The front fan is a clear acrylic fan with blue leds to match the front panel lighting. The fans have rubber gromits between the fan and case to help cut down the vibration noise. The hard drive bays all have the quick release locks for easy installation of drives or whatever you need to put in your system. The disadvantage to the design they have for hard drive and other components, are that you have to make sure there is a clean path for removing them.
It's time to fill the case with some hardware. The components that I will be using this time around is my NFS / SMB server:
- EPoX nForce 4+ mother board
- 1 gig of RAM
- AMD 64Bit 4000+ processor
- Geforce 7900GS video card
- Mad Dog DVD Burner
- 160gig sata drive (primary)
- 500gig sata2 drive (storage)
- Logisys Clear PSU 550w
The locks also have small rubber washers on the metal post to help with the noise.
A couple of the cases I have seen recently have had the rolled metal for strength and have them capped with something that will help save your arms and hands from getting scratched up. If they were not there, I am sure I would have scratched or cut myself on it.
The wires that come from the front panel have been made extra long. The front audio cable is long enough to reach with out cutting across the case, the power / reset ribbon can fit anyware inside of the case.
When adding the CD ROM drive, I did notice that the drive bay covers also have the acoustic mats as well which is a nice touch.
The power plugs for this board are right in the center, so I used the 80mm fan on the stock AMD heatsink to direct the power cables to their locations. To make it easy to see where the cables are, they were ran with the green wire sleave kit. The USB and power/reset ribbon will better managed later on.
Now that we have power to the system, we can see the lighting effects that NZXT included with the case. The top door piece has a blue line to see the concaved part on the door. I was asked when I was going to add chaser LED's to it from a friend, something that might happen but not right away.
The fan LED lights come through the fan grill showing that the door does cover about 55% of the fan, if heat is an issue you may want to see if opening the door helps some.
Below is a view of the front fan with the door open. Since I did not have power going to the power LED or HDD led at this time, you can't really see that they use a clear blue for power and a green tented led for the HDD activity light. Looking at the image below, I would have liked if they ran the wires from the audio / Firewire / USB under the fan for better air flow.
The case is a hair smaller than some of the other I have looked at (or will be soon), but that little space does not effect the ease of putting in a motherboard into this case.
No side windows were placed into the case because NZXT wanted a case that cut back on the noise, so they opted to use the acoustic absorption mats on the side panels. There was a noise level differance from using the Spire case and the NZXT case, so there is an acoustic difference. With them using the glossy finish on the case, finger prints show up a lot easier. The front panel audio / firewire / USB, in my option should be on the left side of the case just for easy access. The front panel should have also been fed out of the path of the fan for better air flow. Even with the door closed you lose about 55% if the fan and then you take up another X% with the cables. The case edges are coverd up so users don't end up with unexpected cuts. Without a removable drive bay or a turned one for easy of access, adding new hard drives are a bit harder than others.
Thanks to NZXT for sending over this sample!