NZXT Tempest 410 Elite ReviewCompxpert - September 22, 2011
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Finally onto the inside of the case, but where to begin? Well for starters we have our big ol' hole in the motherboard tray, which allows for easy access to the backplate for your heatsink or waterblock. We also have a number of gromitted holes for running wires behind the motherboard tray that help a great deal for cable management. Speaking of cable management there are a ton of convenient threaded areas entwined in the motherboard tray which allow you to use zipties to further your cable management capabilities.
Right on the motherboard tray is a convenient index which marks each hole in the tray and what form factor it applies to. Supported are standard ATX, Flex, Mini, and Micro ATX. Mini ITX is also supported should you need it. A total of three 5.25" bays are included in the Tempest 410 Elite, all of which are armed with tool-less solutions. Each one features a NZXT labeled switch that slides to lock and unlock. Once unlocked, the tool-less solution bends outward pulling two teeth out of the 5.25" bay. Once your 5.25" devices are in place you simply pop those two teeth back in, which hold the device in place. The provided thumbscrews once removed from the side, screw into your device and ensure that it isn't going to just walk away. A total of eight tool-less 3.5" trays are also included with the case and allow you to mount up to eight 3.5" or 2.5" drives. Bringing up the rear are the rear expansion slots which feature mesh slot covers and in total there are seven, however these are not tool-less.
Each HDD tray is removable once either fan is removed from the front panel. Fans are simply held in with two push buttons found on either side of the fan and they connect seamlessly through use of contact plates on the front. Moving on to the right side of the case, as you can see we have plenty of room for wires to run free, which will help to keep airflow to its maximum. Also shown with the provided measuring tape, we have a whole 7/8 of an inch behind the motherboard tray with which to work with. Bringing up the rear we have our top panel again, only this time with the mesh cover removed. To remove this cover one simply pulls on the back of it to slide it back and pull it off.
Next up are the 5.25" slot covers that feature dust filtering and are easy to remove via a spring loaded latch over on the left. Here we have two of our three included 120mm fans. As already mentioned, the front two are quite easy to remove via the push button switches on the left and right of each fan and a convenient contact plate that makes removal even more simple. Here we have our front panel removed from the case, which essentially is just a bezel that holds everything in its place. For the purposes of the review it has been removed to be pictured, but it doesn't ever really need to be removed, which makes setup and installation quite easy. Next up we have our manual as well as our provided screws and hardware to get our build off the ground. Zipties are also provided.
Here we have a closer look at one of the HDD trays that allow you to not only mount 3.5" drives, but 2.5" drives as well. The side panel with the window features clips that may only allow you to remove the window so many times until they break. This at least allows you to remove it once so you could replace it with a window that offers some form of side ventilation. Last up we have the right side panel.
Finally the completed build. I figured it would be prudent to offer a view with the window and without just to demonstrate how much the window really shows and it does show quite a lot. The build went off without a hitch, with no complications taking place during the time it took to complete. The holes in the motherboard tray make it quite easy to manage the cables however the position the hard disk drives are mounted in do offer a little air resistance from the wires, since they mount from front to back as opposed from side to side. Other than the small short comings of the hard disk mounting position, nothing else seems to be a problem and it appears there is adequate space for current generation AMD and Nvidia cards.
So the Tempest 410 Elite seems to be quite a great case despite its short comings. But how much will a lack of side panel ventilation and wires obstructing flow to the hard drives impact its performance?