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Review: Corsair Obsidian Series 550D

by Parm Mann on 14 March 2012, 12:51 4.5

Tags: Corsair

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Specification and test methodology

Corsair Obsidian Series 550D specification

Material Steel structure with brushed aluminium front panel
Colour Black
Motherboard Support ATX, Micro-ATX
Drive Bays External 5.25in x 4
Internal 2.5/3.5in x 6
Cooling Rear 1 x 120/140mm exhaust fan (120mm included)
Front 2 x 120mm intake fans (included)
Inside Front 2 x 120mm intake fans (optional)
Bottom 1 x 120/140mm intake fan (optional)
Top 2 x 120/140mm intake fan (optional)
Side 2 x 120/140mm intake fan (optional)
Expansion Slots 8
Front I/O Ports USB 3.0 x 2 (backward compatible with USB 2.0)
Audio x 1 
Mic x 1
GPU Clearance 452mm (max. length)
Power Supply ATX (not included)
Dimensions 531mm (H) x 221mm (W) x 495mm (D)

Test System Configuration

Motherboard ASUS P6X58D
CPU Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition (with reference DBX-B cooler)
Memory 6GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 6970
Power Supply Corsair HX1050W
Storage Intel SSD

To find out how well the chassis can cool, we've loaded it up with an X58 test platform and run a series of CPU and GPU benchmarks for comparison against a variety of mid-tower alternatives.

Firstly, CPU cooling performance is measured by setting fan speed to low and recording CPU temperature when the system is idle. We then apply a 15-minute load of the Prime95 stress test and record CPU temperature again. To demonstrate the chassis' optimum cooling capability, we also set all fans - including the CPU cooler - to high speed mode and re-run the Prime95 torture test for a further 15 minutes.

Secondly, GPU temperature is also recorded in three states; idle, load with fans at standard speed and load with fans at high speed. In this test, GPU load is defined as a 15-minute stint of Furmark.

And finally, to find out how loud the chassis can get we're using a PCE-318 noise meter placed at the front of each chassis to take decibel readings with the system idling in two modes; low fan speed and high fan speed.

All chassis are tested only with the standard manufacturer-supplied fans, and to take into account the fluctuating ambient temperature, our graphs depict the delta temperature - that's actual CPU/GPU temperature minus the ambient. Just so we're clear, room temperature at the start of testing was recorded for each chassis as follows:

Ambient Temperature During Testing (ºC)

Antec SOLO II 18.5
Antec Three Hundred Two 21.3
Cooler Master Silencio 550 23.9
Corsair Carbide 300R 21.3
Corsair Carbide 400R 24.6
Corsair Carbide 500R 18.9
Corsair Graphite SE 600T 21.2
Corsair Obsidian 550D 19.4
Corsair Obsidian 650D 21.4
Fractal Design Core 3000 20.9
NZXT Phantom 410 19.4
NZXT Tempest 410 Elite 22.7
SilverStone Raven RV03 21.9
SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E 20.4