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Written by Austin Downing   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Corsair Obsidian 650D Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Corsair 650D Final Thoughts

Overall building within the Obsidian 650D was a joy. Even though this is a "mid-tower" case building inside of it was easy due to it being so spacious. At the same time the Obsidian 650D provides plenty of room for expansion and system customization. I have seen some pretty radical alterations to the 650D to accommodate extreme water cooling setups using a radiator at every opening in the case. At the same time it is possible comfortably run a Quad-CrossFirex/SLI setup due to the eight expansion slots provided by the Obsidian 650D. To top that all off, using the provided space, cable management even done quickly is easy to do well and the included fans also each move large amounts of air while remaining quiet.

While nearly perfect there are some areas that could use improvement on the 650D. First it would be nice to see Corsair use a USB 3.0 header on future revisions instead of having users running a cable all the way through the back of the case. At the same time although rated as a "mid-tower" case it is as large as many full-tower cases including the Antec 1200. Overall though despite these minor inconveniences the 650D is well built, easy to work with, and beautiful.

Corsair_Obsidian_650D_Finished.jpg

Corsair 650D Conclusion

The performance of a case is all about its cooling prowess and the noise it makes while doing so. The 650D is setup to keep every system but the most extreme overclockers cool using two 200mm fans and one 120mm fan. These together provide a total of over 250CFM of air through this case. At the same time it does this while being one of the quietest systems I have worked with.

I love the steel, and brushed aluminum exterior of 650D. It provides a clean, sleek look that I that will fit into many situation whether it be a home office, a lounge, or a gamers den. It is a simple design that hides those quite powerful components that are stored on the interior. Aside from the obvious exterior Corsair has also painted the interior a matching black that will go well with many of the color schemes used on the more powerful motherboards on the market. To top off the painted interior the ease of cable management inside of the 650D will allow users to have a beautiful clean interior with only a couple hours of work. One thing that does break the clean looks of the system is the manner in which the USB 3.0 is setup. Rather than using a USB 3.0 header Corsair opted to run cabling all the way through the case and out the exterior to connect to the rear of the motherboard.

Like its older brother the construction of the 650D is superb with the steel interior providing structural integrity that prevents the system from warping or even creaking when your roomate decides it is a good place to sit. At the same time areas that normal show lack of strength such as the beams around the expansion slots are firm in this case with no warping as components are taken in and out of the case.

Functionality is all about future expandability of a case and the ability to adapt to what users may need. The Obsidian 650D easily will fulfill most users need by allowing for all but the largest of motherboards. Even more impressive, as of this writing every video card on the market will fit in the 650D. Even if GPU's continue to grow in size users can accommodate those just by removing one easily removed drives bays from the 650D. At the same time users to some extent can change the cooling configuration of the 650D by using different fan configurations. One thing that users should be aware of is the fact that both of the 200mm fans are 200mm x 20mm and for the front fan this may make it impossible to replace it with anything but a Corsair fan. On the other hand many users may ditch air cooling all together and use a water cooled setup. The 650D will easily accommodate many different cooling setups and would be an effective choice for a water cooled system.

Priced at $199.99 the Obsidian 650D is not cheap case but it does come with many nice features and is very well built. None the less many of the features on the 650D can be had in cases that cost much less. For example the Graphite 600T for the most part is identical to the Obsidian 650D, and yet it can be had for $135 with mail in rebate. For some users like me the more refined exterior of the 650D would be worth the price hike but for many others this will be a tough pill to swallow.

Overall my time spent with the 650D was wonderful. It was easy to work with, easy on the eye, and full of features that would be useful every time I needed to work on my system. Every person whom I have shown it to that currently owns the 800D says they wish that this was the size that the 800D had been. At the same time it is an expensive case and still very large especially for a "mid-tower" case. Non-the-less I would recommend the 650D to anyone who asked me about it, and if it were not for the fact that I love the Silverstone RV02 I currently use, I would be using it as my main case at this moment.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Well built
+ Easy to work in
+ Great cable managment
+ Quiet
+ Gourgeous Exterior
+ Able to support complicated water cooling setups

Cons:

- Large for a "Mid-tower" case
- Unique fan size may be hard to replace
- Expensive enthusiast product

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.50
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 10
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 9.3 out of 10.

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Comments 

 
# KINGCHARLEY MACHICOTE 2011-06-01 09:43
Sounds like a mixed review.. it is a decent looking case nothing stands out to me . see no side cooling or venting holes for heat to release . There are some good ideas like the hard dive port on the top hidden cabling. but thats about it. The price is a little high for a case with basic improvments that should be standard at this time .. guess the price of aluminum had alot to do with this...
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# RE:KINGAustin Downing 2011-06-01 09:53
For most cases you do not want side cooling or venting holes. It is more effective to have unobstructed airflow through the case so that the exhaust fans can effectively remove all of the hot air.
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# peonCHARLEY MACHICOTE 2011-06-01 10:23
If you have a case you know that never happens the air input and exuast never equal each other .. and thats my case of point the air has to go some where unless you have your fans working overtime aginst each other.. but good luck with that
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# RE:PEONAustin Downing 2011-06-01 10:37
Of course, hence why builders either have a positive or negative airflow in their case. Which one is better will be a argument that will go on till the end of time nonetheless having a positive or negative pressure happens. I personally prefer a positive pressure in all of my cases to help keep dust, hair and such out of them.

Still you do not want opening in the side of a case that will let that pressure out and will lead to a less effective cooling situation.
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# Side fans commonMergatroid 2011-09-13 10:14
Many of corsair's other cases have side mounted fans, and the 600 series has some versions that come with a side mesh able to mount four 120mm fans. Generally, people with more than one video card will want some type of side fan to help remove heat generated by the video cards (although not always), especially if the cards are non reference and exhaust some of their heat inside the case. As for pressure differences, the case will determine which is best in any particular instance, and generally a temperature probe from a fan controller will settle any arguments.
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# Expensive, but niceNate Swetland 2011-06-01 10:43
Nice review. Overall, I like the case. I really like all of the cable routing options. I like that you can remove the middle drive cage in case you have lager VGA cards, or simply dont need it.
I can't say that I am fond of the top external drive bay. It seems like something that not everyone would be interested in, and just adds to the cost. I like the front I/O panel, its nice that you can close it, and it is nice that it is on the front instead of the top or side.

Can you install the hard drives backwards to allow the cables to go behind the motherboard? Sorry if you addressed this, I didn't see if you mentioned it or not.

Overall, I think it is nice, but it really would need to drop a bit in price before I would become seriously interested in it.
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# YesMergatroid 2011-09-13 10:27
Actually, if you install the drives with the cables sticking out the left side you've installed them backwards and may have a hard time removing them.

The 3.5" drive cages can be completely removed, or one drive cage can be mounted directly in front of the PSU so the space behind the front 200mm fan is completely empty.
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# HDDAustin Downing 2011-06-01 10:48
Nate I discussed that, I found that for the PSU I used since it did not have thin, or 90 degree power connections, I was running into the possibility of snapping off the PCB from my SSD. I decided it was a better idea to install it backwards in order to mitigate this problem
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# average joeCHARLEY MACHICOTE 2011-06-01 10:52
your right about the positive and negative aspect of this . dont know if you have seen the airboy case its a giant mesh case .. air flow everywhere.. but since water cooling has become so effective all you relly need is to cool the motherboard fans that cool radiators mounted on top of case not inside of case ..this would be a good case for water cooling..maybe some one should test out both and have a honest rating temperture cooling all around. I myself can not afford to do it so I leave it to benchmark reviews to find some one who has done the research or do it themselfs .. case I maybe wrong and you right..
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# Front Panel Connectorsendocine 2011-06-09 19:52
Is it possible to remove the front panel connectors cable bundle?
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# yesMergatroid 2011-09-13 10:29
You can completely remove the front panel circuit board of you choose, or you can unplug and remove any cables you don't want.
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# RE: Corsair Obsidian 650D Computer CaseAustin Downing 2011-06-09 21:06
Not that I can tell, any particular reason you would want to?
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# Cable glutendocine 2011-06-10 05:43
cable glut, i never use the front panel connectors. maybe i should start doing so, but i've noticed that most cases use really cheap cables for them. Case manufacturers should make these things plugabble.

im totally fine with running a USB hub to my desk from a built in port on the back.
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# Cable GlutBruce Bruce 2011-06-10 06:51
I like that term... I've actually cut off some of the cables leading to the front (or top) I/O connectors on some builds, just to get rid of the annoyance. Firewire is usually the first to go....
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# High quality panel connectorsMergatroid 2011-09-13 10:33
The front panel connectors on Corsair cases are high quality, and you will get as good or better results from them as you would from any hub. They will not cause problems hubs can cause because they run directly to the USB connectors on the main board. Also, the audio is full HD audio, and can be programmed separately from the connectors at the rear of your motherboard so you can have a separate audio channel running to the front (for headphones running voice communications) while still having other audio running out your speakers (such as game sounds or music).
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# RE: Corsair Obsidian 650D Computer CaseAustin Downing 2011-06-10 09:26
I found that on these 650D the cables are of very nice quality. And even if they are ugly they can be run behind the motherboard so that they can be out of site and out of mind.
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# I Like ItTom 2011-06-29 08:31
i like that the case is wide, compared to other cases, to accomodate tall CPU coolers, and i like the plain, and "square", utilitarian look of the case.. it is close to what i would want in a case.. it is amazing to me that such a case is so hard to find..
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# RE: I Like ItAustin Downing 2011-06-29 15:55
Cases like this are not hard to find. It is more like cases like this that don't cost a arm and a leg are hard to find.
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# Internal TemperaturesTim 2011-07-21 20:46
So, do you have any screenshots of the air temperatures inside the case while it is running?
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# RE: Internal TemperaturesAustin Downing 2011-07-22 16:39
Unfortunately no. What cases are you looking to compare it to?
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# Good reviewMergatroid 2011-09-13 10:39
Overall a good review of a good case. If I didn't already own a 600T I might pick up a 650D.

The only advantage the 600T has is the space on the top. I was able to mod the 600T so I could fit an H100 rad up top with four fans in push/pull, something you couldn't do on the 650D without putting a set of fans outside the case. I like the looks of the 650D better though. Corsair has done a great job with their mid tower cases.
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# Harley_SquirrelnutsMartin 2012-07-03 08:55
Like the case but the fan controller is terrible. I used the four outlets to power the two casing fans and the two fans on the Corsair H100 water cooler. Two months into ownership and the controller speed became erratic, surging and slowing. A week after that it quit. Corsair provided a replacement at no cost. Thanks! Same routine, quit after two months. I have read on bulletin boards that this is common. Controller overheats and burns out. Now I have ordered a Kaze II fan controller.
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# Same on the 600TMergatroid 2012-07-03 18:25
Many people have said the same thing of the Corsair 600T fan controller as well. Personally, I prefer aftermarket fan controllers over controllers built into cases, so I never bothered using the controller in my own 600T. The Kaze Master II is a great choice for this case.
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# RE: Corsair Obsidian 650D Computer Caserk86 2013-05-29 00:47
Since my mobo has a USB 3.0 header, i got one of the usb3 internal to external parts with a 50cm cable online for $4, removed the hard cover off the cable ends, and replaced the USB3 ports.
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