Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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The front-panel elements are placed on both sides of the optical drive bay.

To the left of the optical drive, there is a large rectangular Power button accompanied with Power and Disk Activity indicators. A small Reset button can be spotted beneath it.

On the right we see two USB 3.0 ports and audio sockets (headphones and microphone).

The detachable front panel covers a dust filter which protects the front fan.

This fine filter in plastic frame can be easily pulled out for cleaning.

Rather disappointingly, we see a 140mm fan behind the filter, although it is possible to install a 120mm, 140mm or 200mm fan in there. A 200mm fan would be quieter and more efficient. And if you purchase such a fan separately, you won’t be able to employ the preinstalled 140mm one elsewhere in this computer case since the other fan seats are designed for 80mm and 120mm models only.

We can also note that the drive rack doesn’t seem to be cooled efficiently. The front fan is at the opposite end of the chassis, and there’s going to be PSU cables in between to weaken the air flow. The second preinstalled 120x120x25mm fan (and optional fans you can install in this computer case) only services the top of the chassis where the mainboard is but doesn’t do much for the drives.

Assembling our configuration was easy enough. Even the mentioned difficulty of connecting drives isn’t really much of a trouble. Considering the high component density, the chassis is as easy to deal with as imaginably possible.

You can even assemble your configuration without removing the optical drive bay. You’d just have more difficulty connecting cables in that case.

If you don’t take the optical drive bay out, the device can be fastened in it with the quick fastening mechanism. You can also secure your optical drive with good old screws but that would require taking the bay out of the chassis.

The photo above shows the key advantage of the Obsidian 250D. It can accommodate graphics cards which are up to 290 mm long. This description fits nearly every model produced currently, excepting those with nonstandard alternative coolers. Our Radeon HD 3870 is 230 mm long, by the way.

The Obsidian 250D also lets you choose your CPU cooler freely enough. According to our measurements, it can accommodate coolers which are up to 150 mm tall (measured from the mainboard’s surface).

On the other side we can see a 120mm exhaust fan and an empty seat for another such fan. The photo makes it clear how inconvenient it is to connect 2.5-inch drives. You just can’t see what you’re doing in there.

The speed of the front 140mm fan (in the mainboard's Silent mode) is 1100 RPM, which is indicative of the mainboard's inability to regulate 3-pin fans (the AF140L fan has a specified speed of 1150 RPM). The 120mm exhaust fan had to be connected to a PATA power connector via an adapter because the mainboard had only one system fan connector on board. The speed of that fan was about 1500 RPM.

Of course, the fans can't be really quiet at such speeds. So when choosing a mainboard for your Obsidian 250D case, make sure it has at least two optional fan connectors and can regulate 3-pin fans.

The system we assembled in the Obsidian D250D looks restrained and respectable just like with other Obsidian series products.

Highs:

  • Respectable exterior design
  • Can accommodate nearly any graphics card
  • Good protection from dust
  • Broad expansion options
  • Allows to substantially improve its default cooling system
  • Affordable price

Lows:

  • The drive bays are too far from the fans
  • The preinstalled front fan is smaller than allowed by the chassis design
  • Large dimensions for a mini-ITX computer
 
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