NZXT Switch 810 SE Update

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Product: NZXT Switch 810 SE
Provided By: NZXT
Price: $179.99 at time of publication

 

Introduction:

In this follow-up to the NZXT Switch 810 review we will be looking at the NZXT 810 SE with a "gunmetal" finish.  This case is identical in features and style as the original NZXT Switch 810, so I won't spend a lot of time covering stuff that Michael "Cottonmouth" Bollinger has already covered.  In this article, I'll cover some of features of the case that I found quite interesting as well as a look at the new finish.

Window Side
Window Side
Side Profile
Side Profile

 

As you can see above, the color of the case is a bit unique to NZXT.  The finish is grey "gunmetal".  I would say this is a bit more on the charcoal side, but either way it's quite attractive in place of a traditional black case that is now the new beige.  Black is getting tired for sure.  The grey two-tone finish gives this case a bit more curb appeal and it looks sharp.

As you can see below, the case is a full-tower, but only has space for four 5.25" devices.  This should be enough for most people however as many computers today have a single optical drive and perhaps a fan controller of some sort.  The rear of the case shows that NZXT plans you to do some tweaking with big motherboards as they have four ports for external hoses or wires.  There are also nine expansion slots on this case making it a monster.

Front
Rear

 

One thing that may get overlooked on the case is the rear exhaust fan area.  This case comes with a 140mm exhaust fan that mounts in long slotted holes.  If you need to exchange this for a more standard 120mm fan for a liquid cooling system, you can easily do this.  The slotted holes allow you to mount the fan where it best suites your needs.  This is a small touch that I think more case manufacturers should pay attention to.

On the next page, we'll take a closer look at the top and front features of the case.

 

Closer Look:

One way that NZXT tries to manage noise on the case is with the top vents.  The top of the case has the ability to be opened or close to allow greater airflow and noise to escape - or to be closed and drop the overall volume of the system.  Even with the vents closed, there is a small area where the air can still escape - but it's deflected more toward the sides and works to tame the noise.

Top Vents Closed
(Mouse Over to Open Vents)

 

The mechanism for this opening and closing feels a little cheap as the top is plastic and the vents move rather stiffly.  Perhaps some more engineering could be used that would help keep this smoother.

If you need to remove the top to add extra fans or install a large liquid cooling system, the top comes off very simply.  There are a couple of "clicky" spring-loaded fasteners that release when pressed and these will enable you to pull the top-rear of the panel off and then easily remove the top of the case for easy access.  Below are pictures of the top removed and the mechanism that helps it all happen easily.

Top Off
Top Off
Top Fasteners
Top Fasteners

 

The power button is perhaps one of the most disappointing aspects of the case.  I realize that I may be a bit petty here, but the way it is mounted on the top plastic accent feels cheap.  When you press the button, the piece it is mounted to flexes and the first time I pressed it, I wondered if I was going to break anything.  The reset button is located under the front I/O cover and has a very solid feel to it.

Power Button
Power Button

 

   

Speaking of the front I/O, the NZXT Switch 810 SE case has a nice front I/O module that sits at the top of the case behind a panel.  This I/O contains 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, an SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks as well as an LED button and the aforementioned reset switch.  The LED button turns on a LED light at the rear of the case that makes it easier to plug in devices as it helps light up the usually dark area at the rear of your PC.

Front I/O
Front I/O

 

On the last page, we'll take a quick look inside the case before we wrap this up.


 

Inside the Case:

As we move to the inside of the case, we find out where the "Switch" name comes from.  Inside are a couple of modules that can hold hard drives and other 2.5" and 3.5" devices.  These two modules can be swapped out, switched around or removed as needed.  This allows for a flexible internal layout that is conducive to liquid cooling, large graphics cards and more.

Switching Module

The upper-most module comes with a 140mm fan that cools off the drives in the module as well as brings cool air into the case to cool other components.  This fan is on a swivel system so it can be directed a bit and blow on your graphics card, RAM, or other component that requires a bit more cooling.

    

Internal Fan

Another feature that I found to be quite interesting is the hot-swap bay that is located at the bottom of the front 5.25" bays.  Once the bay cover is removed, you have access to a tray that can hold either a 2.5" drive or a 3.5" drive and be slid into the hot-swap back-plane.  I tried this out with both sizes of drives and it works very well.  The nice thing is that this bay is a bit hidden so the average person won't realize that you have a fast-removable drive in your machine.

Hot Swap Bay
Hot Swap Bay
Hot Swap Board
Hot Swap Board


The motherboard tray and internal cable management layout is actually quite impressive.  There are a lot of grommeted areas for routing cables through the tray and the CPU back-plate cutout is rather large and is welcome for installing large heat-sinks and liquid cooling systems - without removing your motherboard.  This worked extremely well when we installed a Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro kit in this case.  Cable management is great - on any of the NZXT Switch 810 versions - standard or Special Edition.

Tray - Empty
Tray - Empty
Tray - Installed
Tray - Installed


There is a lot to like about the NZXT Switch 810 SE case - including its new color.  I happily moved my test system into this case and will probably be leaving it in here as there is a ton of room for expansion, cooling and the customization of the switching modules at the front of the case.  As you can see in the image above, even with a full ATX motherboard, graphics, drives and more in the case - it still looks quite empty.  This is not a bad thing at all.

The only downside to a case of this size and not made from Aluminum is the weight.  This is not a light case and if you frequent LAN parties, you may just want to grab something a little smaller or lighter.  That being said, the options available in this box are very decent and for the price, it's hard to pass up.

While there are a few downsides - such as flimsy power button area and weight, there are a lot of great features.  The hot-swap bay is a nice addition as is the micro-filters on the bottom fans.  I am a big fan of the rear cooling slotted holes that allow for a lot of flexibility when choosing internal and exhaust cooling.  There really isn't much not to like about the 810 SE as we pointed out in our original review.

I hope this update helped you discover a bit more about the NZXT Switch 810 SE and if you want more details, please refer to our original review.  In the meantime, I'd like thank NZXT for dropping off this gunmetal case for me to check out.  If you have any comments, questions or general feedback, please drop it in the forum at the "Comments" link below.