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NZXT Tempest

PC Case Roundup: Spring 2008
Case Type Size WxHxD Weight Cooling 5.25” Bays 3.5” Bays I/O panel Noise Approx. Price
NXZT Tempest ATX mid tower 212 x 522 x 562 mm 22 lbs 2x 140mm, 4x 120mm 3 1 ext. 8 int. 2x USB, 1x eSATA, HD Audio (on top) 40.5 db $110

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The NZXT Tempest is all about airflow : the case comes equipped from the factory with two 140mm fans and four 120mm fans !

At 22 lbs, the Tempest was the second-lightest case in the roundup, but it didn’t seem cheaply made. The Tempest only supports three 5 ¼” drives, the least in our review group. However, it supports eight internal 3 ½” drives, tying the R240 Grace for the most supported drives in this respect.

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The I/O panel functionality is interesting, in that it is one of two in our review that has an eSATA connector, but doesn’t feature a Firewire connector like most of the other cases. The panel is placed on the top-front of the case, which is quickly becoming the industry standard location.

Unique Features

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What makes the Tempest unique is its incredible airflow for the price ; as mentioned earlier, it comes with two 140mm fans and four 120mm fans. The fans are surprisingly quiet, which is impressive when this many fans are used.

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Another unique feature is the tool-less hard disk mounting bracket, which places the hard disks at a 90 degree angle to the ground. This method allows the Tempest to host an impressive 8 hard drives. Its attractive angular styling also makes it stand out a bit.

Aside from these features, the Tempest is a fairly standard, good quality PC case.

Appearance, Fit & Finish

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The Tempest has a very clean, sharp appearance. In general, its design is very reminiscent of the Antec nine-hundred, but the angular styling and two long illuminated blue bars down the front edges of the case differentiate it from Antec’s offering enough to make it stand out visually. There’s a fair amount of plastic trim on the case, but it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy — the case is well put together.

User Experience

The Tempest proved to be typical enough to set up and use. We always like a well done tool-less hard drive installation, and the Tempest didn’t disappoint.

The multitude of fans provides excellent airflow for your components, and what was even more impressive is that they were relatively quiet ! At 40.5 dB, the Tempest was the third-quietest case out of the six we tested in the roundup. It easily beat out the $250 Cosmos S in this regard.

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Our only pet peeve of note was the location of the Molex power cables that power the two top fans ; they dropped out right on top of the location of the CPU cooler. While the case provided cable routing options, the wires demonstrated an annoying habit of rubbing against the fans. If NZXT had wired these fans together to a cable that was routed to a location lower in the case, we would have been much more enthusiastic about it.

Even with this irritating issue, because of its high airflow, we think the NZXT Tempest case is an excellent value for $110. We are even going to recommend this case as part of our next system builder marathon.

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