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Beta is an inexpensive mid-tower case from NZXT yet having several features traditionally found only on high-end models. Let’s see if Beta is a good buy.
The first thing we noticed was that this is a very light case, weighting only 16 lbs (7.28 Kg), which is practically half of the weight of mid-tower cases we usually review.
As you can see in Figure 1, the side panel has two meshes where you can install side 120 mm fans.
The front panel does not have a door. All bay covers are meshed to improve ventilation inside the case, and they all feature dust filters. This case has four external 5.25” bays and although an external 3.5” bay is available in the chassis, the front panel does not have the proper hole for installing external 3.5” devices. This is a huge design flaw that we will address later.
In order to cut costs this case doesn’t come with a manual, but it can be downloaded on the manufacturer’s website.
[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]
The only fan that comes with Beta is located on its front panel and can be seen in Figure 4. It is a 120 mm model and comes with a three-pin power connector, allowing you to install it on your motherboard in order to monitor its speed. An adapter to allow the installation on any standard peripheral power plug is also available. NZXT does not say the speed or noise level from this fan. The inclusion of only one fan is how NZXT could cut costs and make this case so inexpensive.
In Figure 5, you can see the back of the front panel, where we have the dust filters. This panel must be removed for you to remove the bay covers.
This case comes with two USB ports and one eSATA port, besides the headphones output and microphone input jacks. The addition of an eSATA port was a nice surprise, since entry-level cases usually don’t have this feature. The two USB ports are too close to each other, what may prevent you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time.
Seeing the rear panel for the first time we had a great surprise: the rear panel and the interior from this case are painted in black, a feature traditionally only found on high-end models, giving this case a very professional aspect.
The slot covers are meshed, which helps increasing the internal airflow – another feature normally only found on high-end units. There is also a mesh with big holes above the slots, also helping the internal airflow. There is a space for installing an optional 120 mm fan. As mentioned, this case comes only with the front fan installed.
Beta also has two holes for passing hoses from water cooling solutions.
Now let’s take a look inside NZXT Beta.
[nextpage title=”Inside Beta”]
The left side panel is fastened to the case using thumbscrews, but the right side panel uses regular screws. In Figure 8 we have an overall look from inside Beta. This first thing that caught our attention was the presence of four big holes on the motherboard tray for routing cables behind it, which is another feature usually only found on high-end products.
Daughter boards are fastened to the case using regular screws and we wouldn’t expect anything different on a case from this price range, even though it would be nice seeing at least thumbscrews here.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
This case has four external 5.25” bays and five internal 3.5” bays for hard disk drives. One external 3.5” bay is available inside the case (see it in Figure 11, between the 5.25” bays and the hard disk drive bays), however the front panel does not have the proper cut for installing external 3.5” devices like floppy disk drives or memory card readers. We tried and you cannot install a hard drive in this bay because the holes don’t match. Thus this bay available inside the case is left “dead.” The funny thing is that the case comes with screwless mechanisms for fastening floppy disk drives.
All bays use screwless mechanisms. The mechanisms for the 5.25” bays don’t come attached to the bays like it happens on high-end models: you have to place them manually, but installation is very easy, all you need to do is to install you
r 5.25” device, place the mechanism on the bay and turn the available knob. You need to install one piece at each side of the bay, because if you only fasten your device from the right side of the case like you would normally do on high-end cases the device will be loose inside the bay.
The screwless mechanisms used for the hard disk drives are comprised of two rulers that need to be installed to each drive, one at each side. No tool or screwing is required.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
NZXT Beta case main specs include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC), painted black inside.
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: Black.
- Side panel: Meshed.
- Dimensions: 17” x 7 7/8” x 19 23/32” (43.0 cm x 20.0 cm x 50.1 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net weight: 16 lbs (7.28 kg)
- Bays: Four external 5.25” bays and five internal 3.5” bays.
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: One 120 mm on the front.
- Optional fans: Two 120 mm fans on the left panel, one 120 mm fan on the rear panel.
- More Information: https://www.nzxt.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 50.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
NZXT Beta is a mid-tower case targeted to the user that wants a good quality mid-tower case but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
- Meshed bay covers.
- Meshed slot covers.
- Dust filters on the front panel.
- Interior is painted black.
- eSATA port.
- Very light.
- No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
- The external 3.5” bay can’t be used as the front panel does not have a hole in front of it.
- Comes with only one fan.
- Could have come with thumbscrews for fastening daughterboards.
- Could have come with thumbscrews fastening the right panel.
- No noise absorbing mechanisms for the hard disk drives.
In summary, we think this is a terrific product for the user that is on a budget and is looking for a good product. Costing only USD 50, this case has an unbeatable cost/benefit ratio. The only real drawback from this case is the impossibility of using floppy disk drives. So buy it only if you are sure you won’t need this archaic device. The presence of only one fan could be seen as a huge drawback, however for its price we can’t complain. If you buy this case, we recommend you to buy at least one 120 mm fan for installing on its rear panel (it should be installed in exhaustion mode, i.e., with airflow going from inside the case to the outside).