Obsidian Architecture: Corsair 700D/800D Reviewed - HotHardware

Obsidian Architecture: Corsair 700D/800D Reviewed

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When we sat down to review Corsair's acclaimed 700D and 800D chassis, we couldn't help reflecting on how much the PC case market has evolved over the last decade. Ten years ago, when we were cutting our teeth on CPUs with code names like Coppermine and Thunderbird, enthusiast enclosures were few and far between. With the exception of Lian-Li, which was building $200+ all-aluminum nerd artwork even back then, the majority of the companies providing cases to the DIY market were busy churning out beige boxes with features that included:
  • Complimentary Band-Aids
  • 1x 80mm 6000 RPM rear fan with an acoustic profile carefully modeled after a Boeing 727
  • The option to install a front-mounted case fan (fan not included)
  • Pre-installed CPU fan shrouds, painstakingly placed to guarantee incompatibility with the motherboard of your choice
  • Face plates that could be removed by hand rather than by specialized screwdriver, and finally,
  • Drive rails
You can still buy these sorts of cases—there are plenty of mainland Chinese bottom-suckers who prefer to glue their chassis together with the shattered dreams of inland migrant workers rather than those expensive pop rivets—but the price range between cheap junk and luxury hotness has exploded with a variety of chassis in the past ten years. In a market that's literally teeming with options from a variety of established manufacturers, how do Corsair's brushed-metal beauties measure up?

 

Corsair Obsidian 700D & 800D Enclosures
Specifications and Features

Model

700D/800D

Type

ATX Full Tower

Color

Black

Material

Aluminum (Faceplate)
Steel (Tower)

Expansion






5 x External 5.25" Drive Bays (Both)

800D:
4 x Hot-swappable Drive Bays
2 x Internal 3.5" Drive Bays

700D:
6 x Internal 3.5" Drive Bays

Front I/O Ports

4 x USB
1 x Audio
1 x eSATA

Cooling

3 x 140mm Fans
4 x 120mm Fans (not included)

Physical Dimensions

24" x 9" x 24" (Length x Width x Height)

Weight

44 lbs

Warranty

3 Years Limited (parts / labor)

Price

700D: $219
800D: $269



Above, we have the 700D and 800D side-by-side. The differences between the two models are minimal; the 800D is ~$50 more and offers four hot-swap hard drive bays and a case window. We've included photos of both cases in our review but unless it involves one of the stated features above, any photo of the 700D is also representative of the 800D. 

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Both of these cases are pretty, and also generally very functionally adept units it seem. One of the things I really like is the over sized pop out behind the processor. More and more cases have these now, but the size can be questionable as can the placing of them as I recently found out. While I love my Thermaltake Element S case which has really good airflow as well as over all functionality, I had an issue recently with this (when putting in a Megahalem). The spacing behind the CPU exists bit it unexplainably is a bit off center as well as a few millimeters smaller than needed. The reason I say this is not able to be explained is because the chassis fits a ATX MB. The sizing as well as placement of the CPU is pretty standard. This is especially true if you consider the fact that if they made it slightly larger it would both save them money (through less metal being used), and make it more widely useful for consumers/system builders. It would then fit everything up to extended ATX design with no issues as well as both AMD and INTEL CPU's no matter what. I really like these Corsair cases a lot, and would say if I were buying a case right now they would be my top candidate, although they are on the pricey side of things.

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I really like both these cases, but that is a pretty penny to spend on a case.  A bit out of my usual case budget.

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The size of the popout is very handy. Not only can get you access to the CPU on most likely any motherboard, there's room enough for your hands and fingers to move.

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Joel H:

The size of the popout is very handy. Not only can get you access to the CPU on most likely any motherboard, there's room enough for your hands and fingers to move.

Yeah I agree with you all about the cut out. Makes heatsink changes much easier, but how often do you really change heatsinks. I usually keep them longer than a motherboard.

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Bob,

 

In my line of work? Pretty often. ;)

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I really want one of these 800's! Yet I have always stuck to a policy that when building a computer that the case should not ever be more costly than one hundred dollars.
 
This is totally my style for a sleek looking workstation case with all the functionality. I just would like to see that if they are going to charge these prices, that they would also include a good 1000w power supply, multiple large fans, or something like an integrated water cooling system?

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Uh...lol? You're joking, right? The cheapest 1kW PSU from a company I've heard of and would personally trust (Antec) is $149 over at NewEgg. Multiple large fans are included--just not all the fans you could possibly ever use. But that's actually pretty minor, so sure, I'm all for Corsair tossing in a few more fans.

But the integrated water cooling system...that's a pretty tall order. Assuming that you mean something more along the lines of a Koolance Kit (http://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php?product_id=564), that's a $294 product. Even if they offered a cut-rate version, we're talking $150-$200 of additional cooling hardware.

So what you're saying in a nutshell is that while you want a $200 case, you think it's a terrible deal unless you can buy $300-$450 worth of hardware for just $100.

Yeah...good luck with that.

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Cool looking cases, and I must commend them on all the cable management holes in the back plate. 

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Always like the sleek look of these chassis from Corsair . They are quite flexible and easy to work in for the enthusiast and very adaptable for many configurations and easy to mod as well..sure a bit expensive solid and heavy but you get what you pay for with these chassis.

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While I can appreciate the design and functionality of both of these cases, I shudder at the cost to get one of them. I’m sure that they’re WORTH the money, but in days like these, when people are unsure of their financial futures and things like the price of a gallon of fuel for the car weigh heavily on a lot of us, the usual Corsair price premium is harder to swallow.

I like to get a deal just like Tom does,….and while I’m not asking for free stuff, it’s worth it to me to do some research and power up my spending dollar.

Case in point, (no pun intended) the CoolerMaster Elite 430 Black. This is a full ATX and Micro-ATX compatible case that is sold at NewEgg for $49.00 with free shipping too. It has front and rear mounted LED 120mm fans included already, and has mounts for two more 120mm fans on the topside, one side-mounted 120mm fan, and also one on the bottom in front of the PSU. There is plenty of room for oversized CPU coolers and it fits a pair of Radeon 5970 video cards.

This case is easy on the eye, (very nice looking) and it’s painted all black inside. It has a tool-free design, water cooling holes if you so desire, with 7 expansion slots.

This is what $50 gets you.

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