Conclusion: Jack of All Trades, Master of None

NZXT's Switch 810 is, at least on paper, a pretty awesome enclosure. During assembly there were times when I seriously considered moving my personal desktop out of my SilverStone FT02 and into the Switch 810 just because of how much I appreciated both the look and the features. The FT02 is a fantastic case but even SilverStone will tell you it isn't exactly easy to service. Theoretically the directable internal fans should've been fantastic, and I wish more case designers would include an SD card reader as a standard feature (thus allowing them to dispense with 3.5" external bays entirely). I can also see the togglable LEDs for the I/O cluster and expansion slots in the back being incredibly useful. So what's the problem?

The problem is that the Switch 810 doesn't really perform. Thermally it definitely ranked at or below its chief competition when it came to the problem parts, the CPU and GPU. Those GPU temperatures were especially poor given a solution that really should've improved them, not made them worse. The adequate temperatures would've been excusable if the Switch 810 were at least silent, but it loses on that front as well, offering the highest idle noise I've ever tested in both our stock and overclocked configurations. There's no way around it: NZXT should've included a fan controller (and perhaps better/quieter fans as well). While I'm sure they would be happy to sell you one of their own fan controllers, the Switch 810 is already selling for an MSRP of $169.

I think there's ultimately a market for the Switch 810 for users that can take advantage of all of its customizability, as well as users who want to employ a tremendous amount of custom watercooling. For them it's going to be worth checking out. If you don't need to install a 360mm radiator, though, Rosewill's Thor v2 remains the superior buy. It performs better, costs less, and is quieter to boot. NZXT's case is a good one, but not great, and definitely not competitive at $169.

Noise and Thermal Testing, Overclocked
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  • Zstream - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    That has better noise control? Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Looking at the construction materials, design, etc, I just don't understand how this needs to be selling at $170. Is the price set merely to differentiate from other products? Can't some researcher actually find out what it costs to manufacture such a case? THAT is what I'd like to read. Ditto for motherboards. Reply
  • Morg. - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Speaking about the price tag ... Why not get a HAF X instead ? I mean there's a bunch of more interesting features, better cooling ... I think NZXT missed the point with this one.

    And on the other hand .. you can get so much quieter with other cases/. meh.
    Reply
  • domezone - Saturday, February 4, 2012 - link

    Attempting to justify price tags on logical points such as material costs as well as labor costs is illogical. Any amount of overhead or other middle men taking a cut will raise the price. Beyond a middle man and direct from the manufacture still leaves an overly inflated price point. This is not just for this product unfortunately, I wouldn't assume there are many products or services that actually cost what it costs the company + small amounts of profit.

    Though if you had questioned a company *any amount of questioning before breaking an arm off in court* the costs would be directly based on employee wages and materials with very modest markups. Guess the research and development costs need to be offset so a computer case set the company back $170 per unit....

    no grammar hawks please I know I make errors
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    This is a case designed for watercooling rigs. Massive room up top, and only a little bit of changing allows for a radiator in bottom.

    The lack of fan control is not a major issue. Lots of motherboards have built in fan control and if all else fails buy a separate controller - not exactly expensive.

    My problem with this is simply that it is overpriced and nothing original. Simply example. If case is 235mm wide, would it be better to instal the PSU at tight angles (Lian Li have tried this) rather than conventionally? Makes for neating wiring.

    I wonder if NZXT will follow with a smaller case (Switch 610 maybe)
    Reply
  • danchen - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    storm trooper ! Reply
  • Iketh - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • danacee - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    I do not know why they insist upon mounting the PSU on the bottom sucking off the ground, but like bottom mounted freezers on trendy fridges and flat keyboards; it is moronic.

    Obviously just another cheap ploy to rip off Apple's Powermac and Mac Pro, who unlike these stupid asinine idiot me too PSU case makers; keep the PSU from sucking dirt off the ground and blowing up.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    I believe the idea is to keep it away from the hotter areas (CPU/mem), since hot air rises anyway... Most cases have bottom filters and many users simply don't plant their cases on the floor.

    I'm not saying I agree with that logic, on a gamer's case the bottom location is bound to be as warm as anywhere else due to the GPU(s), although GPU are under load less often than the CPU (unless the system's used strictly for gaming).

    It does seem odd to me that bottom PSU placement is almost universally favored now considering its sometimes a wash as far as temps and it can complicate wiring, but maybe I'm just rationalizing.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Personally I really dig Silverstone's 90 degree designs, but I haven't gotten around to trying one of them first hand. They're not the most flexible, since they complicate cable management even more and they're not really efficient if you're not using high powered or back vented GPUs, but for a gaming case it seems like the ideal solution... Kind of what BTX should've been. Reply

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