Assembling the Corsair Obsidian 900D

Assuming the Corsair Obsidian 900D is right for you, be ready for a workout. I've only tested one or two other cases in its weight class, and manipulating a case that's copious in both weight and mass is tiring to say the least. Thankfully Corsair has made working with their giant case very nearly as painless an affair as possible.

As I've come to expect, the 900D comes with standoffs for a standard ATX board already installed in the motherboard tray, along with a guiding stud for the center of the board. That made getting our test board into the case a breeze, and with the healthy amount of space on virtually all sides, screwing in the board was easy and done with minimal scratches or abrasions.

Installing drives proves to be a very simple matter as well. I removed the drive cage from the primary chamber (held in place by a rail and four thumbscrews behind the motherboard tray) since there were still six drive bays in the bottom chamber. The 5.25" bay shields are easily removed; pinch the wedges on the backs of them from inside the case and they pop out. From there, Corsair uses a toolless mechanism to hold the 5.25" drive in place and it works well. The individual drive trays are almost cages unto themselves; they feature four pins that pop into the sides of the 3.5" drives, and you can remove one of them to screw a 2.5" drive into the bottom of the tray. All very simple and easy to do, and they lock into place securely in a fashion similar to the SilverStone FT02.

While mounting the power supply was a non-issue, expansion cards prove to be the 900D's achilles heel when it comes to usability. Because of the way the side of the case's frame overhangs the expansion slots, you have to use an included (and frustrating) L-shaped screwdriver to loosen the thumbscrews. Expect to take off about a layer of skin from your fingerprints and about a year of useful life from your wrist. I'm not sure how Corsair could've made this easier; perhaps some kind of locking mechanism instead of the garden variety thumbscrews?

Wiring up the 900D is comically simple. Part of this is because the backplane for one of the drive cages has the three SATA data leads coming out of it along with a single SATA power lead, but the rest has to do with how easy it is to latch cables into place behind the motherboard tray, as well as the gap between the back of the motherboard tray and the crossbar that separates the two chambers. None of this should surprise you; Corsair cases are historically among the cleanest and easiest to build on the market, and the 900D continues that fine tradition. Where I do think they missed an opportunity is with the fans, though; Corsair doesn't include a fan controller (which given the nature of the 900D is probably an appropriate omission), but they don't include any molex adaptors for the fans either, which meant stretching the cables for the front fans to the connectors on the motherboard.

Assembling a liquid cooling system in the 900D will undoubtedly be more complex, but the case is spacious and fairly modular, and Corsair did a lot of work to make it as easy as possible. The most confusing part may actually be figuring out how to remove the top panel; you press up on a notch from inside the top of the case and then slide the panel towards the motherboard side. As a whole, though, I'd be surprised if end users had much trouble getting a system installed in the 900D beyond the typical difficulties.

In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 900D Testing Methodology
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  • Jorgisven - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    Spam on a forum board has a special place in hell reserved for it. Reply
  • idimitro - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I am still wiping my saliva after reading the article, but the price helped me to sober up. The case is nice but too expensive. I have Xigmatek Elysium and It can also fit comparable amount of radiators, but only for ~150$. The build quality is for sure worse, and yes you might need to do some modding and tweaking, but where is the fun in just putting the radiators in a box if you don't get your hands dirty :)
    I think Anand should review the Xigmatek as it is a good case but surprisingly unpopular.
    Reply
  • Objective - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    So this is basically the overpriced cheap and rattly Chinese knock off of Caselabs Cases.
    Pass..
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Just out of curiosity, what about this case is cheap or rattly? It was probably manufactured in China (or more likely Taiwan), but the design is American. Reply
  • Biggestinsect - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Design wise the 900 is nothing like anything made by Caselabs. The SMH10 has similar dimensions and that's about it. Completely different internals. Reply
  • JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    A Good review, however basically the same as what was described in Corsairs Video, expanded slightly and an opinion.

    Still does not answer the Questions I have though! Being one of the now getting Fossilised generation, cases have come a long way, as has the cooling technology. but here in the UK unless your a really rich person, or old enough to have the family moved out, space is at a premium. So the computer will have to share the Bedroom or the living Area, making it a Very large noisy lump.

    I do like the case! I love the space to work, and the variable structure internally, however How much more space is it going to take up compared with the 800D its pegged to replace?

    I already had to modify the desk for the 800D, and only have 2.5" left to play with, I assume here that I am slightly Ferked.

    I have plans for 12 Drive bays "8 old Archive Drives" 24 years of acquired computer software & Data crud. But I want to Liquid cool it to reduce the noise. I am interested in how that's going to go lol.

    The main gripe with the 800D was in fact the lack of Space, the liquid cooled X58 UD7 board gave the possibility of 10 drives, the case at a push took 7 + 1 DVD Writer, the 3 EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Coppers 's on a Separate loop meant that the pipe work was Horrific to do anything with after! The 900D appears to address these problems!

    I have to do more research into this, but it would one first glance appear that the 900D is only 1.5 800D's welded together, and put on a Big Mac diet for the width, (something I was planning to do before the 900D was announced)

    One of the best cases I ever tripped across for space was the coolmaster Cosmos, but it was just too Big - and LOUD, even liquid cooled! this would appear to be the same case, with a rear space for cable routing.

    So it's really nothing new, just an amalgamation of loads of past cases, built as a Single, All the Mods Done for you.... What I really need is the Manual!!!!
    Reply
  • JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    As an Afterthought.... the BIGGEST REASON! for a case with a lot of space for me, is the fact that I only have 1 working Arm!

    It adds an extra Twist to building a computer - hence I only build 1 every 4 years.

    After measuring I have to buy 4 copies of Clive Cusslers's The Navigator as well as the case, they are the right size to raise the desk up high enough to get it underneath.

    At the moment it only takes 2 copies of Mrs Beaton's Household management for the 800D :).
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    This is simply a bigger, less cute version of the legendary TJ07 case. Looks to have better cable management and I like the way the HD cages work but that is about it. Also looks to suffer from same problem as TJ07 namely limited airflow to motherboard, from experience that is a quick way to fry the RAM!

    With a 480 radiator you can cool 3 graphics cards. Then the 240 radiator could cool the CPU and (possibly RAM) leaving another Radiator up top to cool the motherboard chips. Totally insane but fun.
    Reply
  • Denithor - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    *Scratches head.

    In an era when CPU makers are pushing TDP lower and lower, they bring out this behemoth of a case aimed at supreme cooling? What are they thinking? I just don't get it.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    wut? Reply

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