In the depths of hell
The inside of the Hades is actually not a bad place to build your PC. The fan cables and other sundry bits are already threaded neatly through it's ample cable routing holes which surround the motherboard. However when we attempted to make further use of these with the PSU cables, the rubber surrounds simply fell off in our hands and needed to be popped back on when we were done. Some superglue needed here we think.
The front 200mm fan is located at the bottom of the large stack of nine 5.25in bays and behind it is a 5.25in to 2.5in drive bay adapter which can hold two SSDs. There's no immediate way to mount your hard drive though, instead you have to secure adapters to it using proprietary screws on either side and then screw the creation to the drive bays. However this does sport rubber anti-vibration mounts and NZXT has included enough adapters to install up to four hard drives, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt, even if it's not the quickest and easiest way to mount a hard drive we've seen.
The 5.25in bays themselves feature tool-less clips which work well, allowing us to install our optical drive in about 20 seconds. Other nice features include a CPU area cut-out so you shouldn't have to remove your motherboard to install a new CPU cooler or waterblock. The PSU is mounted on four rubber blocks - also a welcome addition even if they appear to have been stuck on by a four year-old using a glue stick. There's also removable PSU fan filter.
We've already mentioned the side and front 200mm fans and the rear 120mm exhaust fan; but there's also a 140mm exhaust fan fitted in the roof. There's space for another fan next to the roof fan, which mounting holes for a dual 120mm-fan radiator.
Although there's plenty of room for long graphics cards, when we attempted to fit the side panel, we can across a mind-bogglingly stupid example of poor design.
With the 200mm side fan installed, there's a pathetic 131mm
of space left for the CPU cooler. Unfortunately this meant that not only did our test cooler foul the fan, but so will a vast majority of modern tower coolers including the Gelid Tranquillo
, Titan Fenrir
, Thermalright Venomous-X
- the list goes on and on.
To get the side panel on we had to remove the 200mm side fan, but as the mounting screws only thread into this and not the mesh, the latter was just left dangling and also needed to be removed. This left a large gaping hole in the side panel which just looks ridiculous.
This is a massive oversight on the part of NZXT, especially as the issue would be resolved if the side panel fan was lowered by just a couple of centimetres. As it stands, you not only have to remove the fan (a shame in itself as it's actually not bad), but there's no easy way to re-mount the mesh as the screws are too small to secure it.
If you're water-cooling your CPU or using the reference cooler or some other heatsink that's less than 131mm high, then you will be able to use the fan and not have a huge gaping hole in the side of your PC, but with its current design the Hades is essentially incompatible with modern high-performance CPU coolers. Doh.
A bit of glue may well hold the mesh in place on top of the screws but you shouldn't have to do this - there should at least be some way of re-securing the mesh.
While many side panel fans we've seen are large, shallow, pointless affairs, the 200mm beast that's included with the Hades actually shifts some air. It's inclusion is a good idea, but not if it leads to the compromises we've just talked about.