NZXT Whisper Classic Series Case Review
Reviewed by: Makaveli
Reviewed on: November 24, 2008
How many times have you laid awake at night unable to fall asleep because your computer is running so loudly? There are tasks that you need to have completed such as a Windows update or a virus scan but it’s inconvenient to do so while you’re using the machine. If only there was a sound-proof case that could keep the sound minimized to allow you to keep your machine on all night without disturbing the peace…NZXT has a solution – the “Whisper”. The NZXT Whisper is a full tower ATX case that features sound proof material on the inside panels of the case. Will this material keep all of the noise of the processor and video card coolers out of earshot? Will the vibrations of the hard drives and power supply be heard? Could this sound-proof material raise temperatures inside of the case? Join me as I thoroughly investigate the one-of-a-kind NZXT Whisper full tower ATX case.
The box that the NZXT Whisper comes in is quite large and very heavy. The image of the case is mildly visible on the front of the box and on the back you can see the inside of the case, and some of the features that the case features. On either side of the box you’ll see the specifications. Once you open the box, you’ll find the case is securely held in place by two large Styrofoam pieces.
If you dig into the case, you’ll find a black pouch that holds the accessories. Included with the case is a never-ending supply of screws for your optical drives, 3.5” and 2.5” hard drives, as well as motherboard screws and standoffs. You’ll also find an instruction manual, two unique clips to help you achieve better cable management, and a rubber power supply bracket to eliminate vibration noises from the power supply.
Now let’s take a look at the NZXT Whisper itself.
Wow! The NZXT Whisper is very sleek looking with a nice solid black look all the way around the case. There aren’t any decals or words on the case which is a huge plus for someone like me who isn’t a fan of decals or words that I didn’t personalize. The case is quite heavy weighing in at 27.1 pounds being constructed of predominately steel and some aluminum. The front of the case opens up to reveal the seven drive bays and the 120mm fan. The drive bay covers are solid plastic so there is no air exiting or entering the case through the front except the 120mm intake fan below the drive bays.
When you remove the front panel, you’ll be able to pull these plastic drive bay covers from the panel to allow you to install your optical drives. There is an intake 120mm NZXT fan that sits in a plastic casing that you can pull out and pop back in. On the top of the case, you’ll see a little latch and when you open it you’ll be presented with a panel that houses two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, a microphone, and a headphone port. There are four rubber feet on the bottom of the case to keep it from sliding on any surface.
After removing each side panel, you’ll notice they both have sound-proof material covering almost the entire panel. Could this affect the temperature inside of the case? I’m very excited to see how quiet this case really is once everything is all fired up.
Overall, it looks like a really solid case – let’s open it up and see what’s going on inside.
The inside is roomy enough to accommodate nearly any setup. With hard drive prices decreasing so quickly and the need to store more and more digital data you may end up buying a few more drives than you originally thought. With the Whisper you can fit nine, which should be plenty for almost anyone and definitely more than your average case. There's also a couple small fans in the back to move hot air coming from the drives out.
The power supply fits right at the bottom and cables have to be routed through the same opening between two hard drive cages. It's relatively tight, but it works. The trays are pretty simple, you just have to drop a drive in and screw it into place and the rubber grommets should absorb most of the noise and vibrations coming from them.
NZXT's Whisper has space for up to six 5.25 inch drives, which is more than enough and pretty much standard across full tower cases. Installation is made easy thanks to the screwless design, simply push a drive in and lock it into place. As you can see, the sound insulation material is thick, 10 millimeter thick to be exact, and it's everywhere. The foam can be found on both side panels and even on top. Looks like there is a reason they called it the Whisper.
Let's take a quick look over the manufacturer's specifications before moving on to the testing phase.
|CASE TYPE||FULL TOWER Steel|
|FRONT PANEL MATERIAL||ALUMINUM/PLASTIC|
|DIMENSIONS (W x H x D)||211.5 X 521.5 X 562 mm|
|COOLING SYSTEM||FRONT, 1 X 120mm Blue LED (included)
REAR, 1 X 120mm, 2 x 80mm fans (included)
|DRIVE BAYS||6 DRIVE BAYS
6 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
1 3.5" External bracket
9 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
|POWER SUPPLY||500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )|
|WEIGHT||12.3 KGS (W/O Power)|
|MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT||MOTHERBOARDS: E-ATX ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT|
- Silent Performance :: 10mm noise dampening foam pads both side panels and the top panel, rubber grommets reduce vibration noise on the Hard Drives, and a padded PSU holder dramatically reduce acoustic levels within the chassis.
- Maximum Expandability :: Space for 9 hard drives and a total of six 5.25" bays with ample room for large expansion cards.
- Simple Installation :: Pre-drilled wire management system makes it easy to route your cables and the screwless installation means you won't be constantly reaching for your tools.
- Advanced Cooling :: Whisper includes 4 fans( 1 x 120mm Blue LED Intake, 1 x 120mm Black Rear Exhaust, and 2 x 80mm Rear Exhaust). Bottom mounted PSU separates the heat given off by the PSU and motherboard.
All information courtesy of NZXT @ http://www.nzxt.com/products/whisper/
To test this NZXT Whisper, I’m going to be comparing the CPU, GPU, chipset, and hard drive temperatures with other full tower cases on the market. These cases include the Thermaltake VH6000BWS Armor+, Sigma Unicorn, Enermax Uber Chakra, and the NZXT Tempest. Each of the cases were tested with the same hardware so there won’t be any variables except for the actual case. To achieve load temperatures, I ran OCCT to challenge the CPU, chipset, and memory. 3DMark06 was used for the GPU. And HD Tune was used to test the hard drive. CoreTemp, SpeedFan, and HDTune’s temperature readouts are what I’ll be using to collect the scores for the tests. All temperatures are in Celsius and lower readings are better in every test.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad @ 333x8
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin Redline XP2 PC2-8000 5-5-5-12 2 x 2GB
- Video Card: Asus EN8800 GT
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800W Modular
- Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
- Optical Drive: LG DVD+/-RW Burner
- CPU Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 2
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
- Ambient Temperature: 22 degrees Celsius
- Case 1: Thermaltake VH6000BWS Armor+
- Case 2: Enermax Uber Chakra
- Case 3: Sigma Unicorn
- Case 4: NZXT Tempest
The NZXT Whisper performed almost spot on with the Enermax Uber Chakra. However, this one, as expected, was dead silent in doing so. I literally could only hear the slight buzzing of my CPU cooler but other than that, absolutely no sound wave made its way to my ears.
The NZXT Whisper is officially my personal favorite full tower ATX case. The case has no decals or words printed on the exterior of it which I think makes the case look very clean. The front panel of the case opens up to reveal the optical drives and it is held shut by magnets so it isn't bound to break. This could be a problem for any users with accessories such as temperature readouts that have knobs protruding from the unit because you won’t be able to close the door. Externally, the case is nice but what really seals the deal is the interior of the case. What an amazing layout! First of all, every panel is padded with sound dampening material so when the case is on, you can barely hear anything at all. I could only hear the slight whirring of my extremely loud aftermarket CPU cooler. Also, the hard drives and power supply sit on rubber feet to eliminate the vibration sounds when they are on. Speaking of hard drives, there are nine bays for hard drives in this case! You’ll also be able to fit up to seven optical drives. I was worried about the cooling abilities of this case due to the anti-sound material but after testing it, we can see that it cools at about average temperatures. Heat was definitely not an issue here. Overall, if you’re looking for a full tower ATX case that is dead silent, the NZXT Whisper is the only solution. NZXT took every precaution to ensure that this case is as quiet as can be and all of their hard work paid off with this beautiful case.
- Interior Layout
- Average Cooling
- Aftermarket Accessories such as Fan Controllers might be an issue with the door.