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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  • GenSozo - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I 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 - link

    That'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 - link

    Wasted on <4 watercooled cards. Stick with your XL.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    The 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 - link

    The 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 - link

    Love 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 - link

    Dan, 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 - link

    Wonderful..... University of Nigeria
  • hero1 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    This 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 - link

    At 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.

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