NZXT Guardian 921 ReviewThe Smith - August 25, 2008
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The NZXT Guardian 921 is awesome. The Halo video game helmet shape on the front with the LCD looks great. The three blue lit lines on the front also gives it a nice look. Moreover, the case looks even greater when you switch on the front and back fans, to show the blue LED on, which is allowed by the removable hard drive cage. However, this one is held in place by four screws, differently from the tool-less features allowing quick and easy hardware installation for drives and expansion cards.
The three fans equipping it perform well. They could have been spinning a bit faster, but noise would have increased. They are incredibly quiet at their speed, and they still beat a faster fan setup like in the Thermaltake Xaser VI VH9000BWS. But there is also a small problem having a third fan on the side. This one leaves little room for larger heatsinks such as my Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU cooler. I have to force a bit to get the panel closed, therefore pushing on the motherboard. However, if you plan on watercooling, you won't have any problems. The Guardian 921 even allows you to pass tubing to an external radiator by two holes at the back, especially made for that purpose. Moreover, a great feature which adds to both watercooling and air cooling setups, is the temperature reader with three probes. You can stay aware of any temperatures, simply by looking at the LCD in front of the case.
However, it seems that NZXT cut a bit on accesories. There could have been a SATA cable and more than one tie-wrap supplied, but that's no big deal. You would need those tie-wraps to ensure that there is good cable management, because it is a bit hard. The problem is that you can't pass cables between the motherboard tray and the 5.25" drive cage, so that complicates the cable management. However, it is roomy for a mid-tower, so that is a big plus.
Overall, the NZXT Guardian 921 is a very good case that merits consideration when shopping for a new case. It is not far from being perfect. I would recommend it to anyone in need of a new case.
- Tool-free design
- Good air flow
- Great looks
- Removable hard drive cage
- Very quiet
- Temperature display with 3 probes
- Watercooling ready
- Cable management a bit hard
- Some processor coolers might not fit in it
- Slim accessories bundle