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Go big or go home. That’s a lesson Corsair apparently took to heart for its first chassis, a 24x24x9-inch full-size enclosure that rivals Cooler Master’s ATCS 840 in size. Corsair’s Obsidian 800D is all black, from its matte steel frame and side panels to its brushed-aluminum front bezel, from motherboard tray to front-panel cables, from screws to standoffs. And the goodness is more than skin deep—the 800D has everything you’d expect from a premium case: quick-swap SATA bays, thermally isolated compartments, plenty of cable-routing cutouts, and more. In fact, it’s one of the best cases we’ve tested in years.
The 800D is divided into several “cooling zones”: the top compartment with the motherboard and optical bays; the bottom compartment, where the power supply sits; and a front compartment with four hot-swap 3.5-inch SATA bays. Each compartment is cooled by a separate 14cm fan, and the top compartment has room for three additional 12cm exhaust fans, as well as support for liquid-cooling radiators. Fresh air is drawn in through dust-filtered intakes at the bottom of the case, which is lifted one inch off the ground by three supporting feet.
The main compartment supports ATX, microATX, and EATX motherboards, and features the largest CPU backplane cutout we’ve ever seen, taking up the entire upper left quadrant of the motherboard. The motherboard tray also features 11 rubber-rimmed cable-routing cutouts, which means even cable-routing schlubs can wire up a clean and attractive build simply by routing everything behind the tray. However, you’ll still have to exercise some amount of foresight, as clumping too many cables behind the tray will make the right side panel bulge a bit.
The case has two sets of rubber-rimmed holes for water-cooling tubes—one set between the bottom and middle compartments, and one set on the case’s upper rear panel.
The five optical bays are toolless, although the retainer clip doesn’t seem as sturdy as Cooler Master’s. The four hot-swap 3.5-inch bays are thermally isolated by removable plastic baffles and cooled by a 14cm fan, which draws air over the drives and exhausts to the lower compartment, to avoid heating up the main board components. The baffles also cover the backplane of the hot-swap bays and route its four data cables and four-in-one SATA power cable behind the motherboard tray. Two additional 3.5-inch bays at the bottom of the case can be utilized by removing the front faceplate and attaching drive rails to the hard drives. These bays can be cooled with the addition of a 12cm fan.
The 800D is Corsair’s first case, and it has a few quirks. The power supply bracket on the 800D’s first production run, for example, couldn’t accommodate power supplies with hexagonal AC cable mounts. Corsair PSUs weren’t affected, but plenty of other manufacturer’s PSUs just wouldn’t fit. The problem has been corrected in later runs, though.
Although the Thermaltake Level 10 (reviewed Holiday 2009) turned the heads of nearly everyone who saw it, including non-enthusiasts, every enthusiast who came into our Lab was more excited by the Corsair 800D. It’s enormous, well built, and crammed with power-user features. For $300—just $20 more than the Cooler Master ATCS 840 when it launched—it’s a killer case. We can’t wait to see the midtower version.
Hot-swap SATA bays; great cable management and airflow; support for water-cooling; well-constructed.
Huge; steel frame rather than aluminum; pricey.