NZXT TEMPEST EVO Computer Case Reviewjlqrb - December 30, 2009
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When the case is opened, you can get a good view at the all black interior, which definitely gives the EVO a much cleaner look than the Tempest. The fans included with the EVO are an updated version of NZXT's clear LED fans. The new fans are still LED, but their color has now been changed to a white fan blade with black casing which really adds a nice contrast to the system and really makes them stand out. NZXT has also added rubber covers around the wire management holes, these covers are a nice feature, but I found them to be more an annoyance then anything. The covers are not secured very well so every large cable put though it would force the cover out of place and once it was full of cables getting it back on properly was not an easy task. One thing that is not new to the EVO, but is still a welcomed feature is the full support for E-ATX motherboards as well as standard ATX and micro ATX boards.
The top slots of the Tempest are 5.25" drive bays and will fit up to three optical drives, the case can also be expanded and has the ability to hold up to six 5.25" drives. In order for the EVO to fit six drives you simply need to remove the hard drive cage and fan from the front of the case. Once that is out, you can use the extra tool-less mounts to install the drives. The top three drives already have the tool-less mounting bracket in place, so all you need to do is slide your drive and a turn the knob to secure it in the bay.
The hard drive cages are located directly below the drive bays. Each cage supports up to four hard drives, which allows the EVO to house a total of eight hard drives. Each of the cages has a 120mm case fan directly in front of them that bring in cool air and moves it through the hard drive cages and into the case. The hard drives are installed by removing two of the pre-installed tool-less rails; one of the rails is placed on each side of the hard drive with a small metal insert that goes into the screw holes. Once you have a rail on both sides of the hard drive you simply turn the drive onto its side and slide it into the cage. It is a little disappointing that NZXT did not include any tool-less rails for installation of SSD's.
The back-plate access hole on the EVO is much larger than some other cases I have seen on the market and should be able to work across both AMD and Intel socket types. My ASUS AM3 motherboard fit nicely, giving me easy access to the back-plate. This is a great upgrade form the Tempest and it is nice to see that NZXT really thought out the placement and size of the hole. I have seen many cases out where the access area doesn't align properly with the back-plate making it completely unusable for certain motherboards.
Under the motherboard tray, you see that the EVO has kept the power supply at the bottom of the case. NZXT has now added four rubber stoppers that hold the power supply about half an inch off the bottom and an air vent directly below the power supply. Both of these new features will help increase the air flow to the power supply. Above the power supply are the seven expansions slots and the access holes for water cooling.
The included case fans on the EVO are a nine blade rifle bearing design that delivers 42CFM at 23dB. A Google search lists these fans as made by Xinchangfeng Electronics Co, which is also known as Martech. This fan also appears to be the same model that Silverstone uses as an exhaust fan on their high-end RV01 Raven Case.
The Tempest EVO has a large interior which made installation a breeze. My GTX260 easily fit in the case and left about an inch of room between the card and the upper hard drive bay. This should be plenty of room to fit all of the latest ATI and Nvidia graphics cards. If space is an issue due to a large graphics card, you can create more room by removing the HDD cage that is in the way. The wire management in the case is definitely improved from the Tempest, but the bottom of the case does still tend to get a bit messy. With the power on you can see that the EVO's LED lighting is unchanged from the Tempest.
Now that we have had a good look at the case and new features, we can get on to testing the cooling performance of the EVO.