UK Price (as reviewed):£39.98 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed):$49.99 (ex Tax)
The last case we looked at from NZXT was its £200 Phantom 820, which did a fantastic job of justifying its premium price tag. Today, however, we're going to the other end of the market and looking at NZXT's Source 210 Elite case, which goes for the measly price of £40. Therefore, the challenge for NZXT this time around is to provide something basic but with enough features and performance to stand out, a task recently made all the more difficult by Xigmatek's excellent Midgard II.
At £40, the Source 210 really is cheap. However, with its painted white exterior (and interior) accentuated by the black edging on the front panel, it maintains a relatively smart aesthetic for so cheap a chassis. It's also nice to see that NZXT hasn't gone completely overboard with meshing or plastic sections, which can seriously detract from a case's visual appeal.
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When you first lay hands on it, you can easily tell that it's a fairly cheap case, as the steel used is thinner and lighter than what we're used to. As with the majority of budget cases, the build quality could certainly be improved, as there's a little bit of flex under pressure here and there, but it's by no means disastrous. The use of fully or partially rubberised case feet would have been preferable to the all plastic ones NZXT has gone with.
With a 120mm and 140mm fan included by default, the £40 price tag is even more appealing. The smaller of these is in the rear exhaust position and the larger one is up top, also mounted as an exhaust. Though the lack of an intake fan might at first appear like an odd choice, we've seen a twin exhaust setup work very favourably for the equally wallet friendly Antec One. In so cheap a case we can look past the lack of fan control, but the omission of any dust filtering material whatsoever is an oversight too far, and means that your components will by quite prone to getting clogged up.
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Those looking to expand their cooling setup will find two 120mm front intakes resting behind the front panel, and another one in the floor of the case. The left side panel hosts a single 120mm/140mm fan mount, and likewise the roof has an extra one of these alongside the one that's already occupied, for a total of seven mounts. Finally, the rear of the case has a pair of holes
With just two USB ports and the standard pair of audio jacks, the front I/O panel is about as sparse as they get these days, although at least one of the USB ports is a USB 3 one with its own internal header. Unlike the roof panel, the front panel does pull off of the case, but you won't be able to fully remove it without bringing the cabling that's attached to it with you.
Dimensions (mm) 195 x 495 x 440 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Available colours Black, white (reviewed)
Front panel Power, reset, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, stereo, microphone
Drive bays 3 x external 5.25in, 8 x internal 3.5in
Form factor(s) ATX, Micro-ATX
Cooling 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 2 x 120mm/140mm roof fan mounts (1 x 140mm fan included), 2 x 120mm front fan mounts, 1 x 120mm/140mm side fan mount, 1 x 120mm bottom fan mount (fans not included)
CPU cooler clearance 160mm
Maximum graphics card length 295mm (410mm with HDD cage removed)
Extras 230mm (with drive installed); 330mm (no drive installed)