Review: A silent sub-€100 case with 6 fans inside
We got a chance to welcome a new addition to our lab – a quite large but interesting gaming case, and of course, test it and see what it's all about. The case comes under the name Tempest, and it’s made by NZXT.
We received it in a large box measuring 26cm x 57cm x 62 cm (width, length, height) that’s anything but light. The package with the case inside weighs about 12 kilos, whereas the case alone weighs in at 11.2 kilos. Dimensions of the case are 21,15cm x 52,15cm x 56cm (width, length, height).
The packaging has enough information written on it, so you’ll instantly know whether this is the case for you. The box is nicely designed and on it you’ll find a picture of the case running and glowing blue. NZXT packs a lot of fans and they don’t call it “the Airflow King” for nothing, but you’ll see that for yourself soon.
We opened the box and found the case wrapped in PVC but nicely cushioned with Styrofoam so it doesn’t get damaged in transport. When we took it out we realized that the main culprit for the weight is steel, the material used in this case. Still, its weight makes it stable, and steel build makes it sturdy.
The left panel has a large Plexiglas window, so those who like bragging and showing their components will surely like it. One of the fans with this case is located on this window. If you’re going to mod this case, you should know that NZXT chose fluorescent blue as the color of choice. NZXT also put a fluorescent blue LED decoration around the panel purely for aesthetic reasons.
The panel has a thin plastic coating in order not to get scratched during transport or assembling your rig, but of course, you can remove it afterwards.
Let’s not waste words on explaining the feel you get with fluorescent blue lighting, you can check it out for yourself on the following photos.
The front of this black midi tower is actually made of wire grills and you won’t notice the fans behind them until you turn on the computer.
Upper three grills are easily removed in case you want to put an optical or floppy drive in.
Removing the front mask is not hard, all it takes is a pull (but careful), and afterwards you can remove the grill and place the optical drive of your choice.
A floppy drive or card reader already has it’s spot with a plastic case, so installing it will not be a problem.
If two 5 ¼ optical drive slots aren’t enough, you can easily the plastic floppy drive bay and gain an additional slot.
On/off and reset buttons are simple and elegant and are easily accessible since they’re placed on the upper panel where you’ll also find two USB ports and an eSATA port.
Behind this panel, you’ll find a metal grill hiding another two fans. The panel is not hard to remove in case you want to dust off the fans.
The Airflow King is certainly not short on fans, and it packs two in the front, two on the top, one on the side and the rear one, which brings us to a number of six fans.
A glance at the back panel reveals that PSU is located on the bottom of the case.
The side panels are held firmly in place by two screws that can be easily removed with no need for tools.
The Tempest packs a lot of space and it’s nicely designed and planned out. The airflow is just great, which is the reason why it’s called “The Airflow King”. Of course, its 6 fans are greatly responsible for that.
Inside you’ll find a bag containing mounting instructions, various screws, a couple of 5 ¼” cases and a couple of more things.
The front two fans have a job of cooling the disks. Their filters are easily removed for cleaning.
A great thing about this case is that you can put up to 8 hard disks, but note that they’ll have to be lying on their sides.
Mounting hard disks and optical drives is quite straightforward. If you’re not a pro, there’s always the manual, but we mounted the hard disk and DVD writer with no trouble whatsoever.
Although IDE disks are slowly becoming a thing of the past, they’re still quite mainstream so we used it for our today’s test. Luckily our DVD device is SATA so we didn’t have any conflicts, as we had only one IDE cable. We tried using just one cable to connect the DVD and hard disk, but we couldn’t pull that off.
There are two 5 ¼” optical drive bays and one for the floppy drive. As we already said before, floppy drive can be easily removed in order to gain another 5 ¼” slot.
Mounting mechanisms are quite simple so removing and installing optical drives will be a breeze.
There’s no definite rule whether you should install the motherboard or the PSU first, but we opted on the latter option. In order to mount a fan such as Cooler Master Hyper 212 you’ll have to take the motherboard out, as the cooler, due to its weight, requires a back-plate to be mounted on the motherboard. This was not a problem as there’s plenty of space in the case.
For our testing we used ASUS extreme Maximus motherboard, EVGA Geforce 8800 GTS graphics card, OCZ 700W PSU and a large Cooler Master cooler for the CPU.
All this fit in this case with no trouble whatsoever, and there was still plenty of space to provide a great airflow. We think that one passive graphics card would definitely fit great here, as the case cooling would be more than enough to keep its temperatures in check. You can arrange the cables nicely if you route them behind the metal panel holding the motherboard, and NZXT apparently planned this out.
Tempest “Airflow King” is a great case with a lot of space and a great cooling system. With a total of 6 fans on this case (NZXT here beats some much pricier manufacturers) this case will appeal to most demanding of users. Apart from the fact that it packs 6 fans, this case is incredibly quiet. In our case, the loudest component was our old hard disk. Mounting hard and optical drives with no need for tools is certainly a big plus, but being priced at €100 is an even bigger one.
It features two hard disk bays, each capable of housing 4 disks. Most high-end cases don’t have space for 8 disks, so Tempest is definitely worth it.
A small problem we noticed is that USB ports on the upper panel are too close to each other, and we couldn’t use our two Corsair Voyager sticks. Also, to remove the front panel you’ll have to pull on it, and there’s a realistic chance that it’ll break if you pull too hard. The right panel has to be removed in order to arrange the cables underneath the motherboard, but those screws, unlike the ones on the left panel, have to be removed by using the screwdriver.
All in all, the price/quality ratio is really good and if you’re looking for a case we sincerely recommend this steel giant.