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

The Obsidian 900D's Stock Cooling System

You'll find a removable cover on top of the case with mounting holes and a fan grill pattern to accommodate as many as four 120 mm fans. You can also install a radiator, so long as it doesn't exceed 480 mm (18.9”).

Remember when I mentioned the incomplete installation instructions? Well, here's where you need to be careful. The correct way to remove this cover is moving it from left to right, ignoring significant friction that might suggest you're doing it wrong, until the cover pops off. Don't try to lift the piece up without first sliding it over to the right; the plastic hooks will shear off otherwise.

Around Back: The Rear Fan

Corsair installs a Hong Chen fan at the back of the case, which looks similar to the company's AF140, but isn't quite as high-quality. Air flow is good. However, the blower is just too noisy for my tastes, so I put it on my replacement list. Again, the fan does exactly what it's supposed to, I'm just very particular about acoustics.

What Corsair does 100% correctly is decoupling its fan from the chassis, right at the factory, using rubber grommets. This is exactly what I do with my own custom builds, and Corsair seemingly read my mind.

Up Front: Triple the Fun...Err, Fan

The three front fans receive the same assessment as the blower around back. They offer good air flow, but they're a little too audible for me. Similar in appearance to Corsair's excellent AF120, I'm adding them to my replacement list as well. With that said, I've seen plenty of premium vendors bundle junk fans with expensive cases, and I wouldn't call the Obsidian 900D's fans junk. There's an easy way to test for this. If you try to reduce the speed of a poorly-built fan with a controller, its air flow falls to nothing. That isn't the case here.

The three fans sit behind a removable aluminum panel. Behind that, but in front of the coolers, you'll find a hinged air filter that snaps open and shut. The following animation illustrates the air filter box:

Side Lids with An Air Filter

The purpose of these lids is obvious: they facilitate quick access to installed hardware without needed to remove the massive side panels. The lids are hollow, which means that they can suck air from the bottom into the case, as long as the enclosure's interior pressure is lower than the outside pressure. You can also install radiators for liquid cooling in the lids, though the designated mounts for those are found up on top of the case.

The fabric has magnetic edges, and thus holds itself in place. I prefer not to mount additional fans or radiators there, as air flow through the bare fabric is rather negligible.

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38 comments
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  • slomo4sho
    Thanks for including the acoustics and temperature for a workhorse in addition to the gaming rig.
  • kitsunestarwind
    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
  • greenrider02
    Quite frankly, that is a beautiful case.
  • ASHISH65
    Good review! Corsair's Obsidian 900D looks so great!!
  • mapesdhs
    Igor, please at least include the option to show temps in C, not F. :D

    Ian.
  • slicedtoad
    ^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.
  • JJ1217
    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.
  • Vatharian
    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.
  • Idonno
    My 800D preforms great with a high end system and there is every indication the 900D is even better.
  • christop
    Good review!! I want one!!!
  • seller417
    very nice...i hope the price comes down a bit
  • TheBigTroll
    i hope people buying this case dont fit something like a MVG board
  • zankuto
    Great case. Did anyone else noticed the teddy bear in the window reflection in the picture in the "illuminated case mod" page lol
  • soundping
    With all those fans running it probably sounds like a break room full of coke machines.
  • ericjohn004
    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.
  • ericjohn004
    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.
  • ubercake
    Not only do I love this case... I am IN LOVE with this case.
  • sanilmahambre
    Now that's what i call the BIG , BOLD and BEAUTIFUL
  • JPForums
    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.
  • Hahaha, I almost had a heart attack when I saw the temps! Then I realized it was in Fahrenheit.

    Good review though.
  • grokem
    As much as I hate how all cases include too many external 5.25" bays, I applaud you for actually using them in this review. Almost every mid-tower ATX case or larger has 4 external bays that never get used. I could see an entire article about this topic.
  • cobra5000
    Funny, how these "high end" cases, still need fan upgrades?!
  • arkadi
    I have the 800 with h100 best case i had. This one look even better! To big for most ppl
  • FormatC
    117741 said:
    Igor, please at least include the option to show temps in C, not F. :D Ian.

    Here is the original with understandable temps:
    http://www.tomshardware.de/Corsair-Obsidian-900D,testberichte-241254-14.html

    I got this case really late and in the end I had only 3 days for testing, photos and write the whole review. I think, the workstation hardware is more realistic to stress big cases in the hard way. Water cooling is interesting but not the way to check out the cooling possibilities of a case.