We don’t like to make recommendations right off the bat—part of the fun of reading these reviews (we’d imagine) comes from the buildup (ha!). But the Corsair 650D blew us away in pretty much every category.
For the 650D, Corsair took the guts of its 600T mid-tower chassis and married them with the looks of its Obsidian-series full-towers, a move customers (and we) have been requesting for years. The steel chassis features a very pretty brushed-aluminum front panel with a removable mesh fan filter and a push-down rectangular panel giving you quick access to three USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as the two standard audio jacks.
Brushed aluminum makes just about anything look sleeker.
The chassis, which is painted matte black throughout, comes stock with one 20cm top fan, a 20cm front fan, and a 14cm exhaust fan—though you aren’t confined to that particular fan setup, as there are mounting holes up top for two 12cm or 14cm fans, or a 240mm radiator if liquid-cooling is your cup of tea (or liquid nitro, whatever). Also up top: a sliding panel revealing a drop-down SATA dock.
The 650D, like its spiritual antecedents the 800D and 700D, seems to go out of its way to remind you that simple is better. The four optical drive bays and the six 3.5-inch drive trays are toolless, and both three-tray hard drive bays are removable. The plastic latching mechanisms within the cages threw us off a little at first, though we found them to be easy to use once we started building. The hard drive trays, in particular, had the perfect amount of flexibility without feeling cheap.
The eight rubber-grommeted cutouts make clean case wiring a snap.
Our test build with the 650D was an absolute breeze. The steel side panels pop right off using a set of latches, and we had no problem comfortably seating 12.2-inch GPUs. The eight available PCI expansion slots are the only slots in the case that aren’t toolless. Cable routing was a snap, utilizing the 650D’s eight rubber-grommeted cutouts, including a handy cutout in the top-left of the case for 8-pin ATX power connecter cables (case manufacturers take note: This is rapidly becoming commonplace). And worry not, you’ll be able to ogle your highly organized innards thanks to a nice, big window on the left panel.
The motherboard tray, which supports ATX and microATX, is plenty big, and features a huge backplate cutout. Corsair’s 650D is an elegant, refined, and extremely accessible case that is easy on the eyes and the wallet. For $200, you get a case that’s technologically up to snuff, while being classy and sleek, to boot. The only things we could ask for are side intake fans—our test build got a little warm inside.