NZXT has brought a couple more cases into the market recently with their Tempest 410 and Tempest 410 Elite mid-towers. With simple looks and what appears to be plenty of space for fans or radiators (yes, that was plural!) from the outside it looks to have some good features. We are here to see if that translates all the way through.
One thing that I like to see on the technical specifications are the VGA clearance maximum and the CPU heatsink support. This information will tell you exactly how much space you have to fit your major components such as GPU and the CPU heatsink.
Below you will be able to see the case, both empty and with my hardware inside of it. Initially, when she came out of the informative box, I liked the overall design. Not a lot of ‘bling’ or stealth technology-esque jagged edges. What jumps out at me were the two front 120 mm fans covered by larger honeycomb mesh and the apparent ability to hold two 2×120 mm radiators (top and side). It has a smooth matte black finish on it and a nice covered area to store some goodies on top of the case. The interior is also painted a matching matte black. The Tempest 410 has ample space on the side for large cards, as well as a nice motherboard tray cutout for ease of mounting heatsink back plates. But enough of reading me rambling on, lets SEE what it looks like inside!
Per usual with most case manufacturers there are some specifications on the box…not much to see here!
Here are some pictures of the exterior of the case. You can clearly the see the side area to mount more fans or even a 2×120 mm radiator. On the front of the case, there are three 5.25″ drive bays and the two 120 mm fans up front along with the main I/O panel. On the rear, a contrasting white 120 mm exhaust fan as well as pre-cut holes for water cooling tubing. On the side it appears you can mount a single depth 2×120 mm radiator if your fans are on the outside of the case. Otherwise, you will have some clearance issues with tall video cards.
Here you can see the front I/O panel which presents you with one USB3.0 port (connected via 20 pin motherboard header), three USB2.0 ports, headphone and microphone port, power/reset (on top) and the power/drive activity lights. The next picture shows the internal setup of the tool-less drive trays which will fit a 2.5″ drive such as an SSD as well as regular sized mechanical drives. I had to use the included screws to attach the SSD drive in from the bottom since the side ‘nubs’ would not line up. This isn’t a tragedy, but with how common SSD’s are becoming these days, some considerations should be in place across all market segments. The last picture here you can see a partitioned storage area up top and in the front of the case.
Below you can see the “Touchpower” fan feature, fan, and filters along with the easy to detach cover for access to the top radiator. Installation of any optical drives are tool less in nature. Just slide the clip to open, place the drive in (from the front), slide the clip back to close.
There is plenty of room for a single depth 2x120mm radiator up top and room for some double depth radiators (depending on thickness) with 120×25 mm fans below the frame.
Installation and Use
For this build we used the following hardware:
- i7 2500k
- Gigabyte z68X UD3H (B3)
- 2x2GB OCZ DDR3 1600Mhz CL9
- OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
- Asus GTX580 Direct CU II
- Seasonic X560
Overall, installing a system inside this case was straight forward. Because all of the front panels (5.25″ bays and fans) come off very easily, it was an absolutely breeze to install the SSD and will be just as easy with a HDD (easier actually, no tools!). With the fans having the ability to pop right off, you have very easy access to dust filters between the fan and honeycomb mesh. It’s a lot easier than some other, more expensive cases (looking at you Antec!) that’s for sure! Installing the PSU was no different than any other PSU installation. There is also a dust filter underneath it as well.
Putting in the motherboard and other components were also typical. There is plenty of space behind the socket area to mount your large backplate and CPU cooler without having to take the motherboard out of the case, a nice feature. There is plenty of space for even a large Asus 580GTX Direct CU II to fit inside this case without having to remove HDD trays, though barely. Anything longer and you would have to remove the tray (think HD6990 or GTX590). There are pre-cut holes to allow you to route all the cables between the motherboard and back panels as well as pre-cut holes on the rear to route tubing externally. There are no grommets in these holes, but that’s a non issue as the cutouts have nice rounded edges on them so one doesn’t have to worry about cutting through their tubes.
One of the complaints I have about this case, and frankly most cases, is that it doesn’t come with enough fans. This case shipped with two. I would have like to have at least seen another 120 mm fan up front, but preferably two more (another in the top exhaust area). While this will not be a problem for most users anyway, even at this price point it would have been nice to see another fan or two thrown in to help with airflow. With that being said, you have the option to add six more 120 mm fans to this case and have superior air movement inside.
The front I/O panel has a USB3.0 port, three USB2.0 ports, headphone/mic jacks, and of course the power and reset buttons. These are located on the upper right side of the case. Also, in that area, on top of the case resides a covered and partitioned storage area.
Here is the final product…a nice, clean looking install.
Looking at the big picture for this case one does get a lot of nice features such as the ability to use multiple radiators, quick release drive mounts and front paneling, plenty of space for fans or radiators, and touchpower fan system. The case has a simple design that should be pleasing to a large variety of customers. If you want to show off your PC, you can also step up to the Tempest 410 Elite which comes with a windowed side panel among other things.
I have two small issues with the case. The first is the lack of included fans. Again, I would liked to have seen two more…even at this price. So what they are advertising in, “An aggressive cooling solution forged for your rig.” has potential, just not right out of the box. My guess is they are assuming one is buying a radiator and therefore fans for them. The other drawback for me on this case was using tools. I know, sounds funny doesn’t it? I guess I’m just spoiled and don’t truly hold it against this case, or any other at this price. I’d rather have great airflow potential, the ability to expand to water cooling outside of all-in-one kits (with easy access to the top radiator), but it’s been a while since I had to use a screwdriver for the majority of the case…so not a huge loss.
Overall, one of NZXT‘s goals with this case, ‘looking for a new cooling edge for your gameplay’ can happen when you use it as intended with water cooling since you will have to purchase new fans for your radiator. If you want to go air cooling with this case, you will just need to buy the fans to achieve their goal. Pricing for the Tempest 410 is (MSRP)$79.99, while its windowed brother is $89.99. Its design is simple, but flexible. Its price is low, and value for your dollar high. This case would be high on my list in the sub-$80 dollar range.