NZXT Tempest 410 Elite Review

Compxpert - 2011-09-08 16:23:40 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Compxpert   
Reviewed on: September 22, 2011
Price: $89

Introduction:

The enclosure or case as it is also know can make or break any build. For instance, picking an enclosure that does not plan for expansion for larger graphics cards or more hard disk drives could put you in a position where you need to shop for another. It is important to consider the direction you wish to take with your build and plan it out before selecting the case that is right for you. So what does the right case have to have? Does it need to support water cooling or maybe it needs to have enough space for a large heatsink that sports 120mm fans. No matter what you need in a case NZXT has you covered and for review today we have the Tempest 410 Elite. The Tempest 410 Elite is part of NZXT's Crafted Series which consists of many other cases, but more specifically the Tempest, Tempest 410, and Tempest EVO. What sets the Elite Edition apart from the original Tempest 410 is the included side panel window and a second front 120mm intake fan. However, that is not all NZXT packed into this relatively wallet friendly case. Both the Tempest 410 and 410 Elite have a storage compartment for added convenience. While I could reveal more it would spoil the surprise so lets first take a closer look at the Tempest 410 Elite.

Closer Look:

The Tempest 410 Elite comes in a rather modest brown box with the front left of the case depicted on the front. On both the left and right side of the box there are tables containing the specifications of the case. The rear of the box highlights five specific features of the case in multiple languages. Two major features highlighted here are its dual radiator support on the top panel and its easy to remove front fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the box now open we're greeted with the usual packaging. Once wrestled from its brown enclosure, we have our case sporting the usual plastic wrapping and Styrofoam to keep it safe while it's being shipped.

 

 

Well so far so good. The Tempest 410 Elite seems to pack a nice number of features but what really counts here is just how much they managed to stuff into it for the price. Surely it must have more in store but we'll never know unless we take an even closer look.

Closer Look:

Moving onward we have our first look at the left side of the case that sports a rather nice window for a look at what's inside. Just from this small peek at the inside we can already tell NZXT did a great job keeping the whole case black both inside and out. Sadly, the Tempest 410 Elite does not offer any side ventilation unlike the standard model which does. This forces you to have to get creative, but should you choose to do so, a single 120mm definitely would not be out of place here on the side.  The Tempest 410 and 410 Elite both include application for two 120mm intake fans on the front, however only the Elite model actually includes both of these fans out of the box. Up next we have of course our right side of the case, which doesn't really say much other than it being the right side of the case.  Last up we have the rear of the case which sports a single 120mm exhaust fan and features a bottom mounted PSU. Here also we have grommets for water cooling support and a total of seven rear expansion slots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great feature of this case is the top panel which allows you to mount two 120mm or 140mm fans and even offers support for a dual fan radiator should you need it. The bottom of the case has support for single 120mm fan and offers the ability to mount your PSU fan side down, should you choose to do so. The bottom also features rubberized feet that help resist any sudden movement that may be acted upon the case. The front panel of the case houses some of the typical I/O that you would normally see on any case like USB 2.0, MIC, and headset connections. Here also we have a single USB 3.0 port which seems rather out of place from what you'd expect. For some reason, instead of offering two of each, they offer three 2.0 ports and one 3.0. Of course the front panel I/O wouldn't be complete without our trusty Power and Reset switches. Last, but certainly not least, we have the storage tray, which is adjustable to suit your needs.  The divider in the center is removable, allowing you to stow larger items in it.

 

 

 

 

Well this case certainly packs a lot of features into one small package, but what else does it have inside it?

Closer Look:

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?

Specifications:

Model
Tempest 410 Elite
Case Type
Mid Tower Steel
Front Panel Material
Plastic/Steel
Dimensions (W x H x D)
215 x 481 x 496mm
VGA Clearance Maximum
315mm w/o HDD, 290mm w/ bracket, 250mm w/ HDD Installed
CPU Heatsink Support
170mm
Cooling System
FRONT, 2 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (2x included)
REAR, 1 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (1x included)
TOP, 2 X 120/140mm
BOTTOM, 1 x 120mm
 
Drive Bays
3 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
8 INTERNAL 3.5"/2.5" Slots
Screwless Rail Design
Material(s)
Steel with painted interior
Expansion Slots
7
Weight
7.8KG
Motherboard Support
ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini ATX, Flex ATX, Mini ITX

Features:

All information courtesy of NZXT @ http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/crafted_series/tempest_410_elite

Testing:

For testing, we throw the case through the usual slew of tests, which consist of idle and load testing on four major heat producing components, the CPU, GPU, HDD, and Chipset. For idle testing, I simply allow the computer to idle for an entire hour, after which I record temperatures using a combination of HWmonitor and RealTemp. Load testing is just as simple. I stress each component individually for an hour using a variety of stressors. Prime95 takes care of the CPU and Chipset, while Folding@Home GPU client covers the GPU, and HDTune handles the Hard Disk drive. Each of these stressors are run for an entire hour after which the temperature is recorded. Of course in any temperature related situation lowest is always best.

 

Testing System:

 

Comparison Cases:


 

   

   

   

   

 

While the NZXT Tempest 410 Elite wasn't exactly top dog, it wasn't exactly the worst of the bunch either. As explained earlier, the lack of side panel ventilation definitely doesn't help with keeping temperatures down, nor does the position the hard disk drives are mounted in.

Conclusion:

While the NZXT Tempest 410 Elite isn't exactly the greatest performer, it does have many things going for it. This case packs a mind numbing amount of features, especially considering its price point. So yeah, you're probably wondering what this case retails for. The Tempest 410 runs around a cool $79 while its Elite counterpart is only $89. For under $100, they did manage to pack quite a bit into it. But, it's a given that some things are lacking, like the level of performance out of the box. It's also a mystery as to why there is just a single USB 3.0 port offered with this case, as they could have cut costs elsewhere and the header for a single USB 3.0 is exactly the same for dual 3.0 ports. It also suffers from poor hard disk drive placement and lacks any sort of side panel ventilation. While it does have its short comings, it makes up for it with offerings like a storage compartment on the top and a few tool-less solutions here and there. It also has a nice all black look inside and out so its pretty consistent throughout. The easy to remove fan design makes it a breeze when you need to take them out to clean out the dust filters and its quite nice that the case is able to take on up to eight internal hard disk drives. So if your looking for a rather loaded budget case perhaps the NZXT Tempest 410 Elite tickles your fancy.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: