Corsair Obsidian Collection 500D Evaluation

Today we're taking a break from our typical PC hardware benchmarking sessions to test a chic new Corsair computer case. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the company's elite obsidian series, considering that models like the massive 900D and the slightly less massive 750D have been around for some time and are still popular with system manufacturers.

It's been a few years since Corsair updated the Obsidian range, but that is changing today with the launch of its new $ 150 Obsidian Series, worth $ 150.

Except for the original 550D, every Obsidian model followed the same general design features, but the 500D throws everything out of the window, which is a significant departure from the norm for the series. According to Corsair, the 500D is a state-of-the-art center tower for enthusiasts with remarkable features like side doors made of tempered tempered glass and high quality aluminum cladding. The look is obviously subjective, but I think most will agree that the new 500D looks elegant yet adventurous than the traditional obsidian case.

The case really manages to combine clean lines with subtle curves, and the front panel is a good example of that. At first glance, the faceplate appears to be a solid piece of brushed aluminum, but it's actually mostly made of plastic that is wrapped in a thin plate of brushed aluminum. I have the feeling that a solid aluminum panel would have worked better here and would match the side door panels. Speaking of which, the door panels are mainly made of smoked tempered glass, but are attached to the front edges on thick aluminum panels that not only form the front panel, but also serve as handles – creative and great.

Both the left and right door panels made of tempered glass are hinged for quick and easy access. It was also great to see that when I put the case down to work, the doors didn't drop down like some other cases I've worked with. The hinge is actually locked with a screw, but you can remove this if you want to completely remove the door.

The panels themselves snap into place with magnets, which is very nice, although I noticed a couple of times that when they moved the case they blew up and hit everything that stood in their way. Be aware of that.

There is an interesting winged cover on the 500D that is made entirely of aluminum. It is raised on the sides to allow airflow while there are triangular vents in the middle. At the front in the gap between the top and front panels is an intelligent small I / O panel with two USB 3.0 ports, power and reset buttons, two audio jacks and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port. good things Corsair.

There's nothing exciting going on under the suitcase. There are four pretty, normal looking plastic feet and a removable dust filter for the power supply. Then it is also quite normal on the back with seven expansion slots, a power supply in the lower area and a rear attachment point for a 120 mm fan, which we will take a closer look at in a moment.

Before checking out the interior, I should also note that there are large removable dust filters at the top and front of the housing that are very easy to reach. The upper filter is held in place with four magnets, while the front filter receives eight. Both can be removed in seconds without tools – a great design from Corsair.

Overall, this center tower measures 508 mm high, 502 mm deep and 233 mm wide and weighs 10.25 kg without components being installed. This is appropriate given its size and the amount of glass used in its design.

On the way in, we find a compact but separate cellar section for the power supply, which can be opened for particularly long power supplies if necessary. Corsair has also provided eyelets in the top of the power supply cover, which can be used to route power cables to the graphics card, for example.

All 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch memory slots are located behind the motherboard compartment. Two 3.5-inch drives and three 2.5-inch drives can be accommodated in this area. Corsair has removable trays for mounting the drives and is tool-free for 3.5-inch drives. For manufacturers who need more storage options, you can probably purchase a three-bay drive cage separately and that will sit next to the power supply case.

By default, this location is reserved for liquid chillers, and you can install a combination pump and reservoir, for example. Corsair has provided mounting holes for all common kits.

Speaking of liquid cooling: The 500D offers space for a cooler up to 280 mm or 360 mm at the front, a 120 mm wheel at the rear and a 240 mm or 280 mm cooler at the top. Corsair has simplified the installation of radiators and fans by installing removable fan trays on the top and front of the case. This way you can mount all the hardware outside the case.

As you may have guessed, given the cooler support, you can install either three 120mm or two 140mm fans at the front and two 120mm or 140mm fans at the top. By default, the 500D is equipped with a 120mm fan that is pre-installed in the front, center and then back.

When it comes to sharing, the 500D supports 370mm long GPUs (which cover all), 170mm high CPU coolers (pretty much all of them) and 225mm long power supplies. It will be difficult for you to find something that does not fit into this generous central tower.

Corsair has also made it possible not only to install full length graphics cards, but you can also take advantage of the new fad of vertical GPU mounting that has really prevailed over the past year. However, I do not recommend using this function with an air-cooled graphics card because it is simply too close to the glass side wall and the air flow is restricted as a result.

You must also purchase the PCIe riser cable separately. According to Corsair, these standalone accessories will be available shortly. However, these things are never cheap and good quality shielded versions often cost over $ 50. It is also worth noting that even good ones cause little additional latency. So keep that in mind.

When it comes to cable management, the 500D takes good care of you and is a pleasure to install. Corsair has built in a removable cable management cover that allows you to create a body that looks clean from all angles. The scope of delivery includes Velcro straps and cable management eyelets for quick and easy cable management.

For my test setup, I installed the MSI X399 Pro Carbon AC, a standard ATX motherboard that supports the big and bold Threadripper CPUs – and of course the Grand Daddy 1950X. The graphics card of choice was the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Trio and what a beast this thing is. For cooling I wanted to give the Corsair H150i Pro a whirlpool, but it doesn't support the TR4 socket. So instead I tested the Noctua U14S TR4-SP3 ($ 80) and the Enermax Liqtech 280 TR4 All-in-One liquid cooler ($ 140).

Although the Noctua U14S is 165 mm tall, it offers plenty of space and the temperatures were great when using the standard fan configuration. The CPU ran under full load at 61 degrees and the GTX 1080 Ti trio never exceeded 58 degrees when playing.

Good stuff, although I really wanted to spice up the 500D, so I took off the serial fan and replaced it with Corsair's striking ML series with high airflow and installed the Enermax Liqtech 280 at the same time. This meant that we now had three 120mm ML fans in front that sucked in air, two 140mm ML fans in the top that pushed air out through the Liqtech 280 cooler, and a 120mm ML exhaust fan behind. What an RGB bonanza that was.

This configuration lowered the load temperature of the GTX 1080 Ti Trio to 52 degrees and the Liqtech 280 kept the 1950X at 58 degrees maximum while it was maximum. Both the CPU and GPU were left at their default settings for these tests. I haven't had time to tinker with overclocking, but I will investigate this in the future with this system.

To really bring out the Obsidian Series 500D and the wonderful PC hardware inside, we recommend installing some LED light bars. Otherwise, I have the feeling that the 500D harmonizes the look well with the practicality. It's a sleek case that doesn't interfere with airflow to give it a clean look, and the overall build quality is high as you'd expect from an Obsidian series case.

Most mid-towers cost between $ 75 and $ 100, so the $ 150 500D is certainly a premium product. You could blame Corsair for not providing extras like LED light bars or even a fan controller, and we would also have liked to have one of these things included, given the price, but we're also grateful for the included one Function . For example, the hinged doors made of tempered glass are of the highest quality. It's also worth noting that, despite its $ 160 MSRP, the 750D is often sold for $ 130 (currently $ 150). So there's a possibility that it won't take long for the price of the 500D to be a little more competitive.

In short, the 500D is a well-built case that is second to none in terms of design and build quality. Again, it is expensive at $ 140, although we expect such a premium from Corsair's high-end products.

Advantages: Unsurpassed build quality for a case in this category. Thanks to glass and aluminum, it looks elegant. Space for practically all hardware.

Disadvantage: Expensive for a $ 140 mid-tower chassis and not the longest feature list (you may want additional fans or LED lighting, etc.)

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