Corsair Obsidian Series 900D Super Tower Case Review
Corsair is finally pulling back the review embargo sheets on its new "Super Tower" 900D PC case. Details and pictures have been leaking out for months, but now we finally get to see if all the hype is justified. If you are wondering what a "super tower" is, well let's just say there will be a lot of desks that the 900D will not fit under.
We've already told you that the Corsair Obsidian Series 900D ships with three AF120L 120mm fans and a single AF140L 140mm fan installed from the factory. That combination did a fantastic job keeping our test system cool but, just how loud are these in day to day usage?
We know throwing numbers like that out there with a dB chart is the way most people do things but unless your hobby is acoustical engineering, that number may not tell you much. Hopefully the video clip below will give you some idea of the sound levels and sound profile produced by the Obsidian Series 900D.
We took sound level readings from four feet away from the case, with two off the shelf dB meters, from two different angles (side and front). The case, with all four fans running, registered only 35dB. With the brushed aluminum front panel removed (exposing the three 120mm fans in the front) the case was slightly louder at 39dB.
As demonstrated by the video above, the system is very quiet and only slightly louder with the front panel removed. The sound characteristics are different depending on how the system is configured. In default configuration the case emitted a slight humming noise. With the front panel removed, the case was a little louder and the airflow made a slight "whooshing" sound. Thanks to the 900D case's solid construction, there was no rattling or noise from vibrations.
The question of whether or not a case is a good candidate for modding is highly subjective and varies on a case by case basis. As modders ourselves, more often than not, a plain case that offers a "blank slate" to express our creativity is preferable to a case with large pre-cut side windows, pre-installed 200mm LED fans and so on. It has been our experience that, aside from some very specific projects, most modders prefer not to spend extra money on features they are simply going to cut off and remove anyway.
When it comes to modding, the Corsair Obsidian Series 900D is a modder’s dream. Those of you with limited modding experience can have a custom looking, tricked out beast just by removing a few panels, adding some fans, water cooling, and custom lighting. The 900D is also a great foundation for a mod project for those of you with serious modding skills. A case of this size, with its truly unique features, is tailor made for the hardcore modding community. Corsair has truly designed a case that can be "everything" to modders and non-modders alike.
The Corsair Obsidian Series 900D MSRP is $349.99. While this may seem like a lot of money, the price is definitely in-line with other cases in its class. We know this may be a sticking point for some, but we honestly think this chassis is worth the asking price.
There are some 900D issues worth talking about. The price, while we do not have an issue with it, will be a drawback for some. The 3.5" / 2.5" drive caddies feel flimsy and not very durable when empty. The back the case is essentially an open mesh area and, depending on the airflow characteristics of your system, could allow dust into your system in a negative pressure situation. The lack of fan controller is a bit of a let down as well but something that can easily be remedied by the end user.
When it comes to the things we really liked about the Corsair Obsidian Series 900D, the solid construction, bold looks, and sleek styling combined with a strong focus on functionality, truly makes this case stand out.
At the beginning of this evaluation, we wanted to answer Corsair's question "What will you do with all this room?" The easiest way to answer that question is with another question "What couldn't you do given all this room?" The massive amounts of space in the Obsidian 900D allows for multiple water cooling loops, fifteen fans, fifteen hard drives, with room left over for a quad-GPU setup, and dual power supplies.
The modular drive racks gives you the freedom to configure your system any way you like without sacrificing the total amount of hard drives you can have in your system. Want to improve airflow from the front of your case to your GPUs? Simply place all three drive racks in the bottom of your case. Want room in the bottom of your case for a massive 480mm radiator with eight 120mm fans installed? Relocat the drive cages to the front of your system. Need more drive space? You can add two more drive racks to the mix for a total of 15 drives.
The fan filtration system on the 900D is easily one of the best we've ever seen. Finally, no more fan filters located on the bottom of the case that require moving your entire system to clean these. The reusable magnetic filters are easy to remove and clean and do a great job filtering dust. The magnetic seal around the outside of the filters makes sure no dust is getting in your system around the edges either. We really have to give credit where credit is due; the refinements Corsair has made to its filtration system sets it apart from all other cases we have reviewed.
The cooling performance of the Corsair Obsidian Series 900D is second to none. We threw everything we could at this case and it still didn't break a sweat. It almost seems like a crime to buy a case like this and not load it with every bit of hardware you can find.
I think the thing we really liked the most about this case is its ability to be everything to everyone. This case would be right at home in an office environment. You could build a massive file server using the 900D. Modders will have no limits to what they can build with this case and water cooling enthusiasts can install a water park in this thing. The 900D isn't age restricted either. What we mean by that is, it could be your dad's case or your little brother's gaming rig; the design doesn't limit its appeal to certain audiences.
The Bottom Line
Surviving our enthusiast testing process isn't a chore to be taken lightly. Every case that comes through the HardOCP labs is thoroughly examined, pushed to the limit, and tested in ways that we feel gives you an accurate assessment of the product's ability to perform in the manner you would use it at home. The Corsair Obsidian Series 900D is the rare case that can actually be everything to everyone.
The Corsair Obsidian Series 900D is available from Amazon right now for $335.53 with free Super Saver shipping and we think it is worth every penny.