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Corsair Obsidian 900D Review: Making Room For High-End Gear

Corsair Obsidian 900D Review: Making Room For High-End Gear
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Corsair already offers a heavy tower case called the Obsidian 800D. Now, the company is one-upping itself with the Obsidian 900D. Is this a genuine high-end enclosure, a bomb shelter, or a mess of sheet metal? We put the case through our bevy of tests.

When I tested Corsair's Obsidian 800D, I used two high-end graphics cards to fry eggs, prepare a fondue, and cook hot dogs. This time around I'll be a bit more serious. Don't expect to be bored, though. I'm still testing the company's latest effort in two completely different use cases. The first challenges the 900D in its stock configuration with two of the warmest Opteron processors I could find and two hot-running FirePro W9000 graphics cards. It's amazing how much heat you can kick out using OpenCL-enabled benchmarks on high-end hardware like this.

But our efforts don't end there. After benchmarking the first configuration, I swapped out all of the case fans, installed a fan controller and water cooling system, and replaced the Opteron-powered workstation with a highly-overclocked gaming setup. The pièce de résistance is a high-end audio amplifier I also deployed. Why? You only live once. That's why.

I enjoyed another benefit, too. Because the Obsidian 900D is more massive than a modern race car's chassis, man-handling this enclosure as I installed and removed high-end hardware scored me some serious cardio. I'm pretty sure I gained half an inch around each of my biceps, too. Who needs a gym when Corsair's Obsidian 900D is beckoning?

Shipping Box and Unpacking

Truly, this case presents a physical challenge for everyone, including the delivery guy who I'm pretty sure hates me at this point. Fortunately, the cardboard box looks more massive than the enclosure inside really is. Understandably, Corsair is concerned that external stresses could lead to minor deformations of the oversize chassis.

In the event that rough shipping does affect the Obsidian's integrity, you might find it difficult to close the lower doors. I put the 900D through my familiar tilt test, though this time with the goal of straightening out the case, and I succeeded. The white specks you see in the pictures don't come from paint imperfections, but rather a powder that clings to the paint. 

I don't blame Corsair for the bumps our Obsidian took on the way to our German office. After all, more crossbeams would make the 900D even heavier. The company claims that retail versions of the Obsidian will benefit from a change in packaging that should prevent similar issues. And who knows? Maybe someone in German customs is to blame. All of the heft may have screamed "I'm loaded with illicit drugs" or "Open me if you enjoy illegal arms shipments."

Box Contents

Corsair bundles plenty of screws, cable ties, and various small parts, but does not include a piezo speaker. Even as UEFI-equipped boards become more common, a majority still sport a speaker header for error diagnosis. Also, don't search the accessory box for an ATX12V extension cable; it is already mounted at the rear of the motherboard plate.

The instruction leaflet that came with our sample was a folded sheet of paper. That's hardly what we expected to guide us through the features and assembly of a flagship enclosure. For instance, there weren't any instructions on how to remove the top cover. Again, though, Corsair promises us that retail boxes will include more comprehensive instructions.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mapesdhs , April 23, 2013 2:36 AM

    Igor, please at least include the option to show temps in C, not F. :D 

    Ian.

Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 23, 2013 1:41 AM
    Thanks for including the acoustics and temperature for a workhorse in addition to the gaming rig.
  • 2 Hide
    kitsunestarwind , April 23, 2013 1:50 AM
    I am seriously waiting for this to be come available in Australia, I have the 800D , I love it, but I have no room left and I want/Need more liquid cooling Rad space without resorting to Case Mods, The Corsair 900D will do me perfectly and hopefully won't look so full
  • 4 Hide
    greenrider02 , April 23, 2013 1:57 AM
    Quite frankly, that is a beautiful case.
  • 0 Hide
    ASHISH65 , April 23, 2013 2:05 AM
    Good review! Corsair's Obsidian 900D looks so great!!
  • 15 Hide
    mapesdhs , April 23, 2013 2:36 AM

    Igor, please at least include the option to show temps in C, not F. :D 

    Ian.

  • 3 Hide
    slicedtoad , April 23, 2013 2:47 AM
    ^yeah, I've never seen any computer related benchmarks done in Fahrenheit , lol.
    Very nice review though, Corsair makes some sweet cases, second only to the custom suppliers (mountain mods and the others) but much cheaper.
  • 4 Hide
    JJ1217 , April 23, 2013 3:12 AM
    kitsunestarwindI am seriously waiting for this to be come available in Australia, I have the 800D , I love it, but I have no room left and I want/Need more liquid cooling Rad space without resorting to Case Mods, The Corsair 900D will do me perfectly and hopefully won't look so full


    Be prepared to fork out an extra $120 because of the simple fact we're from Australia.
  • 6 Hide
    Vatharian , April 23, 2013 3:22 AM
    I don't fully understand your review. Workstation-class rig is up to the challenge for exploring 900D abilities, but gaming rig? You slap off-the-shelf closed loop watercooler on the midrange CPU (TDP wise), one simple GPU and call it 'watercooled system'? What's the point? Get two or three water coolled GPUs in addition to CPU, set up one loop and them evaluate if the case is suitable for serious LC&OC, and if it's possible to arrange radiators such way to get rid of the heat and not kill usability. Point is: for such class of case you put low-end gaming rig. It doesn't tell us will it perform if serious system is inside. If the case performs with high-wattage rig, it will do for any smaller one, but not necessarily the other way around.
  • 1 Hide
    Idonno , April 23, 2013 4:10 AM
    My 800D preforms great with a high end system and there is every indication the 900D is even better.
  • 1 Hide
    christop , April 23, 2013 5:27 AM
    Good review!! I want one!!!
  • 1 Hide
    seller417 , April 23, 2013 6:31 AM
    very nice...i hope the price comes down a bit
  • 0 Hide
    TheBigTroll , April 23, 2013 8:34 AM
    i hope people buying this case dont fit something like a MVG board
  • 0 Hide
    zankuto , April 23, 2013 9:01 AM
    Great case. Did anyone else noticed the teddy bear in the window reflection in the picture in the "illuminated case mod" page lol
  • 0 Hide
    soundping , April 23, 2013 9:41 AM
    With all those fans running it probably sounds like a break room full of coke machines.
  • 0 Hide
    ericjohn004 , April 23, 2013 9:53 AM
    I love minimalistic designs. Although I prefer the Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window, but that's why I own one. The Fractal case is a midtower though and if your looking for something as awesome as the R4, but in a full tower, I'd definitely recommend this case.
  • 0 Hide
    ericjohn004 , April 23, 2013 10:06 AM
    IdonnoMy 800D preforms great with a high end system and there is every indication the 900D is even better.


    They built two different systems in this rig. One to test the heat, and another one to try and replicate what a "normal" buyer would probably do with this case. Not many people go all high end, 6,000$ build. And even if they do, the Opteron build shows that it can handle any heat you throw at it. Because the Opteron build is a lot hotter than a water cooled build. So the with the Opteron build you learn a whole lot more about the cooling prowess of the case vs. 2 480mm radiators anyways.

    I see your point, but I think your asking for a bit too much. You wanted them to do a third build? Because to me, it's more important to show these two builds than a 5-6000$ build that most people aren't getting anyways. And to me, it's pretty obvious that you can fit this case with 2 480mm radiators and it would stay cool. So your not really learning anything by doing that.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , April 23, 2013 10:59 AM
    Not only do I love this case... I am IN LOVE with this case.
  • 0 Hide
    sanilmahambre , April 23, 2013 11:17 AM
    Now that's what i call the BIG , BOLD and BEAUTIFUL
  • 3 Hide
    JPForums , April 23, 2013 12:18 PM
    I know I can just convert temperatures to C, but given how much more prevalent it is in the computer industry, can we have the temperatures given in C and then convert to F if we'd like. Better yet, include both. Thanks.
  • 2 Hide
    Jonathan Cyr , April 23, 2013 3:20 PM
    Hahaha, I almost had a heart attack when I saw the temps! Then I realized it was in Fahrenheit.

    Good review though.
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