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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Nov 25, 2011

Review – NZXT Tempest 410

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Product Information

MODEL Tempest 410
CASE TYPE Mid Tower Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL Plastic/Steel
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 215 x 481 X 496mm
VGA Clearance Maximum 315mm w/o HDD, 290mm w/ bracket, 250mm w/ HDD installed
CPU Heatsink Support 170mm
COOLING SYSTEM FRONT, 2 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (1x included) SIDE, 2 X 120mm REAR, 1 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (1x included) TOP, 2 X 120/140mm BOTTOM, 1 x 120mm
DRIVE BAYS 3 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS 8 INTERNAL 3.5″/2.5″ Slots Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel with painted interior
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
WEIGHT 7.8KG
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT ATX, MICRO-ATX, MINI ATX, FLEX ATX, MINI ITX

In order to exist and operate smoothly, we have to breathe. This applies to all living things, but it also applies to your PC. When you’ve gotten a great rig running the best games in the business, chances are that you’ve put a lot of effort into some great equipment. The one thing you want to avoid is having your system overheating on you. Now while there are CPU coolers and fans to help cool down your rig, but choosing the right case helps. This is the idea behind the NZXT Tempest 410 case.

First Look

When you take your first look at the Tempest 410, you may think it’s a run-of-the-mill case. It’s solid color and mesh design doesn’t catch your eye at first. In short, the Tempest is a very minimalist-style case, which is sort of a niche that NZXT has. Black is the only color the Tempest comes in, and though it’s got some built-in LEDs, it still runs as a solid color. Unless you install some LED fans in the case, it will still stay in its midnight visage.

On the right side front of the case are four USB slots, which come in handy if you’ve got plug-and-play items that you use often. Only problem is that right next to these inputs is an elevated surface, which makes plugging anything wide in (like most USB internet adapters) almost useless. Audio jacks lie right underneath the USB ports, and make plugging in a headset and mic a breeze. Above all of this you’ll find the power and reset buttons that, if you just glance at the case, you’ll most likely miss. Both buttons are camouflaged right into the case. Both are the same solid color of the case, and without looking closely they’re easy to miss.

There’s a cover on top of the case that is again something that can go unnoticed. Pressing down on the cover pops it up to reveal a compartment that can be used to house USB drives, cords, and more. It’s not the biggest hiding place, but it’s efficient.

A Closer Look

Once you open the side panel, you’ll see a lot of open space, surrounded by mesh grating. The grating, added with the fan placement and open areas inside the case make it easy to see what NZXT was going for when they created the Tempest. With one idea in mind, the Tempest took form – keeping the case and rig as cool as possible. Each grate and opening allows for some air flow, and works together to help keep your rig running nicely.

The cabling inside the case is ran in-house, which means it isn’t sprawled out all over the inside of the case. There is a special compartment inside the case that allows for the running of cable, so it only pops out of a hole in the bottom section of the case. This is great because it avoids messy tangling and running wires getting caught on your equipment. All of the cords are kept neat in one area so that you can easily tell between each cord, and it offers less confusion.

The metal inside mimics the shade on the outside of the case, and continues the black coloring. There’s space for two additional fans on the inside top of the case, though they feel a bit cramped. I took one of the fans from my previous case and could only fit it in the space, and barely at that. Like with most NZXT cases, there are three 5.35-inch bays that work for different drives, and right beneath that is a set of 3.25-inch hard drive bays that all work with a set of harnesses. The plastic harnesses are easy to take out, and you just need to remove the pins in them, attach your hard drive, and slip it back in through the front of the case. An opening door on the front of the case allows for easy installation of each bay.

Installation

Inside the case when you open it up you’ll find a box that includes all of the screws and hardware you’ll need to install all of your equipment. As usual, NZXT includes a special tool that attaches to the risers for the motherboard, making it much easier to install these small pieces. Just pop the tool on top of the riser and you can then drive it tight with a screwdriver. The other screws are included, and these make installing fans and other machinery a lot easier.

Now comes the subject of switching out components. When it comes to hard drives, a lot of cases make it hard to detach and remove them. With the Tempest, all you’ll need to do is disconnect the cables and slide the bay out. Then you’ll take out the pins, switch the hard drive, and slide it right back in.

In this same area of conversation, however, though the replacement is easy when it comes to technicality, comfort is another issue. The Tempest looks spacious when you first open it, once you get all of your machinery into the case it clearly becomes much smaller. It was a bit difficult to get everything in and set it to where you can maneuver it easily. All of your components are packed in tight, and I started to worry about cables and connections running into each other. While nothing is bent or stretched out, it still looked worrying.

Conclusion

The NZXT Tempest may be a minimalist case, but it’s amazingly quiet and runs smooth. Though the inside is a bit cramped, all my components came together fine and I’ve had no errors with running the rig. I like the extra compartment on top of the case, and the mesh grating really does help to keep my rig nice and cool. With perfect fan placement and wiring, the Tempest really does what it was set out for. The best thing about it is the fact that everything is set to keep your equipment organized. With all of the compact cabling and air flow, the Tempest is a perfect case for the hardcore gamer and crunch-time PC user alike. If you’re looking for a case that runs quietly while keeping your rig as cool as possible, then the Tempest is a great choice.

The Good

  • runs as a silent case
  • produces great air flow and keeps rig cool
  • hidden compartment is nice for keeping external flash drives
  • components are easily removable, allows for easy customization

The Bad

  • case is a bit small, and equipment feels a bit cramped
  • USB slots on the front of the case are outed by a case aesthetic design, making them hard to use
  • not a lot of light in the case
  • solid color, only available in black

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