NZXT has been very kind to me and kept me in supply of their chassis' over the past year. Thinking back to cases like the Zero2, Beta and Panzerbox, NZXT can make both the usual chassis, as well as thinking outside the box and rearranging a bit of hardware in others. I do remember being impressed with those cases in what they offered as well as the design and concept. Today we are looking at an addition to their Classic series of chassis'.
The Classic series has cases such as the Beta, Lexa and Duet to name a few. Today we are looking at the M59 mid tower, a unique looking addition to the line-up on the outside that boasts a case full of features. On the box alone they claim it to be full of cooling options, wire manageability, and as they put it, "Black". I won't give away too much now; you will have to continue on to see what I mean by those features.
Looking at a few of NZXT's products before, I have yet to be let down with what they offer and for what price. They always seem to be on point in both categories. That being said, I can't see this going too badly. I say let's cross that bridge when we get to it. Time now to get to the meat and potatoes of the M59 and see if this is the future case for you. I have a sneaky suspicion it just might be "that case"!
Specifications, Availability and PricingSpecifications, Availability and Pricing
NZXT offers the M59 as an all black mid tower. When I say all black, I mean not only the exterior steel and the front plastic bezel. I mean that both the inside and outside are coated in a matte, textured, black paint. Outside, the chassis has a unique look and side window. Inside it's all black and easy to use. That carries on to the four 5.25" drive bays, the two floppy bays and the five 3.5" hard drive bays. To the rear of the chassis, it can support up to seven slots worth of cards. Accepting ATX, m-ATX and baby ATX makes it friendly to a lot of various systems, while its light weight and small stature make it a good case to fit about anywhere.
NZXT handles a bit of the cooling for you, adding two fans to the chassis when it is shipped to your door. There is one fan placed in the door, and the other in the rear panel for exhaust. They do however offer room to install a total of three more 120mm fans of your choosing. Two can go into the top of the chassis, or even possibly be used for mounting an internal radiator, if room allows. The other spot set aside for an additional fan is in the bottom of the front panel. Once the bezel is removed it is easy to see where this fan goes. Both of the supplied fans run 23dB in noise level and are specified to run at 42CFM. This airflow is sufficient, but if you plan to overclock things, you may want to consider grabbing a couple fans when you buy it.
The M59 has been on shelves for a while now and is easy to find. From what I gathered looking at Google shopping, the M59 is almost everywhere, and at various prices. Somewhere in the middle of the pricing, I found good old reliable Newegg has it for $59.99. Of course, you have to add shipping, but even with, the M59 comes in well under $100. I'm sure if you wait a bit or do a bit of searching, you might be able to find a better deal, but for around $65, I don't know how much lower you want to go. Typically for these "budget minded" cases, manufacturers tend to cut corners, or leave things out of the design. Keep reading; this is where things get interesting.
The Classic series M59 from NZXT has a nice image of the front of the chassis backed in all black. Cool, Clean and Black refer to what most buyers have in mind when looking to buy. The chassis is capable of adding fans, keeping things tidy, and my favourite, all black throughout.
Both side panels are the same, light blue, with a features list. They repeat this same list three more times in multiple languages.
The rear of the packaging again has a features checklist, but this time there are a couple new images of the M59 to use as reference as you check off the features. At the bottom right corner they highlight a 2.5" adapter included in the chassis to mount a SSD.
Inside the box you will find your M59 shipped with Styrofoam ends keeping the plastic liner in place. The window on this chassis ships with a heavy static film to protect it during shipping. There are also a couple of these found on the front bezel's shinier plastic bits.
The NZXT M59 Mid Tower CaseThe NZXT M59 Mid Tower Case
The front of the M59 is a bit unusual looking at first glance with its "zig-zag" side profile. This design leaves the chunky looking sides and the bigger bits jutting out at the top, middle and bottom. The center is all mesh and backed with light foam for dust filtering; all but the top bay that is. This one has a stealth cover installed so you don't have to see the face of the optical drive.
Keeping with the geometric look of the front bezel, the smoked window follows those lines. The window is cut to allow for the 120mm blue LED fan to add fresh air to the components. The top of the chassis has two additional places that support 120mm fans, or even potential to hold a radiator.
On the rear panel we start out with two tubing holes with grommets on top. Moving down is the rear I/O flanked by the 42CFM, 120mm fan supplied for exhausting the M59. Then we run into seven, vented, expansion slot covers with a nice sized area of passive ventilation. That leaves the rather large hole at the bottom to be taken up with a PSU.
The right side panel is plainer just painted with the same textured, matte black that is found throughout. There is a nice little finger grabbing "dent" in the rear to give you some additional force to open the panel.
Under the M59 you will find it is already ventilated for a PSU and even includes a removable dust filter. Aside from that there are two things to mention. One is the small rubber feet that support the chassis. The second is the hole between the chassis and front panel. Just grab in there and give it a bit of a tug, the front panel will come right off.
Inside The NZXT M59 Mid Tower CaseInside The NZXT M59 Mid Tower Case
Here you get a much better idea of the tint of the window in the M59. It is more of the European automotive bronze tint look. The fan mounted here does house blue LED's and plugs in with an optional 3-pin fan connection or the 4-pin Molex plug. There is a bit of tape hanging off the fan to remind me to mention that even the cabling was taped to the back of the fan to keep the wire from scratching the window.
With the panels off, this mid tower looks quite roomy. And to be honest, you will soon see it is plenty of case. NZXT went to town adding holes for wire management, CPU back plate access and also went mostly tool-less on the interior. Oh right, did I mention it's black? The same textured finish on the outside is found covering everything except the plastic front panel.
The front I/O cables are all good in length and should be no issue getting where they need to be on your board. Besides the multi-colored band holding the power, reset, HDD LED and the power LED, the USB 2.0, audio, and e-SATA cables are all black. This makes hiding them a bit easier against the black back drop.
Inside the front of the M59 there are four 5.25" bays that have tool-less key ways, but no tool-less keys, just thumb screws to mount these drives. In the middle, there are two bays for 3.5" floppy drives. The bottom is where you house up to five 3.5" drives. However, NZXT does offer an adapter for one SSD, which I will show in a bit.
Looking from the inside, you can see quite a bit of white peeking through from the back drop. That means to me, the ventilation is pretty open. This chassis should be able to keep pretty cool under operation as long as the right airflow is present.
From the rear you get a pretty good look at the holes and the little "punch out" in the motherboard tray. These are in strategic places to allow you a place to tie up and tidy your wiring. For any extra wiring, you are left with either the HDD bays or the little bit of room next to the floppy drive bays. There isn't a whole lot of extra space to make them disappear.
As I said, wrap your fingers under the front panel and pull, the front plastic comes right off. This will allow you access to install your optical drives, or add a fan in the front. All of the front I/O wiring is attached to the front bezel and passes through a hole in the front to keep them tidy. As I mentioned, each section of the front is backed with thin foam held in with tabs of mesh.
Accessories and DocumentationAccessories and Documentation
The instructions come inside the cardboard box you find in the hard drive bays. This is a fold out style instruction sheet, which to be honest I just looked at for this image. The case build is pretty intuitive. I didn't need to refer to these once during the build process.
Also inside that box you will find the rest of the case hardware. There are eight tool-less slides to be used for installing your hard drives. These surround the three baggies of risers, motherboard and PSU screws, and the thumb screws for the optical drives.
For one of the 3.5" drives you can use this supplied adapter. Just screw in your favorite SSD and then slide it into a 3.5" hard drive bay.
The Build and Finished ProductThe Build and Finished Product
Getting to this point was pretty easy, but there was one stumbling block at first. In trying to install the risers, I found that the holes got painted over. Luckily I found a socket the right size and fixed my dilemma. Moving on, it took just a bit of time to run the wiring, but the provided holes made it a breeze. I see two potential issues. The top fan holes will work well if you want to use water, but may be in the way even with my stock cooling solution. The second issues is if your card is longer than 10.5 inches, you are going to have to "make room" for them in this chassis.
With all the parts in place, the rear of the M59 fills out nice and looks clean with a black PSU installed.
I didn't take a whole lot of time rounding up the wires and making it perfect. For the time I did take it was easy to get things tied to the tray and hopefully out of the way of installing the rear panel. As I said about the front, the holes are all in a great place and work well for managing things behind the scenes.
Not much has changed on the front, but that is about to change as soon as we'll power things up.
With the door back on you can see the internal components take on the bronze tint. There is a good view of all the components, but lets see how the fans do and see how NZXT has taken care of lighting effects.
Not too much to see from the side other than the glow of the fan while its powered up. With the light off in the photo booth, the internals are visible, even if they are blue. As the room got darker things are more visible inside with just the flood of light from this fan alone.
On the front, NZXT under-lit the front panel. There is a nice flood of light down the entire panel from this light hidden under the front. The ring around the power button is backlit with a blue LED to show it's on, while the reset button is backlit with a green Led to show HDD activity.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
I have been spoiled, and I do love my larger cases. They are easy to work in and tend to keep temperatures under control a little better than the standard mid tower chassis'. The M59 made me see that there is quite the case out on the market in the mid tower segment. Black inside and out, and textured to keep fingerprints to a minimum, I am a sucker for this. I will take a painted chassis over that grey SECC steel that comes in most budget cases. NZXT didn't stop there, though. They made sure there are a few options for air and water cooling and made the assembly 75% tool-less. The only tool I had to go for was a Phillip's head screwdriver, so I'm sure most anyone can get a rig assembled in here with ease as well.
With all great things you are bound to find an oversight or small things here and there, but I had to be pretty picky to find them. First off, the pain in the riser holes was a pain to deal with. Starting them with pliers doesn't guarantee it's straight. I do advise the right sized driver to put them in the M59. Once I got them starting straight, they went in pretty easy. The second thing on my list is aesthetics. The front bezel isn't my thing, but the unique shape does grow on you. The side window being "bronzed" is not my thing either, but I bet there are more than enough people out there who will like it. Aside from one real issue and these more personal issues, the M59 provided me with everything I needed and allowed my components to fit well and stayed tidy as NZXT claimed it would.
I have seen cheaper cases go through my hands, but they weren't as nice inside as the M59 is. While NZXT kept budget builders in mind when pricing this chassis, they sure didn't hold back on anything as far as offerings. Currently this chassis can be located almost anywhere, and I found it over at Newegg for $59.99 plus shipping. Let's count this out. 75% tool-less, a unique shape and design, a window, painted inside and out, room for more fans, and good air flow out of the box. That's six major positives when considering a chassis, and the NZXT M59 offers all this for under $60 before shipping.
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