NZXT Hades Crafted Series Tower

Posted by on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 5:50am

nzxt hadesI want to thank NZXT for their generosity in sending me one of their crafted series mid-towers.  For our playtime today, we have the Hades, a 9 bay mid-tower full of premium goodies directed at the PC enthusiast crowd.  I have been looking forward to reviewing NZXT products for quite a while.  I keep an eye on the forums of several different sites and have a few friends who also review items and I have never heard anything but great reviews being directed at NZXT.  Always makes me wonder what I could be missing out on.  So when my boss told me to look out for a couple of their cases that were headed my way, I could not help but check frequently for packages on my door step.  A few things jumped out at me as I opened the box and got a look at the Hades. I am not going to tell you what they were now. You will just have to read about it below. 

Introduction to the NZXT Hades

I want to thank NZXT for their generosity in sending me one of their crafted series mid-towers.  For our playtime today, we have the Hades, a 9 bay mid-tower full of premium goodies directed at the PC enthusiast crowd.  I have been looking forward to reviewing NZXT products for quite a while.  I keep an eye on the forums of several different sites and have a few friends who also review items and I have never heard anything but great reviews being directed at NZXT.  Always makes me wonder what I could be missing out on.  So when my boss told me to look out for a couple of their cases that were headed my way, I could not help but check frequently for packages on my door step.  A few things jumped out at me as I opened the box and got a look at the Hades. I am not going to tell you what they were now. You will just have to read about it below. 

NZXT’s take on the Hades

Introducing the Hades, a chassis that provides an array of advanced features for the most demanding PC enthusiast. Airflow is optimized with 5 fans(dual 200mm intake, 200 mm front fan, dual top 140mm fans, side 200mm fan, and rear 120mm exhaust). NZXT includes all the fans with the exception of the top 140mm and also provides a dual fan 8W per channel controller giving enthusiasts’ freedom to manage intake and exhaust airflow. A three temperature display on the front panel allows the user to see the temperature inside the chassis even when the door is closed. Additionally, the meshed 5.25" bays, door, and bottom panel allows for air to naturally flow into the system with ease.  Hades also boasts premium expandability with up to nine 5.25" bay setup or five 5.25" and four 3.5." It also features VGA clearance room for 300mm cards like the new ATI 5970. The punched side panel and motherboard tray with rubber grommets on the motherboard routing holes enables advanced wire management and quick CPU bracket removal. Additional advanced features include a solid state bracket allowing for two SSD drives, pre-drilled water cooling holes on the back-plate, mounting holes for a dual radiator at the top, and a removable filter at the bottom PSU.

If you have not heard of NZXT, here is a brief introduction to the company

NZXT, a company built upon gamer's dreams, hopes to create products that put consumers first. With the objective of designing unique products catered for hardware enthusiasts and gamers, NZXT has grown into a globally renowned brand recognized for dedication towards creating the next great gaming product. NZXT has won numerous awards from media and publications from across the globe with a product line spanning from gaming chassis, power, and gaming input devices. As a corporation formed by gamers, NZXT continues to expand into new horizons and push the limits further with each product unveiling.

Our dedicated sales and customer service team will work diligently to earn your trust and loyalty. All our products are built with high quality material and engineered in the best conditions.

NZXT products are designed and engineered in the United States and manufactured overseas in China and Taiwan.

NZXT was established in 2004 in Los Angeles, California.


Packaging and contents

NZXT does a great job with the Hades packaging.  It’s a full color box that is strong on the black and grey giving it a dark modernistic gaming quality.  No fluffy bunnies and rainbows here.

It has some quality pictures of the case and lists the specs and highlights.


As you would expect, the case comes in Styrofoam and plastic to help protect it.  It looks like, once again, it was packaged well enough to avoid damage from the delivery guy.

NZXT includes one of the best looking instruction booklets I’ve seen.  Not only are there idiot-proof pictures, but the important features of this board are described and worked in detail for you. 

You will find a full load of useful items, zip-ties, speaker, fan power adapter, lots of thumb screws and tons of regular assorted screws including the HD adapters that have rubber grommets for vibration dampening.


Specifications

MODEL Hades Series
CASE TYPE Mid Tower Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL PLASTIC
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 200 X 430 X 501 mm / 7.87" x 16.9" x 19.7"
COOLING SYSTEM

FRONT, 1 X 200mm red LED (included)
REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)

SIDE, 1 x 200mm (included)

TOP, 2 X 120/140mm (1 include 140mm)

DRIVE BAYS 9 DRIVE BAYS
9 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
4 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE MOUNTS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel with black finish
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
POWER SUPPLY 500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT 6.95 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT MOTHERBOARDS: ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT

Features

  • Expansion galore: Nine 5.25" bay setup or Five 5.25" and Four 3.5"
  • Latest Hardware Support: VGA clearance room for 300mm cards like the ATI 5970
  • Dual 200mm intake Large air system: 200mm front fan, dual top 140mm fan, Side 200mm fan, rear 120mm exhaust. NZXT includes the chassis with all fans except for one top 140mm fan
  • Control the flow: Gaming, overclocking, or office work the dual 8W per channel fan control allows control over the dual 200mm fans that spin up to 150 CFM each
  • Monitor your system: A three C/F temperature display at front panel allows the user to see temperatures inside the chassis even with the door closed. A slant on the door allows for easier viewing from above.
  • Punched side panel: Besides aesthetics, the side mesh and extrusion allows for even greater and ease of wire management on the right side panel
  • Meshed front: 5.25" meshed bays, meshed door, and meshed bottom panel allows for air to flow into the system with ease.
  • Wire Routing: Motherboard punched holes allows for quick CPU bracket removable and optimal wire routing.
  • NZXT Solid State bracket allows for two SSD drives to be installed
  • Pre-drilled water cooling holes on the backplate
  • Front mounted 2 USB, Audio, and E-SATA ports
  • Mounting holes for dual radiator at the top
  • Removable filter at the bottom PSU

Closer look at the Hades from the outside
The Hades from NZXT comes to you with one color, solid flat black, both inside and outside.  No naked parts on this case. 

There is a large 200mm fan spinning away trying to cool the inside of your case, along with some additional venting towards the front of the case for better airflow along your optical drive bays. 

The front of the case has a nicely designed door, it actually is made with mesh so it does not stop the cooling effect from the front mounted 200mm red led fan.  The door also conceals your power button, cleverly hidden right below the power/HDD LED’s.  On top is your triple temperature display. 

Once you open the front panel door you have access to the reset button and the dual fan controllers.  You can clearly see the massive 200mm fan here and if you look close you will see that mesh to help stop large particles from getting sucked into the case.


Dual 8 watts per channel fan controllers, a built in unique item adding to the Hades and NZXT’s reputation as a gamer company.

Here you can see a close up of the paint job.  It is not a flat smooth surface, more of a speckled flat black.

The back of the case is similar to what you are used to seeing, painted though, and you can see the ports for water-cooling provided for you.  It is setup for a bottom-mounted power supply as mentioned above.  It does have a nice sized 120mm fan for cooling. 

Otherwise nothing out of the ordinary.

On top you see dual 140mm or 120mm fan layout.  It comes with a single 140mm, but the predrilled holes are there for either size.  You also see the mic, headphone, USB x 2 and E-SATA connections. 

The bottom of the case is set up with your power supply fan cutout.  You can see here where they have the removable filter.


Back to the front for a minute, I took off the front panel for a little look, and you can see that the removable drive bays have filters and you can get a closer look at the front 200mm fan, and the SSD drive adapter.  You will also notice there are no painful punch-outs for the front optical bays.

You can see that there is room there for up to four hard drives, you will need to use the provided mounting brackets and thumb screws.  It is a little extra effort, but the return is that you will be putting them right behind this massive fan.  That is a 200mm fan blowing cool outside air over your hot hard drives.  Not a bad payoff for a minutes extra work.


Closer look at the NZXT Hades from the inside

I still cannot get over the fully painted interior.  So nice to open it up and not see any naked metal.  I love the screw-less rail design, makes for fast loading and or switching.  I played around with it for a bit and when locked in you feel safe that your drives etc will not come loose. 

Another well thought out feature was the cable management holes provided for you.  I have seen this on quite a few cases lately, but not with the rubber protectors that NZXT provided. This not only looks better, but it holds the wires more firmly in place and keeps them from rubbing on the exposed metal, possibly causing a short.  You can see that they provided 3 conveniently placed cutouts for your use. 

You have plenty of room for your optical drives or pop out cup holders/ash trays and hard drive bays.

Towards the back, the 120mm works hard at cooling off your components and you will find your bottom mounted power supply opening.  Another nice touch is the power supply stand offs are rubber to keep noise down from vibrations, they could have added two more for those of us with extra large power supplies. 


The backside of the case gives you a better look at the cable management at work.  Another feature I found useful is the large cutout for access to the back of the motherboard behind the CPU.  If you are like many and you have one of those massive CPU coolers, or even a normal one, having access to the back plate for mounting means you don’t have to remove the motherboard to make a swap.  It also helps with cooling and keeps the back from building up heat.


The Hades provides you with three temperature probes and display.  Here you can see two of the probes, which are labeled for you.  The inside of the front access panel provides you with a push button switch to allow you to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.   



A closer look at the NZXT Hades Installation

A nice close-up here of the cutouts at work.

The Hades does not label which temperature is for which probe on the display, but the instructions clear that up for you, as long as you memorize it!  It does however show you whether you are using Celsius or Fahrenheit. 


I talked earlier about the back opening in the motherboard tray.  As you can see here, there is plenty of space here if you do decide to change out your heat sink and you will not be required to remove your motherboard to do it. 


Conclusion

I want to thank NZXT for letting me play around with the Hades.  A price check showed that the Hades is selling for $99.99 but with a $20 mail in rebate ($79.99).  At this price point, you are going to be hard pressed to find a better case out there.  You won’t find many at that price that offer full inside/outside paint, dual built in fan controllers (unless it is in a add-on drive bay slot), and a 3 temperature display.  This is in addition to all the standard features NZXT provides you.  Did I find anything negative you ask?  Well the only issue I had was that I am running a Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme heat sink and I could not put the side panel on because the built in side panel fan hit the top of the heat sink.  Now this is not a ding on the Hades, I could easily remove the side panel fan, or I could be careful when making my purchases knowing how big that heat sink is.  It is just something for you purchasers out there to consider.  Overall, I found this case to be well worth its cost and with its looks and performance, you can be proud to own it.  Way to go NZXT with another great case!

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