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PC Case Roundup: Spring 2008

NZXT Tempest

CaseTypeSize WxHxDWeightCooling5.25” Bays3.5” BaysI/O panelNoiseApprox. Price
NXZT TempestATX mid tower212 x 522 x 562 mm22 lbs2x 140mm, 4x 120mm31 ext. 8 int.2x USB, 1x eSATA, HD Audio (on top)40.5 db$110

pc case roundup

pc case roundup

pc case roundup

pc case roundup

Specifications

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.

pc case roundup

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

pc case roundup

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.

pc case roundup

pc case roundup

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

pc case roundup

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.

pc case roundup

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.

  • geotech
    Nothing on the Thermaltake Armor?
    One of the best case designs and plenty of room and features.
    Reply
  • bf2gameplaya
    Every one of those cases is butt ugly, unwieldy and depressing.
    Reply
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    Reply
  • Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    Reply
  • otheos
    Simple is an uknown word in the aesthetics of the east.
    Reply
  • scherfistv
    Lazy review, the guys from TOM's couldn't find more attractive PC Cases? It's all made in "China"-like?
    Reply
  • TiberiumSoldier
    poor Roundup.. no Enermax Chakra/uber Chakra no EZCool .....
    Reply
  • SinisterCanuck
    All mid tower cases... not one Full Tower! I haven't purchased a mid tower case in nearly 8 years for any of my builds because they are too crammed for my liking. As stated by other commenters, where's the Thermaltake Armor? Where's the Antec Twelve Hundred? etc. These were nice looking cases, but they are all middle of the road as far as I am concerned. You need to do a cases revisited or an enthusiast case round up! ...please do that
    Reply
  • I have my doubts about your praise on 3R System case. I have similar model. Exactly the same inside structure but without the remote control, display and with different front side.

    First of all, it's not that well-built. Sides bend and that inside metal (Al?) is really soft. And if you want to remove the front there are like 6 almost unreachable screws to be unscrewed which is pain in the a**.

    Fans are really quiet though.
    Reply
  • only Cosmos S look good to me.
    Reply