NZXT Tempest Chassis Review


Any gamer knows that a true sign of a quality gamer’s case comes down to shiny LEDs and the cases ability to keep its cool under pressure. While it has some nice LEDs throughout, this cases name doesn’t hint at that. The NZXT Tempest was built to live up to its name by creating winds that could blow the third little piggy’s brick house over. From its bright blue, ominous glow down to the small breeze that it makes whenever you walk past, this case just screams gamer. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this case blow, but in a good way:

Product Provided By: NZXT

Closer Look:

Like almost all gamer cases the box that this one is shipped in is very standard in that it has a couple of pictures of the case and has all the specs and features that you would ever need to know plastered all over the box.

 
 
 

When shipped the NZXT Tempest comes wrapped in a plastic sheet and surrounded by a semi-rigid Styrofoam.

With those technicalities out of the way let’s get to what you really want to see, the case. The NZXT Tempest has a very sexy shape and unique shape. At first glance it may look like it has a huge abundance of ODD bays but don’t be fooled it only has three; I will go over the secret that’s behind these later. The side has a huge window with a blue LED 120mm fan Intake mounted on the inside. This case has a bottom mounted PSU which I found made me actually think about where I ran the power cables throughout the case.

 
 
 

Included with the NZXT Tempest is everything that you would need. It comes with plenty of screws, motherboard mounts, and shims for those that need them. It also comes with all the tool less drive bay mounts that you would need as well as a spare drive bay lock. Also there is a bios speaker, manual, and already installed is a 5.25” to 3.5” converter in the third drive bay.

Now let’s take a closer look at the components:

Closer Look:

Seeing as how this NZXT Tempest hints at massive air flow let’s start with the fans. Know how I said that there was a secret behind the drive bay cover on the front, well behind them are two Blue LED 80mm fans that blow between the HDDs. I already mentioned it but there is a large Blue LED 120mm fan mounted on the inside of the window that blows cold air directly onto you video card. On the rear of that case is a single plain old 120mm fan, don’t worry that’s not the only exhaust fans. Where this case really moves air from is a dual 120mm fan radiator mounted on the top sucking hot air straight up from the CPU.

 
 
 

 

On the rear of the case there are pre-cut holes for those that like to use water cooling systems on the PCs. This case supports plenty of room for expansion slots on the rear.

When it comes to the front external ports they really think of the end user. When shipped all the cables came bundled together and wrapped up in order to protect them. This case has, in my opinion, one of the best placements of the front USB, e-SATA, HD audio, and mic. Unlike some cases they aren’t mounted on the side somewhere or low on the front behind some stupid cover, these ones are mounted right up on top with a slight angle next to a small shelf which I found perfect to place my external 2.5” HDD. Also with the power and reset switches are placed on top where they are a lot less likely to get bumped. While we are on the topic of the top mounted ports I thought I would cover something I found interesting. While I am not sure if these where placed here on purpose but I found these two cut slots on the inside of the rear panel were a great place to hide the cables behind, and in turn cleaning up the clutter that all gaming PCs encounter.

 
 
 
 

 

Something that I was a little skeptical about from the front of the box was when it said it had server like HDD space, and it didn’t fail me. Once inside you soon find the tool less brackets for all of the 8 HDDs that can be installed, and including the 5.25” to 3.5” bracket that makes up to 9 HDDs securely mounted inside. Something that I found interesting about the HDD slots is that they make the HDDs stand vertical when installed. Asfar as this case goes with tool less i have to say i was a little disapointed,dont get me wrong, it’s a good tool less case but there have been cases that where tool less that I found much easyier to work with. With these tool less clips all you do is slid your drive bay through the front and thenplace and lock the little clips into the side. Is nice to see that these clips also have the ability to add a screw if your not 100% confident in its abilityto secure you drive.

 

Hidden behind the front bezel, like I mentioned, are the two 80mm fans that blow through the HDD bays. Unfortunately behind the bezel there isn’t a lot of room for case mods. There aren’t a lot of drive bays available but I don’t know many people who use more than 3 anyways. Behind the bezel panels are small filters to reduce dust that gets sucked into the case.  

 
 
 

Now let’s take a look at the specs and features:


Specifications:

MODEL Tempest SERIES
CASE TYPE MID TOWER Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL PLASTIC
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 211.5 X 521.5 X 562 mm
COOLING SYSTEM FRONT, 2 X 120 mm Blue LED (included)
REAR, 1 X 120 mm (included)
SIDE PANEL, 1 X 120mm Blue LED (included)
TOP, 2 X 140mm Fan (included)
DRIVE BAYS 9 DRIVE BAYS
3 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS ( up to six 5.25″ )
1 3.5″ External bracket
8 INTERNAL 3.5″ DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel Construction
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
POWER SUPPLY 500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT 11.2 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT MOTHERBOARDS: E-ATX ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT

Features

  • Dual radiator ready: The NZXT Tempest is pre-drilled for mounting a dual 120mm radiator at the top of the chassis, currently compatible and tested with Swiftech MCR220, Asetek Dual radiator solution, and Thermaltake TMG2.
  • Airflow King: Dual 120mm intake, Dual 140mm Exhaust with an additional side 120mm fan and rear 120mm fan all included.
  • Maximize Expandability: E-ATX support allows more compatibility with high end components including large graphics cards
  • Easier accessibility & cable management: Cable routing is pre-drilled on the motherboard so users can hide cables behind the motherboard tray, allowing more a cleaning look and better airflow. Power, E-SATA, USB and Reset buttons are mounted at the top to give better accessibility.
  • Bottom mounted PSU: PSU mounting at the bottom allows for more security and separation of heat from the CPU
  • Server-like HDD space: Dual 120mm fans cool cages that hold up to 8 HDDs allowing for large capacity systems while maintaining cool temperatures

Let’s get on to testing to see how cool this case stays:

Test Setup:

  • CPU: Q6600
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
  • Memory: 2 x 2GB Kingston
  • OS: Windows XP Home SP3
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon 2400 HD
  • Power Supply: 550 W PSU

To test the quality of a gaming cases cooling abilities there are a few things you need to look for. In this test I will be seeing how cool the fans keep the components inside the case, meaning I will be watching the temps for my CPU, GPU, HDD, and ambient case temp while idle and running under load. As this is my first gaming case I will be comparing it to my old Super Case. To get the temp to raise inside I will be running Prime 95’s Burn-in test. The ambient temp in the room will remain a constant 22°C to ensure a fair test. Well it’s time to start these guys up and see which ones better at sucking and blowing, but in a good way.

Idle:

Case

CPU

GPU

HDD

Case Temp

Super Case

22°C

16°C

31°C

24°C

NZXT Tempest

21°C

13°C

27°C

22°C

 Load:

 

Case

CPU

GPU

HDD

Case Temp

Super Case

31°C

19°C

31°C

26°C

NZXT Tempest

35°C

13°C

27°C

 

22°C

Come on, if these numbers aren’t testament to its cooling ability then I don’t know what is. Other than the CPU temp nothing else raised a single degree, well that’s a lie the ambient cast temp really went from 22.1°C to 22.5°C.While At first I thought that the air flow might not have moved as smoothly as I though it should, it still got all that warm air out of the case. Not part of the official test I tried playing around with the rear 120mm fan. I tried turning it off and then tried turning it around. As to no surprise turning off the fan made the case warmer but turning it around actually showed some potential when I had the rear fan sucking in my CPU would peak at lower temps but the max was the same as when it was blowing out, so any of you tweekers out there you can use that info for potential ideas if you so wish.

Now let’s get to my final thoughts:

Conclusion:

So how did this case stack up? In my opinion, and in most people’s minds, this case did really well.  From its sleek sexy look, and massive blowing power this case is a no brainer. While the NZXT Tempest Chassis price may be a little steeper than some other cases, the NZXT Tempest Chassis makes up for it for its massive amount of HDD space and being able to keep everything cool.

Would I recommend this case? Yes, yes I would. For gamers that like to have massive amounts of storage or multiple backups this case would be perfect. Hell this case would make a great server without going to the extent of having a rack mount home server or small office server. I think that the design and looks of this case show that they really put some thought into its design. From the placement of the power, reset, and front mounted ports to all the LEDs placed throughout. In the end I really love this case and I think that it would be a great option for any gamer or home computer.

Pros:

  • Great at Sucking and Blowing
  • Blue LEDs All Over
  • Great Placement of Front Panel
  • Awesome Design
  • Server Like Storage

Cons:

  • A Little Pricy for Some
  • So Many Fans Make it a Little Noisy

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