Corsair Obsidian 900D Case Review: Think Big, That's Only HALF as Largeby Dustin Sklavos on April 16, 2013 11:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Water Cooling
In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 900D
I'll cut right to the chase, this thing is enormous. It was shipped to me freight, on its own pallet of one, and the FedEx guy bellyached constantly about getting it up to and into my apartment. And it's absolutely huge. Just to give you some idea of the scale, this is the 900D's box hanging out next to the unboxed BitFenix Shinobi XL I use for cooler testing. Please forgive the mediocre cameraphone quality.
Yeah, they're not screwing around. If you're a particularly tiny man (like, for example, me), know what you're getting into. Thankfully it's only 40 pounds, and I say that knowing that it could be worse.
Corsair uses a combination of aluminum and steel for the chassis that's both attractive and sturdy. The brushed aluminum is on the front fascia of the 900D, and it's very thick and really demonstrates the best qualities of using aluminum for a chassis. The top 5.25" segment of the case is a drop-down door that hides the USB and headphone connectivity along with the reset button; the notch above the door is the power button, and the power and activity LEDs are embedded in it. The shields for the four 5.25" segments below it are secure, but easily removed from the interior, and when removed there's an attractive finish surrounding them (you'll see in assembly later on.) Below all of those is a single panel that pops out to reveal the front fan mounts along with their removable filter. That filter has enough space inside it to comfortably fit around a radiator.
The top of the 900D is much simpler: a large, removable filtered grate bookended by steel on either side. Corsair has done a good job of producing something dense enough that the fan mounts beneath it aren't unsightly while allowing air to pass through easily enough. Interestingly, there's virtually nothing on the bottom of the 900D. Though the 900D is able to stand a healthy distance off of even a carpeted floor, Corsair elected not to offer cooling options on the bottom of the case. This isn't a mark against the case, just something worth noting.
Get to the back of the 900D and you'll see it's almost all ventilation, but the patterns are tasteful and stylish, and it's obvious there's a lot of room behind the motherboard tray for routing cables. You can see the two power supply bays in the bottom, but I think Corsair missed an opportunity by not also allowing the user to install a power supply in the top of the case. The clearance is there, and though it would intrude on the radiator space somewhat, it would also free up radiator space in the bottom. Note that near the top are two wedges on either side; these are buttons that release the latches holding the side panels on, similar to the Obsidian 550D.
Big case, tiny photographer.
The sides of the 900D are a dual door affair. There are side panels for the top chamber that are hinged at the bottom, and the left panel has a large window. Ordinarily I'm on the fence about windows, but with something like the 900D I think it would be ridiculous not to have one. These hinged panels are easy to remove, secure when in place, and a godsend for builders. Meanwhile, the two bottom doors are also hinged at the bottom, and though they don't come off, they're easily pushed open from behind. In the photography they're blocked off, but they actually have magnetic filters behind them, and the blocked off panels can be removed to turn them into vents if you install radiators and/or fans in the bottom chamber.
Open up the 900D and Corsair has a heck of a lot going on with effectively a smart two chamber system. The 5.25" bays are toolless (and pretty secure), and the drive cages are all some degree of removable; they're all held in place by screws behind the motherboard tray. Corsair only includes three cages with three trays apiece, but you can order two more directly from them to fill the whole thing out. The bottom right cage also includes a SATA backplane and the trays themselves will line up both 3.5" and 2.5" drives to connect to it. To use the fan/radiator mounts in the bottom chamber you'll have to remove both cages, though; do so, and then there's a panel of mounts that flips up from the bottom.
There are plenty of well-placed holes in the motherboard tray for routing cables, and Corsair very smartly sets the one for connecting SATA cables to the motherboard a couple of millimeters out. This corrects for the extra clearance that side-oriented SATA ports require, something few case manufacturers actually account for. Finally, behind the motherboard tray, Corsair actually includes latches for cable routing.
The Corsair 900D is ultimately an exceptionally well built enclosure. It's sturdy and fairly thoughtfully designed for its intended purpose, though not totally flawless. The four fans Corsair includes are all revisions of their popular AF120 and AF140 case fans. As a whole, the package screams quality and I don't get the sense that Corsair ever really cheaped out.
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GenSozo - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkI want to mount a Mini-ITX system in this beast then tape a pair of hipster glasses on the top. LAN parties here I come.
hero1 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkThat'll be insane. I have been waiting for this case for so long. Now that it's here, I will consider purchasing it even though I have the XL R2 fitted with Noctua fans and H100i and runs cold. This will be a perfect purchase with a couple of Titans, hydrocopper versions that is. Drool!
Blibbax - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkWasted on <4 watercooled cards. Stick with your XL.
DanNeely - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkThe XLR2 doesn't have room for anything larger than a 280mm rad; that's tight for cooling SLI/xFire cards if you also have the CPU in the loop.
Also even if you're not filling them to the max, extra large cases are easier to work on because you've got a lot of extra space to fit your hands into and more freedom in how you place components as a result. If you're on a budget and trying to maximize bang for the buck an oversized case is an easy first thing to cut but they do make building/upgrading much easier.
As long as you've got the height and upper body strength to handle the size/weight anyway. :)
hero1 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkThe XL R2 is very tight case. I figure that I could have a 280mm rad for the front but this means I have to get rid of my H100i and add another 280mm rad up top in order to cool SLI/XF with CPU in the loop. It's doable and I will consider it but the space does indeed become very tight. I think I can have the back and bottom fans as intake and exhaust through the top and front.
Can handle that weight easily but someone below mentioned the case labs products. I have been looking at what they have to offer and go from there. The only thing that Corsair has them beat is the aesthetics with regards to how the case is assembled.
TaylorSandler - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - linkLove my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
spikey27 - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - linkDan, you've hit on one of my pet peeves - it's no fun working in a case without enough space to use your hands. It so much nicer to be working in a spacious case.
I'm in the process of going from a Codegen S-101 to the 900D, and looking forward to it.
IDUEHE - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - linkWonderful..... Source:unn.edu.ng University of Nigeria
hero1 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkThis is an awesome case that will serve us better, those who are willing to go all out on watercooling, custom that is. I hope that they make something like it that fits right between the 650D and 800D with the same cooling capabilities minus a couple of 5.25 drive bays.
DanNeely - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - linkAt this price all the external USB ports should be USB3 to futureproof it. Since most current mobos only have 1 or 2 USB3 headers, include a pair of USB3 to USB2 header adapters so the ports can be fully utilized now.