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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 Interior



My first impression when looking into the guts of this case were that it wasn't really special. It has the appearance of so many other cases currently available and the size was pretty average as far as overall interior space. But then I began looking closer at things like drive mounting and peripheral installation and my opinion began to change. So let's take a closer look at some of the subsystems so you'll see what I'm talking about.



Starting at the top we see the interior view of the five optical device bays. Not really anything special here (besides the quantity of bays) until we look at the mounting system. I've used rail systems several times in the past but have yet to see anything like this.



What I first thought was a rail system mounted to the side of the support tower turned out to be a different style of drive mounting system altogether. You simply slide the drive into the bay and then slide this locking system forward, like this...



When the lock is moved to the forward position, a pin comes out that lines up with the normal mounting screw hole on the near side of the device. This not only keeps the drive firmly in place, it also keeps the front face of the device lined up with the bezel on the front of the case. Between the guide rail on the far side of the drive and the pin that extrudes into the drive itself, you will have no problems with securing the device into the case.



Moving down the support tower brings us to the 3.5" drive bays. There are a total of five with two of these being accessible to the front. All five bays are also supported by the same innovative mounting system as the optical bays.


You can also see the fan mounting area on the front of the case, but there is no fan installed here in its default configuration. Since you're going to want an over pressurized system anyway, I would recommend having a spare 80mm fan ready to install into the front. Airflow through the front bezel is limited, but there is some ventilation so you'll want that fan installed.



We've seen this type of fan setup before, but it is still nice to see companies get more involved with the tool-free designs. The cover mounts by side clips that snap into the rear of the case. The fans are mounted within and require no screws to secure them in place.


Though there is enough space for a pair of 80mm fans, I would consider your airflow before adding that second fan. Keep in mind that vented side panel and plan accordingly.



Keeping with a tool-free concept, the mounting system for your AGP/PCI peripherals makes the need for a screwdriver ancient history. Planning looks to be up to speed with this setup as well since the top of the clip doesn't extend out very far. This means that even tall PCI cards will mount normally without having to try to force it into the clip (*thinks back to Thermaltake's Xaser series mounting system*).


Construction Note


While the steel material used in the construction of this enclosure is not an issue, the internal edges are. Be very careful when working around the PSU hole and the back of the motherboard floor panel. The edges in these areas are incredibly sharp. I can attest to this since I managed to nearly filet my hand when removing the front bezel of the case. It is attention to detail that makes a manufacturer stand apart from the crowd, so hopefully this will be remedied in future releases of their product line.


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