Corsair’s Obsidian Series 800D enclosure

Manufacturer Corsair
Model Obsidian Series 800D
Price (Street)
Availability Now

There are several ways to tell a budget shirt from an expensive one. You have the fit and style, of course, and the quality of fabric used also plays a significant role. Aesthetics and materials count for a lot with desktop enclosures, too, but there are other less obvious factors that really separate luxury cases from cheap ones. Enthusiasts expect premium enclosures to be easy to work with through multiple upgrades, to offer ample airflow for power-hungry components, and to keep noise levels low enough to enable nearly silent builds.

Corsair has traditionally done a good job of catering to enthusiasts, and the company’s first entry into the enclosure market dives right into the deep end as one of the largest and most expensive cases I’ve ever used. The case’s designers have obviously done their homework, because in addition to using a blend of aluminum and powder-coated steel, they’ve outfitted the Obsidian 800D with extensive cable routing, four hot-swap hard drive bays, a wealth of cooling features, and a strikingly well-done paint job. With all of these features, the Obsidian definitely looks the part of an enclosure that could last through several generations worth of upgrades. Time to find out if that’s really the, er, case.

Obsidian is a good name for the 800D

I’ve been excited to take a closer look at the 800D ever since spy shots started showing up around May of this year. As an enclosure enthusiast, I was anxious to see what Corsair would do with the common tower case. That’s not to say there’s been a shortage of innovation lately; indeed, a plethora of new ideas have come to market, including snail-shaped enclosures, sideways-facing external drives, and cases with the motherboard turned 90 degrees. I have a feeling that a lot of those designs will soon be forgotten, however.

Rather than thinking way outside the box, the new features Corsair has brought to the table with the 800D are much more subtle and sensible. And with a classic, monolithic exterior, the Obsidian stands a better chance of staying aesthetically appealing over the long haul. Fans of Lian Li’s industrial styling should appreciate the 800D’s boxy look, as well.

At 24″ high, the 800D stands an inch taller than the already towering Lian Li X500. You won’t find any vents or optical drive bay doors on the expanse of black, brushed aluminum that is the front bezel, but there are five external 5.25″ bays, a stealthily-concealed card reader and port cluster, another door covering the four hot-swap hard drive bays, and a small logo just a couple inches from the bottom.

Unfortunately, removing the protective plastic skin that covers the front bezel lifted off some of the logo. This is a shame considering that the rest of the front panel looks so clean and polished, but truth be told, I almost like the grittier, distressed look better. Corsair tells us this is a rare problem that should be resolved soon.

The top of the 800D is strictly business, with three adjacent 120-mm vents providing plenty of room for even the largest aftermarket water-cooling radiators. One could also add three large case fans to provide a healthy dose of improved airflow—or simply leave the case as is, allowing natural convection to make use of the ample ventilation. The flat surface atop the 800D also makes a handy place to set a cell phone, MP3 player, or flash drive, which is more than can be said for some super-sized cases.

In case you were wondering, the Obsidian is as deep as it is tall. The case’s overall dimensions are 24″ x 24″ x 9″, and it weighs in at 35 pounds.

Behind the squarish aluminum door on the front panel, you’ll find the one feature probably most responsible for the hype surrounding the 800D: four server-style, hot-swap SATA hard drive bays. In addition to looking sweet, the hot-swap bays allow users to add, remove, and replace hard drives without cracking open the case—a major convenience. We’ll take a closer look at the hot-swap bays in a moment, but first, let’s check out the rest of the exterior.

The power button and hard drive activity light sit just above the highest 5.25″ drive bay alongside a port cover shielded by a drop-down, push-button door. Behind the door, you’ll find four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire port, and headphone and microphone jacks. The rings of chrome around the power button and activity LED are nice touches, and I love how the whole port cluster looks, especially when closed. However, the ports are all recessed, which could create problems for fatter USB thumb drives. Such a high-end case should really have an eSATA or hybrid eSATA/USB connector in its port cluster, as well. I do like how Corsair puts the power button and port cluster at the top of the case’s front face, though. This approach should work equally well for folks who run the case on or under their desks.

A sail-shaped acrylic window takes up most of the case’s left-side panel, providing an unrestricted view of a system’s internals. The rest of the panel, and the entirety of the right-side panel, is black, powder-coated steel.

On the back side of the 800D, one can see first of three included 140-mm case fans, this one functioning as an exhaust. Two rubber-lined holes easily large enough for 1/2″ outer diameter tubing lie above the motherboard area. Near the top corners of the case are a couple of buttons to activate the latches that hold the side panels in place.

Like many newer enclosures, the 800D mounts the PSU at the bottom of the case. However, the mounting holes are simply stamped into the back plate, which means the power supply can only be installed in one orientation. This design should work just fine for the vast majority of PSUs on the market, but with other premium cases offering mounting brackets that allow users to flip a PSU’s orientation, the Obsidian’s lack of flexibility is a little disappointing.

Looking for the 800D’s air intake? Check the bottom of the case. Hexagonal-pattern venting provides an unrestricted path for airflow, although the case doesn’t come with any intake fans attached directly behind the vents. You do get a handy nylon air filter that neatly slides out from the back of the case to allow for relatively easy cleaning, though.

To keep the Obsidian elevated enough to make the underbelly intake useful, Corsair sits the case on three rails that lift it about an inch off the ground. That should be enough clearance for most situations, but those with thick shag carpet might want to set the Obsidian down on a flat board to ensure optimal airflow. Of course, if you have thick shag carpet, you might want to look into a flooring upgrade before dropping $300 on a computer case.

The black abyss

The mechanism used to open the side panel of a case is one of those areas where I’ve seen more creativity lately. Compared to traditional thumbscrews, the 800D’s push buttons are much quicker and more convenient to use. When fully depressed, the side panel’s top edge pops off with a satisfying ca-chunk. The panel can then be lifted away with ease.

The first thought I had when I saw the interior of the 800D in person was much akin to Neo’s infamous ‘whoa’. If black is your absence of color of choice, you’ll likely have a similar reaction when you open up the Obsidian. The fan blades, tool-less optical drive mounts, and individual rivets and motherboard standoffs all match the exterior color. I wouldn’t normally make such a big deal over a seemingly minor aesthetic quality, but this sort of attention to detail is rare in the enclosure industry. Cases always seem to have at least one part, whether it’s a bracket here or a screw there, that doesn’t quite match everything else. Corsair’s done an excellent job of blacking out everything inside and out of the 800D.

Now, there’s more to be excited about in the interior than just the way it looks. Case makers are increasingly punching holes in motherboard trays to allow for cleaner cable routing, and the 800D takes this to the extreme with 13 rubber-lined holes. Slots next to the drive bays in both the top and bottom portions of the case bring the total number of openings to 15, which is more than I’ve seen in any other enclosure.

A couple of holes also perforate the panel separating the top and bottom zones of the case to allow a water-cooling radiator or pump to reside in the lower section.

Much like other premium cases, the 800D separates its internals into two zones, with the power supply and a couple of standard hard drive bays living in the lower compartment. A 140-mm fan mounted to the underside of the zone divider draws air into the case through the bottom-panel intake vents and channels it up into the main compartment.

The 800D’s third and final fan is another 140-mm model tucked behind a shroud attached to the hot-swap drive bays. This shroud’s design directs air from the bottom of the case across the hard drives and then behind the motherboard tray, where it eventually makes its way out through the exhaust vents at the rear. With two fans drawing air in and only one active exhaust, the main chamber maintains a net positive air pressure, which helps to keep dust from making its way into the case through unfiltered vents. Excess warm air can easily makes its way out through the Obsidian’s generous top-panel venting thanks to the miracle of convection.

There are two more hard drive bays in the bottom portion, but they don’t include hot-swap caddies, and you’ll have to add your own 120-mm fan to give them dedicated cooling. Corsair includes a fan shroud for the 120-mm mount to direct airflow over the hard drives.

After taking the right side panel off, the 15 cable routing holes are even easier to see. And now, we can also see where Corsair intends for all your extra cabling to go. The wiring for the port cluster and front panel is neatly bundled and long enough to reach the bottom of this side of the case before popping through to the other side. If you’ve ever been frustrated by having to remove your motherboard to install a CPU cooler with a custom back plate, you’ll especially appreciate the removable panel just behind the socket area of the motherboard tray. Pop it out, and you have very good access for pretty much all modern sockets.

Filling out the 800D

OK, time for some hardware to fill this bad boy up. Since the hot-swap bays were just too cool for me to avoid any longer, I started by installing a hard drive.

After a little lever-pull action, the hard drive sleds can be completely removed from the hot-swap area. They’re primed to accept 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives, so there’s no need to break out an adapter—or duct tape—to secure an SSD.

Considering that the rest of the Obsidian is a tool-free affair, I was a little surprised to see screws used to secure drives in the hot-swap sleds. The sleds also lack any form of vibration or acoustic dampening; they’re just steel and plastic. Plenty of cases offer built-in vibration absorption and tool-free hard drive mounting options, but then few even high-end enclosures have hot-swap caddies and native support for 2.5″ drives.

In addition to the four hot-swap bays, two more hard drives can be more permanently installed in the lower area of the case. Oddly, these drives are secured using drive rails that don’t require screws.

To access this lower drive area or pop out the necessary knock-outs in the front panel to install a 5.25″ drive, you have to remove the front bezel completely. It pops out with a firm push from behind, which isn’t nearly as elegant as the button-released side panels. A simple sliding latch held our optical drive from just one side more securely than I expected. I didn’t need to add any screws to the right side, but that’s an option for those who really want to lock a drive down.

Connecting the motherboard to the hard drives is slightly different when a hot-swap bay is part of the equation. Four circuit boards host power and data plugs for the corresponding hot-swap bays, and Corsair provides a strip of SATA power connectors that neatly delivers juice to all four bays. Users need only to connect a single power cable along with the data cables, which simplifies things a little and makes for cleaner cabling overall.

The power supply was the next component to go into the system, but I didn’t get far before running into a small snafu. Without any extra wiggle room, I started by securing one of the top corners of the power supply. The Enermax unit’s top mounting holes just barely lined up with the holes in the back plate of the case, and the bottom holes were far enough off that I couldn’t get one of the screws to start. Eventually, I was able to muscle the screw in by manhandling the PSU a bit, but it wasn’t easy. Most of the other cases I’ve worked with have larger screw holes with a little extra tolerance.

Installing the rest of the components in the Obsidian was pretty unremarkable, save for the ease with which I was able to run cables neatly behind the motherboard tray.

Between the modular cables of our Enermax power supply and the massive size and routing features of the Corsair case, this was probably the easiest build I’ve ever done. I was particularly impressed that even a standard IDE ribbon cable nearly vanished in the Obsidian.

One could certainly do a better job of tidying things up behind the motherboard tray, but the best part of Corsair’s approach to cable clutter cleanup is that it’s easy to sweep cabling under the rug, so to speak. A few of our cables were just barely long enough to reach their destinations, including both motherboard power leads and our optical drive’s power cable. Cable reach is bound to be a problem in a taller case that mounts the PSU below the motherboard and encourages indirect cable paths, but with a little extra planning, I suspect few folks will have a hard time making all the necessary connections.

The Obsidian’s fan wiring is a little different than what I’ve commonly seen on other high-end cases. The Lian Li X500, Antec P180 series, and Thermaltake Spedo all use fans that plug directly into the power supply, while the 800D’s fans have three-pin connectors designed to hook into a motherboard. You’ll need at least three onboard headers to power the fans or an adapter for your PSU.

After finishing the build, I put the left panel back on and marveled at the size of the Obsidian once more. Notice how even our monstrous Noctua CPU cooler looks reasonably sized inside the 800D.

Speaking of monstrous, it’s worth noting that the Obsidian can accommodate larger Extended ATX motherboards. There’s also clearance for expansion cards as long as 15 inches, which is plenty of room for even workstation-class graphics cards.

Testing notes

To better push a case of the 800D’s stature, we needed to tweak our test system to be a little more demanding than usual. We’re still using an AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition processor, but we’ve overclocked it from the stock 3GHz to a respectable 3.5GHz by increasing the CPU multiplier. Noctua’s NH-U12P heatsink provides processor cooling with a 120-mm fan hooked up to a constant 12 volts of power.

The only case I have on hand that comes close to the 800D’s ambitious size is the Thermaltake Spedo, which will fill in as today’s comparative reference. In its stock configuration, the Spedo is way too noisy. However, this is easily remedied by removing the 240-mm fan attached to the side panel, which lowers not only noise levels, but temperatures, as well. We used this tweaked setup for the Spedo, while the Obsidian was left in its out-of-the-box config.

Processor AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition overclocked to 3.5GHz
System Bus HT 3.6 GT/s (1.8GHz)
Motherboard Asus M3A32 MVP Deluxe
BIOS Revision 1002
Memory Size 2GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory Type Corsair CM2X1024 DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Speed 1066MHz
Hard drive Maxtor 200GB SATA
Graphics XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512 PCIe with ForceWare 190.62 drivers
Power Supply Enermax MODU 82+ EMD625AWT 625 Watts
OS Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition
OS updates Service Pack 1, DirectX redist update August 2008

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The tests and methods we employ are publicly available and reproducible, but as is always the case with cooling and overclocking, individual results may vary.

System temperatures and noise levels

We’ll kick things off with a look at system temperatures, starting with the system at idle. For this test, we let the system sit at the Windows desktop until component temperatures stabilized.

The 800D and Spedo have similar motherboard and graphics card temperatures, but the Corsair’s higher CPU temperatures are immediately apparent. I’m chalking this one up to the fact that the Spedo moves a lot more air through its chassis thanks to a greater number of fans that are also spinning faster. The Thermaltake case also has a 240-mm exhaust fan located directly above the CPU, providing gobs of airflow for the Noctua air tower that’s cooling the processor. Plus, the Spedo has an intake fan located directly behind the CPU area with venting in the right side panel to feed it, while the 800D has a cover in the same place.

Next, we probed component temperatures after they’d stabilized with a full GPU load generated by the rthdribl HDR lighting demo.

Here, we see an even greater difference in CPU temperatures between the 800D and the Spedo. Everything else stays about the same, with the Corsair running the motherboard a little cooler but the graphics card a little warmer.

Our last temperature test adds a four-way Prime95 CPU load to the mix.

Again, the 800D’s CPU temperatures are much higher than those of the Spedo, likely thanks to the latter’s greater airflow around the socket. However, 65 degrees Celsius is still a reasonable temperature for a fully loaded 3.5GHz quad-core Phenom, especially considering the Obsidian’s fan configuration.

Since component temperatures are only one part of the equation, we’ll turn our attention to noise levels next. I measured noise levels 12 inches away from the front, top, and left side of case under our most demanding load.

The 800D might run the CPU a lot warmer than the Spedo, but the Corsair case is quite a bit quieter. When I turned off the test system, my sound meter registered 22-24 dBa. Impressively, the 800D’s only a few decibels louder than the ambient noise floor of my testing room, even with an overlocked Phenom II and powerful graphics card running at full steam. This is probably the quietest system I’ve never heard.

Keep in mind you can tip the temperature/noise scale in either direction by adding or subtracting fans and changing their speeds. Corsair has obviously optimized the Obsidian for lower noise levels by equipping the case with only three relatively quiet fans. Amazingly, the 800D maintains near silence despite using steel side panels that are completely devoid of the acoustic-absorbing materials found on some other high-end cases.

In my extended testing with the Spedo, I managed to achieve almost the same temperatures with much lower noise levels by limiting all the fans to seven volts. This only requires a little re-wiring of Molex plugs, but if you want lower temperatures in the 800D, you’ll have to purchase additional 120-mm exhaust fans. Adding fans to the top panel to keep more air moving across the socket area should help to lower CPU temperatures without dramatically increasing noise levels, provided you pick the right fans.

Conclusions

If I could sum up the 800D in one word, it’d be substantial. The Obsidian is a no-nonsense, extra-large case with an impressively uninterrupted, blacked-out aesthetic both inside and out. Even though this is Corsair’s first entry into the market, its engineers have designed a case that gets a lot of little things right while also bringing new innovations to the table. I’ve yet to see a case with a better array of cable-routing punch-outs, making it easy to wire even a crowded system cleanly. The 800D’s partitioned cooling zones still leave plenty of room to work inside the case, and the access panel behind the motherboard tray’s socket area should greatly simplify heatsink swaps. And then there are the hot-swap drive bays, which are a rare find in desktop enclosures and certainly something a lot of enthusiasts will find both useful and drool-worthy.

As nice as the hot-swap bays are, they could still use a little work. A tool-free design would be much appreciated given the lack of screws elsewhere in the case. I’d also like to see vibration-dampening materials added, since even many budget cases include them these days. The side panels could use some acoustic absorption goodness, too, although the 800D is still plenty quiet without.

Since relatively high CPU temperatures are the 800D’s only real performance weakness, I’d like to see Corsair ship the Obsidian with more than just the three fans that are included now. Users wouldn’t have to use them all, but at least they wouldn’t have to purchase additional fans to beef up the case’s cooling capabilities. A $300 full-tower enclosure should really be better equipped to cool toasty hardware, especially given the fact that much less expensive enclosures like the Thermaltake Spedo and Cooler Master Cosmos offer a lot more airflow out of the box.

The 800D’s lofty price tag makes little flaws harder to excuse, particularly given some of the cheaper options on the market. However, the issues we have with the case are minor when compared to rarer perks like the hot-swap drive bays, socket underside access, and extensive cable routing options. Plus, the all-black styling is surprisingly consistent and really quite classy, in an imposing sort of way. The Obsidian’s gargantuan proportions obviously aren’t for everyone, but I think this is exactly the kind of case a lot of enthusiasts have wanted for a long time. If you consider that it should last through several upgrades and system builds, the 800D actually represents solid value for those who need a towering enclosure to house their high-end workstations or gaming rigs. If you’re one of those folks, the 800D is TR Recommended.

Comments closed
    • Delphis
    • 10 years ago

    expensive for what it is, imho..

    for my home server, I went with the Chief for $135 shipped 🙂 8 hard drive bays with good cooling.

    §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811160026<]§ Lockable door so little and curious hands can't power it off inadvertently.

    • Valhalla926
    • 10 years ago

    I hope someone makes a side door without the window.

    • NeronetFi
    • 10 years ago

    Excellent Review Joshua. I was wondering if you could run an update test and possibly add 1 or 2 Fans to the top? I imagine that if these were added it might get the CPU temps closer to the Spedo.

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    Well, if you like the AMD 5xxx GPU “batmobile” look and would like it writ large in a case, you could always get this:
    §[<http://www.insidehw.com/News/Hardware/HAF-932-the-AMD-way.html<]§

    • Byte Storm
    • 10 years ago

    This was an excellent review, and judging by what I see, this will be my next case. Just need some sound dampening items, and a few extra fans.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    It`s so you can test your 9.11 Cat drivers’s new found Flash goodness 😛

    • firestorm02
    • 10 years ago

    For that kinda coin I’ll stick with my Cosmos S thank you very much.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    Now if you /[http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/exclusive_thermaltakes_jawdropping_level_10_chassis_unboxed?page=0%2C0<]§ §[<http://www.ttlevel10.com/<]§

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      §[<http://www.ttlevel10.com/<]§ -- site where the page is nothing but Flash = instant fail (The sign of content-free marketing for sure)

    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    Whilst it has some cool features,especially the cable management cut outs, it is simply just too big,too bland and too black.

    • FubbHead
    • 10 years ago

    -[http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&category=2&prod=32<]§ And again, excellent review!

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      “So, uh, you never really had the case, then?”

      I don’t understand.. what do you mean?

        • FubbHead
        • 10 years ago

        No, and I can entirely see why now. So, don’t mind me.. o_O

        /[

          • Tamale
          • 10 years ago

          Ah.. that makes more sense! 🙂

    • NeronetFi
    • 10 years ago

    I would just like to thank TR for the Review of the Obsidian 🙂 Thank you very much.

    • Shinare
    • 10 years ago

    I would like to echo the other “$300 is asinine for a case” thoughts here. Considering for $300 you could purchase just about every other component needed to make a reasonably fast computer using latest technology.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Cases can last 6-10 years easy. It’s doubtful many other parts of your system cang{<.<}g

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      You’re certainly right that you can build a computer for that much, but I really don’t believe people would fill the 800D with $300 worth of computer hardware. 😉

      • Kilos
      • 10 years ago

      My Rosewill case was $30 shipped and it’s serving me well so far. Heh. I couldn’t imagine spending even $150 on a case.

    • End User
    • 10 years ago

    This design has potential. I love the motherboard tray access points. I am a fan of the Antec Performance One line (P182 and a P193 under my desk) and there are features I would take from all three:

    – triple layer panels
    – remove the window (solid triple layer panel)
    – quick access doors for tool-less 3.5″ drives located on the left side of the case. The left side access panel would go around (entirely separate from) the 3.5″ drive access area.
    – two front mounted 120mm fans (in front of the 3.5″ bays)
    – supply at least one 120mm upper case fan
    – external case fan controls
    – supply 2.5″ drive spacers (SSDs!)
    – expand the number of 3.5″ bays to 6 or 8 (by reducing the number of 5.25″ bays)
    – reduce the cost

    Drool!

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    Wow, great review!

    Does the cat come with the case? Such a pretty cat that does your bidding. Showing it to my daughter when I get home.

    Anyway, again great review. I know I would never be able to afford this, but then if it is good for a few generations, that would be a point of consideration. If nothing else this is a review to help determine the next case. I love the wire management layout, holes and all! That is the way things should be done. I also especially like the cover for the CPU cooler back plate! Very nice addition. Definitely a builders case. Hot-swappable drives is a nice addition, even if they require screwing things together – I was just trying to think how this would be possible with tool-less design – it would be a little hard. Huge and plenty of room to work in – that I like especially around the video card area where most of the heat is generated. Not sure about it blowing hot air to the PSU, but I sure that is something that can be worked out.

    I don’t see the window as being a issue per sic. If the colors bother you, just get good fans with no lights. They are out there. I know about lighted fans – they light up the room as if the computer was a wall=plugged glow light. Annoying after a few years. So, replacing them with no light fans makes a big difference. The only thing left is the motherboard light. Like Tamale says, it is nice to know what is going on inside the case at times and it is nice to showing off to people what you have inside.

    There are a few quirks, but every other case has them. But overall I like the case and it is definitely a model for my next case. Mid-tower? Most definitely at half the price, but keep the depth, just to keep it easy to work with.

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      Thank you!

      As for tool-less sleds, it’d be hard to make them accept both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives, but the Spedo’s sleds are tool-less and slide and lock very similarly to Corsair’s. Basically, there are just four see-saw plates that either push into the drive’s screw holes to secure it or push out to let the drive out. Once it’s all the way in, they can’t be pushed back out. It’s very simple and effective, and I would think a similar design could work pretty well in the 800D for the 3.5″ drives.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      It is a lovely cat (looks like it has a lot of Korat in it) but I expect sitting on the case (like pretty much everything else) was the cat’s idea, not the reviewer’s.

        • Tamale
        • 10 years ago

        Wow, you’re absolutely right. Those are purrfect descriptions of her.

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 10 years ago

          No pussyfooting around the word play, there.

            • Tamale
            • 10 years ago

            No sir! After all, missing any potential feline puns would be *[

            • indeego
            • 10 years ago

            MEOW HISS, PURR, SCRATCHg{

    • Drewstre
    • 10 years ago

    A tad too expensive, IMHO… I grabbed an ATCS 840 for $179, no tax, free shipping. I love it, except the tool-less 5.25″ mounts are a bit wobbly; thankfully they come out easily, to use screws.

    If this was the same price, I might’ve gone with it instead, mainly for the SATA backplane. I have no regrets about the ATCS 840, though.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    Thats alot of money for a few pounds of steel. For that kind of loot, my money would go for a Lian Li A71F, and then some.

      • Voldenuit
      • 10 years ago

      There are benefits to steel over aluminum. Lower vibration, lower noise, and being immune to stripping out screwhole threads are 3 that I can think of offhand.

      Although I have to admit I have a weakness for brushed/anodised aluminum surfaces.

      #60, Nice case. ^_^

    • danny e.
    • 10 years ago

    I will never buy a case for my “main” computer without a side panel. I used to think they were gaudy and annoying till I actually got one to try..

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    If you like this case you should consider looking at the Antec P183.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      Doors = teh suck. For me, at least.

      But I’m not looking for a case this big, period. mATX is all I need, so I certainly don’t need a case big enough for two of them.

        • End User
        • 10 years ago

        mATX?!? Heck, don’t stop there. Why don’t you compare it to a laptop, an Inspiron Zino HD or a Mac mini while you are at it.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 10 years ago

          because mATX is a pretty common size. Anything smaller is a boutique form factor with relatively few choices.

            • End User
            • 10 years ago

            Boutique!?! My Mac mini is glaring at you from beneath the HDTV.

            I don’t see any point in slagging the Obsidian for being larger that mATX. It is a big case by design. If you want mATX go read a mATX case review.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            Wow, sorry to step on your ego. Here, let me dust it off for you.

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Nobody’s “slagging” the case. I was slagging /[

            • Byte Storm
            • 10 years ago

            A little from column A, a little from column B

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            Guess I wasn’t aware my comment was aimed specifically at a case you’re looking to buy.

        • paulWTAMU
        • 10 years ago

        amen. Doorless, with port clusters towards the top of the case. That’s what I want.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 10 years ago

          Antec 300, right? Or does it have the latch doors?

            • paulWTAMU
            • 10 years ago

            Oh, I don’t have a case like that. Although the 300’s on my short list for the next build. My last one had a door and I freaking hated it.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            I don’t think I ever had one, but I think I know someone who has one, but it’s been a while since I saw his case so I might be remembering wrong. I thought it seemed convenient, so long as there were still screw holes if you want to bolt it down a bit more. But I never spend that much on a case; I have a realitvely nice budget-priced mid-tower enclosure (Cooler Master Elite 310) and that’s about all the nicer I’ll ever have, I imagine.

        • Bensam123
        • 10 years ago

        I bought a P180 due to a project I was working on and it’s about the same size as a mid-atx case for a micro-atx board.

        The door on the bigger model is the same as the smaller one. They aren’t your typical doors, they’re more or less pretty free moving and not cumbersome. They’re double hinged so you can have it open all the time and its flush with the rest of case. They’re extremely slick.

        If the P180 wasn’t so fing big, I’d recommend to anyone looking for a micro-atx case.

          • UberGerbil
          • 10 years ago

          My tower always goes on the right side of my desk (and for various reasons that’s the only option) so a door that opens to the left is a major pain. And I don’t see the point in paying for something that is always open and against the side of the case (where it just gets in the way when I want to open the side up). Not to mention any detrimental effect it might have on airflow with it closed. Essentially, I see no upside and a lot of downside.

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            there is about a half inch of slots along the edge of the front of the case along with holes in the door itself. Airflow isn’t a issue with doors on these things.

            I don’t believe you’re paying extra for the door, rather it’s just part of the package as there isn’t a door and a door less model. Either way you can just keep it open and it takes a tiny bit of room up on the side of the case. It looks pretty good with it open too.

    • astrotech66
    • 10 years ago

    Awesome cat!

    Pretty impressive case overall. I love the hot swap hard drive bays and the cable management features. I currently have a Cooler Master Stacker, which is pretty large itself and overall a nice case. But changing a hard drive in it is a major pain, so I’m envious of the Corsair in that respect. I like side windows, so that doesn’t bother me.

    It’s just a bit too large and expensive for what I want, though. I’m looking to downsize just a little bit from the Stacker I have now. As some people have mentioned, a mid-tower version that costs a little less would be great.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    Is it just me being fussy or does some of the steelwork look a bit cheap?

    Particularly in a few photos where two neighbouring straight edges should be flush and there’s a bit of misalignment and bowing of one edge. It looks that general fit-and-finish doesn’t quite hit the mark – another reason why I’m not surprised that the PSU didn’t line up properly.
    On a $100 case I wouldn’t even care but when you’re paying $300 you have to compare it to the competition and it looks poor alongside every competitor in this price range.

    Overall, it looks like a good case that fills a definite gap in the market, but it’s always easy to cram lots of features into a huge case. The real skill is getting those features into a normal ATX case without making it unusable.

    • WillBach
    • 10 years ago

    The cat is adorable! He looks a lot like the on my fiance and I adopted a month ago from the SPCA, but ours has a white dot between her eyes. She actually came up to me with her stuffed mouse the first time I tried to write this comment and demanded that I play.

    So far, I think the cutest things she’s done has been to get into the costume glitter while my fiance and I were out on Halloween. We came home and she was all sparkly.

    The case itself looks amazing. My Antec P180 is definitely starting to feel its age. I wish the window was a little larger, though. Right now, the window feels dominated by the CPU cooler.

    Also, there’s no way my fiance would let me spend almost $300 on a chassis for a system with a $150 CPU. She would sick the cat on me.

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      Pixel is named for the white dot right beneath her neck. You can see it well in the picture of her on the last page of the conqueror review:

      §[<https://techreport.com/articles.x/15419/5<]§ She has to be around me every time I'm doing stuff in the workshop.. for case reviews she gets especially curious.. sniffing them out and helping me 'test'.. haha. It looks like the best ones become perches in the end. The window really is quite large.. you have to remember that heatsink is super-sized as well. I'd keep an eye out for sales on the chassis.. I'd bet good money you'll be able to snag one for closer to $200 with the right sale / coupon codes.

        • WillBach
        • 10 years ago

        Awww! She’s really cute in the picture in the linked review! Our cat is named Anastasia, we kept the name the SPCA gave her. Her interest in computers seems to be limited to the power bricks (they’re warm) and the MagSafe cables for Mac laptops. Well, she’s also extremely curious about the printer, sticking her head in it while it’s trying to dispense paper. When one of us starts a print job, we know when the printer wakes up because Anastasia will stop napping and bolt towards the printer.

    • Freon
    • 10 years ago

    Three times more expensive than the most I’ve ever spent on a case. It better walk the dog, do the dishes, and mop the floor while I’m gone at work.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      and sleep with your wife!

      Oh, wait, it better not do that.

        • Welch
        • 10 years ago

        LMFAO… I don’t know, if I came home and found my wife sleeping with the computer I’d be a bit concerned about her not the computer.

          • gml_josea
          • 10 years ago

          If you wife is sleeping with the computer, I think you should worry about yourself.

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 10 years ago

            Hey, what about the poor computer…? Damn!

        • FubbHead
        • 10 years ago

        Why not? You get new chassis for free!

    • Blackened
    • 10 years ago

    I’d be curious to know what the temps would be if you added a few extra exhaust fans to the top.. I’ve got a few sitting around that are absolutely quiet at 7v.. I dont think that lone exhaust fan can keep up with the heat, especially with the gpu at load..

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      I’m sure it would help immensely. The air that was coming out from the lone exhaust fan was very warm.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Plus it would better warm the cat.

    • Voldenuit
    • 10 years ago

    Nice cat.

    Looks like Corsair built a quality case that’s also remarkably silent. It’s too big for my tastes, though, even if the price would not have put me off already. And I’m using a Silverstone KL-01, which is no teeny tot, either. Sadly, the KL-01 has next to no routing amenities, so the Obsidian wins that round hands down.

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    Nice chassis, a bit pricey even for a high-quality full tower unit.

    • green
    • 10 years ago

    been looking for a new case for a while but gonna have to say pass to this
    while the elements are good, the overall package itself doesn’t appeal to me

      • Fighterpilot
      • 10 years ago

      Same here…in this case…black is the new pink.
      Shame Fatal1ty didn’t sign it, I’d love to see the comments then on how awesome it is 🙂

    • rUmX
    • 10 years ago

    Really nice case 🙂

    On the last screenshot with the *purr* cat… your back IO panel doesn’t have it’s plate 😮

    But I don’t need an new case. I’m perfectly fine with my Lian-Li PC-V2110.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    *[

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 10 years ago

    Side window? No thanks. I’m sorry but I have standards.

    Hugs me Antec Three Hundred.

      • Kulith
      • 10 years ago

      Yea I have an antec 900 and I’ve grown to hate the side window and the stupid lights.

      If I where in the market for a case I’d by the cosmos.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      Agreed….

      • SubSeven
      • 10 years ago

      Amen reverend. My sexy Antec P182 that i managed to pick up on sale at the Egg for $79.99 shipped holds its own quite well against this beast. No window and the gun metal finish are just my cup of tea. I must say i’m disappointed with this case. For $300 they could have at least included a decent PSU (I got the corsair 620HX myself). Don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but does this case truly deserve the TR recommended award? I know TR has a great relationship with Corsair and Corsair was kind enough to sponsor the recent giveaway and provide hardware for testing, but it seems to me TR is throwing Corsair more kudos on this one than they actually deserve. I’m not knocking the case, seems like a great case. I’m knocking the price and TR’s recommendation of it. I’m sorry but for $300, you can do quite a bit better than this.

        • Tamale
        • 10 years ago

        I hope it came across well in the conclusion, but the recommended status really only applies to a pretty select few.. just like the recommended parts in the double-stuff workstation interest a smaller percentage of our readership than the sweeter spot.

        The hot-swap drive bay is an expensive upgrade for any enclosure, and overall, this is still a very good case. Also, you have to remember that for some individuals, $300 for a good case that they plan on using for a decade or so really isn’t that much compared to all the other parts.

          • SubSeven
          • 10 years ago

          Hehe. Well for some people 3,000 for a case may also be a really good deal. My P182 or just about any other upper end solidly built case that could be had for $150 or could easily last a decade. For one of my first built rigs, I used raidmax’s scorpio enclosure. This was almost 7 years ago. This case cost $40 shipped and came with a PSU. It’s cheaply built and is made up of flimsy steel and is nowhere near the quality level of my P182 but it is still in just about the same condition today as it was 7 years ago (a few more scratches). I have moved several times and this rig sat in my car during a 2000 mile drive from Denver to Boston with a whole bunch of crap on top of it. Heck the PSU is still working on this rig (and it’s a cheapo PSU). In short, my point is if that crapo Raidmax can make it 7 years, a better quality case can easily pull a decade or two with a bit of care. So again, to me, that is not enough to justify shelling out $300. But i get your point, this case is designed for individuals with more money than knowledge of what to do with it. Sorry if i sound like a cynic, but i call it like i see it.

            • Tamale
            • 10 years ago

            No need to be sorry. If you don’t see the value in the expensive features, it makes sense that you wouldn’t agree with the recommended award… and again, that’s something I tried to point out would be common in the conclusion. I simply took issue with you thinking this was some sort of Corsair favoritism.. I would’ve felt the same way about the case if it was from anyone else.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      I take more issue with the fact that it’s a full tower. I know some people love them but it’s just too big for me. I’ll stick to my Cooler Master Elite 310

      • anotherengineer
      • 10 years ago

      for an extra 30 bucks you can get a side panel with no window.

      §[<http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=46177&vpn=CC800D-SIDE1&manufacture=Corsair<]§ I will stick with my sonata 3 though k thx good case for water cooling though

      • FuturePastNow
      • 10 years ago

      Side window + top mounted fans = no sale.

      Windows are for teenagers, and I set stuff on top of my case.

        • astrotech66
        • 10 years ago

        Or, windows are convenient if you want to look in to make sure your CPU and case fans are all running properly, or to make sure everything is connected properly without having to pop the side of the case off. I find it to be a nice convenience, even though I’m not a teenager.

          • Tamale
          • 10 years ago

          I like them for checking the size of the dust bunny colony.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Do you set cats on top of your case? Because this seems to work for that.

    • Sencapri
    • 10 years ago

    Epic case.

    • KoolAidMan
    • 10 years ago

    I picked up this case for my new build. It is awesome, hands down the best case I have ever gotten my hands on. My build could not have been any easier with the cable routing features, etc.

    One modification I made to help airflow was to add a Lian Li optical bay fan enclosure. It takes up three optical bay slots and accepts a 120mm fan for intake. I put a Noisetaker fan in there running at low speed via a switch. I can’t hear it at all but it takes a little bit of the curse off of the little intake it has.

    My i7 860 CPU with Noctua heatsink idles at around 25C-30C, and at load with Prime 95 it will get between 40C-45C. It doesn’t get above 42C when gaming. My EVGA GTX 285 GPU will range between 38C-80C. If I force the GPU fan to run at 100% then I could get it below 80C, but that seems to be the point at which the card stops turning up the fan speed. Temperature is not a problem.

    Again, I have zero issues here, amazing case.

    • Kurkotain
    • 10 years ago

    i have the feeling the 800D obsidian was designed to cool the cpu with corsair H50…i mean, such big a case, with 10c more than other premiun cases?

    Could you show numbers with the Obsidian coupled with a H50?

    • internetsandman
    • 10 years ago

    This is an incredible case, if I had the cash I would buy it immediately. My only gripe is the front panel connectors, it looks incredibly cramped, especially when you consider this is one of the few cases that could comfortably hold a pair of 5970’s when they get released. The only thing I know of that won’t fit in this case is EVGA’s 4-way SLI motherboard.

    I also think a mid tower version of this would be a brilliant idea, even if only to make it more affordable.

    • Jive
    • 10 years ago

    Wow, this case makes my P180 envious. It is beautiful. Anyone else notice when Corsair dives into new markets, all their products have been top notch and executed beautifully? PSUs, SSDs, and now cases, this is the type of company i would invest in.

    • Hance
    • 10 years ago

    Looks like a killer case. The price is a little on the high side but cases last for years so its probably worth the money

    • bimmerlovere39
    • 10 years ago

    Corsair needs to make a mid tower. Now.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      Yes, a mid-tower — half the volume at about half the price, but with the other features mostly intact — would be a popular model, I would imagine.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        it’d be the greatest mid-tower ever made. And an mATX version at 1/3 the size at 1/3 the price would be the greatest mATX enclosure ever made

    • adisor19
    • 10 years ago

    YES ! This is the case i’ve been waiting for or at least something close enough. I absolutely love the cable management. I would like for Corsair to make a version of this case with 8 removable drive bays instead of 4 and i would instabuy it for my NAS 😀

    Adi

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