Exterior, Interior, and Installation
We already mentioned some of the case’s exterior features, but there’s a lot more to discuss. We’ll start with the side panel, which has a big, clear acrylic window that gobbles up about 75% of the entire panel. The panel itself (as well as the panel on the other side) is held on by three thumbscrews. With the top and bottom thumbscrews removed, the sides will stay on until you press down on the remaining screw to pop out the panel. This allows you to just snap the sides on easily and then worry about the remaining screws later.
The front panel has a lot going on. Divided into two sections, the bottom portion houses a small mesh grill to allow air intake and a larger mesh filter to trap dust on its way in; removing this panel exposes the two front fans. The top portion features an integrated ODD drive door that hides your drive from view, ensuring a smooth, stylish front, as well as a door hiding the front ports. Those ports include headphone and mic jacks, a pair each of USB 2.0 and 3.0, an SD card slot, reset button, and LED toggle button.
The power button is on top of the case along with the aforementioned hybrid fins. The back is mostly either a cutout or mesh for great airflow, yet there’s more to see. Although there’s just one lone back fan, you can easily loosen it and slide it up or down a couple of inches to position it in just the right spot depending on your component setup. NZXT also put in a pair of white LEDs (controllable with the front panel toggle button)--one to light the back I/O panel and one above the expansion slots--to give users a clear view of the back ports so they aren’t fumbling around in the dark. It’s a smart but simple detail. To give them power though, you have to connect an internal lead to a SATA power cable, which seems a bit odd. We would have preferred they use a less valuable floppy or 4-pin power connector.
The bottom of the Switch 810 houses a pair of mesh filters, both of which are easily removable with a nice spring-loaded mechanism. Rubberized feet underneath keep the case off the ground by few centimeters.
The interior of the Switch 810 is spacious, especially if you start pulling out drive cages--which you don’t need to do to access your drives, as they’re easily accessible via the back. The 3.5-inch rails are sufficiently sturdy, and the tool-less 5.25-inch trays have a little lock that holds ODDs in place securely once the drives snap into place.
Of the four fans that come with the Switch 810, one is mounted on one of the 3.5-inch drive cages and can be pivoted at up to a 40-degree angle to direct cool air across various components. There’s room for another 140mm fan on the lower drive cage, as well.
If you want to use the hot-swap drive tray, the power (Molex) and data (SATA) ports are mounted in the tray and facing toward the motherboard. There are ten large, sturdy rubber grommets for easy cable routing and a plethora of clips on the back panel for zip-tying cables into place. With 23-25mm of space for cables between the back tray and the side panel, you shouldn’t run into any space issues.
With so much room inside the case, we had no problems installing our components--not a nicked knuckle to be found. Almost everything is spring-loaded and locks into place, and so many parts of the case are movable or removable that it’s always easy to find room to work.
Although the CPU cutout is plenty large, our backplate didn’t quite fit, which is always an annoyance. However, the back plate has a smart, simple feature that more than makes up for it: a fan power hub that has headers for seven fans and gets it juice from a single Molex connector. It’s even attached with Velcro so you can remove it easily, if you like hunting for fan power leads on your motherboard or something.
The PSU mount has little feet that keep the unit off of the floor of the case, even though that floor is just an airflow-friendly mesh, as well as a small metal arm that helps hold the PSU snugly.