We’ve heard that good things come in small packages, and today Corsair look eager to put that saying to the test with the release of their latest Obsidian series chassis, the 450D. The new chassis comes in the form of a mid-tower, sitting it quite nicely around the middle of the Obsidian range, which offers up everything from the mini-ITX compatible 250D right up to one of the greatest chassis ever made, the epic 900D. With a price tag of £91.99 the 450D is obviously not cheap, but the Obsidian series isn’t known for its low value, it’s known for its premium quality and the only way the 450D stand a chance in this market is by keeping up with the high standards that Corsair have made us accustomed to.
There is a big demand these days for feature packed PC cases, they need to be flexible to build what ever kind of system you want, while also offering a few extra features that make it suitable for future expansions. Water cooling is incredibly popular these days with system builders, especially for those looking to build an overclocked gaming rig. Having a chassis that can handle tall air coolers, as well as large radiators, pumps and other high-end cooling components is essential, especially so in a chassis that costs closer to £100. This all of course needs to be match by robust build quality, as many of you are no doubt familiar with just how heavy all that water cooling can get.
As you can see from the specifications below the chassis is packed with features; it’ll handle mini-ITX, Micro-ATX and ATX motherboards, plenty of storage in its modular bays, with the option of adding yet another bay (sold separately). Then you’ve got some class leading cooling options with extensive fan and radiators support in the top, bottom, front and back, as well as plenty of room for large graphics cards.
The box is pretty standard, featuring a nice high contrast representation of the overall design, as well as a quick run down of what comes included in the box, such as the dual AF140L front intake fans, aluminium front panel, side panel window and modular hard drive bays.
Around the back you’ll find a tear down image that shows all the major fittings and components.
There wasn’t much included in the box, just a few cable ties, some screws, bolts and a quick guide, but it is everything you’ll need to get your system put together and all major components installed.
The left side panel is held in place with a pair of thumb screws and features a huge side panel window with a mild tint, giving us a great view of the chassis interior that will look stunning if you have any internal lighting installed.
The right side panel is a plain black panel and it is also held in place with a pair of quick release thumb screws.
The front panel certainly looks different to much of the Obsidian range, which often favour a full aluminium panel. There’s the IO panel at the top, two extra wide 5.25″ drive bay covers and the clip-in dust filtered panel that feeds the two 140mm fans; all of which are finished in gorgeous black brushed aluminium.
The IO panel features the power and HDD LEDS at the top centre with the master power switch between them, then you’ll find HD Audio, reset switch on the left and a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the right.
The front panel can be released with two push-click buttons in the corners, this allows it to pull forward and be lifted out for maintenance.
This makes cleaning the dust filter that is build into the frame of the front cover a lot easier, while also making it possible to access the front fan mounts.
Around the back you’ll notice that there is quite a lot of chassis above the motherboard and fan mounts, this should give us plenty of extra internal space for mounting water cooling radiators in the top of the chassis. There is a pre-installed 120mm fan and below that you’ll find three pop-out metal caps for some extra water / cable routing holes. There are 7 expansion bays in total, each of which features ventilated metal covers that are held in place with thumb screws.
The top features loads of ventilation space, and a fine dust filter that is held in place by magnets.
This means you can just lift the cover off quickly to clean it, as well as access the multitude of mounting options on the top of the chassis, you’ll find room for 3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm fans, and matching radiators.
The underside features yet another magnetic dust filter that covers the entire base of the chassis.
It’s easy to remove for cleaning and helps provide clean airflow to your PSU and any base mounted cooling. Dependant on your internal configuration you can get 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm or water cooling radiators in the base of the chassis. This obviously means you can have water cooling radiators in the front, back, top and bottom of the chassis!
With the side panel off you’ll find the 450D has a huge cut-out at the back, this will help with installing/changing your CPU cooler without removing the motherboard. Cable routing options are great thanks to a few small cut-outs hiding above the motherboard tray, as well as four large rubber grommets around the motherboard mounting area and an open back design behind the hard drive bays.
In the base you’ll find plenty of room for an ATX PSU and a 120/140mm fan, of course you could sacrifice the cooling space for a longer PSU, or remove the hard drive bays to make room for two 120/140mm fans or a radiator of up to 280mm.
The front fans are mounted to give unobstructed airflow to the GPU and the lower fan will help cool your storage. There is plenty of clearance on all sides so you can easily install an up to 280mm radiator in the front, all you have to do is take out a couple of screws to remove the hard drive bays.
The hard drive bays are tool free trays for 3.5″ drives, or you can screw in a 2.5″ drive to each tray. You can also buy another one of these bays which screws into the two holes on the top of this bay, giving you six trays in total.
The rear 120mm fan comes fitted with a standard 3-pin power cable and again there is lots of clearance above and below it to allow room for a radiator without conflicting with your other components.
Around the back you’ll find around 20mm of clearance for cable routing, as well as a few cable tie down loops to help keep things neat and tidy.
There are two each access 2.5″ drive mounts, perfect for those who plan on stripping out the front bays to make room for water cooling, but also a great way of expanding the total number of available storage bays.
Towards the front panel you’ll also find some extra cable routing holes that are ideal for routing fan cables to the front of the chassis.
The total build time was an easy 25 minutes and given that the final products looks super tidy and clean, I’m certainly very happy about that. Everything fit with ease, and despite this being a mid-tower you could easily be fooled to thinking it was a full-tower, there is loads of room to work with on the interior.
Cable management was easy enough and as you can see I’ve also deployed our SSD in the rear mount.
The front hard drive bays are easy enough to use and the tool free drawers certainly help speed up the installation process.
The top front fan has a clear shot to our GPU, perfect for giving our system extra cooling performance.
The tidy cable management has kept airflow very clear, so you can expect clean airflow throughout this heavily ventilated chassis.
The H100i was my cooler of choice, personally I didn’t think it would fit with the rear fan installed, but it dropped in place with ease, despite the fact we have a DVD drive in the top 5.25″ drive bay. Of course you’ll not be able to have a push-pull configuration, but there’s plenty more room around the chassis for more radiators should you need them.
Side panels back in place and you can clearly see our system through the side panel window. Good thing the cable management is as neat as it is, because it would really ruin the clean looks of this chassis if it weren’t.
So there we have it, gorgeous look, an easy build and a clean-looking interior and exterior.
For £91.99 the 450D isn’t cheap, but a quick look at the specifications quickly justifies the cost. Extensive cooling and component support, mixed with high quality construction and a premium finish don’t come cheap, but at a little over £90 the Corsair Obsidian 450D is very competitive when compared to the rest of the Obsidian range, as well as rival products from the likes of Cooler Master and NZXT.
There is a lot to love about this case and very little I can find fault with. Actually, if I’m honest there isn’t anything I found fault with, the whole thing is pretty perfect! It’s not often I come across a product where there isn’t at least one small detail that I wasn’t happy with, but Corsair have managed it with the 450D.
The Obsidian series does seem to get better and better with each new model and while I still have a soft spot for the 750D, I do think this is the sweet spot in terms of size, price and features for the whole range. Having this much cooling support from a mid-tower is rather impressive, Corsair cases have proven very popular with custom-loop water cooling users many times before and it is easy to see why. Cooling is obviously a big focus for the 450D and having room for lot of fans in both 120mm and 140mm sizes makes it easy to get some serious airflow going. The addition of three high quality dust filters that are easy to remove and maintain is a big win, no one likes cleaning out their dust filters all the time, so the easier the job, the better.
The front panel breaks from the flat clean looks that much of the Obsidian series is known for, cutting the ventilation right into the aluminium front looks gorgeous and adds a nice extra touch of style, preventing the case from looking too much like its bigger brothers. Of course it does still look a lot like the rest of the range, but that’s the point, when you buy into the Obsidian series you know you’re going to get that same bold design, and the build quality that goes with it.
There is no doubt that this case can be used to build a very impressive gaming rig, there is more than enough room for a multi GPU setup and even the longest graphics cards on the market will fit with ease. If you’re really desperate for space you can always strip out the hard drive bays, but it’s really unlike that you’ll need to short of wanting to put radiators in the front / bottom of the case. It would have been nice to have an extra three hard drive bays in the front, but given that most users these days are unlikely to saturate the 5 hard drive bays that are available (3 front, 2 back), it hardly seems fair to mark Corsair down for this. The added benefit is that without the hard drive bay, the graphics cards to have more room to breath and the front fans can give them direct airflow.
So there we have it! great build quality, extensive range of air filters, fan mounts and radiator mounts, plenty of room for cable management and all the style of the Obsidian series that we’ve come to know and love. Easily worthy of our editors choice award and by far one of the best chassis I’ve ever worked with.
- Extensive air cooling options
- Can hold up to four water cooling radiators
- Dust filters
- Stylish aluminium front panel
- Huge side panel window
- Lots of cable management space
- Modular front storage
- 2 x 2.5″ SSD mounts behind motherboard
- It is expensive and that may put off new comers to the Obsidian range, but you do get a lot in return for your investment
- Extra hard drive bays in the front would have been nice, but it’s unlikely that most users will need them and you can buy an extra bay from Corsair should you need it
eTeknix says: “The Obsidian series has long been one of the best chassis ranges on the market and their latest addition doesn’t disappoint. The 450D may sit near the middle of the Obsidian range, but it’s by far one of my favourites so far. There are a lot of great options on the market for around this price tag, but if you’re looking to spend around £90 on a new chassis, you would be mad to not at least consider this case for your build.”
Thank you Corsair for providing us with this sample.