by Matthew Harris on October 16, 2006 in Cases & PSUs
Building a PC requires several considerations. What’s in it? What’s powering it? What case do I use? How do I cool it? For using air cooling there’s a wide world of cases open to you but if you’re using aftermarket water cooling your options start to narrow. Today we look at a new case from NZXT that lends itself to both air and water cooling.
NZXT has released a few cases that tailor to the "Boy Racer" crowd over the past few years. Recently though they’ve started to come around to the school of thought that not everyone wants a case that looks like it spends its spare time battling evil robots. One of their latest cases, the Zero is the result if this new thinking. The Zero is a very understated case that features the monolithic look that I really like but still has some "bling" factor to it.
One of the coolest features of the Zero is the door. The door has a smoked inset in the top that functions as a window for 5.25" bay devices such as LCD or VFL displays so they can be seen with the door closed. The door and the lower bezel half are overlaid with thick aluminum and the door features the power button, HDD activity LED and the upper scallop is the power LED.
Let’s see what NZXT has to say about the Zero.
ZERO Crafted Series
Full Tower Aluminum Chassis
Introducing the highly anticipated Zero from NZXT. Outfitted with the ultimate in quiet cooling, the Zero comes preloaded with 8 fans and a boasts impressive drive space. The front panel of the Zero is overlayed with thick aluminum and a smoked window for use with 5.25" LCD devices.
The Zero’s aluminum structure allows for light weight while maintaining integrity. With quad 12cm intakes in the side panel, the Zero is the best solution for new SLI and Crossfire setups. Whether you are a power user or a hardcore gamer, the Zero is the perfect chassis to meet all high end needs.
- Full tower light weight aluminum chassis
- Quad 12cm fans optimized for sli and crossfire configurations
- Fully equiped cooling system with seven 12cm fans and 1 8cm fan
- Aluminum plated front panel
- See-through smoked acrylic
- Screwless installation for 5.25", 3.5" and pci devices
- Quad 12cm side fan setup
- Large capacity for hard drives and drive bay devices
- Ext. ports: 2 x usb 2.0, mic, ieee 1394/firewire,
- Intel hd audio ready headphone jack
|| Full tower Aluminum Chassis
|FRONT PANEL MATERIAL
|DIMENSIONS (W x H x D)
|| 210.5 X 532 X 520 mm
|| FRONT, 1 X 120 mm fan (included)
REAR, 2 X 120 mm Fan (included)
SIDE PANEL, 4 X 120mm fan (included)
TOP, 1 X 80mm Fan (included)
|| 13 DRIVE BAYS
5 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
2 EXTERNAL 3.5 " DRIVE BAYS
6 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
|| Aluminum Construction
|| 500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
|| 7.35 KGS (W/O Power)
|| MOTHERBOARDS: ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT, MINI ATX
The Zero makes a good impression straight out of the box. The front is glassy and slick, the fit is top notch and the look is overall very clean.
The front of the Zero is covered with a self adhesive split plastic layer that protects the door and lower fascia in shipping. With it removed we get a better look at the front bezel. On the front bezel is a chevron on the lower half that lights up with the PC under power and an inverted chevron on the door that’s powered by the mobo’s power LED header. The lower chevron is powered by a molex pass-thru and is considerably brighter. Inside the door is the reset button on the lower right, next to 3.5" bays.
We also see the grill over the four (Yes, there are four of ’em) 120mm fans in the side panel. My first thought was that this case is going to sound like a blow drier. We’ll find out if I was right or not in a bit.
My first thought upon seeing the Zero was "OMG, finally a case I mount my 240 rad inside of!" After closer scrutiny I discovered to my dismay that the top fan is too close to the PSU to allow for such a setup sadly. Happily though the bottom fan is held off the PCI slots high enough to allow for tubing to go through there from the outside. This means that you can use a Swiftech Radbox to do an external radiator mount and pass the tubing into the case through that area. Don’t worry, if you’re lost I’ll demonstrate what I’m talking about in a minute.