|NZXT Switch 810 Full-Tower Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 07 February 2012|
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Detailed Exterior Features
Getting down into a more detailed look at the exterior of the NZXT Switch 810, we'll take a look at the front I/O panel. The I/O panel here offers a good mix of everything you typically look for in a front I/O and a little more. First we see two, black USB 2.0 ports. Very standard. These connect via an internal header to your motherboard. Next comes two, blue SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. These are becoming more and more common as USB 3.0 gets more standard and more devices start to use the higher speeds. These two ports are also connected via an internal header directly to the motherboard. In a way, this is nice because you won't have to run a cable outside of your case to attach to the motherboard I/O, but it can also cause trouble if your motherboard doesn't have a USB 3.0 header. NZXT didn't include a USB 2.0 adapter for the cable, so the ports will be worthless if you don't have a USB 3.0 header.
One of the things that NZXT included on the front I/O for the Switch 810 case is an SD card reader. This is something that you don't find very often on case I/O panels, but that I find to be a very nice inclusion. The card reader has a cable that attaches to one of your motherboards USB 2.0 headers, of which I'm sure you have plenty. I always find three or four on most motherboards and don't have the extensions to use them all. Further on down the I/O panel is the audio jacks, a reset button, a button that turns on and off the LED lighting system at the back of the case.
Speaking of the LED lighting system at the back of the case, this is actually one of my favorite features of the Switch 810. I usually keep my case under my desk. It's dark under there. When I have to get back there to plug in or unplug some peripheral or other, I usually end up doing so by feel. That process ends up taking much longer than I would like and I getting down there on the ground is already uncomfortable. It sure would be nice if the motherboard I/O panel was lit up so I could see what I'm doing. I guess that's what NZXT thought too, and it's absolutely brilliant. When you push that button on the front I/O panel, it lights up the rear I/O panel. Awesome.
The NZXT Switch 810 mounts the PSU on the bottom of the case. I like this configuration, but it requires some extra work on the part of case manufacturers in order to make it work. For one, there needs to be room for ventilation. I'm a big proponent of an inch of clearance to provide airflow. The NZXT Switch 810 has about half an inch of clearance. Secondly, if you are going to bottom mount the PSU, it's going to pull air in through the intake. There needs to be a filter on the case to stop dust from building up inside of the PSU. NZXT provides two seperate filters for the bottom of the Switch 810 case. These two filters are easily removable. They just slide right out toward the front or back of the case, respectively. The filter that isn't located under the PSU mounting area provides filtration for an optional case fan or water cooling radiator that can be installed there.
The bottom half of the front panel also contains filters for the possible two fans blowing air onto the hard drive cages. Since the only intake here is from the bottom right corner of the front panel, I'm not sure how much the filter will actually be catching. I guess any dust caught before it goes into the case is a good thing, though.
The top of the NZXT Switch 810 case sports a very interesting design. There is a removable panel on top that is lined with vents. The vents can be opened or closed by using a lever on the panel near the rear of the case. According to NZXT, the vents should be open if you desire more airflow and closed if you desire less noise. This gives you the option to design your case based on your needs. The top panel of the NZXT Switch 810 uses a latching system to close. Push down and the panel unlocks for removal, push down again and the panel locks back in place. There are no air filters on the top panel of the Switch 810, so if you leave the vents open, the panel itself is purely aesthetic. I think I might actually like the look of the top panel off instead. The fans should be placed to exhaust air out of the case, so as to avoid dust issues.
With the panel off, you can see the indented space there that can hold up to three 140mm fans. With the fans taken out, the empty space can hold a water cooling radiator up to 360mm in size. The fans can then be mounted under the radiator to push air through it. If you are using a air cooling system with an aftermarket CPU cooler, you may not be able to fit those fans in at the top of the motherboard tray on the Switch 810.
Now let's move inside the NZXT Switch 810.