NZXT Hades Reviewjlqrb - January 20, 2010
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It was not too long ago that options for computer builders were limited to beige towers that all looked very similar regardless of which company it was manufactured by. But the days of the beige case are over and today's 'do it yourself' computer builder can find a case in any style or flavor of their liking. There are plain cases, extreme cases, aluminum cases, steel cases, windowed cases and the list just goes on and on. On top of this, cases today have more features than ever before. If a new case does not have a CPU back plate access area, water cooling options and fit a ton of hard drives and fans, it is considered low-end and would not stand a chance to sell well when sitting next to its competitors. The progress forward in case design is due to many companies and their great design teams, and one of the companies that has been there along the way is of course NZXT. NZXT designs cases geared toward gamers and enthusiasts and has always tried to add style and features that would be appealing to their target audience. Over the years, NZXT has released some popular cases, such as the Lexa and Tempest cases and continue to release or update their cases as needed to keep up with a consistently changing market. The latest from NZXT comes to us in the form of a mid-sized steel tower with the name Hades.
The Hades is a sub $100 case that offers users affordability without losing any of the features that we have come to demand. For airflow, the case has dual 200mm intake fans, a top 140mm fan and a rear 120mm fan. There is also an included dual fan 8W per channel controller that will allow users to change the fan speed of the two 200mm case fans on the fly. At full speed these fans will bring in an impressive 140 CFM creating exceptional airflow throughout the case. For expandability, the Hades has nine 5.25" drive bays, can house four 3.5" hard drives inside the chassis and has an adapter that will allow for the installation of two internal 2.5" SSDs. The Hades also includes water cooling holes, CPU back plate access, a three-temperature display, mesh drive bay covers and has LED fans that glow red, giving the Hades a look that lives up to its name.
The case comes packaged in a surprisingly small box, that was much more narrow than I am used to. On the front of the packaging there is a futuristic city covered in fog with a cut-off of the lower portion of the front LED glowing red below it. I am not artistic so I never understand the deeper meaning of the box art, but it still looks cool! The front of the box also has a full image of the Hades as well as some of the selling points of the case. On the backside, NZXT has listed the features of the case and also included a few very nice images of the Hades. Turning the box to the sides, you see that both sides are the same and this is where you will find useful information such as support and specifications for the case.
With the box open, you can see that the Hades case comes face-up and is wrapped in a thin layer of plastic with Styrofoam inserts on each side to hold it securely in place. The accessories that are included with the case consist of installation screws, motherboard stand-offs, 3.5" HDD brackets, cable ties, a buzzer and stickers to secure the temperature cables in place. There is also an included installation guide that gives a good explanation of the installation procedures and comes in English, Spanish, German and French.
Now that we have given a good look over of the packaging and accessories, we can move on and get our first look at the case.