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NZXT S340 Elite Mid-Tower Chassis Review

NZXT S340 Elite Mid-Tower Chassis Review

NZXT's S340 Elite mid-tower case with VR capabilities goes down as one of the best cases we have ever reviewed. Come and find out why.

@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Mon, Jan 23 2017 8:24 PM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 39 IMAGES

When it comes to cases, NZXT is a name that should be on everyone's radar. They have proven time and time again that they are not only great with exterior designs, but when it comes to internal layouts, they start trends the masses take and put in their builds. Rarely are they as clean as what NZXT puts forth. While every chassis to be released may not be a whole new concept and design than their previous selections, when NZXT revisits a case, they make sure to do more than putting lipstick on a pig and calling it new.

Revising a chassis design is usually a great success to those who do it, mainly because the company can bolster the feature set, or bring a great design from the past back to life by updating it to newer standards as well. All of this is true in the Source Series chassis that NZXT took a second go with. Not only have they added goodies, delivered it with three color options to suit a theme, but with the advent of VR and the fact it is becoming more mainstream these days, NZXT figured why not make a highly successful case better.

Today, we are taking a spin around the new and improved S340 Elite mid-tower chassis from NZXT. From what we can tell, six major and minor changes have been made to this latest go at the original S340 chassis, and all, no matter how small, update and upgrade the S340 to a new level of awesomeness. Out of the three options, we were sent the all black version of this chassis, but keep in mind there is also a black chassis with a couple of bright red accents or even a black version with a white interior and front bezel to choose from. If the muted look of the black version we have checked all the boxes, but may not have enough flash for you, never fear, as NZXT not only does an outstanding job of improving an aging design, yet at the same time is sure not to leave anyone out due to color preference.

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Found in the chart provided by NZXT, we get right to the size, materials, and weight of this chassis right off the bat. The S340 Elite stands 474mm tall, it is 203mm in width and is 432mm from front to back. The side panel has been upgraded from steel with a plastic window to tempered glass now, yet most of the chassis remains to be made of steel, with bits made of ABS plastic. All told, without any gear in the S340 Elite, it weighs in at 8.13 kg. Also, this mid-tower chassis is capable of housing either a Mini-ITX motherboard, a Micro-ATX motherboard, even ATX motherboards.

Around the chassis, you will find the front I/O panel on the top of the S340 Elite, and its contents have been updated from the original. This time we are given 3.5mm HD Audio jacks and USB 3.0 ports like the S340 has, but this time we also get a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as an HDMI connection along with the power button and LED indicators. Two dust filters are built into this design. The larger of the two is found in the front of the chassis to clean the intake air, and the second is below the PSU, to again clean the air the fan is drawing in.

Drive bays are somewhat limited in this design. There is a cage for a pair of 3.5" drives found inside, and another can be attached to the floor. As to the 2.5" drive options, there is still a pair of trays found on the PSU cover, but in the Elite, another has been added to the edge of the PSU cover to be seen easily through the tempered glass side panel. At the back of the S340 Elite, we find seven expansion slots, all of which are accessed externally.

Cooling inside of the S340 Elite has the same options as the original did. In the front, you can install a pair of 140mm or 120mm fans, but the top offers only room for a single 140mm or 120mm fan. The rear of the chassis offers room for a single 120mm fan, and this location, as well as the top spot; both have FN V2 120mm fans installed from the factory. If you want to use water cooling, a 280mm or 240mm radiator can easily be used in the front of the chassis. The rear of this case will also support a 120mm radiator, but due to the high-set position of the motherboard, the top does not allow for water cooling support.

The rest of the chart addresses that each case can support 334mm of video cards with a radiator in place, and 364mm of space if one is not used. CPU air coolers can be 161mm in height without causing issues with the tempered glass panel, and we can also see that there is a minimum of 17mm of room behind the motherboard tray for wiring. There is a two-year warranty covering the S340 Elite, whether you get the black CA-S340W-B3, the CA-S340W-W2 with white accents, or the CA-S340W-B4 with red accents.

The S340 Elite has been out for a while now, and as such, it is very easy to locate. While grabbing information about the chassis, looking on the NZXT site, we see that they have set the MSRP at $99.99 which is reasonable for a chassis of this magnitude. However, you need to shop wisely to obtain it at this price. The black version we have can be found at Newegg for $99.99, but the same case at Amazon is listed for $114.73. While at Newegg, all three options are priced the same, at Amazon, the white version is $99.99, and the one with red accents is $113.99. We are looking past the oddities listed on Amazon for the purpose of cost, and going with the MSRP as it can be had at that price. From what we have seen, NZXT raised the bar and made the S340 Elite well worth the investment and a chassis that many playing with VR would love to update into.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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We are not positive this is the front of the packaging, but this is the first side we saw. Taking up the entire panel of white is a large image of the S340 Elite mid-tower chassis with a system installed into it. In one glance, you can appreciate the openness as well as getting a grasp on what things may look like with your gear inside of it.

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The next panel is purple in color and houses four images and white text to explain what is being shown. NZXT covers the ultra-clean interior, the giant window on the left side, the addition of VR connectivity, as well as the detailed engineering that went into the special add-ons the original does not possess.

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It is more likely that this large white panel is the front of the packaging, as it offers the full idea behind what makes the S340 Elite special. The NZXT name and an indication of the tempered glass panel are found at the top, while the bulk of the panel is used to display the case with a monitor, as well as showing the headset hanging from the front of the chassis for easy access and storage.

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The last panel outside of the box is again purple, but this time it is used to list the features and specifications, with only the features being relisted below in ten other languages. At the bottom, we find a sticker indicating the color of the chassis inside, and we can also find the serial number here if you were to happen to run into issues or problems with the S340 Elite.

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Sticking with what seems to work the best, NZXT ships the chassis with simple yet effective internal packaging. There is a layer of plastic clinging to the tempered glass panel, the entire chassis is wrapped in a plastic bag, and then thick Styrofoam caps are used above and below it to ensure safe travels. Our sample was able to make the journey without a single scratch and is as true and square as it was when it left the factory.

NZXT S340 Elite Mid-Tower Chassis

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The face of the S340 Elite is smooth and simple, with just an expanse of matte black from top to bottom, with the NZXT name found near the bottom of the bezel. The paint is also one of the changes made to the S340 Elite, as the original was shiny.

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At the top of the chassis, just behind where the bezel attaches to the frame, we find the front I/O panel. There is a tiny HDD activity LED to the left, followed by the HD Audio jacks. In the middle, there is an HDMI ports as well as two for both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. The last part of the I/O panel is the power button, which has a ring around it indicating system power when the PC is on.

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The top of the chassis is matte in its finish, and most of the panel is flat and level. Near the back, there is a groove indented into the steel, and inside of it is honeycomb mesh, allowing the fan placed there to push air outside of the case.

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The left side of the S340 Elite has been upgraded. This time we find a tempered glass panel covering the entire side of the case, and it affords an excellent view of the interior. The edges have been painted on the inside of the glass, which blocks the view of the frame, which nobody wants to see anyways.

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The back of the S340 Elite is the same as the original design. The rear I/O and exhaust fan location are found at the top of the case, and seven expansions slots which are externally accessed fill the middle. The bottom of the chassis delivers a PSU bracket, which is removable to allow the PSU to slide in from the back.

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The right side of the S340 Elite is flat, smooth, and painted in matte black to match the rest of the chassis. Rather than four screws at the corners of the tempered glass panel used, this panel uses two thumbscrews at the back and even has a finger-grab to aid in removal.

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Under the S340 Elite, we find chunky plastic feet near the corners, all of which have rubber pads at the bottom to ensure this case does not move around. At the back, we find the dust filter for the PSU, some wire management points, and at the front, there is a place to mount a hard drive to the floor as well.

Inside the S340 Elite

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By removing the bezel, we can see that air is taken in at the top and bottom of the panel, and once behind the bezel, there is a large filter in place to keep the inside clean. Without wiring to get in the way, a gentle bull on the bezel will allow access to the magnetic filter for cleaning or fan mounting.

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There is one change we can see in this image from the original design, but what is not lost is the vast openness of the interior. There is plenty of room inside to install of what you want to while hiding many components and keeping wiring out of view.

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Behind the dust filter in the front, is steel which is cut out to support fans. While no fans are installed here from NZXT, the option for 120mm or 140mm fans is there, as well as the ability to use AIOs and thin radiators if going the route of custom cooling.

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In the original S340, this optional location for an SSD is not found. In the Elite, it has been added onto the PSU cover, and an additional hole is added near the front to allow the wiring to pass through. This way your SSD is in full view through the tempered glass panel.

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The top of the chassis delivers a single 120mm fan, an NZXT FN V2 fan to be exact. This fan terminates in a 3-pin plug for connectivity, but is pre-wired and is also connected to a Molex adapter for power right from NZXT.

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The motherboard tray will accommodate a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, or ATX motherboard, with the standoff locations clearly marked. There is a large CPU cooler access hole a few wiring holes, a large cover to the right for the motherboards main wiring, and plenty of tie points to make certain that everything is tended to.

Inside the S340 Elite Continued

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Below the motherboard tray, there is a long PSU cover that extends from the front to the back. In and on it, we find the three openings for wiring, and the pair of SSD trays mounted to the top of it. We would have preferred to see grommets in this design, but once everything is together, it is all black, and the holes virtually disappear.

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Hanging on the back of the S340 Elite, we see the second 120mm FN V2 fan. This fan also has a 3-pin power connection, but just like the fan in the top, is pre-wired and is also connected to that same Molex adapter for power.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we are drawn first to the pair of white boxes tucked into the bottom of the S340 Elite, which contains the hardware and goodies. We also see that NZXT has added wire clips to the back this time. Two of them are found behind the wire cover, which bundles all wiring together, while another pair separates the wires into tracks to keep things clean and tidy looking back here.

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If you have a need for mass storage, at the front of the S340 Elite, there is a cage which allows for a pair of 3.5" drives to be screwed into place. Optionally, you can stuff a third 3.5" drive in under these bays, and use the holes on the floor for mounting it.

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The rest of the lower section is used to house the PSU and its wiring. There are raised steel rails to allow the PSU to be supported, the vents in the floor allow for short and long PSU fan placements, and after removing the bracket on the back, the PSU can be slid in here.

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NZXT was sure to offer all of the chassis wiring in black sleeved cabling. At the top, we can see the Molex plug for the fan power adapter, and along the bottom, we see the native USB 3.0 connection, the HD Audio, and USB 2.0 connections, and the HDMI and front panel switch and LED connections on the right.

Hardware & Documentation

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Four bags of hardware are found inside of the thin box we located under the PSU cover. NZXT sends a bag of 6-32 screws for the motherboard and hard drives, as well as a bag of M3 screws to mount 2.5" drives into the three trays. There is a standoff to replace the helper standoff found installed into the motherboard tray, as well as a socket to drive them, and a bag with four screws for the PSU.

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To help maintain the wiring and tie it to the back of the motherboard tray, NZXT ships ten zip-ties to accomplish that. Just in case your PSU has an issue reaching the two drives on top of the PSU cover and the one facing the side of the case, NZXT provided this SATA power extension cable to solve that dilemma.

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The larger box we found under the PSU cover contained the VR headset holder. This is made of plastic, covered with rubber, and is held to the chassis via strong magnets. This holder is also made of two parts, a top and bottom half, and can be slit to hold both a VR and audio headset.

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The manual NZXT includes with the S340 Elite has everything inside you could need. Things start off with a parts list and descriptions of all the goodies and moves right into the build process. The text and renderings offered will help tremendously for those who are beginners, and NZXT also includes a section on optional cooling to sort that out as well.

Case Build & Finished Product

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One of our favorite and most appreciated part in the evolution of chassis design is when the front of the chassis is smooth, clean, and uninterrupted, and the S340 Elite delivers here. This will also allow users to hand headsets on the front of the chassis without any issues of blocking a fan controller, bay reservoir, or optical device.

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Inside of the S340 Elite, our build is clean, easily visible, and the majority of the wires are hidden from view. We found no issues with the standoffs or motherboard alignment; the AIO went in without conflict, and our video card sags only slightly.

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At the back of the S340 Elite, we had no problem installing the dust shield, the video card did require us to force the back of the chassis inward a touch to align the holes, but the PSU slides right in, and the bracket lined up perfectly. The one thing we had left to do, was to attach the HDMI cable to the video card, running it through the small hole on the left edge of the case.

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All told, with our build, we only had to use four zip ties to keep things clean looking, and have the wires secured in some fashion. The four clips that NZXT added to the S340 Elite handled the rest. We found more than enough room to run the wires, and had no issue making the 8-pin or 24-pin connections, leaving the bulk of the wiring out of view.

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This image is taken after we placed both side panels back onto the chassis. The view through the window is superb and allows us to view everything but the PSU, and we like the matte finish which does not show fingerprints.

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Once we powered up the S340 Elite, we were greeted with a white glow from around the power button, and the occasional flicker of white light from the HDD activity LED. Since the tempered glass is not tinted, it is easy to see the glow of the Corsair and Zotac LEDs, and does not require more interior lighting for the best view.

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While we do not own a Virtual Reality headset, we grabbed the SteelSeries Wireless H headset and hung it from the hanger which NZXT supplied us. This can be stuck anywhere on the bezel of the chassis, and it can easily be used on the right side of the S340 as well, allowing easy access to it for daily use.

Final Thoughts

We recall being very fond of the original S340 chassis from NZXT, as at that time, it was at the forefront of design, and NZXT were some of the first to introduce PSU covers and solid mid-tower cases that many found intriguing. All of the reasons we like the original, we still like the S340 Elite for as well, but with the fact that the feature set has increased on this model, we find ourselves liking it even more. We love the fact that it comes in three color options, and we adore the fact they used matte finishes on the S340 Elite to keep fingerprints at bay. The tempered glass side panel is something that everyone seems to be doing now, but not many account for the rise in VR. The S340 Elite not only gives you the connectivity needed right in the front I/O panel, but they also include a holder which allows users to keep their headgear handy, easily within reach.

At this point, we would usually discuss what it is that we found lacking or something that we either ran into an issue with or just did not like the way it was implemented. However, with a chassis like this S340 Elite, we are left with nothing to detract from in this design. From every angle, things line up well and are square; the design is top-notch, the layout is better than most, and we even get extra goodies that most companies never even thought of. While we did have to add pressure to the back of the chassis to align the screw holes for the video card, this happens quite often and was nothing we could not overcome, so we are willing to overlook it. With a chassis which is this well thought out and stunning, it is hard to have a bad attitude about it, and simply not appreciate this S340 Elite for what it is.

We have seen some sorry revisits of cases from the past, but the S340 Elite from NZXT is not one of those instances. While they had a great platform to begin with, this refresh takes that original S340 to a whole other level. Moving to matte paint, the tempered glass side panel, an I/O panel with VR in mind, room for an extra SSD, wire management clips, along with the extra goodies shipped in the box, NZXT made our job very easy this time.

Their willingness to update a chassis to those who use VR gear is a huge plus, as not many others do this. The ways in which this chassis was dressed up for today's needs, wants, and desires make this mid-tower NZXT S340 Elite one of our favorites, not just of this year, but of all time.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality including Design and Build100%
General Features99%
Bundle and Packaging97%
Value for Money100%
Overall98%

The Bottom Line: NZXT's S340 Elite is the perfect mid-tower for today's market. It is sleek, quiet, sturdy, well appointed, and includes things for VR - and best of all, it's affordable. This is one chassis you will not want to miss out on!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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