Author: Stephen Duffin
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/nzxt_evo_review/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
NZXT has produced another case in the Beta line up: the EVO. The EVO has the same simple lines as the original BETA. In fact I really had to take a close look at it because I thought I received the wrong chassis. Upon further inspection of the EVO it was clear that this is in fact a new chassis to some extent, although the exterior has remained almost identical to its predecessor, there are a few minor differences.
Still falling under NZXT's Classic series the EVO is not a "looker" that might appeal to the hardcore enthusiasts or gamers, but instead to the wider sub $100 market.
The focus with the EVO compared to the original BETA seems to have shifted as well, increasing the total possible airflow to all of our rigs internal components. With support for up to six 120mm fans or four 120mm fans and two optional 140mm fans up top, the potential expandability has increased dramatically when referring to air flow.
With all the new possible fan placement options available, I expect the EVO to give us better temperatures than the Beta ever could hope to do. So let's just dive into this case and see what it has to offer us in terms of functionality.
The exterior of the EVO is as I said pretty darn close to the original, but with a few minor differences. Looking at the front bezel you're not going to see any difference at all, you still have the four 5.25 inch external drive bays. The power and reset switches and a 120mm blue back lit intake fan.
The right hand side panel is also the same as the original, there are two spaces for 120mm intake fans. The left hand side panel is just a flat panel with a small indentation to use as a handle to remove the panel.
The back of the chassis is where we start to notice the minor differences between the two cases. The EVO has the PSU bay at the bottom where as the Beta had it at the top. The expansion slots are obviously moved up to accommodate the PSU at the bottom which in turn affects the water cooling loop holes in the chassis, instead of sitting horizontally below the optional 120mm exhaust fan bay they flipped them into a vertical position and set them in the extra ventilation holes beside the expansion slots. Just above the expansion slots is where the option 120mm exhaust fan sits as well as the I/O panel for the mother board.
Moving to the top of the chassis we see yet another small difference between the two cases. As minor of a change as it is this could make a big difference in the cooling prowess of the EVO, here they have added two slots for optional 120/140mm exhaust fans. This is also where they USBX2, e-Sata, Mic and head phone jacks are located.
The interior of the EVO is completely painted black giving it a very nice overall appearance, but the finish scratches quite easily down to bear metal, so you want to be careful when installing your components or may need to respray to keep that finished look.
The seven expansion slots are not tool-less but they are made from a light weight mesh material that should help with heat dissipation inside the chassis.
The PSU bay is mounted at the bottom of the chassis and NZXT has supplied a removable filter dust filter for maintenance of the PSU just remove four screws from the bottom of the case and it comes out quite easily. The motherboard tray is not removable but there is a very large hole, in it if you ever decide to upgrade your cooler and need access to the retention bracket you won't have to remove the mobo to swap it out.
The hard disk drives and optical drive bays are a tool-less design which is always a great feature to have if you swap out components on a continual basis.
The installation of all the components is quite amiable, other than the typical hassles of a mid-tower chassis and the draw backs of its small disposition.
To test the NZXT Beta EVO I will be taking temperatures of our setup running inside the case at idle and in load states, in degrees Celsius. I will be using the programs Speed Fan and Core Temp to monitor the system, and Prime 95 to create the highest temps possible. Each test will be run for 30 minutes. Ambient room temperature is set at 17 degrees Celsius.
• Processor: AMD Phenom 1 9650
• Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum
• Memory: 4 gigs Corsair 1250 MHz
• Video Card: Sapphire 4850
• Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S183L
• CPU Cooler: Evercool Buffalo
• OS: Windows 7 64bit
• Power Supply: OCZ 600W
Hard disk drive: 500 gig WD
With this test I decided to put all of the extra fans in the chassis to see what the actual temperatures would end up being, instead of running it stock. As you can see the EVO does a satisfactory job at maintaining temperatures but I wouldn't through a high end system like an i7 or AMD 965 in here. With all of the extra fans and the same lack luster wire management system as the BETA this case was jam packed with the covers on it. I still believe with better wire management this cases temps could still improve.
The Beta Evo is still a chassis that does not give the WOW factor that I like to have when buying a case. NZXT has expanded the cooling capability's which is always a good addition to any chassis, but still only comes with one fan. That being said I still recommend to install all available fans before running any sort of system in it.
The features of the EVO are pretty good: like the tool-less retention systems for the HDD's and Optical disk drives, all of the available fan slots, the painted interior giving that manicured look that we all like to have, and let's not forget the removable dust filter for the optional intake fans under the front bezel.
You still get major name branding behind this case, and it seems very sturdy and well built from the sample I received. Over all I think NZXT has done themselves a favor with this version of the Beta line and created a product that the consumer can get behind at a very low cost.
The Beta EVO weighs in at 7.82KGs (or 17lbs) and still only costs around the fifty dollar mark, so you just can't beat the price for what is offered in this package. I recommend this chassis for anyone who wants to build on the cheap but is still hoping for some of the high end offerings that you see in the more expensive cases.
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