Five years ago if you were on the market for a case there were really only a few directions to go. More recently this has changed considerably; there are so many manufactures that weren’t even in the market five years ago. One of those manufactures is Corsair, moved into the market with a very impressive 800D and has been slowly filling out their product lineup from then on. The Obsidian Series 350D that I will be taking a look at today is the first mid tower from the Obsidian Series. With styling from the popular 800D we know it looks great, but the only way to find out where it stands otherwise is to look at it more in depth.

Product Name: Corsair Obsidian Series 350D

Review Sample Provided by: Corsair

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

Specifications

Form Factor

Mid-tower

Dimension

17.7" x 8.3" x 17.3"

MB Support

Micro ATX, Mini ITX

Expansion Slots

5

Material

Brushed Aluminum and Steel

Drive Bays

Two 2.5”, two 3.5”, and two 5.25” tool free drive bays.

Cooling

Front 140mm and rear 120mm cooling fans. Room for up to five fans total.

Front I/O

Dual USB 3.0 ports

Power Supply

ATX (not included)

Warranty

Two years

 


Packaging

When it comes to packaging Corsairs focus was just getting the point across, not making everything stand out. This just means they focused the money on the case itself. The box has black print on it with an outline of the 350D as well as the name 350D in huge letters on the front. Along the side you have more photos with dimensions as well as a full specification listing where you can find any information you might need to know. As usual the 350D was wrapped up in plastic with foam on both sides to protect it in shipping.

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Inside, along with the case itself you will get your manual as well as a small warranty information paper inside of a sealed bag.

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Outside

In a lot of ways the 350D looks very much like the 800D that is shares a lot of features with. The size of the case isn’t one of those shared features though. It’s hard to see it in the photo without something for scale but the 350D comes in a completely reasonable 17.7 inches in height where the 800D is 24 inches tall and the 900D is a whopping 29.7 inches tall! Even so you are getting that corsair styling, but with more plastic this time around. The 800D had an all-aluminum front panel where the 350D has a metal finish on the front but does still have plastic as well. I’m sure Corsair went this way to save a little money but I think the design might even look better. They were able to pull the features of the 800D like the feet design without being limited to the shapes (or lack of) that the metal front panel forces you to have.

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Just to start things off a little slow, here is a photo of the right side of the case. As usual there isn’t anything going on. All of the windows and other features are all on every other panel while the right side is kind of the black sheep.

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Up on top you get two 120/140mm fan mounts that should be good for mounting a 240 or 280mm radiator up top but I will find out for sure when I take a look at the inside. All of the front I/O panel buttons and plugs are on the front of the case so there isn’t much else going on with the top of the 350D as well.

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Speaking of the front I/O buttons and plugs, you have your headphone and microphone connections on the left and on the right you get two USB 3.0 plugs. In the middle there is a wide power button with two white plastic areas that will light up when you power everything on. The front I/O kind of just looks like the stuck it there after designing the case. I’m not saying it looks bad, but the case kind of feels like it would look better with a completely clear front panel.

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Speaking of the rest of the front panel, I love how Corsair handled the front ventilation. The front panel has an area (the dots in the photo) where you push and the panel opens up to give you access to the front panel fan or fans and the filter that covers them. The case only has the single front fan but there is room for a second if you need it.

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Around on the back of the 350D you will notice that even the back is blacked out. You have a fan blowing out the rear above the rear I/O panel. The 350D has five PCI slots and a vented area above them. The power supply is down at the bottom like most other cases these days. There are also three water cooling plugs up top that you can pull out if you need to mount a radiator on the top or rear of the 350D.

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Down on the bottom there is a slide out filter that keeps dust out of the case that you can get to without dropping the case down on the side.

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The side panel window on the 350D is a little different than the swooping design that the 800D had. The window takes up almost the entire side panel and to give it a little style they tinted it slightly. You can’t tell too much with it on the case but when you pull it off like in the second picture the tint is more obvious.

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Inside

The inside of the 350D is a lot more spacious that I would have expected having seen the size of the case. It doesn’t support a full ATX motherboard so that does play a part in it but Corsair did make sure to leave room for activity’s or in this case hard drives, SSDs and video cards. The interior is all black just like the outside of the case but if you notice the finish is more of a satin where the rest of the case has more texture. The extremely large hole in the motherboard tray catches your eye as well as the six different grommeted holes for wire management all around the motherboard and next to the power supply.

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Starting down in the bottom corner there are two three and a half inch hard drive mounts in a drive card. The trays slide in and out by pinching on the grips and they are tool-less as well to make adding your hard drives an easy proposition.

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The two 5.25 inch drive bays have easy to use tool-less mounts to keep any disc drives you might use in place.

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Just under the disc bays there are three small plastic drawers that hold your SSDs. What is interesting to me is that the specifications on Corsairs website say there are only two 2.5 inch bays but there are clearly three here. You just slide your SSD in from the back and they click into place and there is a tab to release it if needed as well.  

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I mentioned it before but there is a single 120mm fan blowing out the back to go with the 140mm pulling air in on the front of the case.

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Down in the hard drive mount area there isn’t too much going on. There are nubs on the bottom of the 350D that help support your power supplies weight and there is a top on the back that holds it down as well. Along with the wire management holes there you should end up with a clean installation assuming you put a little time into it.

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With the back panel off we can finally see the cases wiring, Corsair made a point to keep everything black including the USB 3.0 cable that is sometimes a bright blue. You cansee how easy it is to get to the back of your hard drives and SSDs as well as the open space for routing your cables up to where you need them. At ¾ of an inch you get more room than you see on a lot of other cases for wire management so there shouldn’t be any excuses to you not having a clean install in a 350D.

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To go along with the all blacked out look Corsair did keep all of the screws blacked out as well. It’s a nice touch that a lot of other companies miss sometimes. They tossed in four wire ties, but I suspect you will need more than that to really get the wiring cleaned up.

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Installation/Performance

To test out the 350D I installed our Haswell test bench inside the case. Between the GTX 580 and the tower Noctua heatsink it should see how well everything fits inside of the 350D. I started off by installing our motherboard/heatsink/ram/CPU combo into the 350D and I noticed right away that the fit was a little tighter than normal with the armor on our Gryphon. This isn’t something that will be an issue with other boards though and I was still able to get it in after a little time. From there I put in the GTX 580 without any issues, in fact if you look there is more space than I know what to do with. Then it was time to get the PSU in and start wiring everything up, to no surprise the wire management was amazing on the 350D. The space behind the motherboard tray combined with the grommeted holes made getting a clean install easy to do for anyone who was willing to give even half effort. Lastly I dropped in our SDD in the tool-less trays. All in all I don’t think you could ask for an easier install, especially in a smaller case where you would normally run into trouble making the install look clean.

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With everything in I did notice that our 120mm Noctua NH-U12S just barely fit in the case when it was all said and done. This explains the tight fit with the 120mm read exhaust fan as well. If I were to try our 140mm heatsink there is no way it would fit so please keep that in mind if you go with the 2350S. Really though, I think a lot of people are going to be looking at water cooling in this case. There is enough room for a decent 240mm or 280mm kit right on the top or if you don’t need the 3.5 inch drive bays you could work some magic there as well. With the clearances being so tight with that rear exhaust fan I have a feeling that mounting water cooling there is going to be a little too tight though.

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So with everything together how did it all perform? Well with just two fans noise wasn’t too much of an issue. The two fans did cool enough to get the job done as well but I have a feeling that if you were to pack in a pair of hot cards things might get a little warm if you don’t add more. With the two USB 3.0 ports on the front you will have access to fast ports if you need them but I can’t help but miss having 4 ports on the front, even if two of them had to be USB 2.0. The power button felt a little cheap in use to me, I would love to see that whole area re thought out. All in all it performed well with just a few small nit-picks.

 


Overall and FV

With the original 800D Corsair really surprised the entire market with features that at the time no one was offering. A few years later, everyone has those same features, so I was interested to see how they would make the 350D stand out from the competition. The simple answer is they did everything that everyone took from them, but they did it better than everyone else. Specifically in wire management, they didn’t go overboard with special wiring specific design features; they just included grommeted holes all around the motherboard and gave a ton of room behind the tray. It really is that simple to make wiring easy, I don’t understand why some companies still struggle to give enough room for one 24 pin power cable let along another cable crossing over it.

The best part about the 350D though is its styling, it’s going to catch your eye if you check it out but it isn’t going to draw attention. This is because it doesn’t have any flashy lights, bright colors, and even the side panel is slightly tinted. The all blacked out look and simple styling looks good and with gamers starting to grow up and have families it is important.

The case wasn’t perfect, I didn’t like the placement/design of the front panel I/O and the power button felt cheap to me. You will also have to be careful to not go too tall on your heatsink if you want to run a side panel. But the pros outweigh the cons and it all adds up to a good mid-sized case for anyone looking to build a clean Micro-ATX pc. A pair of 780’s or the upcoming R9 290X’s would go great in this thing!

fv3recomended

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #33030 01 Oct 2013 21:29
I take a look at Corsairs mid tower offering

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