Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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By the way, the front panel is impressively thick. It is alone as heavy as to be comparable to some cheap small system cases.

And now we’ve reached the second HDD rack which is something this system case can truly be proud of. Besides offering quick access to hard disks when the system case is closed (remember the door in the front panel?), it supports the hot swap feature, which is very handy if you are going to build a fault-tolerant array like RAID5. Take note of the cable attached to the power connectors. It allows powering all four HDDs from one connector, making it easier to lay the cables and permitting to cover the interior of the rack with a plastic casing. Interface cables with an L-shaped SATA connector should be used here (four such cables are included with the Obsidian 800D) because ordinary flat connectors are going to get in the way of the casing. If handled not carefully enough, they may even tear the fragile SATA plugs off the HDD rack. Everything seems to be calculated properly, yet one thing has not been accounted for by the developer: the included cables won’t be long enough to connect HDDs in the rack to a standalone rather than a mainboard-integrated disk controller.

HDDs are cooled by a 140mm fan located on the side panel of the rack. Like the other two fans in this system case, it uses a 3-pin connection for the mainboard. It takes the air from below (the other sides are covered with a casing) and drives it through the rack towards the right panel. Now the purpose of the holes near the right panel at the back of the case becomes clear. The air will be exhausted through them. That’s an interesting cooling solution and we will check its efficiency out during our tests. So far we can only say that it’s unclear which direction the fan installed on the bottom rack should blow at. If from the left panel to the right one, it will be competing for the air with the fan above it. If otherwise, the hot air will be running in a circle formed by the two HDD racks. Well, we solved this dilemma by just not installing any fan on the bottom rack and testing the system case’s cooling capabilities in the hardest (for the HDDs) mode.

Thus, the Obsidian 800D has a ventilation system with vertical airflows. Additionally, it has individual cooling for HDDs.

The guides for installing HDDs into the top rack are handy, rigid and reliable. They are held within the rack by means of spring-loaded tabs. What we don’t like is that the HDDs are rather too close to each other and there are too few vent holes in the rack’s side panel. This may have a negative effect on their temperature.

It is simple with 5.25-inch drives. They are fastened in a screw-less way using moving latches. This chassis has no guides for 3.5-inch devices or external 3.5-inch bays. So, if you need a card-reader or other such peripheral, you will have to connect it externally.

The expansion slot brackets are reusable and fastened with thumbscrews.

The mainboard’s mounting plate has a lot of openings to hide cables behind it. There is a lot of space in there, so you can hide even a very large heap of thick sleeved cables.

The window behind the CPU socket makes it possible to replace the CPU cooler without taking the mainboard out even if the cooler has a back-plate. The window is large enough to provide access to the back of the CPU socket on most mainboards (some developers of system cases do not account for the fact that the position of the CPU socket is not strictly defined).

The window has a cover, although we doubt there is a strong airflow under the mainboard.

The system case comes with a large selection of various accessories some of which have been named above. Of course, there is plenty of various screws, etc. This is what you can expect from products of that class. A CPU power extension cable is included, too. There is also one pad like those that are already placed under the fans installed in the case.

 

There is only one problem you may encounter when assembling a computer in this system case. It is so large and heavy that you may find it easier to step around it rather than to turn it around. Like with the Cooler Master Cosmos 1000, you can install any available graphics card into this giant and there will be 17 centimeters of free space for a CPU cooler. The Obsidian 800D is perhaps the most convenient system case in terms of assembly that we have ever tested in our labs. You can lay out all cables neatly and easily. The cables just have to be long enough to stretch from one corner to the other.

 
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