Corsair Carbide 300R and Obsidian 550D Review

Article Index

Test System and Thermal Test

Test System: Our test system consisted of a Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 motherboard with a Core i7-2600K (3.4GHz) processor, 2x4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 (@1333), ZOTAC GeForce GTX 260, WD 150GB Raptor HDD, and Windows Home Premium x64.

We used Gigabyte’s built-in system monitoring software, EasyTune6, to record CPU and system temperatures (in Celsius) at idle and then again at full load after running Prime 95 for a set amount of time. We averaged the temperatures of the motherboard sensors (there were four detected by the software) to achieve a single number in each category.

The cases included in the below chart were all tested using the exact same components and software, save for the PSU. We replaced an older PSU with an 850W NZXT (HALE90-850-M) for the our tests on the Carbide 300R and Obsidian 550D, which we believe may have impacted scores somewhat.

Thermal Test
CPU and Motherboard Temps at Idle and Under Load

On the CPU side, the Carbide 300R takes the cake by keeping the processor to a cool 20 degrees C, but the Obsidian 550D isn’t far behind in either configuration at 21 degrees. As we mentioned above, the new PSU likely affected these scores somewhat, and a cooler ambient temperature could certainly knock off a degree or two at idle. Under load, however, we see the field even out a bit, with every chassis hitting temps within three degrees of one another. The load test may be a more accurate measurement as to how effective these cases are at dissipating heat.

Our featured cases didn’t fare quite as well in keeping motherboard sensors cool, although their scores weren’t at all far off from the main pack. Aside from the NZXT Switch 810, Thermaltake Chaser MK-I, and Antec Eleven Hundred chassis, which form their own high-scoring grouping, the Carbide 300R and Obsidian 550D were within about one or two degrees of the other cases shown here.  This is a rather small gap.

Even with all the panels closed, the Obsidian 550D posted respectable numbers and demonstrated that you don’t have to worry about cooking your components if you want to run a quiet system.

Another interesting note is that the Carbide 300R, for its part, actually fell perfectly in line with the 400R and 500R; each case was a little better than the last, with the 500R posting the best scores of the three.

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