Tired Of PC Fan Noise? New NZXT Cabinet Shuts It All Out10:00 AM EST Mon. Jan. 30, 2012
Here's something we haven't seen before in PC cabinet design. Not only does NZXT's new Switch 810 Hybrid Full Tower Chassis support super-sized 280mm fans and offer space to mount as many as 10 standard-sized fans, but a set of fins on its top panel can be opened and closed to maximize airflow or minimize noise.
That's where it gets the "hybrid" part of its name, and it's just one of the many innovations delivered with NZXT's latest full-tower cabinet. Available in black or white, the roomy Switch 810 cabinet has space enough for seven internal 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch hard drives, six of which can be mounted in NZXT's unique slide-out drive cages.
Holding three drives each, the cages are easily removed and carried using built-in retractable handles. Cages slide in on rails, clicking firmly into place, and are secured by thumbscrews. Drives mount on one side; no need to open both sides to service individual drives. On the back of each cage can be mounted a 120/140mm fan that can tilt up to 40 degrees to direct airflow at GPUs, CPUs or wherever. One such fan is included.
As with other NZXT cabinets, the Switch 810's see-through side panel is removed easily with three thumbscrews, one of which can stay behind thanks to a spring-loaded socket that works with a slot on the cover. Beneath lies a roomy interior with numerous rubber grommets to maximize airflow and cables that are neatly tucked away.
Of course, NZXT's tool-free drive installation system is present and mostly unchanged from its Tempest 410 and Vulcan cases. Stamped on the motherboard base are compatible motherboards: ATX, micro-, mini- and flex-ATX as well as CEB and EEB styles of SSI motherboards for Xeon processors. Stand-off locations for each type of motherboard are indicated according to a key, also stamped inside.
The rear panel has room for nine expansion cards, two fans and four water cooling cutouts. The top panel can accommodate 360/420mm radiators, and the bottom can take the 120/240mm variety. The bottom panel is home to a pair of air-intake screens, each of which locked into place with a spring-latch. A simple push inward and it pops out enough to grab and slide it out for cleaning. Thinking this through, a single filter that runs the length of the bottom and is accessible from the front might be preferable, since servicing the rear filter will take time and effort once the machine is connected and installed. A minor nit.
Behind a retractable door on the front panel we find pairs of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports along with an SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, reset button and a switch for the white LED that's mounted inside the rear of the cabinet and lights up the innards (emphasis on "nerds"). There's room for a total of three 5.25-inch external drives, which slide in without rails and are held in place with retractable pins on rubber rockers.
As with all NZXT cabinets we've looked at, the rather large (22d x 24h x 9w inch, 20 pound) Switch 810's fit and finish are superb. Parts snap into place firmly, instilling confidence in a product that's built to last. At $169 list, the CRN Test Center recommends the Switch 810 for the PC enthusiast or hardcore gamer; it will surely not disappoint. A two-year warranty is included.