NZXT Source 210 Elite Computer Case E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases
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 Computer Case Review

Manufacturer: NZXT
Product Name: Elite Source 210
Model Number: 8C-S2NL2-WWB
Price As Tested: $49.99

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by NZXT.

When buying a case enthusiasts must balance between cost, aesthetics, and build quality. Normally you can only have two of these three things but on rare occasions companies produce a case that has all three properties in one case. NZXT has given enthusiast one of these rare cases with the NZXT Source 210 Elite which at $50 combines all three of these traits into one case. Benchmark Reviews will see if the Source 210 Elite is really the holy grail of mainstream cases or will this perfect looking case fall apart when scrutinized?

Although a majority of the spotlight falls on cases like the Corsair 800D, Thermaltake Level 10, and the Silverstone TJ11 at $300 or more these cases are out of the reach of a majority of consumers. The real market for cases is in the sub $100 range and unfortunately at this price point quality, and features range drastically from case to case. NZXT has brought out the Source 210 Elite as the computer enthusiasts answer to all of this. It has everything an enthusiast could need in a case, including a full steel construction with a beautifully finished interior and exterior, USB 3.0 on the front panel, eight 3.5" toolless drive bays, and great expandability for cooling should the need arise. So without further ado let us take an in-depth look at the NZXT Source 210 Elite case.

NZXT_Source_210_Right_45_Degree.jpg

When reviewing a case you have four major things you need to look at. First, you need to look at build quality because no one wants to spend hours putting hardware in a case only to find defects or to have parts that will fail months later. Secondly, you need to look at cooling because as the heat output of components goes up, so do cooling needs. Third, you need to look at the acoustics of your new case because as anyone who has worked on or near servers knows adequate cooling can come at an acoustic cost unless a company put expenses into preventing this. Lastly, you need to look at the ease of build, which depending on your system may or may not play a big role in your choice of case. If you like, I spend lots of time inside of your case modifying parts then you want a system that you can easily move around in while making modifications. On the other hand if you want to setup your system and leave it then this becomes less of an importance and therefore can be moved lower on the requirements for your case.

NZXT Source 210 Elite Features

  • 5.25" and 3.5" Screwless Design - Allows easy setup or removal of optical and hard drives.
  • USB 3.0 - Provides the most up to date high speed data transfer.
  • 140mm top fan included - Maximizes cooling potential. Bottom Mounted PSU - Positioned for the most effective PSU ventilation
  • Wire Management Support - 20mm space for a neat and easy build
  • Aluminum Textured Panel - Accents the chassis for a clean, modern look and feel
  • Dual 120mm Front Intake - Takes advantage of front facing HDD bays for excellent airflow
  • Maximum Cooling Potential - Eliminate heat by installing up to seven 120mm fans

NZXT Source 210 Elite Specifications

MODEL Source 210 Elite
CASE TYPE Mid Tower
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL Plastic / Aluminum-like finish
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 195mm x 440mm x 495.5mm
VGA Clearance Maximum 230mm w/ hard drive, 330mm w/o hard drive
CPU Heatsink Support 160mm
Wiring Space 20mm
COOLING SYSTEM

FRONT, 2 X 120mm
REAR, 1 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (included)
TOP, 1 X 140mm (included)
BOTTOM, 1 x 120mm

DRIVE BAYS 3 Tool-less EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
8 Tool-less INTERNAL 3.5" HDD Drives
MATERIAL(S) Steel with painted interior
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
WEIGHT 6.5kg
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT ATX, MICRO-ATX
External Connections 1 x Standard Audio/Mic, 1 x USB 3.0,1 x USB 2.0



 

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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