A Closer Look - Outside
The NZXT Hades makes a very stylish first impression. Even though the design goes for simple straight lines along with straight edges, the overall impression is very good. NZXT has not yet managed to put in the amount of detail found on other themed enclosures - like the Cooler Master HAF series, but the Hades looks simple & sophisticated at the same time. I should also note at this point, that the paint job of the Hades is not good at all. The surface is not clean, which resulted in a very textured paint job. I am not talking about the gun metal gray/black, powdered look, but that of lots of paint droplets on the entire metal exterior. In fact, I would go as far as saying that this is the second worse paint job I have ever seen on an enclosure from a major manufacturer. Maybe this is just a downside of the sample we received and I do not think that the saying "it is not a bug it is a feature" applies here either.
You will find a door covering up the drive bays up front. It is constructed of plastic and steel mesh. NZXT has reinforced the mesh well enough so that it comes across as very durable, but the plastic - although solid to the touch - still looks a bit cheap. Turning the Hades around, the rear makes a good impression, with the power supply bay located on the bottom and a clearly visible, white bladed 120 mm fan on top.
The entire bottom half of the front is taken by the 200 mm intake fan. This area is partially exposed even when the door is closed. Above that are the four 5.25 inch expansion bays. There is no possibility to install a 3.5 inch device anywhere, so you will have to go out and spend some more money on a separate adapter. There are two dials to control two of the four included cooling units. NZXT advertises that both 200 mm units are wired to be controlled, but this was not the case with our sample. Seems like the top 140 mm unit and the front 200 mm one are connected to the dials.
In the rear you will not find anything out of the ordinary. The bottom is intended for the power supply - a standard feature with mainstream cases these days, while the middle is taken by the seven expansion bays. NZXT has covered them with separate metal mesh covers, which allow some air to pass through. To the right of these are two large openings for water cooling tubes to be routed through. The very top area is filled by the 120 mm exhaust fan.
Both sides of the case are "punched" or extruded. This does not only aid the overall design, but also adds valuable space to route cables under the mainboard tray - out of sight to the users. The main panel holds a 200 mm side fan which also pulls air into the chassis.
Before we move into the interior of the Hades, let us take a quick look at the top of the case. The I/O is located on the front portion of the top. This should give users easy access if the chassis is placed under the table, but may force you to get up in order to connect something if you have the PC on the desk. There are two openings in the rear area of the ceiling. These are intended for 120 or 140 mm fans and NZXT has included one of the latter. You may also install a dual radiator here - certainly a nice touch.