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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  • Ubercake - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Looks a little smaller than my Thermaltake Spedo. I do like it though.

    Even without water, it's really easy to work in a case this large.
    Reply
  • Ubercake - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    It's actually bigger front to back, but not as tall. Reply
  • Ubercake - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Dimensions are actually bigger all the way around on the 900D. It just doesn't look that way. The spedo has 2 rear 120s. I wish more newer cases had these. Reply
  • truprecht - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    That's not a computer case, that's furniture. Reply
  • nleksan - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    I have been water cooling for a long time, and I have owned a lot of "water cooling cases", some of which were good, a few of which are truly great, but the majority of which are frankly terrible for one reason or another. This is a very niche market and it is one that demands perfection at such a price point as the 900D is attempting to compete, but the sad fact is that most people are going to buy this case simply because it has the (frankly worthless) Corsair name attached to it.
    I have two fully liquid cooled builds right now, the first is in a Switch 810, without doubt the most capable water cooling case anywhere near it's price range, with as much radiator space, if not more, than the nearly 2.5x pricier 800D.
    The other build is at the opposite end of the price spectrum, sitting in a custom made fully equipped Case Labs TH10 (XL Pedestal, 120mm Extension up top, etc) with 4x 560 + 1x 420 + 2x 360 radiators all cooling the system. It makes the monolithic 800D look like a SFF case in comparison, and the build quality is simply so far ahead as to be indescribable.

    Which brings me to the point... Case Labs now offers the SM5 and SM8 cases at the same or lower prices than the 900D, but with nearly limitless customizability, build quality that is unrivaled, and small touches absent on anything from the company that Corsair has become.

    I simply don't see why this case would sell, it's as much a dinosaur as it's circa 2008 brother...
    Reply
  • Biggestinsect - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Confounds me how most tech sites get all revved up about this case but seem to be unaware of any of CaseLabs' offerings. Corsair and especially higher end stuff from Lian Li and Silverstone have nothing near the build quality at any price point. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I love my TJ07 but totally agree about the build quality. Holes not perfectly aligned, lack of cable management etc. Case labs looks a lot better (also like mountain mods) on biold quality Reply
  • hyperdoggy - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Oh wow, the window is flushed with the side panel, that is awesome! normally case windows looks like someone broke the window on the side panel and they ghetto attach some acrylic on till they can afford to fix it, fine for a sub $100 case, big no no on a $200+ case. Reply
  • isorashi - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    +1: Fluke reference Reply
  • ZoeAnderson24 - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    uptil I looked at the draft of $4237, I have faith that...my... father in law woz like they say actualey receiving money in there spare time from their laptop.. there dads buddy haz done this for only about ten months and just repayed the loans on there home and got a new Jaguar XJ. go to, All29.comCHECK IT OUT Reply

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