Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Anyone hip to what has released in the last year or two knows that NZXT has been evolving chassis designs and really stepping up their game. Thinking back to where NZXT was when we first got into reviewing cases, huge strides have been made, both inside and outside, to make NZXT cases not only stand out in the crowd. NZXT is now able to deliver users a chassis that they can love and appreciate as they evolve their system inside of it. Most of this stems back to the release of the Switch 810, where NZXT turned heads everywhere across the industry. Since then, NZXT has kept their heads down and on task. NZXT now offers more and more cases that are not only mod friendly, but also offer the average user a way to assemble a PC that looks simple and clean, and contends with some of those rigs you see and drool over every day in forums.
It seems it has been a while since the Source series of cases has been updated. We have seen plenty of other series' receive updates, including the Hush series with the lines of the H440, and many versions of the Phantom series, but it has been well over a year since we last looked at a chassis from the Source lineup. However, that is about to change, right here, and right now. Not only has NZXT brought back a series that a lot of users appreciated over the years for their simplicity in design, ease of use, and the trend showed, but they were all very affordable solutions as well.
Today, we are going to have a look at the Source 340 that NZXT has sent for us to look at. In this Source model, they keep the features that made the Source series such a success in the first place, like pricing, simplicity in design, and a chassis that many will enjoy using. However, this time around, the basic concept inside is completely different than any other Source chassis to date.
As we mentioned, there are quite a few mod friendly ideas packed into this new design. There are things like a PSU cover, no ODD bays for better water cooling compatibility, and this chassis even takes on the chore of blocking the majority of the wiring from the view through the window once it is completed. While none of this is brand new to us, the way in which it is done, presented, and the way it all functions, definitely raises the Source series to an entire new level of features. We absolutely enjoyed every minute of our time with the Source 340 you are about to see.
NZXT provides us with a very detailed specifications chart that should be pretty easy to follow. The S340 can be found in two color choices, one of which is a shiny white exterior, with a matte black interior and top panel. The other color option is shiny black with a matte black interior and top panel. The front of the S340 is flat from top to bottom, and from side to side, and the only thing to break it up is the pressed in NZXT name at the bottom since this chassis does not support any 5.25" bays. The chassis is all steel with the exception of a large window in the left panel that allows a great view of the interior. The back of the chassis is also shiny, as is the right side panel, but in this design, we found that NZXT made an attempt to raise the chassis off the floor with the use of chunky feet.
The specs for the bays are a bit confusing here. There is a hidden rack for a pair of 3.5" drives at the bottom of the front of the chassis. As for 2.5" drives, there are a pair of trays on top of the PSU cover. For the plus one location, this design allows one 3.5" drive to be screwed to the floor under the other two 3.5" drive bays. There is room for Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, or an ATX based system, offering seven expansions slots to support cards via thumbscrews accessed outside the chassis.
As far as restrictions are concerned, there is 334mm of room for video cards if you install 30mm worth of radiator, but this does not account for fans on said radiator. Maybe they assumed this is with 25mm of fans either way. Without one in play, there is a total of 364mm of room. CPU coolers can be up to 161mm in height, and they also mention the 17mm of room for wiring behind the tightest bits of the motherboard tray.
Cooling options are pretty good as well. While there is room for only one fan in the roof, NZXT has supplied us with a 140mm FN V2 fan there. The back of the chassis can also only house a single fan, and NZXT provides us with a FN V2 120mm fan for that location as well. This leaves us with the front of the chassis, and while no fans are present here, there is plenty of room for a pair of 140mm or 120mm fans, but also plenty of room for the Kraken X61 to go in without issue. As for the floor of the chassis, that area is restricted from the PSU cover, and no optional fan locations are present there as a result.
As with anything that NZXT makes, you can always buy their offerings from the Armory, but keep in mind there is shipping involved if you go that route. If you want to save a few dollars in shipping costs, at the time of writing, we found that Newegg and TigerDirect are both asking the MSRP of $69.99, and both sites offer free shipping. We did find a listing on Amazon, but due to the way they list products there, a secondary seller is listed with a cost over $80, so it can definitely pay to shop around. As for the pricing, compared to other mid-towers, it is not that bad at all. However, once you delve into what this chassis has to offer, you will find that you really do get quite a bit for your money with the NZXT S340 mid-tower chassis.
We would also like to add that our sample was shipped pre-release, and as such, it came in a nondescript brown cardboard box, so there will be no packaging images in this review. The box did have a sticker denoting its contents, but the color showed white, and we obviously received the black version. Outside of that, there were the typical Styrofoam end caps in the box, but no liner, and even so, you will see that our Source arrived in great shape.
PRICING: You can find the NZXT S340 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
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