Pros: Roomy, Cable Management, Watercooling compatible, Bottom-mounted PSU, Thumbscrews
Cons: Tools required for drive installation, Front looks a bit strange
Appearance: For this particular build, functionality and professional appearance were foremost. The NZXT Source 210 has a very clean appearance, which was of course a high priority for me. The case comes fully coated in a heavy duty and scratch resistant black matte finish. The paint is clearly not the only high point of this case, but it definitely sets me at ease knowing that the case won't scratch easily. The rear and case interior are also coated with the same matte black paint. The case has a roomy appearance and dwarfs a u-ATX board like the one I used. Case Images (Click to show)
The only thing that appears odd is the design of the front bezel. It's not really a bad design, it just isn't something I expected.
For the price, this case is packed with features that you wouldn't really expect. (Well, if you've used it you might. For those of us new to the case, it is a pleasant surprise) From start to finish, this case steadily impressed me.
First off, I would like to talk about the spacious interior of the NZXT Source 210. The interior area is utilized and designed well. I have another NZXT case for my current build, the Apollo, and it is not nearly as spacious even though they are almost identical in total dimensions. The space is just utilized more efficiently in the Source than the Apollo. I actually enjoyed having the extra space and will definitely use this in more client builds because of it.
The cable management is fantastic as well. As cheap as the price is, I expected sharp edges, a bad paint job, and shoddy materials. I was definitely wrong on all counts. The cable management holes are well-placed and are flush. I tested the edges to make sure that they wouldn't cut into the cables and was very surprised that no matter how hard I press, the edges would not cut into anything. I always keep a roll of soft shielded wire to test edges with and it never pierced the plastic sheathing. I didn't even scratch my hands while inside the case! The power supply I purchased has loose fiber sleeving on all of the cables, which will be more than sufficient to protect from these dull edges. There is also adequate space behind the panel to tie up loose cables for a much cleaner look.
This case is also compatible with water cooling, which is unnecessary for this build but a nice point anyway. It has two punch holes on the back that will allow a passthrough of tubing to an externally mounted radiator. There are also mounting brackets for a large number of fans. It would make a great budget water-cooled PC case because of all of the mounting options and the fantastic airflow.
A bottom-mounted PSU is nothing new, but it definitely changes the internal arrangement of components. With the PSU on the bottom and a fan at the top rear, the airflow is easily managed across the board. The mounting is near the cable management holes for easy passthrough and concealing of cables.
Thumbscrews are a minor luxury, but one that we normally have to purchase ourselves. The Source 210 comes with thumbscrews for both side panels, which makes removing the panels a great deal simpler.
The steel on this case also feels to be a high-grade and thick gauge. The case is very sturdy and feels incredibly solid.
The only thing I don't care for as far as features is the fact that it has a "tools required" drive installation design. Rather than being the tool-less design, you need a screw driver to install drives. This isn't enough to make me dock any stars. This price point for features has blown me away, so I can deal with using screws.
Overall, I loved working in this case and will definitely use it again in future builds. It is spacious, functional, and sleek. For the price point, there aren't many cases that you will find that can compete.