NZXT Hades Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on January 27, 2010
NZXT has just released a new mid-tower case, Hades, featuring a three-channel digital thermometer and lots of fans. Let’s see if this product is a good buy.
As you can see from the pictures, Hades has a small mesh on both side panels for air intake, and a big mesh that has a big 200-mm fan attached to it on the left panel. This fan uses 190 mm blades, so it actually has the same performance of some 230 mm fans that also use 190 mm blades. No detailed technical specs are provided by the manufacturer. This fan uses a small three-pin connector for you to install it directly on your motherboard, but the case comes with an adapter to be used if you wish to connect this fan directly on the power supply.
Hades comes with a front door, which is all meshed to improve airflow. On the top part of this door we have the main highlight from this case, its digital thermometer. This thermometer is capable of monitoring three different points from your system through the three thermal sensors that come attached to it. The three temperatures are displayed at the same time, in red. The temperature can be read in either Celsius or Fahrenheit and you can switch the system through a switch found on the back of the door.
The door is locked using a strong magnetic mechanism. The door, however, doesn’t open more than 90°.
With the door open you can see that this case has four external 5.25” bays, using meshed covers with air filters behind them – no external 3.5” bay is provided. On the lower section there is another 200-mm fan (190 mm blades) that glows in red when turned on (again no detailed specifications are available), with an air filter in front of it. Another highlight from Hades is the presence of two fan speed controllers. The controller marked with “I” controls the speed of the front fan and the controller marked with “II” controls the speed of the rear and top fans.
In Figure 7, you can see the top panel from Hades. It comes with a 140 mm fan installed there (no technical specs are published for this fan). This fan comes connected in parallel with the rear fan and both connected to one of the speed controllers. You can, if you want, make a different configuration (e.g., disconnect one of the fans from the controller and connect it on the motherboard or directly on the power supply). There is a space for you installing a second fan on the top panel, which can be either a 120 mm or a 140 mm model.
The traditional external connectors from the case are available on the top panel, as you can see in Figure 8. On Hades we have two USB ports (which are too close to each other) and one eSATA port, plus the mic in and headphones out jacks.
On Hades the power supply is installed on the bottom of the case, and the product comes with a removable (and washable) air filter on the bottom panel, matching the power supply bottom fan.
Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 10. As you can see, the rear panel is painted black. As mentioned, the power supply goes on the bottom part of the case, and Hades follows the traditional ATX design, with seven expansion slots. All slot covers are meshed, feature that can improve airflow inside the case. Two holes protected by rubber covers are available on a mesh above the expansion slots for you to pass hoses from liquid cooling solutions. A 120 mm fan is available on the rear panel (once again, no word about its technical specs), coming attached to the speed controller available on the front panel.
Now let’s take a look inside NZXT Hades.
Both panels are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews, which is excellent. The interior from the Hades is painted black, giving the case a very professional aspect. This case comes with a big hole on the motherboard tray for you to have access to the backplate from the CPU cooler, allowing you to replace it without having to remove the motherboard, and three big holes protected with rubber covers for routing cables behind the motherboard tray. The motherboard tray also features several clips for holding zip-lock ties, helping organizing wires and cables behind the motherboard tray.
This case allows the installation of video cards up to 11 ¾” (30 cm) long.
Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws, but at least they are black.
In Figure 15, you can see the three probes from the thermometer.
Hades from NZXT comes with four 5.25” external bays featuring a very easy to use screwless installation mechanism. Internally, however, all bays are 5.25” (see Figure 16)! So this case has in fact nine 5.25” bays (from these, only the top six use a screwless installation mechanism).
For installing hard disk drives, you need to install an adapter to each drive. The case comes with four sets of adapters, a number that may be somewhat frustrating for more advanced users. These adapters must be screwed to each hard drive, but at least each hole has a rubber ring to help reducing the noise produced by the hard drive. The case also comes with an adapter for 2.5” devices (mostly SSD units).
The hard drive with the adapter installed can be installed to a 5.25” bay using the screwless mechanism. You can move these mechanisms around. For example, if you have four hard disk drives and only one optical drive, you can remove the mechanisms from the unused external 5.25” bays and move them to the 5.25” reserved for hard disk drives. It is good to keep in mind that the bottom four 5.25” bays are recommended for the hard drives because they are located in front of the 200-mm front fan.
In Figure 17, you can see all accessories that come with the case. See the hard disk drive adapters on the top part of this picture. The forth set comes already screwed to the case with the 2.5” adapter installed on it.
NZXT Hades case main specs include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
NZXT Hades is a good option for the user that wants a case full of features (including speed control for the fans and a digital thermometer) but can’t or doesn’t think it is worthwhile buying a more expensive model. For its great cost/benefit ratio we are giving it our Golden Award seal.