by Ryan Perry on September 23, 2011 in Mid-Tower
Since 2008, NZXT’s Tempest line-up has become well-known for offering a good bang for the buck. All of the models released to date have bold designs, but nothing over-the-top. The latest variant, the 410 Elite, focuses on efficient airflow, and includes a front honeycomb design and room for a dual-rad out-of-the-box.
After our usual testing, I feel like we’re left with a mixed bag, but I’ll do my best to sum things up.
On the outside the case is all Tempest. The overall shape is carried over, which I really like and have been a fan of since I first laid my hands on the original. I really like the I/O area along the right side because it keeps the case very clean looking and moves cables out of the way of the optical drive, which is usually a problem for me.
The quick-release drive covers and fans are something that I’d like to see more companies adopt because, let’s face it, having to remove the front panel to install or uninstall components gets very old, very quickly.
Front panel USB 3.0 support is never a bad thing and the paint job is very well done although I was wiping finger prints from it quite often. The small storage compartment is also a plus and the channels where cables can be run is brilliant. A fast moving 2-year-old with the hands of a ninja can snatch an MP3 player without anybody noticing, and mine is usually left plugged in when not in use.
Another great feature is how the top cover pops off to allow fans or a radiator to be installed from the outside. This means no more fumbling around inside of the case, especially since the extra room that would come with extended-ATX support is missing.
Speaking of the inside, the 410 Elite unfortunately feels like an H2. Don’t get me wrong, I like the design of the interior and it’s part of what won me over with the H2 – but it feels like the same case only with different panels. I expected the two to be very different because they are designed for very different users. They should be two different cases in two different series’ with two different internal designs in my opinion although the one that it does have works very well.
The previous two Tempest cases were dubbed the “Airflow King” but the newest release feels like a gentle breeze. Maybe I was expecting something other than what the case was designed for but it just doesn’t feel like it belongs with the other Tempest models to be honest. It’s not big, aggressive and able to suck small pets or children into the plethora of included fans while keeping system temperatures low.
Having the case ship with the top area populated with two 140mm fans just as the other models do would certainly help temperatures for those who do not plan on putting a radiator in this location.
I do need to mention that our review sample was received with one of the fan brackets not delivering power to the fan. During testing the power supplied using a 3-pin to 4-pin Molex adapter to ensure accurate temperatures were recording using all of the included fans. I’d like to chalk this up to a one off problem because of the quality of cases that NZXT has produced up until now but it may be something to keep in the back of your mind when going shopping.
The 410 Elite checks in at ~$90 while the standard 410 that ditches the window in favour of an opening where up to 2 additional 120mm fans can be installed and knocks about $10 off of the price. Based on what I feel the Tempest should be, and that’s a cooling power house, I’d be inclined to go with the standard model and use the extra money to add at least a couple of fans to the top.
The Tempest 410 Elite is not a bad case by any stretch of the imagination. Itâ€™s a new product with a proud name and a long legacy but a copied interior.
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