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Behind the Motherboard

Opening the left panel, back side of the motherboard tray, reveals that it’s pretty barren in terms of useful space. It was a little disappointing to see so very little space that could be used for running wires to help with a little cable management. Offering this feature would require sacrificing about half an inch inside the system area as well as a little extra fabrication in terms of cut outs.

One challenge steel cases face is the often random amounts of scratches or abrasions that discolor the metal when you first open them. However, the overall internal steel construction of the NZXT Guardian 921 was free of any these cosmetic defects. Clearly, someone is looking into the details as cases roll off the line.

System Setup

For the basic purpose of evaluating the case under real world conditions which include thermal performance and ease of assembly, we assembled a system with the Guardian 921 using the following components:

  • Intel I7 965 3.2GHz Processor
  • INTEL X58 Smackover Motherboard
  • 3x1GB Kingston HyperX Triple Channel Memory Kit
  • Zotac GTX 285 AMP! Video Card
  • 500 GB Seagate SATAII Hard Drive
  • Sony Bluray 16X DVD Burner

Now we’re going to toss these into our Guardian 921 and see if there are any snags with the install.

The Finished Product


After installing a few components, it was evident just how easily the chassis will work for all. The black tool-less drive rails clipped on perfectly enough that they didn’t fall off while being handled. Hard drives and CD ROM drives all slid in to their perspective slots and locked in to place as well. Even when pushing on the locked drives, it was evident that they are not going to shift when the case is moved. All the motherboard standoffs were the right height and aligned very well. It’s very frustrating when a motherboard doesn’t line up with the stand offs or a case’s PCI ports.


The new theme reveals itself when looking at the lit bezel in low lighting. The side panel blue LED fan does a nice job of lighting up the insides with minimal blinding effect outside. The front blue LED can’t be seen as well since the bulk of it is behind the door. However, the overall effect is a nice break from the norm. Something that the original Guardian was also successful at.

The thermal sensors were also a nice touch for those that need extra information at a glance and can be taped to pretty much any component. All of them are viewable on the Guardian 921’s LCD “Eye”.

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