Mini-ITX Computer Case Final Thoughts
On the box for the 250D, Corsair says “If you want to build a Mini ITX system without compromising expansion, flexibility, or performance, the Obsidian Series 250D is your answer.” And this is in fact true: you will not compromise expansion, flexibility, or performance. But you will compromise size. Mini ITX is all about “small systems”, and the 250D is easily the largest mITX case I’ve seen. It’s large enough to be clumsy to carry under one arm, so if you’re a LAN party type, this might not be the best case for you.
However, it is the only mITX case I’ve seen that can accommodate a full-size GPU, full-height 5.25″ device, four drives, and a 240mm radiator all at once. There have been other cases that can handle a subset of this– the Bitfenix Prodigy comes to mind– but you generally have to make choices about which features are the most important to you. In the case of the Prodigy, for example, you can have a top-mounted 240mm radiator or a 5.25″ device, but not both.
So this case can hold more than its competitors, but an unavoidable consequence of this is size: if you want all this hardware, then you have to have a place to put it. And some of the space, like the space under the 5.25″ drive tray, serves to make building easier and provide a place for cable clutter.
It’s apparent that case vendors see high performance, overclocked mITX systems as a wave of the future in the enthusiast community, since others are following suit with their own “jumbo” mITX products.
That said, in my opinion, there’s one reason to buy this case: you want to build an mITX system with a water cooler sporting a 240mm radiator. If this isn’t at least your eventual goal, there are smaller and less expensive cases out there.
Corsair Obsidian 250D Conclusion
The Obsidian 250D mini-ITX case completes Corsair’s Obsidian line, which now offers cases for mini-ITX, micro-ATX, ATX, and larger ATX variants with 8 different cases to choose from. The 250D is the only min-ITX case I know of on the market that can accommodate a full-height 5.25″ device, a large GPU, a 240mm radiator, and up to four drives, all at once.
This is one of the highest performing mini-ITX cases available– if you build with a 240mm radiator. That, combined with the front fan and filtered intake for the GPU, ensures that your CPU, GPU, and drives will all be kept cool.
The appearance of the 250D is a little unusual, if only for its width. The minimalist black aesthetic of the Obsidian line is on full display, but the top case window offers a nice display of the interior.
The construction quality of the case is up to Corsair’s usual standards, with the single exception of the flimsy 5.25″ latch mechanism.
This is the most functional mini-ITX case I’ve ever used. Yes, it’s a large case, but it uses the space well, with the ability to house a 240mm radiator, 5.25″ optical drive, and four other drives all at once, rather than requiring you to pick and choose as some other mITX cases do. The four fine-mesh air filter help keep the inside of your system clean, too.
You can buy the Corsair Obsidian 250D mini-ITX computer case for $89.99 (Newegg | Amazon). While this is a high price for a mini-ITX case, it’s in line with other “enthusiast” mini-ITX cases like the Bitfenix Prodigy. Considering it offers more functionality, you’re getting a good deal for your money.
If you want to build a high performance water cooled mini-ITX system, and have yet to let go of the need for optical media, this is your case.
+ All air intakes filtered
+ Most functional mini ITX case yet
+ Accommodates four drives, ATX power supply, and 5.25″ drive without requiring you to pick and choose which you want
+ Easy to build in
– Flimsy latch mechanism for 5.25″ bay drive
– No documentation on radiator mounting
– Very large for a mini ITX case