Introducing the NZXT Switch 810

NZXT recently released the Switch 810, a new high-end full tower model they proudly had on display at CES at the same time they were seeding samples to reviewers. It's a looker to be sure, but NZXT's engineers also played a lot with the insides of the enclosure, and what they've put together is a chassis with a remarkable number of uncommon features designed to appeal to enthusiasts who want to maximize both the utility of their machines along with the control they have over that utility. It looks great on paper and great on display, but how does it work in practice?

NZXT seems to be developing a taste for angular designs, but it's something I don't particularly mind. This is definitely the biggest case of theirs we've tested so far; while the others have been gunning for the elusive and lucrative sub-$99 market, this bad boy is set to go to market at $169. So while less expensive enclosures can play the balancing act between acoustics and thermals, when you're playing in this price bracket you need to bring both. That's a tall order when you're competing with enclosures like Antec's P280 and Rosewill's Thor v2--both of which aren't just excellent performers, they're cheaper too. Here's the quick overview of the Switch 810 specs.

NZXT Switch 810 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25" (one occupied by 3.5" hotswap bay)
Internal 6x 3.5"/2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 140mm intake fan (additional 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount)
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan (height adjustable)
Top 1x 140mm exhaust fan (additional 2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts)
Inside 1x 140mm adjustable fan (additional 1x 120mm/140mm adjustable fan mount)
Bottom 2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts
Expansion Slots 9
Front I/O Port 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, SD card reader, mic and headphone jacks
Top I/O Port -
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 14" (Expansion Cards), 190mm (CPU HSF), 220mm (PSU)
Weight 20 lbs (9.1 kg)
Dimensions 9.25" x 23.4" x 23" (235mm x 595mm x 585mm)
Price MSRP $169

In a statement worthy of a marketing department, the word "Switch" isn't just a name, it's a philosophy and a design style. NZXT's enclosure has a lot of bells and whistles and really is designed to be as customizable as possible. What isn't listed on the spec sheet is an included pin block that converts six 3-pin fan headers to a single 4-pin molex header, white LEDs around the I/O cluster and expansion backs on the back that can be toggled on and off, and a vent on the top that can be opened, closed, or removed entirely. There is a lot going on with the Switch 810, so let's get a little more comfortable with it.

In and Around the NZXT Switch 810
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  • Margalus - Wednesday, February 01, 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 02, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 02, 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 02, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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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