CES 2012 - Corsair has taken the Obsidian Series of chassis design in a slightly different direction. While the original 800D was a show stopper, and the 650D was no slouch either, the 550D takes on a whole new idea in what the Obsidian Series can deliver. This time around silence is the key with the 550D, but also has a few hidden surprises in store.
Part of the surprise with the 550D is that Corsair knows not everyone wants silence, and even then the 550D can be your perfect solution for a mid-tower choice in cases. On the door panel, the plate that was in place here is removable, and is also backed with a plastic duct filter that is magnetically applied to the chassis for easy of cleaning and of course opening up the side of the chassis for some forced air induction if you want to forgo the silence and cool the chassis to the best of your ability.
Even the top of the chassis offers the same solution to once again allow users to get what they want out of the chassis. It was also mentioned in the press meeting that this chassis is fully compatible with the H100, so the removal of this panel is a must in that situation, but again, you can add a pair of fans here if you aren't filling it with water cooling.
The front of the chassis is aluminum, but is designed with slits on the side to keep the noise of the airflow of the intake fans from directly reaching the users ears. On top of that, this front panel door offers users the option for full removal, or allowing it to swing open in the correct direction for those using loads of air cooling with the left side of the chassis exposed.
For those who are going to leave the covers on over the ventilation in search of silence, the door swing may not be as important, or you may even set this chassis off to the left of you. In the 550D, you have the ability to swing the panel open 90 degrees in both directions without the need to swap hardware or flip the door to put the hinge on the opposite side of the bezel!
The Obsidian 550D is a unique solution that offers the best of both worlds. If offers us the option to use this chassis in an office environment with silence, or for the gamer in you, you have the option to build the system to your needs as you upgrade down the line, or simply desire more airflow into or out of the chassis. Corsair just released this mid-tower chassis with a $159 price tag, and again I am being told the sample is soon o be on the way, so expect a full review of this chassis very soon on the pages of TweakTown.