Corsair Obsidian 450D Case Review

Corsair has been releasing one case after the other, extending their range of products and flooding the market with their designs. The company already has four different case series and dozens of products populating them. A few weeks after our review of the Graphite 230T, we had a look at the newly released and most advanced member of the Graphite series, the 760T. Today we will be having a look at the newest member of the Obsidian series as well, the 450D.

The Obsidian 450D has been released almost simultaneously with the Graphite 760T but it serves an entirely different purpose; it is a mid-tower case designed to bridge the gap between the small micro ATX and the large full ATX cases of the Obsidian series. It is being marketed as a high airflow case with a sleek design and has a MSRP of $119.99, a significantly lower price than the full ATX cases of the series. We are having a thorough look at it in this review.

Corsair Obsidian 450D

Corsair Obsidian 450D

Manufacturer Specifications, Features, and Packaging

Warranty Two years
Dimension 494mm x 210mm x 497mm
MB Support Mini ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Expansion Slots 7
Form Factor Mid-tower
Material Brushed Aluminum and Steel
Drive Bays (x2) 5.25in(x2) 2.5in(x3) Combo 3.5in/ 2.5in
Cooling Front: (x2) 120/140mm (x2 140mm included)Top: (x3) 120mm or (x2) 140mmRear: (x1) 120mm (included)Bottom: (x2) 120mmDust filters for front and PSU intake
Front I/O (x2) USB 3.0(x1) Headphone Port(x1) Microphone Port
Power Supply up to 200mm ATX PSU (not included)

The Corsair Obsidian 450D came in a simple, brown cardboard box with a drawing of the case printed on it. Although the box is not much to look at, inside we found the case well-protected between thick packing foam pieces. As for the bundle, Corsair is supplying the bare minimum; just a manual, screws and a few cable ties. At least the screws are all black.

Obsidian 450D Box

Obsidian 450D Box

Obsidian 450D Bundle

Obsidian 450D Bundle

The Case

There is only one version of the Obsidian 450D, black and with a windowed side panel. The design is modern and straightforward, based on the design of the previously released Obsidian cases. In fact, the Obsidian cases are so similar in terms of design that if it were not for the vented aluminum faceplate, many people could easily mistake the 450D for the smaller 350D instead, especially because the 450D only has two 5.25″ bays as well. The Obsidian 450D however is considerably larger, as it supports up to E-ATX motherboards.

The Obsidian 450D (Right View)

The Obsidian 450D (Right View)

The Obsidian 450D (Left View)

The Obsidian 450D (Left View)

The buttons, headphone jacks and USB ports can be found on a fixed 5.25″ cover near the top of the faceplate. We can see two USB 3.0 ports to the right, headphone jacks to the left, and the rectangular power button in-between two small LED lights at the middle top part of the cover. A small round reset button can be seen next to the audio jacks, which is likely to require a pen or something pointy to press it if you have large fingers.

Front I/O

Front I/O

A light push at the two top corners of the faceplate cover will release it, revealing the two 140 mm intake fans. There is a simple net filter installed, which can be easily cleaned within a few minutes.

Front Filter Removed

Front Filter Removed

The rear of the case is also black, as the chassis has been sprayed with the same matte black color as the panels of the case. Most of the rear is perforated, including the card slots. There also is a 120 mm exhaust fan installed.

Rear View

Rear View

A metallic mesh with a magnetic frame extends across most of the top panel, covering the two 120 mm or 140 mm fan mounting points. The mesh can be removed by simply pulling it off, like a soft mat. Watercooling radiators of up to 280 mm by 140 mm size can be installed.

Top View

Top View

As we mentioned before, the chassis of the Obsidian 450D is all black and that includes the interior. The only thing that is not black about the Obsidian 450D is the grey blades of the stock cooling fans. Motherboards up to E-ATX in size may fit in the Obsidian 450D, although the design seems optimized for standard ATX motherboards. There is an opening behind the CPU area for the installation of high performance CPU coolers, as well as several openings for cables covered by grommets.

Corsair Obsidian 450D (Inside View)

Corsair Obsidian 450D (Inside View)

The drive cage of the Obsidian 450D is removable, and it can be installed either mounted on the bottom of the case or beneath the 5.25″ drives cage. If removed from the bottom of the case, it will reveal a 140 mm fan opening, allowing a 280 mm long radiator to be installed there as well. It is also stackable, meaning that you could buy a second drive cage from Corsair and stack them together. Each cage has three plastic trays and can hold up to three 3.5″ or 2.5″ devices. The trays simply flex and attach on 3.5″ drives but screws have to be used for 2.5″ devices.

HDD Cage

HDD Cage

The single drive cage starts below the first PCI Express slot, allowing the installation of any GFX card, regardless of length. If a second cage is purchased, that will limit the maximum length of a GFX card to about 255 mm.

GFX Card Clearance

GFX Card Clearance

Corsair has also installed two plastic 2.5″ inserts at the rear of the motherboard tray. A 2.5″ SSD or HDD can be installed by simply sliding it in, but screws can also be used if necessary. This however, limits the space available for the routing of cables, which might become a problem if too many components are going to be installed.

Rear Tray View

Rear Tray View

The motherboard tray has been clearly designed with ATX motherboards in mind. The openings to the right of the tray start right where an ATX motherboard ends. An E-ATX motherboard would partially block these openings, making cable routing quite a bit of hassle. A narrow form ATX motherboard however (20 cm wide), as the one depicted below, will bring the edge 5 cm away from the openings and there are no secondary openings closer to the motherboard. The PSU is nearly touching the motherboard once installed, therefore you cannot really route cables from the small square hole under the motherboard. You can route them from the oval opening at the bottom right side of the motherboard tray. The motherboard tray also has an opening at the top left side, for the CPU AUX 12 V cable.

Building the System

Building the System

Testing and Performance

Here is the breakdown on the system we’ll be using for our benchmark session.

Test System
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P
APU AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
GPU Sapphire Radeon HD 6870
Memory Corsair XMS3 1600MHz 2 X 4GB Kit
CPU Cooling Xigmatek LOKI II
PSU Corsair RM600
HDD Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD

As the Obsidian 450D is a mid-tower case, we will be comparing its performance against three other products of similar size. These include the competitively priced Corsair Carbide 200R, the premium Corsair Obsidian 650D, and the very low-cost ASUS TA-86. The graphs display the temperatures after the system has been under maximum stress for at least 30 minutes. The ambient room temperature at the time of the tests was 21 °C.

As it can be seen in the graphs below, the Obsidian 450D competes in terms of performance with the much larger 650D, outpacing the similarly sized 200R and TA-86. This was to be expected, as the Obsidian 450D has clearly been designed with cooling in mind. Not only does it have almost every single surface perforated, but it also comes with three good cooling fans already installed. This is especially good news for users seeking high thermal performance, but could not afford to pay the >$200 price of larger cases. There is a catch however; due to the many openings, the Obsidian 450D does little to dampen the noise of the system.

Temperature Testing (Fans on Max)

Temperature Testing (Fans at Maximum)

Temperature Testing (Fans on Auto)

Temperature Testing (Fans on Auto)

Final Words and Conclusion

Corsair designed the Obsidian 450D with a single purpose in mind; to create a mid-tower version of the Obsidian series and bridge the gap between small and huge cases. One could even wonder why they did not release it sooner, as the mid-tower is the most widely used case type and the hole in the Obsidian series was apparent. We should clarify however, that the Obsidian 450D is not on par on either functionality or quality with the well-known high performance models of the series, such as the 650D and 900D. It only shares a similar aesthetic design, and of course it also costs much less. However, there is no logic trying to compare the $119.99 Obsidian 450D to twice or thrice as expensive products of the series. It is meant to be a versatile and very well made mid-tower case, with a beautiful, modern design and good cooling options. For the purpose the Obsidian 450D has been designed for, we think that it does very well. The only downside is that the many vents and openings will let all noise generated by the system escape to the environment, This can be a problem for people with sensitive ears; unless of course, the system’s components are carefully chosen.

Overclockers_clear_approvedClick the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

-Justicar

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