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Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX Computer Case Review

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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.

corsair_250D_assembled_gpu_visible

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.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ 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

Cons:

- Flimsy latch mechanism for 5.25″ bay drive
– No documentation on radiator mounting
– Very large for a mini ITX case

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.75
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 9.25 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

NewEgg.com

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5 comments

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  1. PowerHungry

    In this review, you mention that all the intake areas have filters. My question is, does the rear area that have openings for two 80 mm fans also have a magnetic filter?? If not, should that have been considered a negative?

  2. David Ramsey

    There are no filters for the two 80mm fan positions. This isn’t a negative since you normally mount exhaust fans in that position.

  3. PowerHungry

    I have yet to see “ONE” review where anyone mounted the 80 mm fans, most like you used the Corsair H100i for cooling.

    Corsair should have realized that most people would not mount the 80 mm fans and supplied a filter. Without a filter here, the other filters are almost useless, as you have a wide area for dust to enter.

  4. David Ramsey

    I wouldn’t say the other filters are “almost useless”, since the front fan will move a significant amount of air through its filter, as will the intake fan(s) for a GPU card. In fact there’s noticeable dust on both of these filters in my Hackintosh, which has been running in that case a couple of weeks now.

    Still, you have a valid point about air entering through the 80mm fan mounts. That said, I’m not sure how much of a problem it will be in my particular build, since I think any air coming through that part of the case will be sucked right into the radiator and sent back out. Right now the motherboard and radiator are not noticeably dusty, so perhaps it won’t be an issue.

    The fan mounts are easy enough to cover with duct tape if it really bothers you.

    FWIW, I can’t find any (i.e. “not in the first two pages of Google results”) other reviews using the H100i. AnandTech, Overclock3D, Guru3D, Bit-tech.net, Hexus, Legit Reviews, Overclocker’s Club, and tech report.com all used air coolers. In fact that only other review that I can find that used liquid cooling was HardOCP, and they used a 120mm radiator. So while some other site may have used an H100i, I’m pretty sure it’s not “most” of them.

  5. PowerHungry

    Point taken on the H100i, I should have said most reviews included, a liquid cooler and some used air as well. I stand corrected.

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