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NZXT Guardian Case Review

By: Mike Wright | Other Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Apr 2, 2004 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: NZXT

The Exterior



When you first take a head on look at this case, you will immediately realize where the name came from. Of course, with computers becoming more and more complex and capable of once impossible tasks, maybe a robotic design isn't too far fetched.


The front of the enclosure is mostly plastic. While some may sneer at this material, it does make for no maintenance and is able to withstand moderate abuse without becoming damaged or marred. This should help keep the appearance in near-new condition for some time to come.


The case itself is made of .8mm SECC steel and is light enough that I origianlly thought the material was aluminum. It isn't a heavy grade, but is durable and there were no problems with integrity when I sat on it (yes, I tend to sit on all cases I test to see how sturdy they are).



Opening the front panel showed a nice surprise; space for five optical devices! While not everyone has a need for this much space, there are just too many options available for this not to be useful. Think about it for a moment...


You have a CD-Burner, a DVD player, and maybe even a DVD burner. You are now over half full. But wait, we're talking about a case catering to gamers and enthusiasts so we'll go ahead and add at least one thermal control device and very possibly two. There are also several cooling products currently available that make use of a spare 5.25" drive bay. We're starting to fill up rapidly now, aren't we?


Very nice touch here NZXT.



Moving downward to the bottom portion of the front we see a couple of small sliding doors that hide the front I/O ports. You have a speaker/headphone port, a microphone port and a pair of USB ports. While you may have noted the absence of a Firewire port, this won't be too much an inconvenience as Firewire never took off like many thought it would.



Cruising around to the side panel we see a window that is more than just a circle cut through the side panel. The designing is unique and the plastic panel fits into the cutouts. That's right, the entire side panel is made to create a flush external plane! This isn't your normal everyday enclosure here.


Also of note is the side fan. It is lighted and comes with a mesh covering and a cover plate that continues with the robotic motif of the case. It is also positioned over the area where the processor generally is to give you that extra airflow to one of the largest heat producers of the system.



The back is pretty standard with a functional backplate that can be removed if you have a motherboard requiring a special type. You'll also be able to see that thumbscrews are used at all connect points of the side panels to ensure ease of entry into the interior.



The side panel on the far side of the enclosure is vented. This can be considered good or bad depending on your outlook, but since there are no case fan mounts on this side of the case, you'll want to make sure you run a cooling setup that is over pressurized. This means you have more intake airflow than exhaust. If you run more exhaust, you will be doing nothing more than introducing large amounts of dirt and dust to the system since you would be sucking in the to compensate for the heavy exhaust levels. Not really a good thing, especially since this vented panel is not protected by any sort of filtration.


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