Obsidian Architecture: Corsair 700D/800D Reviewed

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Hardware Installation

Hardware installation, as you've probably guessed, was (almost) no problem. There's plenty of room for components, cables can be tucked through the back to get them out of the way, and even the hard drives attach screwlessly to their mounting rails. We've included a shot of a motherboard, power supply, and hard drives (with two drives installed side-by-side) below, to give you a sense of how the case comes together:


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The only issue we encountered involved the 24-pin plug for the power supply. The installed PSU is a PC Power and Cooling 750W Silencer. Its 24-pin cable is 19" long. In order to attach the power supply to motherboard, I had to cut the zip-tie near the top of the power supply and manually sort, pull, and yank on the primary power connector until we found enough—barely enough—slack to attach it. Save for this one issue, hardware installation was a breeze, but since Corsair bothers to include a cable extender for the CPU 12V PSU line, it'd be nice if they threw in one for the 24-pin as well--especially considering how much this case costs. One of the potential advantages of an Obsidian case is that they're both very watercooling friendly. If you check the gap between the top of the motherboard and the top of the case, there's ample room to install a series of fans or a Koolance-style internal reservoir. Since the Origin Genesis system we reviewed last winter was built around an 800D, we've also included a few of the photos from that review as well.

The Origin shots are from the 800D, but the only difference between the two is the hard drive orientation. Check the shot on the right, and it's obvious that even a full bank of top-mounted fans doesn't squeeze the motherboard. Not only is there plenty of room for the Koolance setup, there's potentially enough room for a DIY watercooler with a significantly larger internal reservoir, particularly if you're willing to sacrifice some space in the 5.25" drive bays. The power supply bay is similarly voluminous--Thermaltake's 1200W Toughpower is ~3/4 of an inch longer than the 750W Quad Silencer, (7.1 inches vs. 7.8) but the 700D and 800D are built to accommodate PSU's at least 1.5" longer.

   

Here are some close-up shots of the motherboard + video cards (neither of the foot-long ATI 5970s has even the slightest bit of trouble fitting inside the enclosure). The second shot shows the back of the 800D after it's been wired to remove cable clutter from the front of the case. With the back plate off, you can see how much wiggle room Corsair provided for various motherboard designs that might move the CPU socket around a bit--this isn't a feature that risks being made useless by a nonstandard motherboard design.

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