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Nathan Edwards Jul 07, 2008

NZXT Tempest

At A Glance

Bee's Knees

Plenty of room; eight screwless hard drive bays, lots of cooling; pretty lights.

Killer Bees

Fan speeds not customizeable. Not exactly the most innovative case we've ever seen.

The Tempest supports two front-panel connection options with its two USB slots and included eSATA input.

Look familiar? That’s the first thing we said when pulling NZXT’s Tempest out of the box. Save for a few minor modifications to the chassis, this case is a carbon copy of Antec’s Nine Hundred chassis. It’s built like the Nine Hundred, performs like the Nine Hundred, and even glows like the Nine Hundred, thanks to its front- and side-panel blue LED fans.

Rather than scorn it for its uncanny similarities, we see a certain wisdom in knocking off a popular design, shaving $50 off the price, and relaunching it as your very own. For what it’s worth, we experienced no difficulties whatsoever installing a modern-day system into this no-nonsense chassis. There was plenty of room to manage cables around our huge 8800 GTX card, and the case’s eight hard drive bays come with screwless rails preinstalled—you pop them off, attach them to a drive, and slide the whole deal into place. The two 12cm front-panel fans take care of the cooling efforts.

Unlike Antec’s Nine Hundred case, the two 14cm top fans and one 12cm rear fan around the Tempest’s motherboard area run at a constant speed. They chug along at a low rpm to preserve your hearing, but we’ve grown quite fond of the Nine Hundred’s customizable fan speeds. It’s a simple solution that this clone sorely lacks. But honestly, it’s one of the very few ways this sweet case falters.

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THE VERDICT

NZXT Tempest

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