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

Obsidian Architecture: Corsair 700D/800D Reviewed

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First things first—here are the various bits and pieces Corsair includes with both the 700D and 800D. There's a basic quick-start guide, a variety of provided screws, standoffs, zip ties, and a single four-pin / eight-pin ATX12V cable extender. This is the sort of cable that could definitely come in handy during component installation, but Corsair should've gone the extra mile and included a 20/24-pin extension as well. Based on our experience, it's the 24-pin primary power cable that's more likely to need a few more inches.

Without further ado, on to the cases themselves.



The 700D is on the left, the 800D is on the right. Since the only difference between the two is the presence / absence of hot-swappable drive bays on the front, which case you choose will probably be determined by how badly you want this particular feature.

   

On the left you can see the 800D's drive trays. The trays themselves are screwless; hard drives can be quickly swapped and installed without the need to go hunting for a screw driver. On the right is the front panel port array common to both cases. The power button is to the far left (the LED is a nifty pearlescent), followed by two USB2 ports, a brace of audio jacks, another set of USB2's, one FireWire 400, and the reset button. The front panel has all the right jacks, but we're less-than-thrilled about their (admittedly common) location. This is one point we think Cooler Master nailed when it put the Cosmos front panel at the top-front of the case. Devices plugged into panels like the 800D's are all-too-likely to be hit by knees, chairs, small children, etc.

If you don't have any problems with the above or you keep your tower in a location that doesn't put it in the line of fire, than this is a non-issue.

  

The two thumbnails above are two different illustrations of the 800D's airflow patterns. The left shows the general flow of intakes and exhaust through the case (note that cold air is drawn from the floor while hot hair is exclusively exhausted throughout the various top grates. The power supply is an exception, but it draws cold air from the bottom of the case to cool itself before shoving the now-heated air out the back. Cold air flows into the upper case partition courtesy of a 120mm horizontally mounted fan.

On the right we have the 700D/800D's "cooling zones." According to Corsair, each zone is designed to cool the components within it independently, without allowing excess heat from the power supply to bleed into component space. Cooling zones 1 and 3 are self-explanatory, particularly with the help of the airflow diagram.

Cooling Zone 2 is a bit odd. According to the diagram, this zone "exhausts out the rear, via a chamber routed behind the motherboard tray." In reality, air blown in by the front fans hits the back wall of the case and meanders towards the rear in what is, at best, a leisurely sort of way.

Let's have a look inside, shall we? 

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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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