NZXT founder and chief designer Johnny Hou will tell you that "The original Tempest was the chassis that really put NZXT on the map for specializing in aggressive airflow." When we reviewed the Tempest, we told you it was a "carbon copy of Antec's Nine Hundred chassis," only it was $50 less expensive at the time and every bit as good, earning it a 9 verdict. Three years later, NZXT is bringing the Tempest back in the form of the 410 and 410 Elite, a pair of midtowers that retain the original's focus on air cooling with modern amenities thrown in.
NZXT’s H2 is a simple-looking case—in fact, simplicity seems to be the overall theme—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the world of PC building, simple can be good.
The H2 is an ATX mid-tower, constructed of sturdy steel. The side panels (which lack windows or adornment of any kind) are lined with acoustic-dampening foam to keep your hardware quiet. It works well for the most part. We had the case running three fans, and the addition of the side and front panels made the case noticeably quieter.
Cases and cooling go together like peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs, movies and popcorn, rum and Coke, and everything else that's better with the other. It shouldn't come as a shock to the system, then, that NZXT is releasing its first ever CPU cooler, the Havik 140. With funky looking fins and plenty of heatpipes, NZXT thinks it has a "true game changer" on its hands.
It's a good thing our PCs don't run on gas. This hobby is expensive enough as it is, and that's especially true for gamers. If you're more interested in fragging than Facebook, then that means you'll spend twice, maybe three times as much on the videocard alone. Factor in more RAM, a speedy SSD for ultra fast load times and overall system performance, and high-dollar gaming peripherals, and you can blow through a budget faster than Lady Gaga on tour. NZXT feels your pain, and if you can live with a case that's anything but ostentatious, the company's new Source 210 is about as wallet friendly as it gets.
Case designer NZXT also dabbles in related peripherals, like power supplies, cables, case fans, and fan controllers. The company's latest product -- Sentry Mesh -- is another fan controller, but unlike previous ones in NZXT's lineup, this one is intended to blend in with the growing number of cases sporting a mesh facade.
NZXT has a long history of cranking out funky looking enclosures, though that isn't always the case. The case maker's latest creation is designed to give gamers a silent computing experience so they can concentrate on the in-game action rather than the sounds coming from their PC. Truth be told, the new H2 silent midtower chassis looks lke a modern take on Antec's P182 from a few years back.
In this video run-down, we take a look at NZXT's new H2 PC case. It's a sleek looking case with some awesome features usually reserved for full tower cases--hot swappable SATA drive, sound dampening materials, and fan controls all fit into the hundred dollar package. Check it out!
If you have a free drive bay floating around your system, you can convert it into a safety deposit box for your USB peripherals using NZXT's Bunker.
The way it works is simple. There are four USB ports in the Bunker, two of which you'll presumably use for your USB keyboard and mouse. Close the lid over the front, turn the lock, and stick the key in your pocket. The cables are routed through an opening too small for accommodate the USB connectors, so if someone still wants to steal your gear, they're going to have to cut the cables first.
"We place a great deal of importance on portability and security," said Johnny Hou, founder and chief designer at NZXT. "Whether you're transporting your rig to a LAN party or would like more peace of mind in the dorm, Bunker will ensure that your peripherals and media remain secure."
The Bunker will go on sale in March and carry and MSRP of $25.
Are mid-towers the future of PC chassis design? Used to be that a mid-tower case was a compromise—an admission that you were willing to sacrifice a few features for a rig that could fit under your desk (or on top of it) without making drastic changes to your decor or furniture. Based on the products we’ve seen in the Lab over the last few months, those days are all but over.
Read on to learn more about five of the hottest (or coolest) cases around.
The NZXT Phantom is gorgeous in a Dark Side kind of way—whether you opt for Darth Vader black, Imperial Guard red, or our favorite: Stormtrooper white. Though NZXT considers the Phantom a full-tower chassis, at 8.75 inches wide, 21.25 inches tall, and 24.5 inches deep (and with no EATX support), it’s no taller or wider (and barely deeper) than the other mid-tower chassis that make up the rest of this roundup. The Phantom packs seven toolless hard drive trays in a dual-bay configuration that (hooray!) leaves room for long cards like the Radeon HD 5970. We’re not crazy about front-panel doors like the one that covers the Phantom’s five (toolless) optical drive bays, but the Phantom’s door is at least nicely weighted and has a magnetic latch.