NZXT Tempest 210 Case ReviewBluePanda - September 20, 2011
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After opening the case on up and taking a peek from both sides the case, like I mentioned before, this case is fully coated in paint. A finished inside is rather reputable for the price we are looking at here; I do recall several significantly more expensive cases that don’t have a finished look like this – but to avoid debate I will move on.
Two fans are already pre-mounted inside the case; one at the rear and one in the upper left top slot. The cables for the front panel and fans are already pre-routed and somewhat hidden from view. With the back panel off there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for cable management, but we shall see.
Looking a little closer you will find the three drive bays followed by room to mount eight HDDs. The clips on the drive bays are labeled with the NZXT logo and seem like they should slide forward and back like most, however, that’s not quite how these ones work. A careful squeeze at the notched position releases the mounts. Two prongs are revealed that should sufficiently hold your optical drive or water bay solidly in place. Getting them to pop open is the difficult part. Even with my small hands the top two are pretty difficult to maneuver and being made of plastic they seem to be a little on the flimsy side. When I popped the top one open, I already shed some plastic. It still works but doesn’t really lock down anymore unless there is something in the bay. Just my words of advice, be careful!
As for those crazy eight HDD slots, they seem to be a little less of a struggle. Though they have turn knobs to release them, they are again made out of plastic. I didn’t break any of these, but they don’t feel to be the strongest things in the world. Again two metal prongs are ready to grab on to your drives. If you want extra security in them not moving, you can grab one of the extra (if you don’t have eight drives) and take it around to the other side. They mount the exact same way there!
Focusing your attention to the back of the case, we see more mesh. The PCIe/PCI slots are covered with mesh backing that can easily be removed with a screw driver. Two punched holes are ready to have their metal leftovers removed and replaced with the included water tube rings (pictures are coming up). Just above that is one of the pre-mounted 120mm fans ready to exhaust some heat.
Next, we take a look at the front panel connectors. The back side has the cables already pre-routed for use and zip-tied neatly in place. Where they have them located makes sense as they come through the bottom opening to plug right into the board. Labeled in white letters, the cables are clearly marked for position since they are all black in color. It has the HD Audio /AC’97 inputs, a single USB header (so half the size of those of you with dual slots), a blue USB 3.0 header (if your mobo supports it), the reset plug, and individual pins for your LED and power buttons. One really nice thing that seems to have already improved my wiring situation is the fact that the LED/power button plugs are all on one linked cable. They can be pulled apart if need be, much like a y-splitter, but it keeps them all together rather than the usual tangled individual wire mess.
The last little bit before getting hardware in is the plastic bag with instructions and tons of screws. As with most cases a brief manual is included to break down all the features of the case if you hadn’t already found them all. A couple zip-ties are included for some cable management along with plenty of screws for all your needs. Two grommets are provided for filling in the back water tube holes and finishing up the overall look. Nine motherboard risers are provided with a nifty helper tool so you can get through the coating of paint with a screw driver rather than your fingers. It’s time to use the NZXT Tempest 210!
Wiring her up proved quickly that the “wiring space support” was very minimal. 20mm really isn’t that much when you are trying to route power cables. However, seeing that I did get my current rig components into this case speaks for its size not being too small. A 4870x2 isn’t exactly a small card, but without drives right next to it, it does fit. My re-tubed ECO ALC with water bay was a little more of hassle to get in. With limited room at the top of the case the radiator and fans ended up in the bottom of the case – perhaps this will provide better cooling. Unfortunately, it really just didn’t fit anywhere else. Again though, considering the fact that my water cooling components fit at all is another positive for the case.
The wiring was quite the pain. I usually have pretty good patience with trial and error in routing cables in odd places considering the small cases I’ve had in the past. I guess I’ve just been babied having larger full tower cases in the more recent times. I forgot how “tacky” cables across the board look. Unfortunately the 8 pin mobo connector had no other route than to the right, over the board and plugged in. There wasn’t enough room to route it out the back panel with all the power supply cables and radiator in the way. The SATA cables ended up being right next to the drives which just mean looping the cable length back and behind the bays. The majority of cable bulk didn’t fit in the cable management side of the case. Most of the extra lengths got tucked under the hard drives. But all and all, for the size of the case, and factoring in the fact that there is no window in the side panel, it’s not all so bad.