Assembling the NZXT Switch 810

Thankfully, putting together a system inside the NZXT Switch 810 is fairly simple and run-of-the-mill. It's a sizable case, but at 20 pounds it isn't woefully unwieldy either. I was disappointed to see the motherboard standoffs weren't pre-installed. This is a little thing and only takes a minute or two, but it's a courtesy some of the other case manufacturers include and I wish NZXT had as well. Popping the I/O shield in was a little more difficult than usual, but that's due to how malformed it is from having been inserted into and removed from twenty cases. Actually installing the board was fine, though, as was wiring everything up.

Installing the drives was easy, too. The bezel for the 5.25" bay pops off without any hassle, and then from there you can slide the optical drive in, lock it into place, then pop the bezel back on. I was impressed at how well the button on the bezel lined up with the drive. Our 3.5" drive pops into a toolless drive tray, but I'm not a huge fan of NZXT's trays: they're flexible in the wrong ways, can be difficult to actually remove, and the pins don't go in as easily as I'd like. Getting our 1TB Western Digital drive in took a bit of force. Thankfully, the 2.5" drive goes in the same way they always do (mounted to the bottom of the drive tray with four screws), but here also lies a problem: the connectors on the back of the drive don't line up with the 3.5" drive above it. Instead, the 2.5" drive is recessed due to how it mounts on the tray. Cabling one while 3.5" drives are installed around it may be a minor nuisance.

Finally, installing the video card and power supply was as easy as you'd expect with a full-tower case, and our GTX 580 offered plenty of clearance for the directional internal fan mounted to the drive bay behind it.

Cabling things was also easy, but it should be mentioned that many of the modular cables we use with our SilverStone power supply were stretched close to their limits. NZXT includes an extension cable for the AUX 12V line (and with all that headroom above the motherboard that line has never been easier to connect), but be forewarned that if you go with the Switch 810 you may need some extensions depending on your power supply.

Our build wound up being reasonably clean, and while I would've appreciated maybe an extra millimeter or two of space behind the motherboard tray, there's still a reasonable enough amount. The side panels didn't require any real pressure to replace. Basically, so far so good: the case is easy to build in and feature rich. So how does it perform?

In and Around the NZXT Switch 810 Testing Methodology
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  • Margalus - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    I think it's probably the psu makers that have told the case makers to do this. that way the psu's burn out from dust long before they would if they were mounted at the top of the case. That way the psu makers can sell a lot more psu's than they would otherwise.

    seriously though, I agree 110%. I would never buy a case with a bottem mount psu, it is just not practical. Everytime I open my case I have to vacuum out a 1/4 inch of dust and fuzz off of the bottom of the case where it gets sucked in and settles. If a psu was on the bottom it would suck all that in which would not be good.
    Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    On a bottom-mounted PSU, the PSU does not either intake or exhaust into the case. (see gallery - the fan points down, not up into the case.)

    Any dust that gets into the case will not get into the PSU. Just make sure there is reasonable clearance under the case, so you get decent airflow...
    Reply
  • Alecthar - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    I generally find cable management to be (at best) a wash, when deciding based on PSU mounting. There are difficulties either way.

    As for the bottom PSU mounting, if you purchase a case with a filtered PSU vent (almost all cases with bottom mounted PSUs feature some kind of filter) and clean it regularly (as you should any PC, to keep dust buildup to a minimum) then you should experience no adverse effects on PSU lifespan. And it's not like having it constantly sucking in hot air (when it's intake fan is inside the case at the top) is somehow better for it than taking some time every few weeks to dust off a filter.
    Reply
  • danacee - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    I have it in my desk a few inches off the ground with filters everywhere that actually mounts it off the ground, but still despite diligently cleaning out the filter my Corsair HX1050 has dust in places no PSU should have ever. I am not a smoker, clean diligently and have filters over every intake in the computer, yet the machine gets soo fricken dirty so fast.

    These up and out case designs are just really bad, I love the way this NZXT looks, but just know it will be just as bad as my Corsair Obsidian. I really think there is a 3 inch no fly zone where dust hovers and gets kicked up from movement and the major flaw with these trendy up and out cases; is they tap directly into it. Would make a great design for an actual Air Filter, but not for cases.
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Maybe you need to vacuum/sweep your floor more often. And yes, I have a bottom mount psu case, filters and have my case under my desk on the floor in a computer stand that gives it an inch of clearance off the rug. I clean the filters regularly and vacuum out the case periodically. Reply
  • danacee - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    that is always what people say when some new trend is found inadequate, never considering how much is too much.

    But yes I do weekly(I am a female and am sensitive to dust) and no, my case does not get stuffed full of dirt. The problem is how much more I need to clean out the fricken thing because some idiot thought it was a good idea to give it the airflow of an upright Hoover.

    FYI I had an older front back out based airflow case and the thing in the very same stop and despite heavier use, never collected dust at the same rate. Also my primary work machine is a Mac Pro, same story.
    Reply
  • another voice - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    i have bottom mount psu - i just installed it fan side up so it sucks air out case and out back of psu. surely thats the ideal situation...

    and to the tin foil hat guy who think its conspiracy to break your psu - lol enjoy life.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Is there a reason you don't just flip the PSU around so that it draws the intake air from inside the case? To me it seems like up or down don't really matter in most situations, for most people. In the few where it matters, it matters for people smart enough to know which way to go. Reply
  • zero2dash - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Funny, I've never heard of a bottom mounted PSU "blowing up". In fact, any time a PSU "blows up" it's because it inherently is flawed; not because of how it was mounted in a case.

    Either turn the PSU upside down, take your case off the floor, or buy one of the dozens of top mounted PSU cases still widely available.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    As massive as some PSUs have gotten I think mechanical constraints are part of it. You need solid support to hold it in place on the top now on the bottom you can just use the existing metal.

    A case this huge could have it mounted sideways on the bottom though and avoid the carpet clogging and worst of the dust sucking problems in the process.
    Reply

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