PC Cases are a big business, you can
find all styles, sizes and designs of them available for purchase
today to be used to build a new system or just upgrade that blah case
that came with the computer that you bought. Depending on what your
needs and personal preferences are will be the deciding factor in the
type of case you buy, be it gaming, htpc, sff, or even a server style
case. As with any product though, all cases are not created equal,
some are better than others in not only their quality but their
design as well.
Today for review I’ve got the Tempest
Mid-Tower PC case from NZXT, this case is actually rather large, and
it includes six 120mm fans to keep your system nice and cool. To be
honest, when I saw those six fans included I was expecting a fairly
loud case, especially with a name like ‘Tempest’, but I was very
pleasantly surprised when I powered my system on to hear only a low
hum coming from the Tempest. The Tempest is not only quiet but very
well made, it has lots of room to get your system in there, and the
blue LED accents really add to the overall look of the case.
So continue on to check out the NZXT
Tempest Crafted Series Mid-Tower PC Case Review
Author: Kristofer Brozio
Specs,Features or the Basic Info:
Enthusiast Steel Mid-Tower
Introducing the Airflow King.
NZXT, a company built on
realizing the dreams of gamers worldwide, is proud to announce the
NZXT Tempest. Tempest features breakthrough features in every
category satisfying the high performance demands of PC Enthusiasts
and Gamers worldwide. Tempest stakes its claim as Airflow King with 6
fans including dual intake(120mm), dual exhaust(140mm) with
additional side and rear fans(120mm) all included. Tempest maximizes
expandability with E-ATX support allowing for more compatibility with
high end components including larger graphics cards. Cable routing is
pre-drilled so users can hide cables behind the motherboard tray,
allowing for a cleaner appearance and improved airflow. Tempest also
features server-like HDD space by using dual 120mm fans to cool cages
holding up to 8 HDDs allowing for large capacity systems while
maintaining cool temperatures.
* Dual radiator ready: The NZXT
Tempest is pre-drilled for mounting a dual 120mm radiator at the top
of the chassis, currently compatible and tested with Swiftech MCR220,
Asetek Dual radiator solution, and Thermaltake TMG2.
* Airflow King: Dual 120mm
intake, Dual 140mm Exhaust with an additional side 120mm fan and rear
120mm fan all included.
* Maximize Expandability: E-ATX
support allows more compatibility with high end components including
large graphics cards
* Easier accessibility &
cable management: Cable routing is pre-drilled on the motherboard so
users can hide cables behind the motherboard tray, allowing more a
cleaning look and better airflow. Power, E-SATA, USB and Reset
buttons are mounted at the top to give better accessibility.
* Bottom mounted PSU: PSU
mounting at the bottom allows for more security and separation of
heat from the CPU
* Server-like HDD space: Dual
120mm fans cool cages that hold up to 8 HDDs allowing for large
capacity systems while maintaining cool temperatures
MODEL: Tempest SERIES
CASE TYPE: MID TOWER Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL: PLASTIC
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 211.5 X
521.5 X 562 mm
FRONT, 2 X 120 mm Blue LED
REAR, 1 X 120 mm (included)
SIDE PANEL, 1 X 120mm Blue LED
TOP, 2 X 140mm Fan (included)
9 DRIVE BAYS
3 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE
BAYS ( up to six 5.25″ )
1 3.5″ External bracket
8 INTERNAL 3.5″ DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S): Steel Construction
EXPANSION SLOTS: 7
POWER SUPPLY: 500 WATT PS2 ATX
12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT: 11.2 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARDS: E-ATX ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT
A Better Look at Things
Better Look at Things -Outside:
So when I got the Tempest the box
was a bit beat up during shipping, but NZXT packed it very well and
it survived the trip unscathed. The side window does have a plastic
protective film over it as well to prevent any damage during
shipping, and the styrofoam padding did a great job of protecting the
The side window of the Tempest if
large allowing a nice view of the installed system, it’s a beveled
window so it looks kinda cool really. Built into the window is a
120mm fan that has blue LEDS in it that are fairly bright so it does
help illuminate the inside of the case.
The front bezel features nine bays
that are screened and filtered, behind the bottom six bays are two
120mm fans and two hard drive cages. These can be moved or even
removed if you wish to add more 5 1/4” devices.
Towards the middle of the top of
the Tempest is where you’ll find the power and reset buttons, USB
ports, audio jacks and a eSATA connector. Behind the I/O panel is
located two more 120mm fans which can also be used to cool a radiator
if you’re3 liquid cooling your system.
The NZXT logo is on the top of
the front bezel, and there is a green HDD led located on the bottom
left side of the bezel as well, it’s more of a light bar really.
There’s nothing special about the right side of the case, just a
plain black side panel. The paint job of the Tempest is a faintly
textured style, with a very slight gloss to it, not quite a
semi-gloss, more of an eggshell style gloss.
Since this is a case where the PSU
is mounted on the bottom, the back of the case looks a bit different
with the PSU port located on the bottom instead of the top. Other
than that the configuration is similar to all other cases with a
120mm fan, space for motherboard I/O plate, and PCI slots. The one
thing different is that the tempest includes rubber lined holes for
liquid cooling tubing to pass through.
There’s nothing special about the
bottom of the Tempest, just four silicone rubber feet are found
A Better Look at Things
Better Look at Things -Inside:
Inside the Tempest is an accessory
pouch that contains screws for installation, user manual, wire
management clips, and rails for 5 1/4” devices.
There’s plenty of room in the
Tempest, and of course inside we also find the front panels
connectors hanging around.
The 5 1/4” bay connections are
semi tool-less, they have clips on the bays but you’ll also need to
use the included special screws as well. The HDD cages are held in
with screws so you’ll need to remove them to access the cages for HDD
installation, though without anything in the system you can install
you HDDs, but once you get a system installed you’ll need to remove
the front bezel to access the cages and hard drives.
Here’s a few views of the back
panel of the Tempest from the inside, there’s a small platform on the
bottom for the PSU to rest on and allow airflow beneath it.
Here’s a look at the two top
mounted 120mm fans from the inside, the fans have both Molex and
three pin power connections which is nice.
Removing the front bezel is fairly
easy, you’ll need to remove the right panel though to acces the
plastic clips that hold it in place. Hidden inside is an adapter for
a 3.5” device as well such as a card reader or maybe even a floppy
drive. The 120mm front fans do have removable filters on them to help
keep the dust out of your case but since you have to remove the bezel
to access them it can be a pain to clean the filters.
To access the HDD cages you’ll
need to remove the four screws holding the 120mm fan mounts, then the
cages can be pulled out, the HDD rails are already installed in the
cages for you.
There’s not much to look at on the
right side of the case, but it’s nice to see that the bottom area is
open to allow airflow around the power supply, and there are holes in
the mobo tray to allow you to route wires if need be.
Testing and Comparison:
I installed my main system in the
Tempest with the thought that it might become the new home for my
My main system consists of:
2x DVD/RW drives
1×200 gig HDD
I found that there is plenty of
room inside the Tempest to work and get a system installed, I didn’t
run into any clearance issues at all.
The Tempest is bottom mounted PSU
style case as mentioned already, so getting the PSU in there is very
I’ve only got one HDD installed
inside my case now as I’m using a NAS box for my storage, and I use a
mobile rack for my main drives, two 200gig HDDs that I can swap out
as one has Windows XP while the other has Windows Vista installed.
Installing the hard drives and DVD drives is easy, to install the
HDDs you need to remove the cage, attach the support bars and clip
back into cage. To install your 5 1/4” devices you just need to
slide them into place, lock the clips and use the provided screws to
secure the devices.
Once everything is installed it
looks a bit cramped inside the Tempest, but with a bit of wire
management it will clean up nicely. Since this is a bottom mounted
PSU style case you might, as I have to, have the secondary power
connection crossing through your case across your video cards, this
of course depends on the placement on your motherboard as well. I
found the cables on the NZXT PP800 PSU is a bit short and needs to
really be stretched to reach the connector on my motherboard, but
that was mentioned in my review of the PP800…
Once everything is up and running
the Tempest does have blue LEDs in the front that light up to create
and attractive look, the front fans and side fan also have blue LEDs
in them so it will brighten up a dark room a bit.
The first thing I noticed when I
turned my system on was how quiet it was, with six 120mm fans running
I was really expecting it too be loud, I like my system quiet as it
sits about two feet from me on the left side of my desk, so I was
happy to not hear much of anything coming from the Tempest.
I would have liked to keep the
Tempest as a new home for my main system, but I ran into a problem
with the placement of the top I/O ports, USB, power, reset etc. I’ve
got three shelves on the wall next to my computer desk, or above it,
my PC case sits under the lowest shelf with only about three inches
clearance between the bottom of the shelf and the case, the placement
for the top ports made it very hard for me to access the ports on top
of the case, I either had to not use them, or angle the Tempest so
the ports were out from under the shelf. I know some people keep
their cases inside of their desks in a space made for them, the
placement of the ports will give a similar problem to those types of
setups as well, you’ll really have to reach in to plug anything in.
So this might not be a concern to
everyone but for my purposes this case just won’t work, of course I
could use a USB extension or such, but then I still have the same
problem reaching the power/reset buttons and audio jacks. I think it
might have been better had the ports been closer to the front of the
case instead of the middle, or actually even located on the front
bezel would be ideal placement for everyone.
The other small problem I ran into
was that you’ve got to take the front bezel off to access the hard
drive cage, at first install this isn’t a problem, but later if you
wish to add more storage this could be. Yes you can access the hard
drives from inside the case, but with the video cards installed it
makes it very difficult, and especially if you have larger style
video cards that will reach all the way to the HDD cage. You’ll most
likely need to remove the front bezel to access your HDDs or remove
the video card that is in the way. The way to fix this would be for
NZXT to turn the HDD cages sideways so you can pull them out of the
case from the side.
I do like this case, quite a bit
actually, but the layout is just a bit off for me personally, and I
think others might agree with me on this, especially if you tinker
with your system, or swap HDDs out often.
If you’re going to put a system in
there and leave it for a while then you’ll be fine really with the
Tempest, it’s a quiet case that’s well made and looks great.
The NZXT Tempest is an excellent
case overall with great attention to quality, design and
functionality. With it’s six 120mm fans you’d expect it to be loud
but it isn’t, it’s pleasantly quiet and yet keeps your system and its
components nice and cool.
The couple problems I mentioned
might not affect everyone, but you might want to keep them in mind
depending on where your system is located and if you are swapping
hard drives often. The top-middle placement of the front panel is not
optimal in my opinion, and the fact the front bezel need to be
removed to access the hard drives once a system is installed can be a
real pain to deal with if you di it often.
DragonSteelMods gives the NZXT
Tempest a 4.5 out of 5 score.
-Very well made and designed
-Keeps system cool
-Easy to install system
-Lots of room inside
-Removable HDD cages
-Lots of room for hard drives or 5
-eSATA connector on front I/O
-Top I/O ports can be out of reach
depending where case is
-Hard to access HDDs when system