Computers & Networks

x99 HPC unboxing 01: Corsair Obsidian 750D

morreale Thursday 11 of June, 2015
I like full tower cases. They provide lots of room for hard drives, optical drives, peripherals, cabling, fans, water coolers, large power supplies, and good cooling generally. I like rectangular cases without a lot of contouring, doors that hide optical drives, and hinged side panels.

I was looking for a full tower case that was less than 8.25 inches (210 mm) wide to fit under the corner of my L-shaped computer desk. This is dead space and the location of my old computer. New full tower cases have space for routing cable behind the mother board and this makes them wider. After a lot of searching and not finding a desirable case, I gave up on this requirement. I even looked at half height towers and mini towers but it did not seem like a good trade-off to get a narrow case and give up so much useful volume.

There are some really nicely styled cases too but the styling seemed to increase the height or width of the case so I opted for the straight sided cases. A number of cases considered had USB and hard drives ports on the top of the case. I did not consider these cases because I expected access to be blocked when the computer was under the desk so I did not revisit or consider these kinds of cases. These features also made installation of optical drives and water cooler fans at the top of the case more complex or limited the size of the water cooler fans that might be used in the future.

Doors on the front of the case that hide the optical drives look really nice, but get in the way over time. You have to open and close them all the time. I ended up removing them after a while.

Hinged side panels require a lot of space to open and are not easy to use when your computer is located in a confined space under or near a desk. I do however like latches to release and close the side panels. Latches make opening and closing a side panel very convenient.

With all these requirements, I selected the Corsair Obsidian 750D Full Tower ATX case. It’s a great case. It measures 560mm x 235mm x 546mm. It doesn’t have any extreme contours but is still very stylish. It has three 5.25in bays, four 2.5in bays located in back of the motherboard, and eight bays for 3.5 inch or 2.5 inch drives located in the bottom front of the case. The bays are really two sets of four bays and can be located next to each other or stacked on top of each other in front of the front fans. I placed both bay sets on top of each other in front of the font fans. This configuration gives better cooling for the drives and makes it a little easier to route power cables from the power supply. Moving the drive bays required a Philips screw driver and was the only time I needed as screw driver after installing the motherboard for this mostly tool free case. The two front fans and one rear fan are all 140 mm fans and are very quiet.

There is room for mounting two 140 mm fans or three 120 mm fans at the top of the case, and two 120 mm fans at the bottom of the case. These fans are not included with the case.

A reviewer of the case on one site complained about the use of dimples for standoffs to mount the motherboard. I was concerned about this too, but found that the dimples have been replaced with actual standoffs. This is a very welcome improvement.

The case has three dust filters with one on the top, one in the front behind the frond fan cover and one on the bottom below the powers supply. The filter keeps dust from building up inside the computer and seems to work very well. I had no idea my room was so dusty.

Figure 1 shows the front of the box that the case was shipped in. It arrived in very good shape for being one of the heavier items that I’ve ordered.

Figure 1 Box Front

Figure 2 shows the back of the shipping box.
Figure 2 Box Back

The case was nicely packed and Figure 3 shows the case once it was removed from the box and the packing material was removed.
Figure 3 Case Front & Left Side

Figure 4 shows the left side of the case and the large acrylic window can be seen.
Figure 4 Case Left Side

Figure 5 shows the back of the case.
Figure 5 Case Back

Figure 6 shows the right side of the case
Figure 6 Case Right Side

Figure 7 shows the front of the case with all the front cover panels in place.
Figure 7 Case Front

Figure 8 shows the front of the case with the panel covers removed the two front fans can be seen along with the front dust filter.
Figure 8 Case Front with Cover and Filter Removed

Figure 9 shows the left side of the case with the side panels removed. This shows the main case cavity where the motherboard, power supply, and eight 3.5/2/5 inch bays are located.
Figure 9 Case Left Side with Covers Removed

Figure 10 shows the back of the case with the side covers removed. The cut out for the IO panel, rear fan, and the nine expansion slots can be seen.
Figure 10 Case Back with Covers Removed

Figure 11 shows the right side of the case. The front panel IO connectors and switch cables can be seen along with the cable routing ports for running cables behind the motherboard. There is a large cut out in the motherboard mounting panel for access to the CPU back plate.
Figure 11 Case Right Side with Convers Removed

Figure 12 show the top of the case with the filter removed.
Figure 12 Case with Top Filter Removed

Figure 13 shows the bottom of the case with the filter removed
Figure 13 Case Bottom with Filter Removed

Figure 14 shows the front fans from inside the case.
Figure 14 Case Front Fans

The unboxing video is shown in Figure 15.

Figure 15 Case Unboxing Video

Like I said before, this is a great case. There are several things keeping this from being an excellent case, however. First, the panel that the motherboard mounts to is pretty flexible and the motherboard flexes when attached to it. Some stiffeners would help in this case. Next, the right and left side panels use two screws each to lock the panels in place. The side panels won’t stay in place without at least one screw. To add a new drive, for example, you need to remove both panels to route cables behind the motherboard and install the drive in a bay in the main side of the case. Latches on the side panel would really be a welcome improvement here and make upgrades and addition so much easier.

The top of case is a grill with a filter with magnetic strips to keep it in place. It’s nicely made, fits well, and provides a lot of ventilation. You can feel a slight bit of airflow out of the top, and with the CPU cooler fan running at about 600 RPM and three case fans running at around 450 to 520 RPM, the case is surprisingly silent. My concern is, however, that small bits of metal, or liquid from condensation from a cold drink or spilled drink could fall through the filter and ventilation holes and short something out. A small tray, shelf, organizer that sits about 50 mm off the top as not to block airflow would provide spill protection and provide a place to hold phone docks, chargers, papers, and extra cables and act like storage rack would be very useful. It might make a nice accessory for Corsair.

Lastly, I like the clear left side panel more than I expected. I don’t get to use it much because the computer sits next the shot leg of my L-shaped desk and this blocks the view. It’s been hard to determine the composition of large side window. I think it may be acrylic. If so it would allow for a lot more EMI from the case. A transparent conductive film placed on the inside of the window would be of value. I ordered a solid side panel to replace it to ensure EMI integrity.