Corsair Obsidian 650D Mid-Tower Case Review

By on July 7, 2011, 4:42 AM

During our recent gaming case roundup, we compared six unique enclosures spanning from BitFenix's $60 Shinobi mid-tower to the Cooler Master's $200 HAF X full-tower. Shortly after publishing that review, some of you were disappointed that we didn't include something from Corsair's popular Obsidian series, especially its new Obsidian 650D.

Corsair released its first case some two years ago with the $299 Obsidian 800D, which garnered a massive following among enthusiasts. With its boxy, yet elegant design and a clean matte black finish, it's seems likely that Corsair was at least somewhat inspired by Lian-Li's minimalist approach. In fact, it's fair to say that Corsair even improved the formula, as many rated the 800D ahead of similarly priced Lian-Li cases.

In many ways, the Obsidian 650D is a miniature version of the 800D, so we can understand why it has many of you swooning. Though at $190 you will have a difficult time justifying its price as it's one of the more expensive mid-towers around. Beyond this price point, the market is largely dominated by Lian-Li and we suspect most users looking to spend north of $200 on a chassis will want to spring for a full-tower model.

Although we're sure it's no pushover, the 650D definitely has a lot to prove, let's move on to see what Corsair's new mid-tower brings to the table...

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

What i like:

-easy off side panels

-side window (lil small but only slightly)

-filter for the PSU.

-100% tool-less 3.5" and 5.25" drive bays

What i hate:

-the 3 different sized fan holes on top look horrible

-hell i hate the top entirely

-no tool-less expansion card clips a la Lancool PC-K62 (can you tell what case i have? hehe)

-the look of fans larger than 140mm because of that roundness that makes them look out of place

-too rows of rubber grommets in the mobo tray even with standard ATX form factor boards

-price

Excellent review as always from Techspot. Well done.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

In fact, its thermal readings barely increased when switching between high and low fan speeds.

Doesn't this mean that this case moves air poorly. In any good case shouldn't there be a noticeable difference in case temp when changing the fan speeds?

Stupido Stupido said:

It's OK.. but too expensive for what it offers...

lmike6453 said:

Awesome review. For the price I would get way better than this though...

Guest said:

I have to say the reason the case is at a price premium is because of their decision to use steel. Steel is a lot more expensive to use than aluminum. I can't think of another reason why. The decision whether to use hot-swappable drives or not is irrelevant in my opinion.

Philip

Guest said:

As I was reading this review I was really impressed with some of the features of this case. I've never bought a case this expensive (I still use Cooler Master Centurion 5's) but I was seriously considering buying one - until I saw the placement of the window. You have a great view of the power supply (?), but you can't see the upper part of the motherboard and nearly half of the CPU cooler and RAM. I like the side panel latches, but their placement has a negative effect on the placement of the window. The whole point of having a window is so you can see your expensive cool-looking components - as well as lighting, cabling, etc. Hot-swappable drive bays would have been nice too, but that doesn't bother me as much as the window placement.

TekGun TekGun said:

Guest said:

I have to say the reason the case is at a price premium is because of their decision to use steel. Steel is a lot more expensive to use than aluminum. I can't think of another reason why. The decision whether to use hot-swappable drives or not is irrelevant in my opinion.

Philip

Aluminum is a lot more expensive than steel due to the process involved in production.

Guest said:

"What I hate:

-the 3 different sized fan holes on top look horrible

-hell i hate the top entirely"

You probably will like it if you have any plans for the H100 pre-sealed water cooling kit from Corsair:

[link]

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Guest said:

I have to say the reason the case is at a price premium is because of their decision to use steel. Steel is a lot more expensive to use than aluminum. I can't think of another reason why. The decision whether to use hot-swappable drives or not is irrelevant in my opinion.

Philip

huh? when did steel become more than aluminum?

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Pretty nice case, but too many other alternatives at this price point.

Arris Arris said:

red1776 said:

huh? when did steel become more than aluminum?

"due to the process involved in production", think the poster meant that the fabrication of the cases using aluminium is a more expensive process rather than the aluminium being more expensive than steel.

Looks good, would have gone for this over the 600D if this model had been available at the time. Love the cable management and layout of everything in this series of cases.

Leeky Leeky said:

I love this case... Just a shame I'd never buy anything else with Corsair stamped on it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

supersmashbrada said:

In fact, its thermal readings barely increased when switching between high and low fan speeds.

Doesn't this mean that this case moves air poorly. In any good case shouldn't there be a noticeable difference in case temp when changing the fan speeds?

IMHO, the top of the case is poorly designed for the supplied 200mm fan. It's un-shrouded, and there is screening on both side of the fans, Accordingly, when the fan runs it creates a partial vacuum beneath it. In this case, the path of least resistance is drawing air to replace it from the side of the fan, not from within the case as it should be.

I think it would cool better with the 2 120mm fans, or with shroud inserts to block the air from the side and top of the case being sucked into the fan.

This is the same reason a loudspeaker needs to be baffled. Otherwise, positive pressure from the cone runs around to the back and fills in the vacuum, and you get no bass out of the system. (High frequencies tend to beam, and aren't affected by this phenomenon).

Look at an Antec 900, they got the top 200mm fan installation right.

EDIT: I'd also like to add, that based on the cooling performances noted in this review, you'll likely wind up selling more CM "HAF X" than you do this case with it.

Did I mention the "Cooler Master Storm Enforcer" acquits itself quite admirably in the cooling department also, at about half the price?

Guest said:

Hot swappable Drive bays? For Pinkos and Commies only. WHeres a good Mini tower when you want one. I mean who needs any more than one 5.25 bay nowadays anyway.. Four is just stupid. And the price.. dont they know theres a recession on? Max of £100 then I can spend the other $100 on a nice memristor SSD in two years. I would like a nice cheap "cube-y" case like the Lian-li.

champmanfan said:

Good solid review as always. Why so long to review - it came out end of March.

I have the bigger brother 800D and can see anyone with either the 650D or 800D will be very pleased. I read this since I was after a case to house 2600K for Folding and the ease of installation with enough room and thought for wires, although it does seriously concern me about the back panel spacing being tight which the 800D has massive amount of room for.

Either case does have well-known issues with typical air-cooling which is why my current 800D is custom watercooled, moreso for overclocking. Anyone getting this should seriously consider Corsair's CPU range of self-contained watercooling units if your not sure about doing it yourself.

Guest said:

I had purchased the CM HAF X from Newegg and the the 650D came out. I returned the HAF X case (I did not build in it) and bought the 650D. Really apart from the cooling aspect the 650D is superior in every way to the HAFX. I has better thought out filtration, better cut-outs for the motherboard, easier to access - almost any function of the case is tooless and the HAFX hot swap bays have to be screwed in - which really defeats the purpose of having them in the first place. I am going to use my hot swap bay for quick backups and the 650D is brilliantly set up for that.

The 650D is much smaller and yet very roomy. The hot-swap bay is SATA III while the HAF X is SATA II. With SSDs pushing the SATA III limit, this is an important feature. More importantly, the overall build quality of the 650D is superior to the HAFX - it is just more intelligent. The quick-release side latches are SOOOO much better than clumsy thumb-screws.

The reviewer said that the tooless optical drive locks for the HAFX were better - they are wrong. The 650D tooless optical drive system is brilliant. Simply slide your optical drive in and it is held in place VERY firmly. Push the side button and instantly the drive is released - it could not be easier.

Further, I did not have any problems whatsoever in fitting the SATA connectors to the HDDs and SSDs. I am not sure why they had a problem - they must have larger SATA headers or something because the HDD SATA connectors DO NOT push out the back panel. My PSU main power cable was very tight but even it did not "bulge" the back (side) panel out. This is a poorly taken point IMHO by the reviewers.

The vented top is again a brilliant improvement by Corsair because this case cools better than any member of the Obsidian series and better than the Graphite series. For those who criticized it - heat rises; therefore a top-mount 200 mm fan is not only reasonably quiet, it does a superb job of cooling the motherboard and GPU. If you don't need more than three storage drives installed, you can remove the top HDD cage which greatly improves air flow (and cooling) my guess is that it would may a 2-3 degree difference because the front fan can blow directly over the GPU and mother board. This would put it in the realm of the HAF X in cooling performance.

Despite my criticisms of this review I think they did a very good job overall. BTW, I got my case for $150 after rebates (I bought it at Newegg). Perhaps the best improvement that Corsair could make would be to put out a panel with a side-fan mount.

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