Once in a while, there's nothing like a good case review to bust up the monotony of load testing power supply after power supply, and I've decided now's as good a time as any. Today, I'm having a look at my first Corsair case, the Obsidian 550D.
I have to say, I am rather looking forward to this one. Corsair has already proven they can do power supplies and speakers pretty well, and I haven't met a case yet I really fell in love with. They all have something going against them. Will this be the case that breaks with that trend? Let's find out.
First, a look at the box and some marketing.
"Carefully engineered for superior noise reduction, the Corsair® Obsidian Series™ 550D features sound-dampening material on the front and side panels, and silicon mounts on the fans and hard drive bays to damp vibration. You can cover unused top and side panel fan locations, and the air intakes are angled to further reduce system noise. But it's not just about keeping things quiet. The rigid steel and brushed aluminum trays, and hard drive bays that can be moved to allow extra-long graphics cards and enhanced airflow. Plus, the easy-access side panels open at the touch of a button. You know a great system starts with a great case that combines rugged durability, smart features, and great looks. Whether you've built dozens of PCs or contemplating your first one, make the Obsidian Series 550D the foundation of your new system."
This paragraph is repeated in multiple languages, presumably just as poorly grammar checked.
Here's the opposing side of the box, with a few features listed. Since this is again too small to read in the picture, I'll list those here too in a table so you can match up letters in the above drawing:
Insulated, sound dampening front and side panels
Six tool-free hard drive trays with integral 2.5" SSD support, with soft silicon mounts for vibration damping
Four tool-free optical drive bays with removable mounting trays
Angled air intakes for reduced noise
Covered vents for noise reduction if additional fans (not included) are not installed
Front panel USB 3.0 connectors and audio connectors
Cable routing cutouts with rubber grommets
Removable, reversible front panel
One-button side panel removal for quick access
Matte black interior
Three 120mm fans
Room for two 120mm fans or a 240mm (2x120mm) radiator for compatibility with Corsair Hydro Series™ CPU coolers and other liquid cooling systems
Eight expansion slots for multi-GPU compatibility
Now, let's address some of these. A is for awesome... no problem there. B is for bitchin,' though I do believe that SSDs aren't the only things those trays will hold. I reckon standard laptop drives will work too. C is for charming. I like tool free optical bays a bunch. D is for "did this really need to be done?" I can't see where angling fans would do a whole lot of anything. E is for excellent... nice to have the ability to make unused grilles go away. F is for "features that should be standard." Good to see them here. G is for "good, I don't like cut wires.
H is for "halfway there, you won't have to suffer through my Sesame Street alphabet lesson much longer." H is also for "hope no part of the mounting system for that front door breaks if you smack it by accident." I is for interesting. I have always liked being able to get into a case without messing around with those blasted screws you find on most cases. Even my Twelve Hundred is a massive pain to deal with in that area. J is for "just makes sense." K is for "keep 'em coming" - too many cases these days give you options for fan mounting, yet skimp on throwing in a few of them. Glad to see Corsair lets us have three of them without having to go get more. L is for "look, they designed it to cooperate with their own cooling solutions." Makes sense to me. Finally, M is for "methinks expansion slots don't stop at GPU cards."
What does N stand for you may ask? "Now we go to the next picture."
An extreme and blurry close-up of the spec table found on the box. No, you don't get a free power supply with this case.
Opening the box, I found the case well protected by some foam and a plastic bag.
Here's a better look at that plastic bag now. There is a warning about the bag being a suffocation hazard, so you may not want to use it as a mask while you're building that new computer of yours. It doesn't say, however, that you can't use it to make air bubbles to pop behind the heads of unsuspecting policemen, so... yeah. Just something to think about.
Removing the bag, we find a plastic film covering the whole front door of the case.
Stop. Do not return this product to the magazine. Wait, what? My eyes must have jumped to the wrong language at the end. Do not return this product to the helpdesk. I might need new glasses.
There is a user guide included with this case, and here it is. Not that I've met a case yet I couldn't figure out without an instruction sheet, mind you.
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