We tested Obsidian 800D and compared it to CoolerMaster’s ATCS 840 case. Both cases are great and offer more than plenty of room, but each has its special traits. We’ve seen that Obsidian 800D comes with three 140mm fans whereas CoolerMaster equipped its case with 4 fans, three of them measuring 230x30mm. In terms of airflow, this gives the ATCS 840 a headstart, but Obsidian is designed differently with a few separate air-chambers.
Both cases are pretty quiet and you won’t excessively hear them in your living room, unless it’s an anechoic or extremely quiet room. To make things more interesting we used Gigabyte’s passive Geforce 9800GT graphics card. The motherboard in question was MSI’s P45D3 Platinum with Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 memory and WD VelociRaprtor 300G 10,000RPM hard drive. For CPU cooling we used our tried-and-trusted CoolerMaster V8, which allows for mechanical RPM regulation. We “heated up” our Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme Edition by overclocking it to 3.6GHz and commenced our testing.
Idle results were pretty much even, although CoolerMaster’s ATCS 840 has a slight upper hand thanks to the large fans. Graphics card’s temperature was 46°C in Obsidian 800D and 44°C in the ATCS 840.
After stressing the cards to the max using FurMark, ATCS 840 came out on top again as the GPU measured 81°C whereas Corsair’s graphics was at 91°C. This is of course expected, since Corsair’s case features only one fan to cool the graphics card and the rest of the hardware in the main chamber. Unfortunately, if you want a passive graphics card you should know that the case design leaves a low-circulation air pocket beneath the graphics card. During gaming, our graphics card was around 86°C in Obsidian 800D.
However, Obsidian 800D’s GPU temperatures didn’t change much after we turned on Prime95 and stressed our CPU, whereas ATCS 840’s GPU temperature jumped to 84°C. CPU temperatures were identical – around 55°C.
Although Obsidian 800D features a special fan in charge of cooling the hard-disk chamber, ATCS 840 uses a larger, 230x30mm fan for that, allowing for slightly better hard disk cooling (29°C) than on the Obsidian 800D (30°C).
Corsair did a great job – if you can play with only one fan and a passive graphics card, think about what it can do with additional fans in the Obsidian 800D. Furthermore, note that mounting was much easier with Obsidian 800D than with ATCS 840.
Obsidian 800D is without doubt one of the best computer cases in 2009. Although the company has only recently entered this market and Obsidian 800D is their first product, Corsair’s engineers have already set high quality standards that many case-oriented companies that have long-time experience on the market will have difficulties in matching.
Obsidian 800D simply swept us of our feet. The in-case room is more than enough for anyone, and so much space makes component access a breeze. Obsidian 800D is designed with all motherboard types in mind, from mATX to EATX, and various water cooling solutions have been thought of as well. Corsair did more than well in covering the critics and propositions from the community and made the Obsidian 800D to cater to highly-demanding customers who look for quality and potential. The result is the case which virtually has no flaws. We must admit that we sincerely enjoyed building a test rig within Obsidian 800D and we’d go as far as to say that anyone will. The simple and extremely practical swappable HD mechanism is excellent and we can’t forget the fact that Corsair did a great job with cable management, rendering their case a nice and tidy home for your precious components.
Obsidian 800D is among the priciest high-tower cases, but make no mistake – it belongs among the top ones as it offers supreme capabilities. It’s currently priced at around €220 and you can find it here.