Installation Impressions

Unsurprisingly, we didn't encounter any major problems with the Obsidian 350DW's design during installation and its spacious interior made it easy to install and remove hardware.

After careful deliberation, we decided to install the following hardware: OCZ ZX 1000W PSU, Asus F2A85-M Pro motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) Crucial RAM, AMD A10-6800K CPU with the Prolimatech Megahalems and two Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards. Storage-wise, we installed a pair of Western Digital Red 2TB drives and three OCZ Vector 240GB SSDs.

We began by attaching the Megahalems' CPU bracket to the back of Asus' F2A85-M Pro motherboard. However, forgetting this step is no biggie thanks to that hole in the motherboard tray. The motherboard slotted into place without fuss and connecting everything else was as easy as can be. Please note that although we did install the Megahalems, we photographed the 350DW with Zalman's CNPS80F.

The DVD-RW slipped in effortlessly thanks to the 350DW's tool-free 5.25" system, which again is on par with Cooler Master's solution. Installing the 2TB hard drives was just as easy, but we do have two small complaints here. First, the 3.5" bays are not hot-swappable. This is a little disappointing as it would have been the icing on the case, and it's not a particularly expensive feature to add.

Still, Corsair has designed the 2.5" and 3.5" drive bays well, making installation quick and easy -- not only because of the case's tool-less features, but also because of a smart design that offers plenty of room to connect data and power cables. The modular 2.5" drive cage is also very cool and made it a breeze to work with devices such as SSDs.

Installing the OCZ ZX 1000W PSU was very simple using the bottom mounting position and there was still a load of room to accommodate an even bigger power supply, such as the Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W.

Extra-long graphics cards that overhang the motherboard fit with surprising ease as there is almost 15" of clearance. As shown in the photo, there is plenty of room behind the graphics card so installing things such as additional power cables should be problem-free.

Overall, the Corsair Obsidian 350DW is a real pleasure to work with, providing the necessary features and space required to build the ultimate mATX performance PC.