NZXT Beta Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

In terms of dimensions, the NZXT Beta is the size of an average mid-tower case. It is constructed of steel that has been painted completely black; excluding the front panel which is made of plastic for easy removal. Steel mesh is used for the construction of each of the 5.25" bay covers which allows for better airflow -- but also collects dust easily after short periods of use. Aesthetically speaking, the case probably won't win any beauty contests in my opinion, but I can objectively comment that its build quality is solid. From the plastic panel up front with the "interestingly" designed plastic fins, to the steel construction throughout the case, feels very sturdy. Even the plastic, although appears to be quite cheap to put it in simple terms, it is also quite strong for something of this caliber.

Across the front are four 5.25" drive bays, and a hidden 3.5" floppy disk drive bay on the chassis. The internal 3.5" bay requires removal of the front cover in order to access it. Not exactly the best solution if you happen to want a floppy bay or memory card reader installed in your rig -- but this could be easily solved by using a 5.25" to 3.5" bay converter (Available at extra cost, of course). If you do happen to do this, it may be a challenge for some to find one with a matching color scheme.

Located in the downward curve near the middle of the case is where the power and the reset buttons are located. They are located directly across from each other; and are both triangular in shape -- with the power button located on the left, and the reset button on the right. Both of these buttons are translucent, and incorporates glowing blue LEDs behind them. The power LED resides behind the power button, while the HDD activity LED is located behind the reset button.

The left side panel of the NZXT Beta features a plain steel panel; it has no window or any other features -- nor did we really expect it to due to justified cost reasons. There are two vents for two additional 120mm fans that can be mounted to the inside of this side panel. One is located near the middle; while the other is oriented closer to the base of the case. This could be quite useful for additional cooling and airflow, or to put in some of color changing LED fans such as those in the Thermaltake Element G if you really really wanted to, haha. Again, it is not surprising that this side panel is relatively simplistic, as this is a budget gamer's case -- and the NZXT Beta is clearly better in build and features than most cases at this price point. We dare say that the build quality is a even potential match for those more expensive "gaming" cases, which costs a good chunk over the market value of this product.

The converse side of the case is also consistently simple as the aforementioned. In essence, it is the same as the opposite side; except without vents for the two fans. Overall, the shape of the NZXT Beta is a standard rectangular case with smoothed out corners, so you don't manage to cut yourself while constructing your rig. Only the plastic front panel breaks the mold on the rectangular design. Instead, it is bumped out in a semi-circular manner.

Just like many standard budget cases, the NZXT Beta uses a standard component configuration -- where the power supply is mounted at the top of the case instead of the bottom. The one thing that is most noticeable missing is the rear 120mm exhaust fan. This seems particularly cheap to not include an exhaust fan, especially when the OEM cost is particularly low. Of course, sacrifices has to be made for a case that costs less than $50 retail in this case, and still retain commendable build quality. Below the location where a rear 120mm fan may be installed, water cooling cutouts are also implemented on this chassis for anyone looking to add liquid cooling to their system. Under that are seven expansion slots, which have a meshed placeholder for additional airflow. It seems sort of counterproductive without an exhaust fan, as it does help in the overall heat dissipation of this chassis without affecting standard airflow patterns. Both panels can be removed after unscrewing the screws found on each side.

Standard front I/O connectors are mounted at the top of the NZXT beta. Each of the ports are clearly labeled from left to right, including: audio output jack, audio input jack, two USB ports, and an eSATA port. The USB and eSATA ports are spaced just enough that most standard USB or eSATA devices can fit without blocking its adjacent port. eSATA is a great addition to the front connectors, and we are impressed by the fact that it has been included in this budget oriented case.

The bottom of the case has four small circular rubber feet that reduce vibrational noise, grip, and residing surface protection. There are no vents at the base of the Beta, nor is it really necessary.

As mentioned before, the NZXT Beta uses a top mounted PSU design, as well as a mount for a 120mm fan which is purchased separately. Two thumbscrews are used to open the left side panel; while the right side panel uses two standard Philips-head screws.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion