Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
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.
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
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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