NZXT Hades Crafted Series Midtower

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Product: NZXT Hades Crafted Series Midtower Case
Provided by: NZXT
Price: $89.99 MSRP

 

Introduction:

It's been a few months since we've looked at a new case from NZXT and this time around HADES was beckoning.  Hades of course being another word for "Hell", I didn't have my hopes up as far as ease of use, functionality and features regarding this unit.  The HADES is part of the "Crafted Series" from NZXT and is a step up from the classic series in terms of build quality, features and such.  This case is relatively new and has already received a few awards and today we're going to share our thoughts on this entry-mid level case.

Box Of Hades
Box Of Hades 

 

Unlike many of the brown-box cases that come from NZXT, the Hades comes in a nice retail box and shows off a pretty aggressive profile.  The back of the box looks equally interesting and contains information regarding features of this unit.

 

First Look & Accessories:

NZXT has made computer cases for quite a few years and have established themselves as a company that makes good quality products for a good price.  The NZXT Hades case is another one of its products that continues this trend.  Although many of the features and layout of this case is very similar to other cases from NZXT, the look and appeal of this case is different from their Gamma, Tempest and others.  Check out a few of the pictures below before we carry on through the review.

Front Profile
Front Profile
 Fan Side
Fan Side
Rear Profile Closed
Rear Profile Closed

 

As you can see above, the case features a bottom mounted PSU with a nice large side fan.  There are also another couple of features worth noting.

 Front
Front
 Rear
Rear

 

The front of the HADES case actually has a display that shows temperature of three locations inside the chassis.  When powered off, the display blends in nicely and is not noticeable.  The rear of the case contains a nice large fan for exhaust as well as holes for running tubing connected to an external liquid cooling system.  It has all the features we've come to expect from a mid-high end case for an entry level price.

Bundle
Bundle

 

As you can see in the image above, the NZXT Hades case includes everything you need to get a system up and running - almost.  They included a mere 8 motherboard stand-offs in the bundle I received and the board I used required a total of 10.  Other than that, there are plenty of Zip-Ties, thumbscrews and HDD brackets for most users - although I'd have liked to see a total of four HDD rails included.

 

Features:

Although super expensive cases are always fun to look at, they are priced out of reach of most consumers.  The NZXT Hades case is priced to sell at a point that makes it appeal to almost everyone.  It has a better build quality than the Beta I really like the exterior design of the case.  Front ventilation combined with a nice large side fan, provide excellent intake airflow and the rear and top fans allow the hot air to be expelled quickly and quietly.  The PSU is cooled from drawing external air through a micro-filter that will help keep dust out of the bottom mounted PSU.  For more features, we'll take a look at the NZXT product page and post more information below for your convenience.

 

  • Expansion galore: Nine 5.25" bay setup or Five 5.25" and Four 3.5"
  • Latest Hardware Support: VGA clearance room for 300mm cards like the ATI 5970
  • Dual 200mm intake Large air system: 200mm front fan, dual top 140mm fan, Side 200mm fan, rear 120mm exhaust. NZXT includes the chassis with all fans except for one top 140mm fan
  • Control the flow: Gaming, overclocking, or office work the dual 8W per channel fan control allows control over the dual 200mm fans that spin up to 150 CFM each
  • Monitor your system: A three C/F temperature display at front panel allows the user to see temperatures inside the chassis even with the door closed. A slant on the door allows for easier viewing from above.
  • Punched side panel: Besides aesthetics, the side mesh and extrusion allows for even greater and ease of wire management on the right side panel
  • Meshed front: 5.25" meshed bays, meshed door, and meshed bottom panel allows for air to flow into the system with ease.
  • Wire Routing: Motherboard punched holes allows for quick CPU bracket removable and optimal wire routing.
  • NZXT Solid State bracket allows for two SSD drives to be installed
  • Pre-drilled water cooling holes on the backplate
  • Front mounted 2 USB, Audio, and E-SATA ports
  • Mounting holes for dual radiator at the top
  • Removable filter at the bottom PSU

 

Specifications:

MODEL Hades Series
CASE TYPE Mid Tower Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL PLASTIC
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 200 X 430 X 501 mm / 7.87" x 16.9" x 19.7"
COOLING SYSTEM

FRONT, 1 X 200mm red LED (included)
REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)

SIDE, 1 x 200mm (included)

TOP, 2 X 120/140mm (1 include 140mm)

DRIVE BAYS 9 DRIVE BAYS
9 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
4 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE MOUNTS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel with black finish
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
POWER SUPPLY 500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT 6.95 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT MOTHERBOARDS: ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT

 

Inside Look:

While many people only see the outside of your case, it still is important that the inside has some appeal - especially if you are a tweaker and an enthusiast and will spend a lot of time in your case.  As we take a closer look inside the Hades case, I think you'll see that NZXT did a decent job making sure things will work out for you.

Like most other cases on the market, the Hades doesn't have a removable motherboard tray and with the motherboard so close to the top fans inside this case, there could be some clearance issues - certainly some installation issues with different hardware.

 

 Side Open
Side Open
Side Panel Fan
Side Panel Fan
   
 Rear Case Inside
Rear Case Inside
Rear Slots
Rear Slots

 

 

There is one very large fan in the front, one large fan on the side and two smaller fans for exhaust and this gives the Hades positive pressure.  With all of the fans and bay covers filtered, there shouldn't be any dust issues inside this case.  That is a nice touch for sure.  While there are large holes at the back of the case, dust should remain out as there are dual 200mm fans providing clean filtered air to the case.

NZXT provides some basic cable management options with the Hades.  It comes with front audio, USB and eSATA support and has holes in the motherboard tray to allow cables to be routed on the off-side of the motherboard in order to keep the main part tidy.  This method, combined with cable ties, and a bottom-mounted PSU make installation of your hardware and cable management work.  If you are using large stiff cables behind the tray, you'll find that it is a little crowded but we had no issues with an Ultra X4 500W PSU.

 Bundle Of Cables
Bundle Of Cables

 

On the next page we'll go over installation and wrap things up with some final thoughts.

 

System Installation:

The NZXT Hades case is not the largest mid-tower case on the market and it makes system installation a little more cramped than some other cases we've looked at recently.  In the end, there is nothing that is glaringly wrong; it is simply that with the motherboard pushed to the very top of the chassis the top row of screws isn't as simple to install as it could be.  If the case was one inch taller and the motherboard was moved down a bit, the entire process would be easier and you'd have the option of installing a radiator at the top of the case. 

Although this case presents itself as a "9 Bay" Midtower case, there in fact is only included HDD rails for three drives.  While that is certainly enough for most people, I think a minimum of four drive bays would be more appealing as it allows a couple of RAID arrays - one RAID 1 and a RAID 0 for your fastest applications and programs.  That being said, the HDD mounting method is pretty interesting and it allows your drives to be mounted with anti-vibration grommets and helps keep the case quiet.

HDD Mounting
HDD Mounting 

 

As previously mentioned the top of the case is a tight fit with the motherboard.  In the picture below you can see just how close the top fan is to the board.  This makes screw installation a little slanted and if you are using thumbscrews on your motherboard, it is a knuckle-banger.

Fans Close
Fans Close

 

Overall, installation is quite painless and if you've built more than one system you won't have any issues at all.  The system looks pretty clean and tidy and if you take a little more care than I did, you'll have a great finished product that you're happy to show off.  As the case lacks a window in favor of a huge fan, you may be happy with my result.

Side Off Installed
Side Off Installed
Front Monitor
Front Monitor

 

There are three temperature sensors included with the Hades as well as a couple of fan controllers.  This allows you to control the temperature/noise ratio and give you extra value - without dropping extra cash on a fan controller.  While you do have to open the door of your case to control the fans, the temperature is displayed with the door closed.  The standard LED display - along with the angle allows for easy viewing when the case is on the floor beside your desk.

 

Conclusion:

The NZXT Hades case isn't anything too new or revolutionary from NZXT.  It uses a fairly standard internal layout that gives you a total of nine bays in a mid-tower case.  These nine bays include four external 5.25" bays, three internal 3.5" HDD bays (provided HDD Hardware) and one internal 2.5" SSD bay.  That makes a total of eight.  One of these 5.25" bays is exclusively an internal 5.25" bay that doesn't include a HDD rail system so it becomes almost entirely useless - unless you want to mount an internal DVDRW that you can't use.  This could all be fixed with the addition of an extra HDD rail set - allowing four 3.5" drives to be used.

While the case certainly isn't a bad case, there are a couple of things that overshadow the potential greatness.  The top motherboard area is a tight fit and the extra useless bay is kind of odd.  Granted, most people won't use all eight bays, but leaving one unusable is weird.  On the upside, the case has great airflow, filtered intakes, is very quiet and provides fan control and temperature monitoring.  Cable management is pretty good and you can certainly buy a much worse case if you try.  Overall, it scores pretty well, but fall short of a "Gold" Award.

Pros:

  • "Nine" Drive Bays
  • Included Temperature Monitor & Fan Controller
  • Excellent Ventilation
  • Filtered Air Intakes
  • Good Cable Management

 

Cons:

  • Crowded at Top of Case
  • One Unusable Bay
  • Door Blocks Fan Controllers and Must be Shut to view temperature

 

BCCRating

Silver

I'd like to thank NZXT for firing over this case for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.