Introduction and First Impressions

A compact ATX case with a tempered glass side panel

The Source S340 from NZXT has been one of my favorite enclosures since I reviewed it early in 2015, offering a fantastic price/performance proposition with a street price between $69 and $79. Fortunately, this outstanding compact ATX design isn't going anywhere, and since my original review NZXT has introduced a premium Designed by Razer version, and this new S340 Elite was released just last month.

What makes the Elite so, well, elite? There are some key changes with this new version, including a tempered glass side panel, VR support from an external HDMI port and an included puck for storing a VR headset and cables, as well as new plastic cable management clamps behind the motherboard tray, an extra SSD mount up front, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports along with the previous USB 3.0 ports up top. While the VR support won't be required for everyone, the tempered glass panel alone makes this an attractive option at its $99.99 retail price, which is a very modest $20 premium over the standard version's $79.99 MSRP.

This review will be a little less in-depth compared to the usual review, as the S340 chassis is unchanged internally from our full review last April. Still, there is enough new here to take a fresh look at the S340 Elite, and it will be good to test it again with the current testbench components and see how it has held up.

The tempered glass side panel is the star of the 340 Elite

We'll start by checking out the full specs from NZXT:

  • Material: Tempered glass side panel, Steel, ABS plastic
  • Motherboard Support: mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX
  • Expansion Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays:
    • Internal 3.5": 2+1
    • Internal 2.5": 3+1
  • Fan Support:
    • Front: 2x 140/2x120mm 
    • Top: 1x 140/120mm (1 x 120mm FN V2 Fans Included) 
    • Rear: 1x 120mm (1 x 120mm FN V2 Fan Included)
  • Radiator Support:
    • Front 2 x 140 or 2 x 120mm
    • Rear 1 x 120mm
  • Clearance:
    • GPU Clearance with Radiator: 334mm 
    • GPU Clearance without Radiator: 364mm 
    • CPU Cooler: 161mm 
    • Cable Management: Lowest Point – 17mm; Highest Point 168mm
  • I/O Ports:
    • 1x Audio/Mic
    • 2x USB 3.0
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • HDMI with VR Support
  • Filters:
    • Front (Included)
    • Bottom Rear (Included)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 203 x 474 x 432 mm
  • Weight: 8.13kg
  • Warranty: 2 years

First Impressions

The S340 Elite has a nice matte black finish, and it has a premium look thanks to the new glass side panel.

Those looking for a more adventurous industrial design or built-in RGB lighting need look elsewhere, as the S340 Elite is all about understatement.

There's not much going on up front, as this enclosure design does not offer any external 5.25-inch drive bays.

Top I/O includes the usual suspects, and one unusual one: an HDMI port. The video output is designed for VR headsets, which would conveniently connect to the HDMI and USB ports on top (with an HDMI cable that routs to the back of the video card). This Elite version now adds a pair of standard USB 2.0 ports, as well. The slot beneath the I/O is mirrored on the bottom edge, with these providing the intake airflow.

A look at the side panels shows the full tempered glass panel to show off the build, and the blank metal rear panel.

Looking at the top of the case you'll see a single 140 mm fan mount (with an exhaust fan pre-installed).

Next we'll look at the rear of the case:

Here is your standard ATX mid-tower layout, and the PSU mount features a removable bracket for sliding in and securing the power supply. There is also the usual 120 mm fan opening, with an included exhaust fan here as well.

The S340 Elite sits on four rubber-tipped feet, and there is a slide-out filter for the PSU that is accessed from the rear of the case.

As to filters, there are two of them in the S340 Elite, and both are accessible from the exterior of the case. The first is a standard slide-out filter for the PSU:

And the second is a long magnetic screen filter for the front intake, which can be fished out fairly easily from above, and pulled up through the intake slot:

The S340 Elite also includes a magnetic "puck", which doubles as both a VR headset hanger and cable management solution. This can be placed anywhere (metal) on the case, and for this example I simply stuck it on the front:

The puck is finished with a soft rubber material, and is actually two separate pieces that are held together with internal magnets.

Finally we'll have a look at the hardware kit, which includes the basics in nicely labeled individual bags. (We'll cover the included puck accessory later.)

Next we'll look inside the S340 Elite and cover some system build notes.

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