slot. How does your current setup take these things into account?
  • E.Fyll - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    Great thinking JDG1980.

    True, heat is dispersed via heatsinks. Even though the faux boards are solid copper sheets, their surface alone is not enough to disperse such volumes of energy. Unfortunately, they are commercial products and thus they do have fins. I could not find symmetrical heatsinks available commercially and custom constructions would cost a lot of cash. Unfortunately, that was the best I could do with my limited time and resources at this point of time, although the design will gradually improve over time.

    The fins of the faux cards are parallel to the sides of the card. The fins of the Mini-ITX board are parallel to the top/bottom sides of the board.

    Specifically regarding the GFX card, the design will favor cases which have a fan blowing right at them. However, cases which have no direct airflow over the card slots rely on passive/bulk airflow only, in which case the orientation of the fins would hardly matter.

    To summarize, although the fins can work in the favor of some designs, the bulk airflow is far more important as the load does not in any way aids the airflow/heat dissipation capabilities of the case itself, therefore the error is not high.
  • dbtc - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - link

    I really like the idea behind developing a more consistent testing strategy. The problem I see is that it, although it may provide a very accurate comparison between cases in their true stock configuration, it might not be a good representation real world usage.

    For example, adding a single fan or changing the orientation of the CPU sink could drastically improve the performance. I think some brief results addressing optimizing the case would be extremely helpful. Not only for providing a more complete review but also for anyone interested in using the case who would like to know which types of components would work best.

    I know, it's a lot of extra work - just my thoughts.
  • jojo32 - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    Is the front of the case damaged? For me, cosmetic defects and rattling parts are so common when getting cases for a custom PC.
  • sor - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    Sort of looks like they forgot to take the protective film off of the front of the case when taking the photos.
  • HaZaRd2K6 - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    It's probably just wear and tear from the case being shipped around to various reviewers.
  • E.Fyll - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    Camera lens overexposure from the overly bright lighting. I am still waiting for a couple of light diffusers. Sorry...

    There actually is a small dent at the top right side of the front door, as seen in the picture displaying the I/O ports, but this case went through two custom inspections and an intercontinental three working day delivery. The box makes it clear that it has been somewhat mishandled, it has been opened/repackaged twice and the dent is right behind a thick slab of Styrofoam which was undamaged; therefore, my educated guess would be that the dent was caused by the inspectors or during shipping, rather than on the factory floor.
  • jojo32 - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Thanks. I didn't think of lighting. Then again, I'm not a photography enthusiaist. I think my phone takes great pictures.

    I never had a Corsair case but cosmetic defects from manufacuturing, damage from shipping and loose parts happen so often when I bought cases from other companies (BitFenix, Cooler Master, Silverstone and Lian Li).
  • stratum - Monday, January 27, 2014 - link

    Same here. I'm more likely to get damage, loose parts and cosmetic defects than not. Even the $100+ "premium" cases are like this.
  • BigLeagueJammer - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    I'd like more information about the new thermal testing. I thought there wasn't much information for something that's a new concept compared to putting a real system in there. Overall I found it rather confusing and borderline useless.

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