NZXT Hades Case ReviewManufacturer: NZXT
UK Price (as reviewed): £62.03 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $89.99 (ex. TAX)
We've reviewed a number of sub-£100 cases recently. The Fractal Design R2, Xigmatek Utgard
and Cooler Master CM 690 II
are all worthy of consideration if you're looking at spending no more than a ton. We've also reviewed a few cases in this price range from NZXT too, but examples such as the Whisper
have failed to impress.
Unfortunately these mediocre results were pretty much across the board with cooling, features and build quality all proving to be sub-par compared to the likes of the Utgard and CM 690 II. This doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in NZXT, especially as it's not the newest kid on the block and has had plenty of time to see what works and what doesn't. Also, lets face it - we're not talking rocket science here - we just expect a case that works well and doesn't fall to bits at this price.
However, while we're usually right about these things, we review each product as a separate entity as we've seen plenty of examples in the past where gems appear amongst the germs.
The Hades costs £62 at the time of writing so is one of the cheapest cases we've looked at in the last 12 months. Looking at it from the front, it's certainly not off to a good start; it looks pretty hideous with a protruding barbecue prong-shaped door exposing a large mesh behind which sits a hefty 200mm intake fan. The power button is located at the top of the two leg-like prongs so powering the system on feels like you're somehow molesting the case; not a pleasant experience to go through every time you turn on your PC.
The door is magnetic and feels fairly well made and while the gaping hole at the bottom is ungainly, it may well improve airflow compared to a solid door. At the top is a small, clear, acrylic rectangle, through which shines a red temperature read-out display from three thermal probes included with the Hades. However, the display is so dim that you'll struggle to see it in a well lit room from any angle other than head on.
The left side panel features yet another 200mm fan hidden behind a large swathe of fine mesh. The mesh is held in place by four standard fan mounting screws which secure to the fan on the inside of the case - not the most attractive way of doing things.
As you've probably spotted above, there are two knobs on the front of the Hades and the tech-savvy out there have probably guessed that these are fan controllers. You'd be right - two channel fan control is a pretty awesome feature to have on a case costing a tad over £60. Each controller can handle up to 8W, enough for a couple of fans.
To the fan controllers is the reset button, a good place as it should prevent those accidental, essay-killing knocks. The rear of the Hades is a pretty standard affair with the token rubber water-cooling grommets and rear 120mm exhaust fan although the vented expansion slot covers are a nice touch. On the roof above the door are two USB 2 ports, an eSATA port as well as headphone and mic jacks.