Corsair Obsidian 350D Micro ATX Case Review
By Austin Downing
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Corsair Memory.
When Corsair introduced its Obsidian line in 2009 with the 800D it brought out a case that was beautiful, functional, and massive. In 2011 Corsair introduced the mid-tower Obsidian 650D it was still beautiful, functional, and just a bit too big for many enthusiasts. In 2013, Corsair introduced its first Micro-ATX case the 350D. The 350D keeps the beauty and functionality of its larger brethren but fits it into 17.7″ x 17.3″ case, designed to contain a powerful multi-GPU system in a much smaller enclosure than many enthusiast have been accustomed to in the past. So let Benchmark Reviews walk you through the Corsair 350D and look at the new smaller case design.
The thermal design power (TDP) has been dropping quickly in the last couple of years, down from the 130W of the 2008 Nehalem architecture, to the 77W of the Ivy Bridge architecture brought out in 2012. This quick drop in heat output has allowed system designers to build ever more powerful systems in even smaller packages. Combine this with dropping power requirements of GPU’s and incredibly potent systems can be built into very small packages. Cases are starting to catch up with these dropping heating outputs producing smaller cases that keep all of the functionality of their larger cousins. Corsair has joined the fray with its Obsidian 350D Micro-ATX case and it is Benchmark Reviews job to determine if the 350D worthy of the Obsidian name it has been given.
When reviewing a case you have four major things you need to look at. First, you need to look at build quality because no one wants to spend hours putting hardware in a case only to find defects or to have parts that will fail months later. Secondly, you need to look at cooling because as the heat output of components goes up, so do cooling needs. Third, you need to look at the acoustics of your new case because as anyone who has worked on or near servers knows adequate cooling can come at an acoustic cost unless a company put expenses into preventing this. Lastly, you need to look at the ease of build, which depending on your system may or may not play a big role in your choice of case. If you like, I spend lots of time inside of your case modifying parts then you want a system that you can easily move around in while making modifications. On the other hand if you want to setup your system and leave it then this becomes less of an importance and therefore can be moved lower on the requirements for your case.
Micro ATX PC Case Features
The 350D is smaller than mid-tower cases, so it’s at home on a desktop or tucked away out of sight. The smaller dimensions make it great for building systems for travelling, too.
With the 350D, Micro ATX cases are no longer just for building basic systems. There’s room for a full-size liquid CPU cooler and two dual-length radiators, and the five PCI-E slots allow you to install dual full-length graphics cards without using up all your slots. And with two 3.5″ hard drive bays and two dedicated 2.5″ bays for solid-state drives, storage expansion isn’t a problem.
Flexible Cooling Options
The 350D comes with a 140mm intake fan and a 120mm exhaust fan, and there are mounts for five total. The front and top mounts are spaced for 240mm radiators for more cooling options.
Fast, Neat, and Smart
The 350D is designed for fast and neat builds, with features like tool-free access and drive installation and our innovative cable routing system. A front panel USB 3.0 connector and audio I/O make 350D-based systems easy to use, too.
Corsair 350D Specifications
|Dimensions||17.7″ x 8.3″ x 17.3″|
|MB Support||Micro ATX, Mini ITX|
|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)|