CORSAIR Obsidian 500D Review 15

CORSAIR Obsidian 500D Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The CORSAIR 500D clocks in at US$150 plus taxes or €150 including them.
  • Thick glass side panels that swing open
  • Aluminum trim everywhere
  • USB 3.1 Type-C connector embedded
  • Excellent liquid-cooling compatibility
  • Very well-designed dust filters
  • Removable fan-mounting brackets in top and front
  • Metal shroud to cover PSU
  • Metal cover for really clean cable-management behind motherboard tray
  • Two retail-quality fans included
  • 7+2 expansion slots
  • Can hold up to five hard drives
  • Large CPU coolers and long GPUs will easily fit
  • 3.5" drive assembly completely tool-less
  • USB 3.1 Type-C I/O is nice, but most boards don't offer the right plug yet
  • Main side panel tint could be lighter
  • Cable routing inside the chassis not ideal for audio cable
  • Vertical expansion-slot covers of the break-out kind
  • Not enough 2.5" mounting screws included
  • Basic documentation leaves questions open
The CORSAIR Obsidian 500D is an interesting beast. Looking at the design, the clean, straight lines and gentle curves dominate, giving it a look that goes well with past Obsdian enclosures. On top of that, CORSAIR utilizes up-to-date materials by mixing thick glass with sturdy aluminum trims and panels. Overall, that makes for a great initial impression and clearly conveys that the price is well deserved.

With its swing-open doors, CORSAIR takes things a step further as that is something you most likely won't find on a case of this price class with a few exceptions out there. The same goes for the USB 3.1 Type-C plug, which is something rather rare with the only downside being the fact that there are few boards out there with the corresponding header.

On the inside, CORSAIR has clearly focused on simplicity, while adding a flair of unique functionality. On one hand, you have extremely well-placed dust filters so that everything should stay clean within; on the other, you will find metal frames in the front, which allow you to easily add fans or liquid-cooling elements to the Obsidian 500D. The facts that the chassis can easily hold a thick 360 radiator in front - or, even though it is not advertised, potentially a 420 mm radiator as well - and a 280 mm variant in the ceiling make it apparent that this is one of the major selling points of the case as well.

That said, even though things may not turn a lot of heads on the inside, small things, like the unique placement of the HDD trays or cable cover, show that the Obsidian 500D tries to offer more than the usual feature set. Throw in those whisper-quiet, retail-grade fans and the case ends up making a lasting impression.

I do wonder what the two vertical expansion slots are for as there is no mention of these in the documentation, and there is no apparent way to mount a PCIe x16 slot accessory to the metal shroud. In addition, the removable panel of the shroud and holes on the bottom raise additional questions, especially as CORSAIR includes some weird silver screws and rubber rings which have no apparent use.

To conclude, the CORSAIR Obsidian 500D comes in at the right price because of its great build quality and use of materials, as well as a few nice little features that set it apart functionally from competitors in the segment.
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