Corsair Obsidian 650D Mid-Tower Case

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Corsair Obsidian 650DThe Obsidian series sports a style where the features seem to have a simple, or rather a subtle, appearance and makes it hard not to like. Currently, the series consist of three models: 800D, 700D and the 650D, the latter of which we get to bring to all of you today. The 650D is physically smaller than the others but still possesses all of the same styling characteristics. Constructed of a rigid steel structure, with a brushed aluminum faceplate, the 650D looks to be an easy choice for this looking for a new mid-size tower. As that is our mission today, lets find out if it's on par with other mid-sized cases, or raises the bar like it's predecessor!

 

Introduction to the Corsair Obsidian Series 650D Mid-Tower

People saw a new breath of life given to the world of PC cases when Corsair released the Obsidian 800D. When released the 800D became the new standard in PC cases, being the benchmark in which everyone would compare other cases to. Even we used the 800D when reviewing other cases to see how their interior's functionality stacked up.

As a review site we had our first taste of Corsair cases only recently, when we reviewed the Graphite series 600T at the beginning of 2011. While it was not of the famed Obsidian line, it did still provide us all a glimpse of just what Corsair is capable of. The features were definitely there, but aesthetically speaking it seems to not be quite that of everyone’s tastes.

The Obsidian series sports a style where the features seem to have a simple, or rather a subtle, appearance and makes it hard not to like. Currently, the series consist of three models: 800D, 700D and the 650D, the latter of which we get to bring to all of you today. The 650D is physically smaller than the others but still possesses all of the same styling characteristics. Constructed of a rigid steel structure, with a brushed aluminum faceplate, the 650D looks to be an easy choice for this looking for a new mid-size tower. As that is our mission today, lets find out if it's on par with other mid-sized cases, or raises the bar like it's predecessor!

Corsair’s take on the 650D

The Obsidian Series 650D is manufactured with strong, stamped steel parts for increased rigidity, and coated in a black textured paint. The front panel features a beautiful black brushed aluminum faceplate to bring a subtle elegance to your next build.


Specifications

Warranty: Two years
Dimension: 21.5” (L) x 9” (W) x 20.5” (H) 546mm (L) x 229mm (W) x 521mm (H)
MB Support: ATX, mATX
Expansion Slots: 8
Form Factor: Mid-tower
Material: Steel structure with black brushed aluminum faceplate
Drive Bays: 5.25” x4, 3.5”/2.5” x6 Drive Caddies (internal)
Cooling: 200mm Fans x2, 120mm Fans x1
Front/Top I/O: USB 2.0 x2,  USB 3.0 x2, IEEE 1394 x1, Headphone x1, Mic x1, 4-channel Fan Controller
Power Supply: ATX (not included)

Features

  • Dual 200mm fans provide outstanding cooling for even the hottest components
  • Easily accessible dust filters make maintenance simple and hassle-free
  • Quick-release side panels make it easier than ever to upgrade your hardware
  • Integrated fan controller lets you quickly adjust cooling performance and noise levels
  • Four tool-free optical drive bays and up to six SSD-ready hard drive trays provide plenty of expansion
  • CPU back plate cutout makes it easy to upgrade your CPU cooler
  • Brilliant cable routing system provides a way to keep your system neat and tidy
  • Adjustable drive cages can be removed and relocated to accommodate large video cards
  • Room for long power supplies gives you peace of mind for future upgrades

Closer look at the outside

If you are one of those that believes "the simpler, the better" then Corsair's Obsidian series are the perfect case, and is where today's 650D model heralds from. Starting at the front we see the 650D consists of four 5.25” drive bays, with what looks to be a fifth bay on top actually being a stealth I/O panel. The I/O contains two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0, a single FireWire port, with the traditional audio jacks between them (we'll have a picture for you all on the next page). All drive bay covers are made of solid aluminum pieces, instead of the mesh which we are seeing a lot of. At the bottom of the case is a large mesh area, protecting a beefy eleven bladed 200mm cooling fan.

In order to remove the side panel from the rest of the case, instead of the traditional thumb screws, it is done by a set of metal latches. This was not done on the 700D and 800D, but was present on the 600T Graphite unit we reviewed. The left side panel comes with a large window for you to showcase your rig's internals, mainly the motherboard and components physically connected to it like the graphics cards and CPU cooler.

The right panel only consists of the latches to remove it. The top of the case has a small trap door that slides open to reveal a HDD hotpluggable dock, as well as a fan control switch. The switch controls the three internal fans and has three speeds: low, medium and high.

The dock supports both 2.5” and 3.5” drives. Rear of the dock is another mesh area that protects yet another 200mm cooling fan. The hole pattern in the mesh indicates the 200mm fan can be replaced with dual 120/140mm units, or watercooling radiators of like-size.

Looking at the rear of the case we see pretty much a standard configuration. There is one rear mounted 120mm exhaust fan and two tubing outlets. There are a total of eight expansion slots, and is something a little unique on two fronts. First, is that your generally don't find that number of slots on a mid-tower case, that's assuming at least one other model out there has that many as well. Second, and oddly at that, is the 650D is the only model in the Obsidian lineup that offers eight expansion slots. Perhaps we'll see a 750D and 850D model in the near future?


Closer look at the inside

Coming from a company like Corsair we did not expect the inside of the 650D to be of the unpainted steel variety, but that it'd be the same black color as the outside of the case. As far as the arrangement of the interior there is nothing one might consider new, there are a ton of features that we will be talking about though. It took Corsair a long time to release the first of the Obsidian models; the 800D. Their reasoning was they wanted to make sure it offered everything people where looking for in a case. Just so happens that it did, and we are happy they have been passed down to the 650D.

Cable management was one of the best features of the 800D and the new 650D is no different. There are plenty of openings in the motherboard tray to pass cabling through from any direction, even above the tray. Many of the openings are covered with rubber grommets to protect the cabling coming though. More than a 1/4 of the tray is open to allow for the removal of CPU coolers.

Drive installation of any type is tool-less and the 5.25” is a perfect example. Pressing on the plastic tab allows for the user to slide the optical drive in from the front of the case. Once inserted, release the tab and the drive is secured.

3.5” drives are installed a little differently, but nothing we haven’t seen before.  The drives are placed into these plastic brackets without the use of any tools and then slid back into place. A total of six hard drives can be added. Each of the plastic brackets will accommodate 2.5” drives as well. Each of the two drive cages can be removed, for whatever reason.

The bottom of the case has a vent for aiding in the proper operation of the power supply. The area is covered by a single dust filter. Once the PSU is included a small black bracket slides into the side of the PSU to keep it secure.

The rear of the case shares many of the same features as other higher-end models. One feature was the vented PCI expansion slot covers. The opening in the upper right corner is to allow for the USB 3.0 cables to pass though.

With the front panel removed you get a clear view of the large 200mm cooling fan. Also apparent is the front I/O panel, as we mentioned earlier sits behind a stealth door when the panel is in place.


Assembling images


Motherboard and CPU cooler installed


Graphics card installed; plenty of room!


Add in with the PSU.


HDD installation.


Conclusion

If you have ever played around with the Corsair Obsidian 650D you will understand why we say that it is definitely in the top five best cases on the market today. Feature-wise this case offers everything one would like in a case. Cable management, superb ventilation and tool-less operation is only a small portion of what this great case has to offer.

Not being as tall as the original 800D, the 650D still offers the end user a lot of room to do whatever they feel is for them. There is plenty of bays for optical drives or fan controllers, internally there is enough for several drives for those that need them. If you are into higher forms of cooling, Corsair made sure to provide plenty of space for a water-cooling loop or two. Honestly, I think the case is screaming to be outfitted with a custom loop as there is room at the top of the case as well as the front (with one or both HDD cages removed) for the radiators. A pump can be easily mounted in the bottom of the chassis.

If you like to call yourself a gamer and like to built your system accordingly, well there is plenty of room to house up to three very long graphic cards as well. Whether you fancy running with SLI or Crossfire in a triple card setup, both will be of no concern with this case, all thanks to the additional eighth expansion slot in the rear.

There are many little things that make this case what it is and we could go on for days talking about them all. The large fans, 3-speed fan controller, I/O ports with USB3 and the roomy space behind the motherboard tray all add up to one great case.

The Obsidian 650D retails for about $199 making it a pricey case to own; is it worth it? We think so due to all the features it offered. It currently has 5/5 Eggs on NewEgg, and should that not convince you then the 5/5 Eggs on the 800D with 294 reviews should, but if not still then maybe it's $10 MIR (good till 5/31/2011) can be it's saving grace.

 

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