Corsair Obsidian 250D Review - Performance Analysis
With such a different design to many of the other mini-ITX cases we've reviewed, it was anyone's guess as to how it might perform in the cooling department. Airflow is perhaps edging towards positive pressure, with a 140mm intake fan and 120mm exhaust fan, but the case is also well vented. However, the 140mm fan at the front is blowing the majority of its air at the PSU and RAM with only a little finding its way straight to the CPU cooler.
The PSU cables also obstruct the fan a little too. This is likely why the CPU delta T of 52°C wasn't spectacular, at least not with our particular test gear, but it should also be highlighted that the Obsidian 250D was a particularly quiet case too - far more so than the top-scoring SilverStone Sugo SG08 and it was better than the BitFenix Phenom and EVGA Hadron Air but the larger, noisier Prodigy was also 9°C cooler.
The GPU delta T on the other hand was spectacular. At just 47°C, it matched the previously best-cooling case, the Fractal Design Node 304 on its high speed setting and bettered the Prodigy by 2°C as well. Good airflow but also the fact the graphics card is planted right next to a large vent in the side panel meant you can't really ask for better passive GPU cooling if you're using a standard-design GPU cooler. The downside here, though, is that the GPU fan is somewhat more noticeable than other cases as a result but you can't have everything.
Corsair Obsidian 250D Review - Conclusion
We have to admit that on opening the box, we got pretty excited with the Obsidian 250D. Its water-cooling potential all but matches the BitFenix Prodigy despite being smaller, it has excellent GPU cooling and while it's CPU cooling isn't amazing, it has ample fan mounts to beef up the cooling if required. Most notably, the front 200mm fan mount - slap in a SilverStone Air Penetrator here and another side 120mm fan and this could match any mini-ITX for cooling without even touching the rear 80mm fan mounts.
There's little to stop you in other areas too - a 290mm gap for GPU clearance and plenty of room for all-in-one liquid coolers in addition to ample storage slots mean the Obsidian 250D won't leave many people wanting. All this and it costs less than £80.
Has Corsair pulled off its belated attempt to grab a slice of the mini-ITX party? All things considered we think the answer is a resounding yes.