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NZXT Whisper Full-Tower Computer Case E-mail
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Written by Alex Hanson - Edited by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
NZXT Whisper Full-Tower Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Classic Series Final Thoughts

The NZXT Whisper is certainly a very well built case and easily houses all my gear. Installation was easy thanks to it's roomy interior. Cable management though was not so easy partly due to the foam backing on the side panels.

The outside of the case has a nice attractive appearance to it and I like how the front door uses a magnet to hold the door closed. It's also a very quiet case that lives up to it's name of a silent computing experience. It's not pure silence but more like a "whisper". However, as is the case with most others that strive for silence, you pay the price for cooling performance. If you're running a liquid cooling solution then it's a moot point but for air cooling and most modern hardware, cooling performance suffers. Just at idle my rear exhaust fan was pumping out some pretty hot air. That concerns me and makes me not want to overclock it or stress the system in any way.

I've read that NZXT is offering an additional front fan to assist in cooling of the motherboard area but I have yet to follow up on that to see it's impact on cooling. I'm thinking it will help it out substantially. I think it would be best if NZXT included this extra fan as standard equipment on all future orders for it and if noise becomes an issue, then install some sort of fan controller to tame it.

There is one minor difference with the power and HDD LED's that the company images don't show. The stock image shows a green LED for power and a red LED for the HDD. What I got was a case with a very bright blue and sharply focused power LED and with a dull green HDD LED. It will certainly light up any room at night.

Finally, the top mounted IO panel needs a different latch and locking mechanism. I broke it off very easily but was able to repair it. I think a push button release latching mechanism would be better.

NZXT_Whisper_front_glow.jpg

NZXT Whisper Conclusion

Despite the retail box having been battered during shipping, the presentation NZXT puts forth is excellent. You won't see flashy gaming artwork but instead a subdued and elegant styling to it that is in line with it's "Whisper" name. Care is also taken in the packaging of the case. The case itself also lends itself to sophisticated and elegant styling. Something I appreciate a lot and therefore gave it high marks in that category.

The roomy interior, concealed IO ports, room for 9 hard drives and 7 optical bays, insulating foam and quiet fans are all things I like about the Whisper. I don't really like the separate chambers for motherboard and PSU. In theory it's good but since the front does not include a fan for the upper chamber, it doesn't allow for proper airflow throughout the case and can be a problem with modern hardware like video cards that require positive air flow. I also didn't care for the locking mechanism on the IO panel nor the cheap rubber feet. I know some people love the tool-less optical drive feature but I just like my drives to feel as if they're fully secured when mounted so therefore I used plain old screws. Overall the Whisper has some very good functional features that a lot of people will appreciate.

The retail price for this case seems a bit on the high side for what you get in features and performance. Newegg.com currently lists it $139.99. Therefore I didn't rate the value very high. If you can find it with a rebate and/or on sale then it might be more attractive.

If you're looking for a quiet case that will house a lot of components and one that is not flashy but rather conservative and sophisticated, then this case is for you. Just make sure you obtain the additional front fan from NZXT to assist with cooling, otherwise you might consider going with liquid cooling.

Pros:

+ Very quiet operation
+ Insulating foam on side panels
+ Attractive design
+ Plenty of hard drive bays
+ Accommodates E-ATX motherboards and long video cards
+ Front e-SATA port
+ Tool-less retainer

Cons:

- Cooling performance
- Only full length devices can be installed in external bays (ie, no fan controllers, etc)
- Shallow door clearance
- Limited cable management options
- No firewire port
- IO Panel locking mechanism

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 8.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.25
  • Functionality: 8.25
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 8.45 out of 10.

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