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Friday | October 30, 2020
NZXT Tempest Case

NZXT Tempest Case

Installation and Testing

Test System:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+, Stock
ASUS A8N SLi Deluxe, Stock
eVGA Nvidia 8800 GTS 320MB @ 600mhz core 1750mhz memory
2GB Corsair XMS 3200XLPRO (4 x 512mb)
Akasa AK-P085FG 850W PSU
Creative Audigy SE
Western Digital 250gb HDD
Maxtor 120GB IDE HDD

Installing the system into the chassis is straightforward. A sticker inside the case details the necessary standoff positions to use depending on which form factor your motherboard is.  The case supports many form factors including E-ATX, which allows for comfortable installation of newer, mammoth-sized video cards and multi-card setups.

The ATX board used for testing installed without a hitch.  Our Nvidia 8800GTS fits perfectly, with a surprising amount of space remaining for cable routing.  The hard drives have plenty of breathing room as well.  External SATA and USB connector cables, fan cables, and the power and reset connectors are all quite long, giving plenty of slack. 

The power supply used during our testing is rather large.  The cables are very thick and sheathed in nylon, making them rigid, this makes it difficult to route them behind the motherboard tray, as there isn’t quite enough clearance.  However, due to the abundant space available in the case, it is easy to route cables away from the core components and fans to allow for proper airflow.  We found mounting the PSU at the bottom to be an improvement over the traditional top mounted design, this design allows for easier access to the motherboard rear access panel by moving it to the top of the case.  This benefit is especially evident when trying to attach and remove various USB devices, network cables, monitors, etc. in tight spaces. 

Thermal Performance:

This is an important test for this particular case.  With the Tempest, NZXT has made a bold claim that they have made the “Airflow King”.  To test thermal performance, Everest Ultimate was used to measure temperature levels while the system was running idle. We also used the Everest CPU stress test utility; the artifact scanning utility of ATITool and the in-game benchmark of Lost Planet.  To up the ante a bit, we overclocked the GPU core by 87mhz and the memory by 166mhz, to show how the case could handle the additional heat generated by the 8800GTS.  The Lost Planet benchmark was used as a way to stress test the entire system in a real world gaming environment. 

All tests were run in 10 minute intervals, at which time temperature readings were recorded.  All temperatures are in degrees Celsius. The ambient temperature of the testing room was 20.5° C.  A breakdown of our results is as follows:

  Idle Cpu Test
~ Everest
GPU Test
~ ATITool
Gaming Test
~ Lost Planet
Motherboard 28c 30c 31c 31c
Cpu
(Core1/2)
29c (31/29) 44c (46/46) 41c (42/42) 43c (42/41)
GPU 51c 51c 70c 66c
Sata HDD 29c 30c 35c 31c
IDE HDD 18c 20c 21c 21c

Our results do seem to verify NZXT’s claim; the case performed very well.  The motherboard managed to stay within 3°C of the idle temperature, no small feat considering this particular board is not known for having the best cooling solution.  Most surprising were the GPU figures. The card never topped 70°, even when the entire system was under stress.

Noise:

While the thermal performance is impressive, it does come at a price.  With the six case fans running, and the openness created by the mesh panels, this case can generate considerable noise.  While I wouldn’t say it’s unbearable, it is quite noticeable.  A particular annoyance was that the meshing of the top rear exhaust fan rattled unpredictably, requiring a tap to the middle of the fan to get things back in order.  With the case placed by the side of the desk, the sound dissipated, but is still evident.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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