NZXT Switch 810 Reviewairman - May 10, 2012
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Though I got to see several instances of these cases in person in Las Vegas for CES this year, now that it's in my tiny apartment — I have to say it is large! Of course, it IS a full tower, but when you're used to even a 'large' mid tower, an even larger case seems to tower above what you're used to. Aside from its size, the NZXT Switch 810 is just how I remember it. The only drawback that I initially sense is the high-gloss finish — which not only makes it difficult for me to photograph, it makes it difficult to keep fingerprints away! Other than that, the exterior of the case is quite functional. There is room for up to four 5.25" devices (the one at the top hides the I/O area) along with a stealthed bay cover, which allows a disc drive to be installed on the inside of this cover giving it an OEM look. Underneath the short taper in the bottom left of the front is a matte plastic area with a small mesh vent for the front fans. The left side of the case features a large window whose geometry follows similar, tapered/triangular lines as the rest of the case. The shape also hides one of the usually less tidy areas of the case, the hard drive area. However, (spoilers ahead) this case features a pretty sweet hard drive/SSD cage system, which should keep them cleanly out of sight. Along the bottom of this side is a small strip of mesh that functions as a passive intake for the rest of the case.
By looking at the PSU mounting area on the back of the case, the relative size difference kind of puts into perspective the size of the Switch 810. Most cases are only a little wider than the shape of the PSU, but by observation it's clearly wider than a general case. Above this are nine mesh expansion slot covers (yes, nine) and four 3/4" OD water cooling outlets. You can also see the tiny (in comparison) I/O cutout next to the included 140mm exhaust fan (also 120mm compatible). Instead of four arranged holes that position this rear fan in a fixed location, the cutouts are slotted - allowing several inches of up and down play. Though common practice for a lot of other applications, this is the first time I've seen it in a computer case. As far as the right side of the case goes, it's an identical mirror to the left side — lacking the window of course.
A unique function of the NZXT Switch 810 is the "switchable" ventilation panel that has 13 adjustable slots to allow the user to choose between high airflow at the sacrifice of high noise or (more) quiet operation at the sacrifice of low airflow. Of course, a user wouldn't seal off these vents during a 10-hour gaming session, but there wouldn't be any harm in shutting them while watching a movie, other light tasks, or simply while the computer is idling. In front of these vents is a very inconspicuous power button in the top left of the gloss portion that wraps up from the front bezel.
Behind the door above the 5.25" bays are the I/O ports, which contain 2xUSB2.0, 2xUSB3.0, multi-memory card reader, and headphone and mic inputs. The reset button and HDD activity light are also with the I/O components. The included built-in memory card reader is a nice touch and it has been rare for me to see those on cases for as long as I can remember! As I mentioned above, the ventilation panel at the top is removable. With the panel removed, the gargantuan 3x140mm-capable top rack is exposed. At the NZXT area at CES, the Switch 810 was shown that with little or no modification, a 420mm radiator can fit in this area, which is remarkable! A 140x420mm radiator is huge and could easily handle huge heat loads on a single loop. I wish I could have opened up this area and see it filled with three 140mm fans, but NZXT chose to only ship the case with one 140mm fan in the front-most position. No worries there though, there are still more fans that we haven't gotten to yet!
At the bottom of the front and the rear are two more push-to-remove filters. They easily slide in and out with no resistance or snags and they cover the entire bottom surface of the case.
As luck would have it, I've already found another fan — and that's the one behind the front panel/intake area on the front bezel. The 140mm fan pulls in air from the tiny little triangle in the corner of this removable section, which appears to have a rather non-functional filter on the inside. Most of the incoming air will pass through the perforated portion, which is not protected by the dust filter. Otherwise, it's still a dust filter although seven screws must be used to remove it for cleaning. No worries though, it shouldn't gather dust very quickly. The entire front bezel is also removable by releasing the multiple "snap tabs" that lock into the sheet metal body of the Switch 810's chassis. Luckily, the I/O area, lighting, buttons, etc. are not fastened in any way to the front bezel so we don't have to worry about accidentally damaging wires or other circuits during removal.
With the exterior of the case peeled apart, I can go no further but to enter the case itself and start exploring its internal features — stay tuned!