NZXT Whisper Author: faceless105 -- Posted: 2008-11-26
One of my favorite areas of computing is the case. While this doesn't do really anything by itself, it's pretty interesting to see how far these have come from the plain beige cases that just used to simply hold the components of your computer. Today we'll be reviewing the NZXTWhisper, built with one main focus, noise reduction.
I'll start off with some of the really straight forward facts before getting into the specialties. The Whisper comes ready to mount up to nine hard drives, six 5.25 drives, and one additional 5.25 bay with an adapter for a card reader, or floppy drive. The PSU is mounted on the bottom, and the case is ventilated with two 120mm fans (one intake, one exhaust) and two 80mm fans for additional exhaust.
The NZXTWhisper is like I said, built for noise reduction, and it has these features deployed all over the place. The first and most easily noticeable is the entire case is lined with a 10mm thick noise dampening foam padding.
In addition to the foam, the hard drive trays have rubber mounts to reduce noise from vibrations, and even the PSU comes with a noise reducing rubber pad.
Beyond the noise, the Whisper does aim at usability. The case has a very tool-less design. The side panel has nice large thumb screws. All of the drive bays have a tool-less locking design. Even the hard drives, while not being completely tool-less, slide out to make things far easier to install. In addition to the tool-less design, the Whisper offers a top pop-up for USB, Audio, and eSata.
Now for the cooling overview. The first 120mm exhaust fan is positioned on the back of the case, right in line with the CPU cooler, helping greatly to vent that heat. The PSU is mounted on the bottom of the case and has two 80mm fans directly above it. The 120mm intake fan is in the front of the case towards the bottom. This in combination with the two 80mm fans, creates a very direct path of cooling for the hard drives and is also intended to prevent heat from the PSU from rising to the motherboard.
Now it's time for the first hand experience. Installing everything was a very easy process. The toolless design does save a lot of time and hassle. The cd drives are easy to snap into place. The locking system has two pins that would take the place of screws that lock into the drive bay, holding the drive in place.
The same can be said for the hard drives. Removing the tray is really convenient, and you can feel that while it still has some room to move, it is very solid and in place.
Overall this was probably one of the quickest full system installs I've done.
Now for the pro's and cons.
- The cases design for noise reduction will put cooling in as a factor. The fans are adequate, but aimed at noise, so if you're building a gaming case, you might want to invest in higher end cooling.
- The same can be said for the hard drive trays. While I think the air flow is fine, I still wish I was able to keep my hard drive coolers in place.
- lastly, the foam padding does make routing cables a little messier. You can no longer run them behind the motherboard.
- The locking design isn't completely secure feeling for devices that only use the front screws, such as some card readers. It also does not accommodate devices that occupy two drive bays unless they have a notch cut across the center of them.
- The case runs at nearly silent levels. I'm not able to notice my system is on anymore until I'm sitting next to it.
- The hard drive capacity would make this an incredible candidate for a storage center.
- The case looks great and has a very solid feel.
- The top pop-up is incredibly convenient, and easily accessible, since the case door doesn't even need to be opened.
Overall, while this case does have a few handicaps, I think it is an excellent case. It's built very solid and does really achieve its goal of keeping the volume down. Of course the case also has a really nice look to it with the black plastic and metal casing with blue LEDs lighting it's really hard to go wrong.
If you guys are looking for a new case, and volume is a concern, the NZXTWhisper is one of the best options I've seen so far. With the noise dampening, you're able to have more powerful equipment in the case and get away with much lower noise levels.
I think I'm shorting you guys a bit on the pics, so here's a ton more There were just soo many specific features to focus on, I didn't get all the general ones, haha