NZXT Source 530 Full Tower Case

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AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 5~10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The NZXT Source 530 strikes a nice balance between airflow and noise, proving that a heavily ventilated model can find the sweet spot just as well as more closed designs. Versatility is great as it offers an ample amount of clearance for all major components and CPU coolers of all sizes, support for a fair number of drives, removable/interchangeable drive cages, and plenty of fan placements. A fan controller for the hub would have been welcome, but at least the included fans sound sublime and hard drive vibration is limited. Though not a quiet case by design, it has the major strengths PC sileners seek.

Despite being the best performing NZXT case we've tested thus far, it is possibly the least NZXT-like model in appearance. The exterior lacks the clean lines of the S340, the striking asymmetry of the H440, and it is not offered in multiple colors. The ceiling grate is an eyesore, jutting out from the rest of the chassis, and the spot housing the hard drive LED looks droopy and sad. On the inside, it doesn't attempt to hide the drive bays, power supply, and cabling. Instead of making the interior neater, they utilized a small, oddly shaped window to keep the mess out of view. The lighting at the back is a nice touch, but overall, it lacks the style exuded by most of NZXT's lineup.

The Source 530's appearance is a stark contrast to the Fractal Design Define S and Define R5, but it surprisingly offers comparable performance for a reasonable US$90. It's a splendid choice for an enthusiast tower case, if you don't mind its pedestrian aesthetics.

Our thanks to NZXT for the Source 530 case sample.


The NZXT Source 530 is recommended by SPCR

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Fractal Design Define S Tower Case
Zalman Z11 Neo ATX Case

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