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Corsair Obsidian 450D Review

Author: Dmitry
Date: March 24, 2014
Product Name: Obsidian 450D
Warranty: 3 Years
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Corsair’s Obsidian lineup has been growing in leaps and bounds since its introductory product, the 900D was first launched. Since then the Obsidian range holds a total of eight different cases which all endeavor to hit nearly every price point and usage scenario. For example the 250D is a diminutive Mini ITX chassis while the 450D caters to gamers who appreciate silence above all else and the 900D remains the flagship so-called “super tower” for those no-holds barred extreme builds. Now, Corsair is introducing the 450D, a mid tower case that’s being parachuted into the space between the 350D and 650D while trying desperately not to step on the toes of Corsair’s Graphite, Vengeance and Carbide series.


Not that long ago $120 wasn’t considered a lot of money for a case but as the competition has been steadily driving down costs while upping the value quotient. This situation has arguably benefitted end users in a big way since every company has been forced to innovate and offer ever increasing numbers of advanced features on lower end chassis. The only problem with an approach like this is that, other than size, there’s a decreasing number of add-ons that can ultimately distinguish flagship models from more budget-conscious alternatives.

Back to the “case” at hand, the Obsidian 450D’s price of $120 puts it amid some fierce competition. Some well reviewed mid tower cases like the Fractal Design’s Define R4, Cooler Master’s CM 690 III and even Corsair’s own Carbide 500R are all within $10 of it. There are several full towers at this price point as well with Fractal Design’s Define XL R2, Bitfenix’s Shinobi XL and NZXT’s Phantom immediately springing to mind.


So what is supposed to set the 450D apart? There are a number of things, all of which we have seen before but in this case, they’ve been executed to Obsidian-level excellence. For example, no one does understated good looks quite like Corsair And many of the plastic bits of lower end cases have been removed and substituted with either lightweight aluminum or metal. The effect is great and it’s only broken up by the dual intake fans and large side window.

Past the obvious differences between the 450D’s exterior and its siblings, there’s also a top ventilation strip which boasts compatibility for dual 120mm or 140mm fans and their associated radiators. This should prove to be an excellent location for one of Corsair’s Hydro series water coolers since users won’t have to worry about proper radiator mount offsets.


Turning to the interior, it’s a relatively mixed bag with Corsair’s usual attention to detail alongside some odd design choices. There’s a single drive cage and a bottom area that’s supposed to boast support for dual bay radiators. However, the 450D’s short stature causes some issues here. The drive cage (while removable) will effectively block the installation of multi GPU setups that use cards longer than 11”. We’ve seen several recent custom designs that exceed that length so you’ll want to measure carefully before going with SLI or Crossfire. Meanwhile, installing a 240mm radiator on the 450D’s “floor” will effectively interfere with many power supplies, particularly those with modular cables.

Other than those two hiccups the Obsidian 450D boasts a clean, well designed internal layout which makes it a joy to work in. There are numerous cable routing options, plenty of space behind the motherboard tray, a large CPU cooler cutout on the motherboard tray and three included high performance fans. Even that hard drive cage SNAFU can be alleviated by removing it altogether and using one of the two SSD brackets handily mounted behind the motherboard tray.

Do these elements make the Obsidian 450D a genre-defining enclosure? Not really but it is executed quite well and will likely have the competition looking closely at how they can respond. Watch our full review in the video above.
 
 

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