The Mini ITX Surge Continues
We take a look at Corsair’s latest chasis, the Obsidian 250D that addresses the popular Mini ITX form factor.
For years now the enthusiast crowd has been clamoring for Corsair to bring its case building prowess down to the Mini ITX market and with the Obsidian 250D it has done just that. By combining the design features that have make Corsair's units so popular with the aesthetic touches of the most recent Obsidian lineup, the 250D is an interesting and combination of size and performance.
The Corsair 250D is unlike most other Mini ITX designs out today in that it supports a lot of full size components. You'll be able to use a standard ATX power supply, many self contained water coolers, full size graphics card and won't have to suffer through the most painful cable routing aspects of other small form factor cases.
The 250D has a definite "cube" shape to it that actually is bigger than most other Mini ITX designs on the market. This allows for full size components (except the motherboard of course) as well as a full size 5.25-in optical drive. Many of the Corsair features that you would expect to see are included as well such as fan filters (magnetic on the sides), raised legs as part of the design and support for water cooling.
On either side of the 250D you'll find air intake grates that have internal, magnetic fan filters. On the left side the discrete GPU fan will have direct access to that air while the right side can be used with the included 120mm fan or optional with a 240mm radiator combination.
The top of the 250D includes a clear window that showcases the motherboard and memory installed within. This is a great addition should you have any components with LED lights or just want to install lights directly.
Removing the panels all the way around reveals the inside; a Mini ITX case that has more open area than most other options on the market. The 5.25-in bracket is removable (and we did remove it in our build) to facilitate front mounted radiators.
Around the back we find the two open slots for full size graphics card installation, the location for the full size ATX power supply on the lower right and the open panel for the motherboard connections. Just to the left of the power supply opening is a bay that holds four hard drive sleds – two for 3.5-in drives and two for the smaller, 2.5-in variety. That is a solid amount of storage options for a Mini ITX case.
Looking back at the right hand side we find area for two 120mm fans, one of which is included with the 250D. Users will be able to mount a 240mm radiator here as long as it is a standard width unit. Thicker radiators like the H80i will not fit as there isn't enough room between the edge of the motherboard and the outside of the case.
Below the motherboard rests the power supply and luckily for those of us with less than stellar routing capability, there is enough room to bundle up come cables (power supply, SATA, etc) and hide them away from any window view.
In our testing we used the MSI Z87 Mini ITX motherboard without issue and because of the size of the case we had plenty of room to work.
While the H80i we used in our testing would not fit along the side of the case because of the rad width, we were able to mount it on the front of the 250D by removing the included 140mm fan. If you don't install your cooler here this opening can even fit a 200mm fan option!
Here you can see the motherboard, CPU and cooler installed. It's a very clean design with plenty of room for the necessary power cables and more.
To test the GPU installation capability we used the ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II card and ran some looping games as well as coin mining to test for cooling and noise issues. With the fans on the graphics card having direct access to the outside air thanks to the side door filtered intake, the GPU maintained the same temperatures we have seen in full size ATX cases and performance was never affected.
Yup, installing even the Corsair HX1050 power supply was a breeze with the Obsidian 250D with plenty of room for the longer cables included.
Overall I am very satisfied with the Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini ITX case and the ease of installation and performance it provided. Many users will likely discount the design because of its size – one of the key differentiators of Mini ITX designs is to be as small as possible while still allowing for high performance components. The 250D is larger than it NEEDS to be but it's just big enough for me to realize how much of a pain working in other Mini ITX designs tends to be.
You can find the Corsair Obsidian 250D on sale at Amazon.com for $89.