For the installation portion of our review, I chose to use our standard mid-range, P55 based gaming system that includes an ECS P55H-AK motherboard, Intel i7-860 processor, MSI 460GTX 1GB graphics card, Western Digital 2TB hard drive, Corsair 8GB DDR3-1600 system memory, and a Antec 650W power supply. For the CPU cooler, I chose a Corsair H100 self-contained liquid cooling unit because I wanted to evaluate how the Switch 810 handles dual radiators. This mid-range system should show how well the Switch 810 can support different types of hardware and what options users will have for cable management and airflow.
The first item of business was to secure nine motherboard standoffs using the small screwdriver attachment shown above. This was quick and easy and it is becoming more common for vendors to include a screwdriver attachment for installing standoffs nowadays.
I removed the top panel vent and installed the Corsair 100’s dual radiator using four screws. The Switch 810 has support for 120mm and 140mm fans on the top panel as well as enough mounting holes for dual and triple radiators. If I had another pair of longer screws I would have added two more 120mm fans to the top of this case to create a push-pull configuration with the H100 to get optimum performance when I overclocked my i7-860.
Next, I secured the motherboard, CPU, pump/waterblock, and memory to the Switch 810. I’m already liking what this case is doing into. I guess it helps that I chose components that are mostly black (except for the memory that stands out like a sore thumb).
I secured the MSI 460GTX using two thumb screws. Simple stuff.
I also secured the power supply to the back panel of the case using four thumb screws. I flipped the PSU around so the 120mm fan was facing the bottom of the case so heat from the power supply wouldn’t go up into the Switch 810 and over the graphics card and CPU.
I flipped the case around and pulled out one of the hard drive brackets and secured our 2TB HD and slid the drive back into place. Having this feature makes me wonder if I will ever need to remove the "removable" hard drive cages at all. I guess having redundant features for accessing the PC’s hard drives will work for people who don’t mind accessing the HDs from the back or front of the Switch 810.
I had to remove the 140mm fan that was attached as an exhaust fan to the top of the case to make room for the H100’s radiator. I repurposed this fan on the front of the Switch 810 to help pull more cool air into the case and improve overall system temps.
After about 45 minutes, I was able to do an outstanding job routing power and data cables away from my major hardware components and create a clean environment that will ensure maximum airflow in the Switch 810. It was clear to me during the cable management process that the extra outlets proved useful when I was routing power cables from the power supply behind the motherboard tray. I also used these outlets to route data cables to the hard drive and optical drive. The tool-less clip worked like a charm to secure my DVD burner too. In fact, I didn’t run into any issues at all during installation and was able to focus exclusively on ensuring my cables were out of the way to create a kick-ass environment for my hardware.
Here’s a quick shot behind the motherboard tray to showcase my cable management chops. It’s not perfect, but I was even able to route my eight-pin power connector from the power supply to the motherboard behind the tray, which is always a difficult power cable to hide. The hub to connect the case fans also came in handy and its location ensured all the fan cables were out of sight too. Overall, this was one of the best experiences I’ve had installing components in a PC case of any form factor. Kudos to NZXT for creating a clean case with plenty of options to keep cables away from my high-priced hardware!