NZXT Source 530 Case Reviewhornybluecow - November 27, 2013
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NZXT Source 530 Conclusion:
Let us recap my reasoning and scoring method before diving into my final words. First I look at what the company is saying it offers. For example, say the company states the case supports large / long graphic cards or ten quiet fans. In this example, I examine what is advertised versus what is actually offered. Most of this becomes uncovered as I take pictures to document the product. If the company does not stay true to its word, then it loses points because no one ever wants to be sold on false advertisement. Next I look at what the product is marketed for and put it into perspective. An example of this could be trying to overclock a CPU in a Mini-ITX case and expecting a low temperature. This would contradict its target market and something I try to catch so it does not affect the score. The last bit is my own interjection. What could the case offer in its price range, and what do other companies offer. This category may include an extra fan, cable management, different color paint, or support for larger video cards. This list is endless so let's move on to the conclusion.
NZXT shows that care and thought can be placed into a sub $100 chassis. Before we conclude, let me explain the pros and cons listed below. Starting with the cons, my problems with this chassis are very minimal. The front audio ports' initial buzzing was very disappointing to me with everything else turning out so well for the chassis. I tried to narrow down where the problem was coming from, but it is entirely possible that the buzzing came from the extension audio connector NZXT provides. In any case, after removing the front panel again and plugging the audio cable back in to the motherboard, the buzzing went away. I could not get the buzzing to come back after three weeks, but it still is something to mention. Second, as I mentioned earlier in the review, the USB 3.0 port on the motherboard can potentially not fit the cable. This is not something NZXT can really fix and it is unfortunate that the cable is so large, along with the placement of the port. In all honestly, if I had to choose between using the port with a bit of a bend or losing the front USB ports, I would choose to bend it and hope it does not cause damage in the long run. This also only affects a small number of motherboards with the port in exactly the same place and angled; just double check before buying this chassis.
With a good amount of positive things to say, I am going to try and focus on the most important topics. Overall, for a chassis to be successful, it needs to have a large video card and CPU cooler support. NZXT hits the mark and even goes a bit further by including a fan mount on the top hard drive cage to provide extra air to the video card, if installed. Being a sub $100 full tower can cause companies to cut corners or remove features, but NZXT once again goes above the norm and includes a decent fan hub in case you want to use the chassis to its fullest. Lastly, with a solid metal frame and an ability to install up to a 360mm radiator on top, this chassis has a lot going for it.
The NZXT Source 530 is an overall great chassis with very few flaws at this price. In fact this is one of the best sub $100 full towers I have come across. It may not be the best chassis on the market, but it hits all the marks and definitely follows the NZXT affordable approach without sacrificing quality. If you can overcome the minor potential issues in this chassis, you cannot go wrong for a compact, full tower case for under $100.
- Well-built metal frame
- Support for high-end video cards (440mm)
- Support for large aftermarket CPU coolers (180mm)
- Long internal cables
- Up to nine fans
- Custom water cooling support (up to 360mm radiator)
- Easy cable management (26mm behind tray)
- 10 port built-in fan hub
- Front audio ports buzzing
- Potential USB connector issue