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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. Well, here it is! We intend to give the case a thorough rundown today.
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.
Shortly after its initial success, the company launched a diluted version of the 800D, known as the 700D, which removed the hot-swap drive bays and side panel window in an effort to make the case more affordable. Despite shaving roughly $50 off the 800D, the 700D was still a bit too pricey for the average system builder, especially when you consider the boatload of attractive solutions found in the sub-$200 territory.
Hoping to reach a broader market, Corsair has since announced two more product lines: Graphite and Carbide – the former is available now via Corsair.com and the latter has yet to ship. Both series are more geared toward the mainstream enthusiast domain with prices starting at about $100. Additionally, the company has introduced a new mid-tower to its Obsidian series, the above-mentioned 650D, of course.
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...