By Jeff Checchi posted May 30th 2013
Welcome to my build log of the new Obsidian Series 900D! This build log was done in preparation for the upcoming Computex show in Taiwan and I thought I would give you a little sneak preview of one of the systems we will be showing off.
First let's start with the list of components I will be using:
- Case: Obsidian Series 900D
- CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K
- CPU Cooler: Hydro Series H100i
- Motherboard: Maximus V Extreme
- GPU: 2x ASUS GeForce GTX 680
- SSD: 2x Neutron Series GTX 240GB
- Memory: Dominator Platinum 32GB 2133MHz Memory Kit (CMD32GX3M4A2133C9)
- PSU: AX1200i Digital ATX Power Supply
- Extras: Corsair Link Lighting and Cooling Kit
Before we continue, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to ASUS for supplying us with a bunch of high end graphics cards and Haswell motherboard for the Computex show! (This is the only non Haswell system we are bringing). Stay tuned to the Corsair website for some upcoming posts showing off the rest of the systems!
Here is the behemoth 900D, it's a blank slate ready for hardware!
The first thing I like to do is carefully install the CPU into the motherboard, as always, be very careful not to bend any of the pins in the socket. There will be an arrow (triangle) printed on a corner of the CPU, and another one matching it on one of the corners of the CPU socket. Make sure you have the arrows aligned on the same corner and then gently lay the CPU in the socket and lock the lever in place to secure it.
You can see above that the arrow is on the lower left corner, there is a matching arrow on the CPU itself, but it's covered up by the socket once it is locked into place.
Next, we will install the motherboard into the case. With many Corsair cases (including the 900D) there is a handy alignment post in the middle standoff location. This helps you align the motherboard with the rear I/O shield and easily match up the motherboard screws with the standoffs which are already installed in the case.
Now that the motherboard is installed, we will move on to the CPU cooler. But first, you will need to remove the side panels of the case, so that you can remove the top filter assembly which will expose the mounting holes on the top of the case.
With all the room in this 900D, we will be installing an H100i with push/pull SP120 Quiet Edition fans. It is easiest to mount the lower fans on the H100i before installing the radiator into the roof of the case. Once the lower fans are installed, you will want to install the radiator following the order of components listed below:
Screw > Washer > Case > Top Fan > Radiator
It is easiest to tack the H100i into place in 2 spots, so you can then have two hands free to install the remaining 6 screws. It's a good idea to tighten them just enough so that there is still some wiggle room until all the screws are threaded into the radiator, and then you can tighten them the rest of the way. This will allow you to align the radiator and make sure that the holes are lining up properly with the case.
Next, we will need to attach the CPU cooling unit to the board. The H100i comes with a universal Intel backplate which should easily line up with the four holes around the CPU (from behind the board). Line up the backplate and hold it in position while you screw in the double sided standoffs from the other side, locking the backplate in place. Once the standoffs are secure you can place the magnetic Intel bracket over the CPU cooling unit and align the bracket with the standoffs you just installed. Now you will need to secure the cooling unit using the provided thumbscrews. For detailed H100i installation instructions, please see this post: H100i Installation Blog Post
Now that the H100i unit is in place, there are a couple more things to do before we move on. The H100i comes with two fan adapters that allow up to four fans to be plugged in directly to the CPU cooling unit. You can see in the picture above that there are three cables plugged into the cooling unit. The two on top are routed out to the rear of the case, where all four fans are plugged into the two adapters (2 fans per adapter). The benefit from attaching the fans directly to the H100i is that you will be able to control and monitor the fans through the Corsair Link software. Of course in order for the software to detect the H100i, you will need to install the USB cable (plugged into the side of the CPU cooling unit), and connect it to an unused USB 2.0 internal header on the motherboard. Before we do that though, let's get the PSU installed, and start running our power cables before we overcrowd the case with hardware (haha, ok so most people will not be able to overcrowd a 900D, but it's usually good to get the PSU cables routed before getting all the rest of the components installed.)
The 900D can support two PSUs, each mounted in a vertical orientation, although we will only require one for this build. Before plugging in all the cables we will need into the PSU, we are first going to make all the front panel I/O connections. One trick I have picked up is to braid the Power/Reset/HD Activity Light/Power LED cables together to make one unified cable. It makes it easier to route, and looks nice.
Next we will plug in the cables from the front I/O panel.
Above from left to right, you can see the HD Audio, USB 2.0 from the H100i, USB 2.0 from the front of the case, and then all your switches and lights from the front I/O. If you have questions on how to plug in the switches and lights, check out your motherboard manual, there should be a page dedicated to it. Alright now it's time to get our PSU cables plugged into the PSU and routed behind the motherboard.
If you haven't noticed, I am using our individually sleeved cable set with the AX1200i. These cable sets are available for all of Corsair's modular PSUs in multiple colors, and can be purchased here: PSU Cable Kit Accessories
Motherboard cables (24-pin and 8-pin CPU) have been routed and plugged into the board, and I have also spec'd out how many of each connector I will need for the build and plugged in all the required PCIE and accessory cables. Both the case and the PSU will come with zip ties to ensure a neat and tidy build, but hold off on the zip ties until you get all your cables routed and plugged in. More often than not, I will need to reconfigure a few cables once I get them all installed, and it's a pain to keep having to cut off zip ties and reroute cables.
Now I will go ahead and install our SSDs. All the HDD cradles are compatible with 2.5in drives, so we will not need to use the 3.5in to 2.5in adapter that ships with the SSDs. Also noteworthy is that the 900D has an HDD cage which is hot-swappable (3 drives per cage), and we will be using this hot swap cage for our drives.
Continue hooking up your power cables as you get your hardware installed, and once everything is connected, we will get our graphics cards plugged in. With multiple graphics cards you will want to start from the bottom so that you have room to screw them in.
Graphics cards are installed and PCIe power cables are plugged in. Just a few more things to do before we attempt to power on!
Since this is a show system, we will be replacing all the included fans with our more decorative aftermarket fans. The 900D ships with AF120L and AF140L fans standard, which are not much different from the aftermarket fans when it comes to performance, but the colored rings match well with the PSU cables and the overall theme of the case, so we will be replacing them all.
The front fans can be accessed by removing the front panel first, and then removing the dust filter found behind it.
Pictured below are the three stock AF120L fans that come with the case.
Below: Now we are looking good!
We will also replace the rear exhaust fan. Notice below I have coiled the fan cable to make it a little neater and to minimize the extra cable length.
To do this, just use a screwdriver or pen, and continuously wrap the cable around it like the picture below (picture is from a different build). Then without letting go of the end, plug the fan into a header on your motherboard, and the cable should stay coiled.
Now let's get the memory installed...
Now the only thing left to do is get Corsair Link installed, and tidy up all of our cables.
You can see in the picture above I have attached the cooling node (Corsair Link fan and temp sensor hub) to the back of the case. Corsair Link kits come with double sided tape which should allow you to mount them anywhere. Not shown here is the Corsair Link Commander, which I installed in a spare 3.5in HDD bay. Quite a mess of cables we have at this point, but don't worry we will get to that.
If you look on top of the HDD cage in the area to the left in the picture, you can see the Corsair Link Lighting node has been installed. If you are interested in how the lighting node works or Corsair Link in general, please see the Corsair Link Resources below:
- Corsair Link Lighting Node
- Corsair Link V2 Features and Functionality
- Using Link with a Corsair AXi Digital Power Supply
- Corsair Link functionality with H80i and H100i
- Corsair Link Updated!
- Corsair Link Forum
The lighting node has two buttons up on top to control two different lighting channels. I ran one channel of lights to the top of the case and the other along the lower crossbar which separates the lower PSU/HDD cage area from the rest of the case. The cables have also been zip tied up and secured with the built in cable latches on the rear of the case, making things look much better than in the previous picture.
Now take a deep breath, plug in your PSU (make sure it's in standby mode) and press the power button!
Success! Always a good feeling when everything powers up on the first try! Above you see a close up shot of our hardware, all lit up by Corsair Link. Below you can find a few more shots of the completed system.
Thanks for reading my 900D build log, and be sure to follow us on the various social media networks if you would like to stay up to date with the latest Corsair news, and especially if you are interested in checking out our Haswell systems which we will be showing off in Computex!
You can also follow my own Corsair related twitter @CorsairJeff, where I plan to document my first trip to Taiwan for Computex!