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Written by Austin Downing   
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

NZXT Source 210 Elite Final Thoughts

NZXT has a great case on their hands with the Source 210 Elite by providing almost everything an enthusiast could want without being expensive. This means that enthusiasts have the ability to route cables through the back of the case, use the biggest of CPU coolers, expand their cooling if needed, and even install the mighty GTX 580 inside of this case. All of this is wrapped up in a beautiful, sleek exterior, with toolless drive bays, and even front panel USB 3.0.

Still the Source 210 Elite is not perfect and there are some areas that could use improvement. First it would be nice if more fans were included initially, especially as an intake in the front so that more air is brought in helping to cool the system. What I would like to see more though would be easily removable filers for the each of the fans to help keep dust out of the system and out of enthusiast components. Still for $50 these omissions are easy to overlook with all of the other positive aspects of the Source 210 Elite.

NZXT_Source_210_Finished.jpg

Conclusion

Performance in a case is about being able to silently keep components cool. Although no formal testing was done with the Source 210 Elite I can say that the temperatures attained when stress testing were well within normal spec for the E8200 that is contained within this machine. When it comes to noise I compared the Source 210 Elite to my Silverstone RV02 I use for my personal computer. The Silverstone RV02 is quiet for the amount of air it moves but still makes a small whooshing noise. In contrast to the noise that the Silverstone makes the Source 210 Elite is near dead silent with the loudest component in the system being my CPU heatsink.

NZXT kept it simple with the Source 210 Elite using a sleek black exterior with a matte finish on the front of the case. For some this may bring up fears of a very mundane looking case but instead NZXT has produced a case that blends in without being boring. This is achieved with the use of odd angles around the front that help break up the otherwise simple front exterior. At the same time the front has been offset to keep everything being to flat and lined up. The appearance of this case is stunning and something that I would like to see more companies take design notes from.

The construction of the Source 210 Elite is superb, not $50 superb, but any price superb. There is no flexing in the case, all of the joints are well done, and it really feels like the Source 210 Elite is protecting your investment inside of it.

The Source 210 Elite is one of the most functional cases I have used in a long time. It will easily serve as a home NAS enclosure, a small home server, a gaming machine, or just an office workstation. This is because the Source 210 is setup to take almost any of combination of hardware, from the mighty Nvidia GTX 580 and a Intel Core i7 2600k to eight hard drives and a low power Xeon, the Source 210 Elite will easily fulfill any role it is give.

At $49.99 the NZXT Source 210 is a fantastic deal for any enthusiast. Users will be able to grow into their system as it is needed. Anything from more hard drives, a larger CPU cooler, or even a SLI/CrossFireX setup can be fit inside of the Source 210 Elite.

Overall the NZXT Source 210 Elite is the near perfect, it provides space to expand, can hold the largest of video cards, and looks great. Because of this Benchmark Reviews awards the NZXT Source 210 Elite our Golden Tachometer award.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval

+ Great expandability for cooling
+ Looks great
+ Great features for the price
+ Has USB 3.0 headers
+ Can hold video cards up to 13" long

Cons:

- None of the intakes have filters on them
- Initial cooling ability could be better
- One sided tool-less mechanisms

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 9.75

Final Score: 9.5 out of 10.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseDoug Dallam 2011-08-11 23:18
Austin, are the HDD bays facing back towards the MB, or sideways? It looks like they are facing towards the MB. If so, I wonder what NZXT was thinking on that one? The tool-less bay clips look interesting. Also, I'm glad someone is stepping up the competition by offering MB connectors for USB SS. Geeze. About time.

Thanks for the review.
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# RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseAustin Downing 2011-08-12 10:56
The HDD face towards the motherboard like a traditional setup rather than new styles that is being adopted. The clips are removable and once you have your HDD in place you put them in and lock them.
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# Grumpy Old ManComputer Ed 2011-08-19 04:49
What they where likely thinking was increase the air flow due to the limited front air intake. Not like this case can move a ton of air through the front as it is, why block it further?
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# RE: Grumpy Old ManAustin Downing 2011-08-19 05:33
Why wouldn't a case like this be able to move lots of air?
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# RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseStupido 2011-08-12 03:36
It looks like many competitors are entering the 50 $/Euro market...
this case looks quite nice actually...
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# RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseDoug Dallam 2011-08-12 03:56
Boring as hell on the outside, but very, very functional indeed, especially for the price.
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# RE: RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseAustin Downing 2011-08-12 10:58
I agree that the $50 market is starting to heat up. As for it being boring. . . well I like that. I love the MacPro's, Lian Li, and Corsair Obsidian exteriors. I do not like flashy at all it feels so cheap.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseGroman 2011-08-12 11:03
It is rather boring at first, but it's a good cheap case if you are looking to do mods. Cut out the side panel, cut out some 120mm openings in the front of the case and then add some LEDs. I'd rather have a case I can mod than purchase one that's already finished.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseDoug Dallam 2011-08-12 11:14
Good point! I didn't even think about that.
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# Just picked up this caseGroman 2011-08-12 07:14
This case was a major upgrade for me from the Antec 300 I had previously. The metal feels a bit cheap in some places but overall it was well worth the money. Great buy if you are cheap like me.
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# Grumpy Old ManComputer Ed 2011-08-19 04:55
Not sure I would consider this an upgrade over the Three Hundred, more of a lateral move. The cable management options are a bit better but I think in the end the Three Hundred might have a little better potential for air flow. At the end of the day I would say this case is a toss up at the price point with an Antec One Hundred (in my option a better case than the Three Hundred) Buy based on which look you like better with a gamer building leaning a bit more toward the more open airflow of the One Hundred/Three Hundred.
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# RE: Grumpy Old ManGroman 2011-08-19 05:32
I agree to an extent, it's limited as its shipped. I plan to do some modifications to the elite though, like drill two 120mm fan holes in the front bezel to get more airflow Personally, I perfer the cable management, black interior and dual 140mm fan blowholes which all come standard in the elite. I was actually in the process of drilling some cable manage holes in the mobo try for the 300, then painting it black but it was a bit of a pain. I loved my 300 for the great intake fans and air filters, but it lacked some features that the source came with.
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# RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseAthlonite 2011-08-18 22:49
I'm still looking for what they're calling "Elite" about this case
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# RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseAustin Downing 2011-08-19 05:32
The great price, the build quality, its ability to adapt to a users need? Take your pick.
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# Great choiceWalter Machnicz 2011-08-19 06:02
It is a modern take on an old design. It has what you need where you need it. The big deal is internal USB3.0, 8 Hard Drive Mounts, and great air flow possibilities.
IF you want cross mount Hard Drive cages there are many choices, few incluse USB3.0 and 8 Hard Drives.
It's got the plain appearance of a Lian Li without the cost.
In the US the Rosewill cases come closest.
It's not a Silverstone TJ08.
It's not a BitFenix Shinobi.
It's not a Zalman Z9/Z9 Plus.
When you look hard though it offers a lot for a little and grow room.
I will have one I think.
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# RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer Casedlb 2011-08-20 19:51
I don't know why, but little slanted bit from the USB ports across the top to the left bugs me.... seems to me they could have added one more each of USB2/3 ports, or a media reader, or even a 2.5" hot-swap bay, and it shouldn't have affected the price by more than $5US (maybe $10 if they got greedy). Personally, a straight bezel up top would be better, or even have that "line" go vertical just past the USB ports for .25" or .5", then straight across to the left from there.... IDK, but that slanted line bugs me.

Another thing - I'm >REALLY< glad this case doesn't have a side plexi window - I have never really understood the point; is the owner or his friends and family going to spend that much time peering in at the non-moving, cold cathode blue/red/green/UV interior?

Otherwise, for the price, NZXT has done it again! I'm currently using their BetaEVO case and I freekin' love it. I got it for about $35 after rebates, promos, and free shipping, and I don't see replacing it in the near future.

Anyway - a great review (as always) of a pretty nice lookin' and functional case...
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# RE: RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseAustin Downing 2011-08-21 07:31
Thanks for the compliment.

One thing you need to consider is that adding another $5-$10 would push them up to the $60 price point. Plus the thing is some people may not need those amenities in their cases so for them the extra money they would pay may deter them from buying it.
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# RE: NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer CaseWalter Machnicz 2011-08-21 10:46
It is always easy to push up the price of a case. It is always easy to find things to change.
Each case is an adventure to become yours. Or a box to stuff under your desk. I can see this one working either way.
Not a parts swappers case, just easy to upgrade at need.
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# not compatible with Cooler master HYPER 212 PLUSguero 2012-03-30 09:51
good case but not compatible with Cooler master HYPER 212 PLUS
mobo Asrock 970 extreme3
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# re: not compatible with Cooler master HYPER 212 PLUSmigs 2012-04-27 10:12
I have the asrock extreme 3 gen 3 board and that cooler in this case. No idea why you're having issues. It's reallllllly close to the side panel but it doesn't touch at all.
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