NZXT Beta Evo Reviewgotdamojo06 - October 8, 2009
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Taking a closer look at the inside of the NZXT Beta Evo chassis, you are going to see that every single part of the case has been painted in a nice black color, giving it a nice sleek and elegant look to it. The back side of the case where the expansion slots and the rear I/O panel are located has a bunch of open spaces to maximize airflow inside the case. As I mentioned before, the expansion slot covers of the Beta Evo are made up completely of a wire mesh type material that is going to allow air to freely flow out and around the expansion cards with as little restriction as possible by not having any thick steel sides to it. Sitting above the expansion sots you are going to find another mesh type opening that has the rubber grommets allowing you to feed water cooling tubing in and out of the case with less of a risk of tearing the tubing itself on the edges of the steel. There is a 120mm fan mounting hole sitting above the rear I/O panel that is mounted on the motherboard, this is going to help exhaust any hot air coming off of the CPU's cooler. At the top of the case, there is a place to mount two 120mm or 140mm fans or a dual 120mm or 140mm radiator if you choose to use water cooling inside of the Beta Evo. At the bottom of the case where the PSU is mounted there is a wire mesh opening with a filter screen to help keep dust out of the inside of the case, this is going to allow the PSU to suck in fresh air from outside of the case and cool itself down.
The NZXT Beta Evo has tool-less installation features for all of the drives that you may be installing inside of the chassis, there are spots for four 5.25" drives such as DVD or Blu-Ray drives, or maybe even a fan controller that you may want to install in your system to help keep any eye on some of the aspects of your system. There is also a 3.5" drive bay sitting all by itself under the 5.25" drive bays, one would think that this is for a floppy drive, however it does not have access to the outside of the case, so it is only designed for a hard drive. There is another section under that drive bay for four more 3.5" hard drives, this cage has been turned at a 90° angle, allowing you to easily access any of the hard drives that you may have installed in this cage.
Taking a look outside of the case for a moment, you are going to see on the front bezel that there is a power button on the left and a reset button on the right side of the front, these are both located under the bottom 5.25" drive cover installed on the outside of the case. Sitting on the top of the case, you are going to find the front I/O panel, the panel hosts a headset port, a port to install your microphone, two USB 2.0 ports, and a single eSATA port. These ports, if chosen, to use will allow you easy access without having to reach around to the back of the case.
Out of the six places that you can install 120mm fans in the Beta Evo, NZXT has only provided you with one fan, this fan is located at the front of the chassis in front of the rotated 3.5" drive bay cage to suck in fresh air from outside of the case and blow it directly over the hard drives you have installed in the system and keeping them cool. One issue that many people have found with introducing fresh air from outside of the case is something the air brings with it, dust, which is going to get into all of the little nooks and crannies and block airflow. NZXT has a simple solution, they provided a foam dust filter that is installed on the back of the front bezel to catch the dust the 120mm fan may bring in. The 120mm fan that is installed in the Beta Evo is an NZXT brushless DC fan that operates at 12VDC and uses 1.92W.
There are a few different cables that you are going to find inside of the Beta Evo chassis, the first being the cable coming from the fan. You can power the fan by one of two different ways, the first is by plugging the power cable into the motherboard header, which will allow the speed of the fan to be controlled via the yellow wire, the second being by using the 4-pin Molex dongle, which will not allow you to adjust the fan's speed with software. On the front panel there is the power switch and the reset switch, we are going to need to make these buttons work, which is done by plugging them into the headers on the motherboard. There are a pair of USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port and audio hookups in the front I/O panel that need to be powered using the motherboard, the cables are pretty self explanatory as to how to plug them in.
With everything installed in the NZXT Beta Evo case, you are going to see that wire management was not horrible inside of this case, however I was not able to hide every single wire from being seen with the side panel off. There is a whole mess of wires down at the bottom of the case where the PSU rests, this is common in most cases, however there are a select few out there that do have some features that allow you to fit a majority of them behind the motherboard tray. If the lower HDD cage was facing the same way as the 5.25" drive cage, I would have been able to hide quite a few of them in there. The overall installation experience was quite easy, I did not run into any problems with the GTX 260 being able to fit in there, nor did I run into any issues with the PSU. I am very curious to see how this case is going to be able to perform against the others out on the market as there is only one fan installed inside the Beta Evo at the front lower corner.
Now that we know what the case looks like, everything is installed, it is time to take a look at the specifications of the case and then stress some components to see how cool they can run inside.