NZXT Tempest Mid-Tower Case - System Installation in the Tempest

Article Index
NZXT Tempest Mid-Tower Case
Tempest Specs and Closer Look
Tempest - Closer Look Inside
System Installation in the Tempest
 

System Installation:

Installation of a system in this case is a pretty painless experience.  The motherboard tray is not removable, but the case is very spacious and roomy and installing the motherboard, before or after the PSU is installed is not a problem.  On several Thermaltake cases I've used, the PSU must be installed first or you'll have to remove the motherboard.  You can install hardware in the tempest in any order you choose and it will work great as the layout promotes flexibility.

We screwed in the required motherboard standoffs and then dropped the motherboard in place.  Then the cables for the top I/O and the power and reset switches were hooked up.  After that we installed a pair of Hard Drives using the tool-less drive rails.  These hold the drives nice and securely.  Even though clearance is a little close, you can install all four drives in any of the HDD racks without removing them from the case.

Drive Installed
Drive Installed
 Tool-less ODD
Tool-less ODD

 

The top three 5.25" bays don't even require drive rails attached to the top devices as they have a locking mechanism in the case that uses long pins that fit in the screw holes of the device.  Installing the LG Blu-Ray/HD-DVD ROM / DVDRW drive took about seven seconds and it was mounted and fit perfectly.

Below is a picture of the entire system installed which includes an E4300, MSI 975X motherboard, OCZ Vendetta HSF, XFX 8800GT graphics card, two Hard Drives and an LG Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Rom.  As you can see there is a lot of extra room in this case for a lot more hardware.  I'm sure that I could fill it up eventually, but for most gamers there is ample room.  The astute reader will notice a total of four SATA cables in the system.  The fourth connects to the top eSATA port which is a welcome addition to any case as eSATA is finally gaining popularity as people realize that it is by far the superior external connection available.

 System Installed
System Installed

 

With all the work done we can now fire it up and see how it sounds and what it looks like when powered up.

 In Action
In Action
Front LED Action
Front LED Action

 

With blue LEDs still being very popular NZXT has seen fit to adorn this black case with blue LED fans on the side and front of the case as well as trim it with blue LED strips on the front sides.  It's not overpowering, but it won't make much of an HTPC case.

This case isn't super loud, but it definitely makes some noise.  It is loud enough that you won't likely hear your CPU or graphics card fans at all.  That being said, all of the fans have 3-pin motherboard connectors that will allow you to hook them up to your motherboard or a fan controller that will allow you to control them according to your noise and performance taste.  Most cases with this many fans only have 4-pin connectors, but the 3-pin connectors on these fans give you greater flexibility and control.

Looking In
Looking In

 

The side fan intake doesn't have a foam filter, but instead has a very fine mesh to filter dust as you can see.  This will help, but an actual filter would be better.  Regardless, the NZXT Tempest looks classy, attractive and made for gaming.

 

Conclusion:

NZXT has some very nice cases in their portfolio and while the Tempest doesn't turn heads with its sexy finish like the NZXT Lexa case, the Tempest is a case of a different sort.  This chassis is designed and geared for performance and is certainly the "Airflow King" while at the same time not the king of noise.  I've heard louder cases in the past and owned/modded a few of them.  Because of the large fan, NZXT gives the Tempest impressive airflow without making everyone hate you that sit next to you at the LAN.

 

My only complaints is while most of the case is tool-less, the PCI slots require a screwdriver.  NZXT could include thumbscrews at the very least for these making the case completely tool-less instead of 95% tool-free.  I also believe that removable fan grills for the top fans should be present to help keep cables out of the top fans.  If you are mounting a radiator for a water cooling system, this won't be an issue, but for those who are using traditional cooling, wires can (and do) get into the top fan blades and make a bit of a racket.

Pros:

  • Lots of fans for great airflow
  • Nice attractive finish
  • Mostly tool-free installation
  • Eight HDD bays!

 

Cons:

  • Not a silent case by all means
  • Top Fans need internal grills
  • PCI slots aren't tool-free making a screwdriver required for 5% of system installation 

 

 BCCRating

While the NZXT Tempest falls just short of getting our "Top Pick" award, this case certainly deserves a look and is recommended for a gaming chassis if you're looking for a new one.  Being that it holds eight hard drives, it would make a great storage server and you'd have lots of friends if it was loaded up with music and movies.

I'd like to thank NZXT for sending this case our way.  We hope to see more of their products in the future.  If you'd like to comment on this article or perhaps leave suggestions regarding what NZXT product we should look at next, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.