The NZXT Whisper in all its glory.
Gaming hardware company, NZXT, may not be the first company that comes to mind when you’re thinking about a new case, however its latest products could rival that of the Zalman Z-Machine and the Antec P182.
First up, the Khaos, is an all black anodised 3mm aluminium design with two 120mm fans in the front, one 120mm in the top and rear and space for three 120mm right inside, between the end of the motherboard and optical bays.
All the fans sit at a very reasonable 1,100RPM and 22-23dBA - at this speed and noise level, they’re very reasonable to live with and the capacity for more certainly improves the cooling without the need to compromise on the style.
The thick aluminium makes it stronger and both the sides have rubber dampening along the rim. However this extravagance comes at a cost - $399 (available from next week in the States), so we wonder whether between this and the comparable weight to thinner steel, it would have been better to simply use steel and powder coat it instead for less cost.
Left: Whisper - front on; Centre and Right: Khaos
Other features include the option of a dual PSU; with an included cable to jump start the second one, a removable motherboard tray that drops out the back and wheels on the front with a handle on the top so you can drag your LAN luggage around.
It’s impressive, with a smart, clean style that will suit us Europeans, but something few people can afford unfortunately.
Left: Sentry LX; Right: Whisper - side open
Next is the Whisper case – this is NZXT's silent chassis solution that’ll suit even the most hardcore storage needs with ten individually removable hard drive bays which feature rubber isolation, in addition to six optical bays.
The case is steel and uncoloured inside, although it does feature 25mm thick sound dampening on all the major panels. Unlike the Khaos, the Whisper doesn’t overdo it on the noise front with just two 120mm fans front and rear, as well as two 80mm fans above the PSU in the back.
NZXT also has a pretty interesting fan controller too – the Sentry LX takes up two 5.25” bays and uses a similar VFD technology to the Zalman multi-fan controller we reviewed a while back. However, this has a slightly better viewing angle for looking down at it, but we have to say from the quick look we got it’s not overly impressive – there seems to be some fundamental limitations to the technology, even though the style of display always makes you want one. You can control up to five fans manually or automatically, as well as turning them off altogether if you don’t need them.
Interested in NZXT cases and fan controller? Let us know your thoughts in the forums