Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
Installation of my Seasonic M12 500W power supply proved to be a breeze. Just pop in the power supply, align it with the predrilled holes and secure it with four screws, and it's all secure. No 'gotchas' anywhere. The case is very spacious and provides more than enough room for all my components. In terms of build quality, the NZXT Beta is top notch as we've mentioned a couple pages back. From the black steel to the plastic, everything is sturdy and cleanly cut. The steel construction is of course, actually more durable than aluminum due to the physical property advantages of SECC. The only downside of steel construction is the overall weight of the case, as well as reduced heat conduction. The NZXT Beta is not a very heavy case at all though, as it may not have as many features as more complicated steel case designs.
Installation of hard drives was even easier than installing the power supply, thanks to the tool free plastic rails to mount the hard drives. We had to use the extra hole in the middle to secure the hard drive though. It was not necessary, but I used it to reinforce the hard drive mounting rails. Mounting for the 5.25" was just as easy with the plastic twist lock mechanism on both sides. The only annoying thing I found was the need to remove the right side panel to secure the drives in -- this was due to the fact we had to remove two non-thumbscrews for this purpose. It isn't too hard to implement two more thumbscrews in the back, to be honest.
The cabling is maybe a bit messy above, since there are various limitations of cable routing. Editor's note: That's because you're not Jonathan Kwan, haha.
With everything installed, the case doesn't look too different than when it was empty (But obviously feels a lot heavier hehe). However, in terms of installation, it was quite painless. Many enthusiasts love to build their gaming rigs as much as the next guy, but the simpler it is to build, the faster they can get back into gaming (Which is something I plan to do after this review! XD). That's not to mention that your computer is a lot more of a 'sleeper' with the NZXT Beta than anything else. Anyone using this case will appreciate all the little things offered, as well as how spacious the case is overall. Screws were only used for the power supply, motherboard, expansion card slots, rear exhaust fan that's not included, and the optional hard drive rails. For the rear exhaust fan, I conveniently took the additional fan included from our Thermaltake Spedo Advanced Package.
By plugging in everything and powering up my machine, we get a nice welcome from the NZXT Beta's front mounted blue LED fan, and blue power indicator LED. The blue color on the LEDs are probably the most distinctive aesthetic feature on this case. The Beta may seem a little on the odd at times, due to various elements on the plastic front panel. It is good to note the blue LEDs take a bit of the attention off its somewhat oddity in my personal opinion. With regards to the case I/O connectors, I had no trouble with the power LED cable as it was independently split to accommodate all power LED layouts on the motherboard (Trust me, I have experienced issues with this before). The front LED fan was actually not loud. From a scale of 1.0 to 10.0 where 1.0 is the quietest and 10.0 is loudest, the stock fan would sit in at a cool 4.5. We would like to say that it would be nice if NZXT included a better fan, but for less than $50 retail, again what more can be reasonably ask?
So how does the NZXT Beta case stack up against other so-called 'gaming inspired' cases? In what can only be described as an understatement: "It's 1337". Holding a MSRP of only $49.99 as of the publishing date, and retailing for as low as $40.00 at press time, this case has sure impressed us for its excellent value. The NZXT Beta is meant to be a wallet-friendly computer chassis, and it exceeded our expectations. The chassis has excellent build quality; from the black steel to the plastic front cover. Space was not an issue with the Beta, and it could fit in even the longest consumer graphics cards today. With a convenient top mounted full featured front input/output module, which even includes a eSATA port, just makes things easier. Anyone who thinks that affordable and quality can't be put together in the computer case market, the NZXT Beta will change your mind! Seriously, this case has so much packed in, from its commendable build quality, to the screwless internal drive bays. But then, as always for APH reviews, we always has suggestions for improvements. The issue with the missing rear 120mm exhaust fan is an unconventional cost cutting measure -- but at least we can see the money saved are actually invested back into the overall refinement of the chassis. Hiding cables through the back was nearly impossible, since the holes were easily blocked by the motherboard; as well as small clearing between the motherboard tray and rear panel. Installation of external 3.5" devices require user modifications, which may be inconvenient for those who has an *ahem* floppy disk drive or 3.5" card reader. Less significant issues would be the way the power button, reset button, and indicator LEDs attached to the plastic cover. Usage of two non-thumbscrews to secure the right side panel is also questionable, since it is needed for proper cabling as well as installation of the drives. Design of the plastic front panel is one of those things that is up to the preference of the user; personally I don't know about you -- but it is not to my taste much. Most of these are not significant issues, but these are the little things that differentiates a refined product and a 'beta' product (Of course, the NZXT Beta is not a 'beta' product, by any means. Don't get us wrong!). Improvements in these areas should be considered in NZXT Beta v2.0. All in all, the NZXT is easily one of the best budget cases on the market today. I would not be embarrassed to bring it to a LAN party at all!
Special thanks to Matt representing NZXT for making this review possible.
APH equal.balance Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.4/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
A very good budget "gaming" oriented case -- it needs some minor adjustments, and possibly inclusion of a rear exhaust fan to make this the most refined wallet-friendly case in the market today.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion