The side panel pulls free after you remove two thumbscrews and is a relatively light and flexible piece of steel work. With the case opened you can see a bundle of cables that have been fed through one of the grommets.
The plastic drive tower at the front of the case accommodates three 3.5-inch hard drives that slip easily into tool-free mounts. If you choose to install 2.5-inch drives you will need to screw them in place.
At the top of the case there are two 5.25-inch optical drive bays that are also tool-free. Although I had no problem sliding a DVD drive in I found the drive didn’t lock in place and would move back and forth with a bit of pressure.
Returning to the front of the case, the grille that covers the two 140mm fans is simple to remove as the two mounts are press to release and the grille pops off. This is very handy if you want to clean the mesh to remove dust however I found the front panel popped off all too easily when I moved the case around. I estimate that during this review I had to replace it at least ten times.
The back of the motherboard tray is interesting for two reasons. The first is that you don’t get much room for cable management and I measured only 20-25mm of space which isn’t enough room for hiding the cables away. I got some halfway decent results using a traditional power supply but you really need to use a modular unit in the 450D to get a tidy result.
Part of the problem is the lack of space but the other issue is the flexible nature of the steel side panel as you have to press the panel against the cables as you slide it into place.
One aspect of the Obsidian 450D that I like a great deal is the inclusion of two 2.5-inch drive bays on the reverse side of the motherboard tray. This means you can install a solid state drive along with a 1TB or 2TB mechanical drive and the whole lot can be removed from the main compartment and kept out of the airflow.
The bottom of the case is also heavily ventilated. Corsair has installed a mesh dust cover that is retained magnetically to keep all the usual nasties out of the 450D. I fully expect this case will remain clean inside and the various dust guards will be easy to clean.