NZXT Switch 810 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Consistent with its exterior, the interior of the NZXT Switch 810 is also well furnished. Everything as painted white, so you will be left with no hint of any bare metal showing. As you can see in our photo above, the layout is quite standard as far as a full tower with a bottom mounted power supply is concerned. What we have here is a distinct but fixed motherboard tray in the standard location, six SATA hard drive bays in two separate racks to the right, and four externally accessible 5.25" drive bay on top. According to my measurements, the longest video card you can fit in the Switch 810 -- as limited by the fan fully tilted on the hard drive rack -- is 12". NZXT's website quotes 7.3", but I have no idea where they got that number from. With the fan in standard position, this number is increased to 13". If you still need more room for some unknown reason, the fan or even the entire hard drive rack can be removed. No video card is that long, but you get the idea.

The NZXT Switch 810 is able to accommodate mITX, mATX, ATX, XL-ATX, and eATX motherboards. The riser mounting holes are labeled for your convenience, with a legend engraved onto the motherboard tray. One 140mm rear exhaust fan and one 140mm top exhaust fan are situated around the CPU socket area for maximum cooling performance. Both stock fans feature a 3-pin header, and are plugged into a central control board at the back of the motherboard. We will get to that in just a short moment.

As shown in our photo above, we can spot a large polygon opening on the motherboard tray for easy aftermarket heatsink backplate installation without removing the motherboard itself from the chassis. The rather unique shape is implemented to accommodate different motherboards, so you can be sure that, unless you own some really weird components, you should have absolutely no issues taking advantage of this feature.

Because the NZXT Switch 810 features a bottom mounted power supply bay, the chassis platform is raised about a centimeter off the ground to accommodate units with fans at the bottom. Inside the chassis, six risers with rubber vibration dampeners elevate the power supply up a further centimeter, just to ensure enough air is made available to your PSU. The ventilation grille has an externally removable dust filter pre-installed as mentioned on the previous page, so you won't need to worry about nasty stuff clogging your fans down the road. Around the power supply bay are six openings for you to route cables behind the motherboard tray, which is awesome.

Nine ventilated expansion slot openings are built into the NZXT Switch 810. They can be considered tool-free thanks to the thumbscrews, but other than that, I don't have anything else interesting to say -- so let's move on.

Four 5.25" externally accessible drive bays are present on the NZXT Switch 810. One of them has a removable tray to accommodate one Serial ATA hard disk drive; you can see the corresponding backplate in our photo above. Internally, the chassis can accommodate up to six 2.5" or 3.5" HDD or SSDs oriented perpendicular to the chassis. They are separated into two independently removable racks. Traditionally, perpendicular hard drive racks will have the connectors facing out this way, but NZXT did it the other way around in this chassis. 3.5" hard disks can be installed tool-free by clipping them into the removable drive trays on the rack, but they are not very secure, so I would highly recommend you to use screws as well. These trays can also accommodate 2.5" drives.

One of the most unique features of the NZXT Switch 810 is the tilting central fan. As my description suggests, the 140mm fan between the hard drive rack and motherboard tray can pivot up to fifteen degrees to send air at different angles -- whether you want more airflow over your graphics card or processor, it is under your control. Not only that; you can install a second tilting fan right under it as well thanks to the extra mount. I think it is a great idea, and I would love to see this feature implemented in future NZXT enthusiast cases.

Here is a look at other side, where most people don't usually pay attention to. In my opinion, the back of the motherboard tray is quite fundamental to good cabling. This is especially held true with the NZXT Switch 810, since the company actually expects you to run cables through this section. In my opinion, this is, once again, a section where NZXT hit all the right notes. The gap between the side panel and motherboard tray is large enough to accommodate cables of different thickness. The insufficient gap problem is an issue seen on many cases, so I am very excited to see a breath of fresh air here. Also, the large motherboard tray is built in conjunction with a vast abundance of openings covered by rubber grommets to ensure appearance is not compromised by accessibility. A large motherboard tray is desirable so cables running behind it will not show through on the other side. Lots of openings placed in the right location is needed, so cables can actually reach this side in the first place. NZXT got both of it right.

Unfortunately, all this praise is not uninterrupted by a moment of "double-you-tee-eff". Earlier in this page, I have said that all fan cables are routed to a central control board located at the back of the motherboard tray, as you can see in our photo above. This is nice and all; the PCB is even removable, thanks to its Velcro attachment straps. The thing is, this control board lacks one very crucial item: Control. With four 3-pin fans attached by default, and the ability to power up to six by a single Molex power connector, it actually cannot adjust fan speed by any means -- forcing you to operate all your case fans at full speed. Quiet PC enthusiasts, let out your sighs now. With a centralized fan connection in place already, I think an integrated controller really isn't too much to ask for next time.

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