Introduction, Design Features
Every so mostly in computing, a record comes along that perpetually alters a landscape. History is filled with examples: 3D graphics cards, multi-core processing, a Internet, USB connectivity…the list goes on. We might be on a fork of nonetheless another one with practical existence (VR), an aged judgment innate anew when a Oculus RiftHTC Vive, a competing VR headset that has a subsidy of Valve, and Microsoft recently announced that a hardware partners, including Lenovo, HP, and Asus, are readying VR headsets starting during $299 for recover when a Windows 10 Creators Update arrives subsequent year.
Wondering what all this has to do with PC cases, and a NZXT S340 Elite specifically? VR is now a dissimilar product category, one that encompasses not usually headsets yet also subordinate products and accessories. Just as there are mechanism cases for beast gaming systems, home museum PCs, and all sorts of specialized tasks, a S340 Elite is a mid-tower framework focused on creation life easier for early adopters of VR. (What, we didn’t consider box and marginal makers would find a proceed to money in on a hype, too?)
A mechanism box for VR gamers runs a risk of being gimmicky, yet NZXT deserves credit for not going all-in with that approach. There’s a captivating puck that attaches to a front or side row from that we can hang your VR (or audio) headset. The box also has a brood of outmost ports that are conveniently positioned for today’s tethered VR-headset solutions. Beyond those details, though, a S340 Elite is a mid-tower for a different audience, not usually VR gamers.
The S340 Elite is also an ascent to a strange NZXT S340 expelled dual years ago. Rather than start from blemish with an all-new design, NZXT recycled a renouned mid-tower and updated it. Sure, partial of a reason was so a association could join a float on a VR hype train, yet a S340 Elite also addresses some shortcomings of a original, such as wire management.
Recycling an aged pattern can have a downsides, too. Some of a S340’s pattern flaws uncover their contemptible sides again in a S340 Elite, and we remarkable a few new issues to go around. We’ll plead them in some-more fact in a following sections.
Overall, however, a S340 Elite is an alleviation over a predecessor, one that’s estimable of care possibly you’re into VR gaming or not. It’s also pretty labelled during a $99.99 MSRP, a pardonable $20 to $30 reward over a S340. The Elite is slated to come accessible on Nov. 25, with pre-orders open during a time of this review’s writing, and a tangible travel pricing might good finish adult being lower. (The strange S340 now goes for $70 to $80 from several e-tailers.) Let’s take a closer look.
NZXT strew a black-and-blue tone mixed that’s accessible on a S340 Elite’s predecessor, withdrawal buyers with 3 tone options: matte black, matte white, and black and red. We perceived for examination a matte-black version, that has an all-black interior and exterior.
The black-and-red indication looks similar, save for a red cable-management bar that runs plumb inside a chassis. The matte white is embellished white inside and out.
The S340 Elite doesn’t take adult a ton of space. Measuring 18.7x8x17 inches (HWD), it qualifies as a mid-tower framework and is about a same distance as a roughly similar Corsair Carbide Clear 400C chassis we reviewed some months back. It also weighs about a same: 17.9 pounds for a S340 Elite, contra 18.1 pounds for a Carbide Clear 400C. We approaching a S340 Elite to be a heavier of a dual since of a hefty, tempered-glass side row that shows off a whole interior by a left side, yet it manages to be usually a hair lighter.
You can make out a slant-cut circumference on a gradual potion row when observation it adult close. It’s a pointed reason that gives a S340 Elite an atmosphere of gentry over other mid-towers in a cost range. We also puncture a ride screws that reason a potion in place. These are positioned on a black limit so as not to be a visible distraction…
They wouldn’t be many of one anyway, since a potion provides a large, open perspective of a interior. Gazes are serve drawn to a front-facing SSD mountain that allows we to uncover off your storage drive, should we name to use it…
It’s a captivating puck, though, that truly separates a S340 Elite from usually about each other box on a market, while giving NZXT adequate justification to representation this to VR gamers. The thought is that you’ll hang your VR headset—presumably an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive—on a rubberized accessory, that itself sticks to a front or right-side panel…
It’s a crafty convenience, yet by swinging your headset in a demeanour intended, it leaves a inside receptive to dust. We suggest gripping a can of dense atmosphere nearby. You can also use a puck to hang your audio headset or to conduct prolonged cables.
The puck simply separates in half. By positioning a dual halves about a feet apart, we can breeze cables adult in a grooved midsection, arrange of like rolling adult a vacuum-cleaner cord. Either way, it’s best to put something on a puck, differently it’s a bit of an distortion on an differently seemly chassis. (Of course, we can also usually leave it off.)
There will come a time when high-powered VR headsets will be wireless, yet for now a dual many renouned solutions both contingency be tethered to a PC. NZXT accounts for this by including adequate outmost I/O ports on a S340 Elite for possibly a Rift or a Vive. It even labeled that ports are dictated for VR use—two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. These are flanked by apart microphone and headphone jacks on a left and dual USB 2.0 ports on a right. There’s also a energy symbol and a expostulate activity LED.
An Oculus Rift will occupy both USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI port, since a Vive usually requires a singular USB 3.0 pier and possibly an HDMI or DisplayPort. It would be good if all 4 USB ports on S340 Elite were of a 3.0 variety, yet that would also force builders to find a motherboard with mixed USB 3.0 headers to use them all. They exist, yet they aren’t a norm.
That said, you’ll wish to compare your motherboard to a box delicately if we indeed meant to use a front ports on a Elite for a VR-headset hookup. You’ll need both a USB 3.0 pin header and a USB 2.0 header on a motherboard to bond adult these ports. Most play will have these, yet a few compress ones might not. As for a HDMI connection, we have dual ways to bond this. In a initial (and many some-more common) scenario, we need to run a case’s inner HDMI wire by a tiny opening in a behind of a framework and loop it behind to block it into an HDMI outlay on your VR-capable video card. (All will have one.) Alternately, a name few VR-ready video cards have an inner HDMI output, meant for usually this scenario. One instance is a EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition, that has an inside-the-case HDMI outlay connector on a trailing edge.
Thumbscrews everywhere on a S340 Elite, solely for a front panel. To mislay it, we squeeze reason of a bottom and wrench it out….or grip-it-and-rip-it, if we will. It takes some arm strength to cocktail a row off, and that shakes a certainty that a cosmetic clips holding it in place won’t mangle from a stress. That’s unfortunate, since behind a front row sits a dirt filter that runs from tip to bottom…
It’s something you’ll wish to purify intermittently to safeguard that cold atmosphere isn’t blocked from entering. Alternatively, we can lift it adult by reaching your fingers in a opening between a front row and case, like so…
NZXT includes a span of 120mm fans, one that’s commissioned adult tip and a other located in a rear. You can barter possibly one out for a 140mm fan, and we have dual additional fan mounts in a front ancillary both 140mm and 120mm fans. If you’d rather liquid-cool your setup, a back fan mountain supports radiators adult to 120mm in size, and a tip territory can residence a radiator adult to 280mm long. Of course, NZXT points out that this box is entirely concordant with a Kraken line of all-in-one glass coolers.