NZXT Source 220 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on October 20, 2011
NZXT is a brand known for providing cost-effective products. Recently, they released the Tempest 210, a mid-tower case that costs only USD 55 and provides a terrific cost/benefit ratio, deserving our Golden Award. Now, NZXT released another USD 55 case, the Source 220. Let’s see if this case is also a good option and how it stacks up against the Tempest 210.
While the Tempest 210 supports eight fans, the Source 220 supports “only” seven.
The left-side panel has a mesh, supporting one 120 mm or 140 mm fan. The Tempest 210 supports two fans here.
The front panel of the NZXT Source 220 has similar features as the Tempest 210’s, with three external 5.25” bays, all using meshed covers with air filters.
Like the Tempest 210, the Source 220 supports two 120 mm fans on its front panel, as you can see in Figure 5. In order to keep the cost down, the case doesn’t come with them. The Tempest 210, however, comes with an air filter for these fans, a feature not available on the Source 220.
The case comes with one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port and the traditional audio jacks. The number of USB ports is low, and they are too close to each other, preventing you from installing two thumb drives at the same time. The USB 3.0 port uses a cable with an internal connector, so you don’t need to connect this cable to a USB 3.0 port located on the rear panel of your motherboard. Just make sure to buy a motherboard with an internal USB 3.0 header.
The top panel of the NZXT Source 220 allows the installation of two 120 mm or 140 mm fans, and the case comes with one 140 mm sleeve bearing fan installed (Xin Changfeng DF1402512SEMN). See Figure 7. This is the same configuration used on the Tempest 210. Unfortunately, NZXT doesn’t publish the specifications for this fan. This fan uses a three-pin connector, so you can monitor its speed. The fan’s power cable also has a standard peripheral power connector, in case you prefer to connect the fan directly to your power supply instead of connecting it to your motherboard.
The bottom panel allows the installation of one 120 mm fan, but the case doesn’t come with an air filter for it. The second mesh you see in Figure 8 is for the power supply fan.
The rear panel and the interior of the NZXT Source 220 are painted black, and the rear panel of the Source 220 is identical to the Tempest 210’s.
The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case.
The NZXT Source 220 comes with a 120 mm fan installed on its rear panel, which is a riffle bearing model (Xin Changfeng D1202512RFLN). Unfortunately, the only information NZXT gives about this fan is that it spins at 1,200 rpm. You can replace this fan with an 80 mm model, if you want. This fan uses a three-pin connector, so you can monitor its speed. The fan’s power cable also has a standard peripheral power connector, in case you prefer to connect the fan directly to your power supply instead of connecting it to your motherboard.
There are seven expansion slots, using vented covers.
This case has two holes for hoses of liquid cooling solutions. Even though you need to break their covers in order to use them, the case comes with two rubber covers for you to close them, improving the aesthetics of the product.
Let’s now take a look inside the NZXT Source 220.
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. Internally, the Source 220 and Tempest 210 are identical. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.
In Figure 12, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws, but at least they are black. The NZXT Source 220 supports video cards up to 13” (330 mm) long, but if a hard drive is installed right in front of the video card, this clearance is reduced to 9.1” (230 mm).
The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. Note that it can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it.
If you install a power supply up to 7.1” (180 mm) deep, you can install a 120 mm fan on the bottom panel.
The NZXT Source 220 shares the same internal design as the Tempest 210, and has three 5.25” external bays and eight 3.5” internal bays, all using tool-less installation mechanisms. A 2.5” bay is also available. See Figure 16. The number of hard drive bays is impressive for a budget case.
The main specifications for the NZXT Source 220 include:
During this review, we found out that the Tempest 210 and the Source 220 cases from NZXT share the same internal design. Costing the same, the main question is, “which one is better?” The Tempest 210 comes with a few additional features that make it a better option than the Source 220, in our opinion. It supports an additional fan, allows you to move the side fans to better match the components you want to cool down, and has an air filter for the optional front fans.