NZXT TEMPEST EVO Computer Case Reviewjlqrb - December 30, 2009
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With the case out of the packaging, you can see that, externally, the EVO looks almost identical to the original Tempest. After a closer inspection, you can start to see the new additions and how they might affect you while you are building your system. The first thing I noticed was the non-windowed side panel now protrudes out and matches the shape of the window on the opposite side. Even though this looks nice and gives the case a more symmetrical feel, its main purpose is not merely cosmetic. It creates space, which will give you more room to run your power supply cables up the side of the case which will greatly improve cable management. This was a huge issue I ran into with the original Tempest because my power supply has thick cables and I was not able to run my main power cable along the side of the case and close the side panel, so to me this is a big step in the right direction for the EVO. NZXT has also updated the side window on the opposite side and given it a tinted look, which blends in with the case. The included case fan on the side window has blue LEDs and comes covered with a metal dust filter. Turning to the back, you see some updated water cooling options. The original Tempest was able to support a dual 120mm Rad at the top panel, but it only had two small pre-drilled holes for water cooling. The EVO still supports the dual 120mm Rad, but NZXT has now added two additional water-cooling access holes and expanded the size of them at the same time, this will give the user more options when it comes to water-cooling. You will also notice that on the rear panel the rear expansion slot brackets have been redone and are now black in color and have ventilation holes which are beneficial to air-flow inside the case. The EVO, like its predecessor, is a mid-sized steel chassis with measurements of 211.5 X 521.5 X 562 mm. So at first glance, the two cases look the same, but the new features included in the EVO are really helping it to stand out.
The top of the case has a recessed front panel that slightly faces upward. The panel includes a power switch, reset switch, e-SATA, audio jacks, and two USB 2.0 ports. Even though the front panel is recessed in, it is still easy to reach and should not give users any access issues. Behind the front panel are the two vented 140mm exhaust fans, the fans housed here are the largest in the case and remove hot air as is rises from the components below.
The front bezel comes off easily by pulling it outward from the bottom. Once off, you get a view of the three 5.25" drive bays. The top two drive bays are open and the third bay is occupied by a removable 5.25" to 3.5" adapter, this will be useful for those that still use a floppy drive. Each of the drive bays has its own individual cover and each cover has a rectangular filter that will help prevent dust from getting into the computer. The filters can be easily removed from the cover for cleaning by moving back the metal flaps that hold them in place. The LED cables on the front bezel of the EVO did not give me the same issue I had with my Tempest. In fact, the cables were very secure and did not come loose even after I removed the panel numerous times to test the connection.
Below the drive bays are two 120mm blue LED intake fans. Each fan sits directly in front of the hard drive cages and are attached to the front of the case by a thin metal panel that is secured in place with four screws. The fans can be easily removed by unscrewing the four screws attached to the case, once the screws are out the panel comes off with the fan attached to it. In front of the fan there is an air filter that can be removed by sliding it upward, once removed from the case it can be easily cleaned. When removing the filter, the DVD drive gets in the way, so you will need to remove the installed drive before the filter will come off.
Now that we have seen the external parts of the case, we can move to the internals and installation.