NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Case Chassis Review


Normally when dealing with technology, the smaller the device the cooler it is. In the world of PC cases the more room the better these days. Granted the new atom-based PC’s are cool and all, but nothing says powerhouse like a full-size tower. NZXT has taken the beefy roominess of a full tower and combined it with the sleekness of a mid-tower design in the NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis. The clean lines and monster cooling potential has the beginnings of a great candidate for replacing some beefier cases like the armor from Thermaltake. Let’s get a good look at this case and see what kind of performance we can expect.

Provided by: NZXT

Closer Look:

The packaging for The NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis is pretty straightforward. Everything you would need for specs is listed and the case is displayed on the side of the box which is very well designed.

The NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis is very secure for shipping. The case is enclosed with Styrofoam and plastic wrap this ensures no damage, dust, or scratches on the case during shipping.

The NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis is very well designed it is a large full tower case but doesn’t look gaudy like my Thermaltake armor or other full tower cases I have seen in the past. The front of the case has protective plastic over the piano black finish I left it on for the pictures because fingerprints show up very easily on this finish and it makes for a horrible picture. The option of 4 120mm fans on the side is an incredible amount of potential cooling. The 2 120mm exhaust fans is a great bonus for stock cooling.

 

 

The front panel opens up to a large number of drive bays which is important in a full tower case. The NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis uses magnets to keep the front panel closed. I like this option because the panels with clip in tabs usually break down over time so using magnets is a much more durable choice and it give a bit more quality to the feel of the panel. Also on the top of the front panel is the metal case badge from NZXT, I love the look of brushed steel case badges personally so I like the way they integrated their logo into this case.

 

 

Included with the NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis is all of the screws, standoffs, HDD rails, zip ties, and manuals you will need to get your new sexy computer case ready to go.

 

 

Let’s see some of the working components:

Closer Look:

The NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis has incredible cooling options. The two I think are the most important are the intake 80mm fan on the bottom and the exhaust 80mm at the top of the case this makes the natural flow of heat vent out the top of the case. While 80mm fans don’t push very many cfm’s these optional fans should help a considerable amount for the over all ambient temps.

 

 

On the top of the case you have great peripheral support. Not only do you get the usual 2 USB ports and audio in and out ports that are starting to be standard on cases these days. You also get an eSATA port which is an awesome addition to a case which should make this case a little more future proof than its competition without this option.

 

 

For all of you case modders out there, the NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis has a lot of room behind its bezel to add all of the LED’s you could ever want. There are also 5 ODD slots and 2 floppy slots to do with as you please. Also on the front of the case is a 120mm intake fan which should move some serious air over your hard drives. The drive bays use the rails included with the case to secure your ODD’s and HDD’s this makes for very quick tool-less access to all your drives which is nice if you tear down your rig often.

 

 

 

 

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The NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Chassis comes included with 2 rear exhaust 120mm fans like I mentioned before. These fans will move a lot of hot air out of the back of the case which is key to keeping the components nice and cool.

 

 

 

 

The cables for hooking up the power switch, eSATA, and other important features like the fans are nice and long so you can reach any place in the case you like. One down side is that the back of the motherboard tray doesn’t provide much room for hiding cables but seasoned veterans shouldn’t have too much of an issue if they use some cable extenders to run the cables through the back.

 

 

 

Let’s see some specs and features:

Specifications:

MODELZero 2 SERIES
CASE TYPE FULL TOWER Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIALPLASTIC
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D)210.5 X 532 X 536 mm
COOLING SYSTEM

FRONT, 1 X 120mm Blue LED (included)
REAR, 2 X 120mm (included)

TOP/BOTTOM, 1 X 80mm, 2 x 80mm fans (optional)

SIDE, 4 x 120mm (optional)

DRIVE BAYS13 DRIVE BAYS
5 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS
2 EXTERNAL 3.5″ DRIVE BAYS
6 INTERNAL 3.5″ DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S)Steel Construction
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
POWER SUPPLY500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT10.2 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORTMOTHERBOARDS: ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT

Features:

  • Full tower steel chassis
  • Quad 120mm fans dedicated for CPU and GPU cooling
  • Dual 120mm exhaust
  • Screwless installation for 5.25″ and 3.5″ devices
  • Intel HD audio compatibility
  • Top mounted USB, Audio, and E-SATA Ports
  • Sturdy 1.0mm steel chassis

Let’s get in to the testing:

Testing Setup

  • CPU – Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • Motherboard – Asus P5B
  • RAM – 2GB Kingston PC2-5300
  • Video Card – Asus EAH 4850
  • Power Supply – 500w
  • OS – Windows XP Pro SP3
  • Ambient temperature – 28 degrees Celsius

Testing:

A computer case affects a number of areas in your PC as far as cooling is concerned. Hard drive fans or lacks there-of can definitely affect the longevity of your hard drive. Proper mixing of CFM’s on your exhaust and intake fans regulates the cases ambient temperature which can have an effect on your GPU and CPU temperatures. So that being said we will be taking note of the HDD, CPU, GPU, and ambient temps for both idle and load to see how well the cases perform. The cases we will be testing against will be the Guardian 921 mid tower, Thermaltake M9 Mid tower, and the NZXT Zero 2 Full Tower Case. THe room temps will be regulated at 28 degrees to ensure equality in the temperatures.

Idle Temps:

Chassis

CPU

GPU

Case Temp

Hard Drive

M9

35

79

31

35

Zero 2

29

77

28

34

Guardian 921

32

80

28

34

 Load Temps:

Chassis

CPU

GPU

Case Temp

Hard Drive

M9

54

80

31

35

Zero 2

51

81

29

32

Guardian 921

49

80

29

34

So we see from these tests that the Zero 2 did pretty darn good the only thing lacking was the load GPU test which can fluctuate for several numbers of reasons. Over all the Zero 2 did the best out of the cases and that is only with stock fans if you were to add all of the fans to all of the extra ports on the NZXT Zero 2 Steel Full Tower PC Case you would have some serious air flow and cooling on top of the already impressive temperatures provided by stock cooling.

Conclusion:

This case is very impressive for its cost. The Thermaltake armor has a lot of room and extras but I think I am swapping out my Thermaltake Armor for this case I love the 4 120mm fans as opposed to my big 240mm fan that the armor currently has. You get a lot more cfm’s from 4 120mm’s than 1 240mm because the shear size of the fan makes it difficult to achieve higher rpm’s.

Would I recommend this case? Yes I would, it is a very decent price a nice looking case. The only inhibitions I have are the lack of tool-less options on the expansion cards. The thing is, in this case, most companies make very cheap tool-less options for expansion cards, they sometimes use cheap flimsy tabs and you end up using a screw anyways. For that matter I prefer having to use a screw instead of a plastic tab even if it saves me a few seconds here and there. I like this case a lot and it is very sleek if you are looking to go full tower but don’t want a boat anchor this is a great choice.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Quality Cooling
  • Well Made Tool-Less Design
  • 3 x 120mm Fans Stock
  • eSATA
  • Multiple Fan Expansion Slots
  • Blue LED’s
  • Magnetic Front Panel

Cons:

  • Expansion Slots not Tool-Less (For Some This is a Con) 
  • Side Panel Sticks Sometimes

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