NZXT Beta Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Removing the left side panel of the NZXT Beta, I was immediately greeted by the easy access internals of this case. For a standard mid-tower, the interior is relatively spacious, and will fit almost all modern day components that aren't exceedingly offensive in size. There is even enough room for graphic cards that run up to 10.5" long -- which is exactly the length of the hardcore NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295. One could arise the question of anyone getting the Beta is willing to spend the cash for a GTX 295, but the option to fit such a card is a great addition. You never know -- maybe the person buying this case is saving money to concentrate it all on the graphics card. Anyway, the inside of the case is also painted black, unlike some budget cases that leaves the interior raw and unpainted. It's these little things that matter the most in cases cases, especially when both the consumer and manufacturer is trying to make the most out of their available budget.

As mentioned several times previously, the power supply unit is mounted near the top of the case. Two small pieces of steel keeps the power supply on a level surface to the screws for easy mounting and additional support. These guiderails are somewhat strong, but are still malleable if they are misaligned, or if the power supply is a bit oversized. However, the power supply bay is still quite spacious -- and should accommodate most power supplies regardless. Also seen is the external SATA cable leading into the case for an internal connection, which is more than acceptable in length and will reach SATA connectors on most the motherboard easily.

Mounting holes for motherboards are predrilled and are done in a clean fashion. The motherboard tray is not removable, but again this is nothing out of the ordinary. The NZXT Beta readily supports both ATX and mATX motherboards; and the essential mounting holes are mostly labeled to an extent. That's to say that the labeling can still be somewhat confusing at times, because there is no included instruction manual. However, figuring out which holes shouldn't be a challenge for most experienced computer builders.

On the NZXT Beta, there are a total of four externally accessible 5.25" drives bays, and one semi-accessible external 3.5" drive bay. As mentioned before, necessary user modifications must be made to make the 3.5" drive bay externally accessible.

On the positive side, all drive bays incorporate a screwless installation system, including the 3.5" drive bay in question. This is done by using black plastic twist locks. One twist lock must be installed on each side to securely lock the installed drive into place. These plastic locks are nothing new -- but NZXT's implementation of such on the Beta is a big plus in terms of installation -- especially for a budget oriented product.

The rail for the side panel can also be seen near the top, although it isn't anything uber special by any means. Regardless of its status versus modern innovations, easy removal and reinstallation of the side panel is more than what we expected from NZXT. Simplicity may actually be a virtue to the Beta.

While the NZXT Beta has its front panel connectors located at the top of the case, the cables are already pre-routed to approach the middle of the motherboard tray. These cables are neatly hidden between a small gap between its 3.5" drive bays and the motherboard tray. It may be quite hard to hide these cables without using a zip tie later on. The one problem we see with this is for the power button, reset button, and front LEDs, as they are attached to the removable plastic front panel.

All five of the internal 3.25" hard drive bays also use a screwless mechanism. A plastic rail is added to both sides and are inserted into the drive bays with ease. There is an additional hole on the plastic rail in the middle to allow for usage of only one screw; while the first and third screws are just small cylindrical metal inserts. I found myself using this one hole often to screw on the plastic rail, since I felt that it was a bit flimsy when not installed in the slot. The hard drive is secure in the bay, even without the extra screw. It just makes it more secure on removal and installation.

The back panel of the Beta is very simplistic, there is no exhaust fan in the back as mentioned before. Optimally, one should be installed to improve airflow in this case. Water cooling cutouts are placed just below the exhaust fan mount. Installation of water cooling may prove a challenge since the cutouts are less than 20mm below the fan.

Seven expansion slots can be found below that, they are meshed and increases the overall airflow of the case. These use a standard screw installation requiring the use of a Phillips head screw to secure the expansion cards. This is accounted for due to the economical nature of the case.

Removing the right side panel reveals the back of the motherboard tray, as well as the small cutouts for cable management. I found these holes to be quite useful but a little bit too small for some of the bigger cables. The cutouts may seem to be quite big but when the motherboard is installed, it's a whole different ball game. The standard ATX motherboard blocks enough of the cutout that some cables such as an IDE cable barely fits through the cutout to reach the other side of the motherboard tray. The bottom cutout is also too small to fit any IDE cables properly.

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