Introducing the Corsair Obsidian 650D

Corsair pretty much stormed out of the gate when they entered the enclosure market, starting at the top with the Obsidian 800D and gradually working their way down, and each case has been well-received. Their first "budget" offering was still fairly pricey, but the Graphite 600T reviewed well and took home the bronze. Corsair recently added a similarly priced offering to their premium Obsidian line with the 650D. But is it another winner or are we left with a feeling of deja vu?

If NewEgg's customer reviews and the other reviews out for the 650D are anything to go on, Corsair would seem to have another winner on their hands. I'll admit to being a bit more skeptical, though, and as we go on you'll see why. Since reviewing the 600T last year, I've actually moved my primary computer into it. I stand by my original review and would still happily recommend it, but since playing with more and more cases and really wearing in the enclosure, there have been a few things that have begun to bother me. I still love the design and ease of use, and the cooling system and acoustics are still among the best, but the top of the enclosure actually winds up being questionable for mounting a 240mm water-cooler due to the slight curvature of the ventilation, and the negative air pressure design is next to impossible to improve as a result of how the enclosure is built.

So again, why bring up the 600T? Because the 650D, at least internally, is nigh identical to its predecessor. When we look at the spec sheet, though, we see that's not exactly a bad thing.

Corsair Obsidian 650D Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro ATX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25"
Internal 6x 2.5"/3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 200mm fan
Rear 1x 120mm fan
Top 1x 200mm fan (compatible with two 120mm or 140mm fans)
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 8
Front I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, headphone and mic jacks, 2x USB 2.0, 6-pin FireWire
Top I/O Port SATA hot-swap bay, fan controller
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 13.5" with drive cage, 18" without (Expansion Cards), 185mm (CPU HSF), 300mm (PSU)
Weight 24 lbs.
Dimensions 21.5" x 9" x 20.5"
Price $189

At $189 the 650D still ranks among the more expensive enclosures we've tested, to the point where it's really more an investment than anything else. A good enclosure can last you a long time, and roughing the 650D around a bit I never get the sense that it won't last.

The main differences in I/O against the very similar Graphite 600T are the loss of two USB 2.0 ports and the addition of the external SATA hot-swap bay at the top of the enclosure. I'm honestly a pretty big fan of these bays, and between the USB 3.0, FireWire, and SATA bay connectivity the only thing you're really missing is a card reader.

In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 650D
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  • mscrivo - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - link

    you're crazy if you can't hear the noise. I just bought one of these cases, and 2 days in, its driving me nuts. Its more than audible, especially compared to my old P180B.
  • ooostephen - Saturday, January 14, 2012 - link

    same here. i tossed some 'vent filters' used for air conditioners, in the front, and that made a noticeable diff. it also helps keep the dust out.
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Even if the cooling worked well, this would be a killer for me. It looks ugly, and most mobos are coming with a header now for an internal connection making the kludge obsolete.
  • LtHawkins - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    I just built a system and got around this by connecting the USB3 expansion panel that came with my motherboard to the mobo header, then connected the 650D USB3 connector to that, but I'm keeping it all internal - I tucked the panel into one of the external drive bays that I'm not using. Won't work for everyone, but if you have a spare drive bay, theres no reason to have wires come poking out the back of the case.
  • Locklear - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Seem to remember Corsair stating that they would release a substitute frontpanel which has usb3 internal header connections instead of the current one. This one will be available on their web-shop. No idea about the timeframe though.
  • darckhart - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    free replacement? or paid? i hate how some charge you for something that it should have come with in the first place. (i'm looking at you evga and your high flow brackets for the 580s)
  • Locklear - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    As far as i remember it's not a free replacement, as it's not a defect. The case (and all other cases with usb3 front ports i know of) was designed like this because internal usb3 headers on motherboards were not that common when it was designed, so they opted for a "universal" solution instead.

    There are ways to work around the problem with things like this
    But I agree.. It's not the ideal solution.
  • Goty - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Solution for negative pressure: simply turn the exhaust fan in the top of the case around. I built a PC for my father in this case and it works just fine.
  • Wieland - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    That will get rid of the negative pressure, but it will introduce other airflow problems, inefficiencies.

    That intake will be right next to the only exhaust so a lot of the air it blows in will go straight back out of the case. This cold air will take up some of the capacity of the exhaust fan and make it less efficient.

    The top fan is oriented almost directly opposed to the airflow coming from the front of the case, and the opposing airflows will probably create some dead zones. If you have a big tunneled heatpipe cooler oriented front-to-back (like my Kingston XT-1264), it will push air around and away from it.

    With that big open vent on the top and positive air pressure there's bound to be some recycled hot air. The fan filter they removed will now be an absolute necessity to keep out dust.
  • EJ257 - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    I have the HAF932 with a similar fan setup. I really think the big fan on top is a great idea because the heat likes to collect near the top of the case. I turned the back fan around so its acting as an intake too and I haven't had issues with it. So now the airflow is front/back intake, top exhaust.

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