An enclosure built from the ground up for custom liquid cooling loops is actually a fairly rarefied thing. Why wouldn't it be? Building a custom loop is expensive and time consuming, which would make that type of enclosure the very definition of niche. Yet Corsair has come forward with the Obsidian 900D for one big reason: to fill that niche.

And "big" is definitely the operative word. Riding high on their liquid cooling legacy with the popular Obsidian 800D, Corsair has developed a positively massive enclosure that's designed essentially to hold the most powerful desktop machine you can conceive of while providing ample space to mount radiators and all the accoutrements of liquid cooling.

Before we get too much further into this review, I want to be absolutely clear about how the Obsidian 900D is being evaluated, because it's a very different beast from most cases. It superficially looks and is built like an overgrown ATX case, but at an MSRP of $349 it's about as premium as it gets. When you see the way Corsair designed it, you'll be able to tell like I did that it's destined for much more than a garden variety build.

What that also means is that while I have to put it through our conventional testing, that conventional testing is going to be primarily academic. Unfortunately it's much harder to tell how good an enclosure will be at its job when that job will vary from person to person in much more significant ways than just choosing which air cooler and graphics cards to use. What you're going to want to pay attention to are the feature set, ease of assembly, and overall design, and how they're going to suit your purposes. That's assuming you're in the market for a specialized case like this, and a lot of you won't be.

Corsair Obsidian 900D Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, HPTX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25"
Internal 9x 3.5"/2.5" (support for two additional cages for up to 15x 3.5"/2.5")
Cooling Front 3x 120mm intake fans (1x additional internal 120mm fan mount behind drive cage)
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan
Top 4x 120mm fan mounts (supports 3x 140mm)
Side 8x 120mm internal fan mounts (four per side, PSU blocks two of your choice)
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 10
I/O Port 4x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 170mm
PSU 280mm
GPU 500mm
Dimensions 25.6" x 9.9" x 27.2"
649.6mm x 252mm x 691.6mm
Weight 41 lbs. / 18.6 kg
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
Multiple removable drive cages
Secondary power supply bay
Removable filters on all fan intakes
Price $349

Corsair's press materials highlight the fact that the case is designed for liquid cooling, but you've probably figured that out given how much I've repeated it. What you're going to want to know now are the radiator clearances, and they're a doozy.

The top fan mounts have a 110mm clearance from the roof of the case to the top of the motherboard and you can intrude on the top 5.25" bay. Unfortunately in the front of the case, there's a slight spacing between the topmost 120mm fan and the two bottom ones, so that essentially means you can only install a single 240mm radiator; there does appear to be space to install a single 140mm radiator and fan instead if you're so inclined. The back of the case supports a single 140mm radiator in the exhaust fan slot. Corsair keeps the other bulk of radiator potential in the bottom of the enclosure, where you can theoretically install a 480mm radiator on one side and a 240mm radiator on the other, with 110mm of radiator clearance to the PSU. Note that installing a radiator in the bottom chamber does mean sacrificing those drive cages.

In and Around the Corsair Obsidian 900D
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  • Jorgisven - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    Spam on a forum board has a special place in hell reserved for it. Reply
  • idimitro - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I am still wiping my saliva after reading the article, but the price helped me to sober up. The case is nice but too expensive. I have Xigmatek Elysium and It can also fit comparable amount of radiators, but only for ~150$. The build quality is for sure worse, and yes you might need to do some modding and tweaking, but where is the fun in just putting the radiators in a box if you don't get your hands dirty :)
    I think Anand should review the Xigmatek as it is a good case but surprisingly unpopular.
    Reply
  • Objective - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    So this is basically the overpriced cheap and rattly Chinese knock off of Caselabs Cases.
    Pass..
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Just out of curiosity, what about this case is cheap or rattly? It was probably manufactured in China (or more likely Taiwan), but the design is American. Reply
  • Biggestinsect - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Design wise the 900 is nothing like anything made by Caselabs. The SMH10 has similar dimensions and that's about it. Completely different internals. Reply
  • JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    A Good review, however basically the same as what was described in Corsairs Video, expanded slightly and an opinion.

    Still does not answer the Questions I have though! Being one of the now getting Fossilised generation, cases have come a long way, as has the cooling technology. but here in the UK unless your a really rich person, or old enough to have the family moved out, space is at a premium. So the computer will have to share the Bedroom or the living Area, making it a Very large noisy lump.

    I do like the case! I love the space to work, and the variable structure internally, however How much more space is it going to take up compared with the 800D its pegged to replace?

    I already had to modify the desk for the 800D, and only have 2.5" left to play with, I assume here that I am slightly Ferked.

    I have plans for 12 Drive bays "8 old Archive Drives" 24 years of acquired computer software & Data crud. But I want to Liquid cool it to reduce the noise. I am interested in how that's going to go lol.

    The main gripe with the 800D was in fact the lack of Space, the liquid cooled X58 UD7 board gave the possibility of 10 drives, the case at a push took 7 + 1 DVD Writer, the 3 EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Coppers 's on a Separate loop meant that the pipe work was Horrific to do anything with after! The 900D appears to address these problems!

    I have to do more research into this, but it would one first glance appear that the 900D is only 1.5 800D's welded together, and put on a Big Mac diet for the width, (something I was planning to do before the 900D was announced)

    One of the best cases I ever tripped across for space was the coolmaster Cosmos, but it was just too Big - and LOUD, even liquid cooled! this would appear to be the same case, with a rear space for cable routing.

    So it's really nothing new, just an amalgamation of loads of past cases, built as a Single, All the Mods Done for you.... What I really need is the Manual!!!!
    Reply
  • JFord047 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    As an Afterthought.... the BIGGEST REASON! for a case with a lot of space for me, is the fact that I only have 1 working Arm!

    It adds an extra Twist to building a computer - hence I only build 1 every 4 years.

    After measuring I have to buy 4 copies of Clive Cusslers's The Navigator as well as the case, they are the right size to raise the desk up high enough to get it underneath.

    At the moment it only takes 2 copies of Mrs Beaton's Household management for the 800D :).
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    This is simply a bigger, less cute version of the legendary TJ07 case. Looks to have better cable management and I like the way the HD cages work but that is about it. Also looks to suffer from same problem as TJ07 namely limited airflow to motherboard, from experience that is a quick way to fry the RAM!

    With a 480 radiator you can cool 3 graphics cards. Then the 240 radiator could cool the CPU and (possibly RAM) leaving another Radiator up top to cool the motherboard chips. Totally insane but fun.
    Reply
  • Denithor - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    *Scratches head.

    In an era when CPU makers are pushing TDP lower and lower, they bring out this behemoth of a case aimed at supreme cooling? What are they thinking? I just don't get it.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    wut? Reply

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