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NZXT Source S340 Mid-Tower Enclosure Review: Premium Meets Affordable

Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction and First Impressions

NZXT has created a stylish mid-tower enclosure with their Source 340 chassis, and made it an especially attractive option with a retail of just $69.99. Can this new case contend in a crowded market? We will find that out here!

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With several interesting designs under their belt NZXT isn’t a surprising name when it comes to nice-looking enclosures. I looked at their H440 Razer Edition recently, and the H440 it was based on is a popular mid-tower enclosure with good looks and performance. This new S340 is very similar to the H440 but on a slightly reduced scale, and offers a more open internal layout with a reduction in hard drive storage space. This is a move that won’t work for everyone, but as I mentioned in the recent SilverStone Raven RV05 review being limited to a pair of hard drives and SSDs a fair tradeoff for a gaming or productivity setup.

On the subject of storage, like the aforementioned H440 and RV05 this Source 340 enclosure is another example of a optical bay-free design. There are no hidden slim-ODD bays here, and for any optical data needs a user will be required to use an external solution. I personally like an open layout and don’t use 5.25” bays at all anymore, and the added room in the S340 provides nearly unlimited space for long GPUs and stays clean with a clever approach to cable routing.

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Continue reading our review of the NZXT S340 enclosure!!

Before taking a closer look at the S340 here are the full specs from NZXT:


Specifications

Materials: SECC Steel, ABS Plastic
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX
Expansion Slots: 7
Drive Bays: Internal 3.5" x2+1, 2.5” x2
Cooling System: Front 2x 140/2x120mm; Top 1x 140/120mm (1x 120mm FN V2 fan included); Rear 1x 120mm (1 x 120mm FN V2 Fan Included)
Filters: Front, bottom Rear (included)
Radiator Support: Front 2x 140 or 2x 120mm; Rear 1x 120mm
GPU Clearance With Radiator: 334mm, GPU Without Radiator: 364mm
CPU Cooler Clearance: 161mm
External I.O: 2x USB 3.0, 1x Audio/Mic
Dimensions: 200mm x 445mm x 432mm (7.9" x 17.5" x 17")
Product Weight: 7.05 kg (15.54 lbs)


Our thanks to NZXT for providing the S340 enclosure for our review!

Packaging and First Impressions

The S340 arrives in a nice, shiny box with both the black and white versions pictured on opposite sides. I asked for the white version of the enclosure to test, just to mix it up in a market dominated by black boxes.

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Inside we have the usual dense foam protecting the enclosure, which is further protected from scratches by a plastic bag.

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The included hardware pack has each type of screw separated into individual bags, a welcome detail that’s usually reserved for more expensive cases.

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The S340 in this white finish is an appliance-like white enamel over steel, and has a very clean and refreshing appearance.

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I was immediately struck by not only how nice the enclosure looks, but how well built it already feels just taking it out of the box. It has a reassuring weight without being ridiculous, and it feels rock solid.

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A windowed side panel is standard, and this arrives with protective plastic on both sides to keep it scratch-free. This might sound like a little thing, but our sample has a remarkably clear window that’s as good as any I’ve ever seen, regardless of price. This is looking less and less like a $70 case as we go…

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Around back we see a conventional ATX layout with the usual motherboard orientation. Plenty of expansion slots are available and there’s the usual 120mm fan opening (with a rifle-bearing NZXT fan included).

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The top provides a nice contrast with a matte black finish

Up top there is a single 120/140mm fan opening with another 120mm rifle-bearing fan installed, and the top I/O has the usual suspects in easy reach.

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Finally we look at the bottom of the case, which has a flexible screen under the PSU mount for cleaning.

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Next we’ll look at a build using the NZXT S340, and then see how this case performed!

Video News


April 7, 2015 | 02:06 PM - Posted by mLocke

Excellent writeup. Fully comprehend the capabilities of this case, and easy to parse with lovely macro photos. Nicely done Seb.

April 7, 2015 | 03:52 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Thanks! I do like that macro lens...

April 7, 2015 | 02:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not a terrible deal but I would still rather pay 40 more dollars for the H440. Just a lot bigger and better cooling.

April 7, 2015 | 06:33 PM - Posted by Brett from Australia (not verified)

Nice review, form factor is very appealing and the case looks quality inside and out. Liquid cooler is a nice inclusion to the system.

April 7, 2015 | 10:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice review!

Maybe if you would have used the other included 120mm fan as an intake fan you could have achieved better thermal results!

April 7, 2015 | 10:44 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Agreed, it isn't always ideal but I do try to keep things as close to default as possible for thermal testing. It ships with the top and rear exhaust fans in place and I didn't want to modify that when comparing it to the other cases.

April 7, 2015 | 10:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

is it me or is that msi Lightning extremely bent ....

April 7, 2015 | 10:46 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

It did sag noticeably - but this one always does in standard ATX orientation due to weight. The card itself is straight on my testbench

April 8, 2015 | 05:12 AM - Posted by Val

Heeey, another Sebastian's chassis review. \(^o^)/ Nice one, man.

You said that your pet subject is the side panel. Give us more photos of it, not just the corner... full perspective inside and outside, and do scrutinize it more. Weigh it. Lol :D. I think I know why it slides easier than H440. It has a lighter material and no dampening foam on the right side, less weight less friction.

Some insights for case manufacturers, if you can pass on to them Sebastian, would be awesome:

Look at that drooping, slanting of the GPU's PCB with its massive heatsink. Why won't chassis makers be creative about air-cooled GPU support. Yes, water-cooled is still a small percentage of the crowd. Actually, this S340 actually has that vertical panel that could be a potential for a GPU support's mod... or a velcro, lmao ;)

Also, SSDs' form factor which is 2.5" should be more prioritized than 3.5" nowaday. They should add more options to it. A simple piece of metal, two of them in each side with holes to attach the SSDs, stacked up with a bit of space between is a simple solution on this particular chassis. SSDs don't vibrate anyway. That would be 2x2 or an option for 2x3, etc etc.

Err, thanks for reading the rambling of a chassis enthusiast. Keep up the good work! :)

April 8, 2015 | 11:23 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Thanks! Nice to know there are more case enthusiasts out there. I thought about the SSD bracket idea, and I have the feeling it's kind of tied to price, however unfairly. A $69 case isn't intended for the person who'd buy 4 SSD's...BUT with the lower cost of the case there would be more $$$ to buy more SSD's. It seems like it would be a simple matter to have them stacked with a side bracket, so maybe we'll see that more going forward. This design is based on the H440 so we'll probably have to wait for a totally new chassis to see more SSD options.

Also, I am torn on the GPU support problem. I don't like the cards to sag, but I don't like support brackets. If they had a way to attach an arm to the back that helped hold it from that direction I'd like it. The front-mounted supports are harder to work with. Let's go with the Velcro idea :)

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