The Corsair Obsidian 350D is really hit and miss with me and I ponder what to say and how to address this case. While the external visual appeal is definitely Obsidian through and through, I feel that it is lost in the interior. Obsidian to me is just as unique and designed to allow something that not many other cases of their time could do. Here there is some uniqueness in certain things, but not enough to carry this prestigious name, in my opinion. Obsidian used to mean top of the line, the "end all, be all" of the Corsair lineup, and I feel here we got a lesser chassis in a sleek and sexy set of clothes. Don't get me all wrong here, for the specific market for those who want compact, but don't want to go into SFF chassis designs, this is a solid option to look at.
While I liked the sleek aluminum front insert, once you install a drive or a reservoir, you really break the aesthetic of the chassis. I also would have thought, that even at this price, we could have gotten more fans. Speaking of the fans, for such a compact area, they do allow the components to get a great amount of air flow, specifically since the front fan is uninterrupted by worthless bay drives. I do like the repositionable 2.5" drive rack, and I like that the bottom HDD rack comes out. This way if you don't want to use the top of the chassis for water cooling, you can address the front of the chassis for that too. I really liked the layout and room offered behind the motherboard tray, even if I did have to constantly fight the grommets from popping out.
There are some things that you need to consider up front as well. If you plan to use a dual radiator in the top of the chassis, you pretty much lose access to the top optical drive bay. If that isn't a big deal, let us move to the front. While you can remove the HDD rack, you are limited in space to what you can get in some custom radiators or most sealed AI/O units. Something like a Swiftech H220 is not going to work well in the front of this chassis. I also advise that you plan the wiring out carefully behind the motherboard tray. While I was able to get all of the wiring in there, there was some resistance with the panel - any more of a rats nest than what I came up with is definitely going to make for an ugly bulge in the right side of the chassis.
One thing I did not really expect when looking at an Obsidian chassis was to ponder one being offered at $109.99. I will admit I didn't follow this chassis that closely when the news hit of its release, but unless you have a specific need, or are looking to match the memory, PSU, AI/O cooler, and the chassis for a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX build that needs room for longer video cards, I just think there are better offerings out there. I know there are few that fit in this exact footprint that the 350D brings to the table, but I also think that other offerings like the Fractal Design ARC Midi R2, while slightly bigger overall, was the right choice in my humble opinion for my Micro-ATX system build.
I personally would have rather seen a $125 to $150 version of this case with some better engineering of the face plate once it was removed, maybe add a couple more fans, or at least swap them to the more attractive Air series fans. And maybe even cut the window down some so I don't have to stare at my drive bays. The chassis is genuinely a nice product with quite a few usable options, I just expected more with an Obsidian series chassis.
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