NZXT Tempest EVO Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on December 10, 2009
NZXT has just revamped their Tempest mid-tower case, adding some nice aesthetic details to it. Since we’ve already reviewed the original Tempest, we will be able to do a detailed comparison between the two models. Is it a good buy? Let’s see.
Tempest EVO follows the same basic design as the original Tempest. Externally the main differences are the use of a dark side window instead of a transparent one, meshed slot covers and the rear panel, which is now painted black and having four holes for hoses from liquid cooling solutions instead of only two. All other external features are the same.
The left side panel features a 120 mm fan, which uses a small three-pin connector, so it must be installed on the motherboard, allowing you to monitor its speed. This fan produces 42 cfm of airflow and 21 dBA noise level and glows blue when turned on.
In Figure 3, you can see the front panel from this case. It has nine 5.25” bays, with the top three available for 5.25” devices and the bottom six used by the two removable hard disk drive cages (more about this later). All slot covers are meshed featuring air filters. The edges from the front panel glow blue when the computer is turned on, with the bottom part from the left edge glowing in green when the computer is turned on (if you connect these LEDs to the power supply, of course).
The front panel features two 120 mm fans, which are identical to the one used on the side panel (42 cfm, 21 dBA, glowing blue) but also have the option for a standard peripheral power plug, allowing you to connect them directly to the power supply. These fans also have individual air filters. This way Tempest EVO presents two layers of protection against dust, since the bay covers also have air filters, as mentioned.
The buttons and connectors from Tempest EVO are available on the top panel, and this case comes with two USB ports (too close to each other) and one eSATA port, plus the microphone input and headphones output.
On the top panel Tempest EVO has two 140 mm fans (no technical information about them was given).
On the bottom panel the reviewed case comes with an air filter matching the power supply air intake. This filter can be easily removed for cleaning.
Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 8. It has a 120 mm fan with the same specs as the others, meshed slot covers, which helps to increase the airflow (an improvement over the original Tempest), and four holes for hoses from liquid cooling solutions (instead of only two like on the original Tempest). The rear panel and the interior from Tempest EVO are now painted black, which gives this case a more professional looks. As you can see, the power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case.
Now let’s take a look inside NZXT Tempest EVO.
Both panels are fastened to the case using thumbscrews, which is excellent. In Figure 9 we have an overall look from inside Tempest EVO. The first thing that catches the eye is the new all-black interior, a drastic difference to the original Tempest. But the paint job is not the only difference between the two models. Tempest EVO 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 the two holes available for routing cables behind the motherboard tray are now coming with a rubber protection.
The motherboard tray is big enough to hold Extended ATX (E-ATX) motherboards, also easily allowing the installation of video cards up to 11” (28 cm) long.
In Figure 11 you can have another overall look from inside Tempest EVO. The top panel comes with holes in order to allow you to install radiators from certain liquid cooling solutions. Daughter boards are fastened to the case using regular screws. It would be nice seeing at least thumbscrews here.
As you know, the power supply is installed on the bottom of the case and the case has an air filter matching the power supply fan (if you use a power supply where the fan is located on its bottom part, of course). The power supply is installed on top of four rubber stands, as you can see in Figure 12.
The disk drive configuration from Tempest EVO is identical to the one from the original Tempest, except that all parts are now black.
On its default configuration, Tempest EVO has nine 5.25” bays with the three top bays coming with screwless mechanisms for holding 5.25” devices and the bottom six bays coming with two hard disk drive cages, each one supporting four hard disk drives each.
Since the hard drive cages are removable, you can change the configuration, if you want to. For example, by removing one of the cages you gain three more 5.25” bays for a total of six, while still supporting four hard drives inside the remaining cage.
Hard drives are installed using screwless mechanisms based on rulers.
Tempest EVO also comes with a 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter, allowing you to install a floppy disk drive, memory card reader or even one more hard drive (the holes match, we tried).
NZXT Tempest EVO case main specs include:
NZXT Tempest EVO is a terrific option for the user looking for an affordable mid-tower case full of nice features. It is definitely an improvement over the original Tempest and the best of all: it is better and comes with the same price tag.