windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9463 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

When it comes to PCs most people don’t care what they look like as long as they work right?  There are some of us though that don’t like the same old, same old, and like to be unique and when it comes to PC cases we’ve got a plethora of choices on the market today. Not all though are created equal, just like any product some are better than others, and the designs vary greatly between companies. With all of these choices we’ve got the chance to find one that fits not only our needs but our unique style as well. NZXT has been around for a bit now and they make some of the best cases out there, they’re known for quality and aesthetics and ease of use.

Today I’m taking a look at the NZXT Guardian 921 Crafted Series chassis. It’s a mid-tower case that is full of features, looks and usability. The Guardian 921 is a sleek black case, with a side window and a built-in temperature monitoring system. It features three 120mm fans, and tool-less installation for your hard drives and 5.25" devices. Read on to learn more about this case…


The Guardian 921 comes in a brightly colored box, and it’s packaged very well.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9428 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9429 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

It also comes with plastic coverings over the front bezel and the side window for protection during transit, once removed we can get a better look at it. The left side windows has sort of an ‘X’ shape to it with a 120mm fan mounted right in the middle for cooling. the right side of the case is just plain black.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9434 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9435 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case   windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9437 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9460 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9463 thumb 1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9438 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

The side of the case is also where the USB, e-SATA and audio connectors are, they’re conveniently located I think.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9457 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

The front bezel is a plastic door that opens to reveal the drive bays, above the door is a temperature monitor unit and the the power/reset buttons, along with power and HDD activity LEDs. Inside the door on the front is also the metal NZXT case badge that we’re familiar with. There are only three accessible 5.25" bays on this case, and there are two 3.5" bays, below the bays is a meshed area behind which is a 120mm cooling fan.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9440 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9442 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9443 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9444 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

On the back of the case we find the usual stuff including an installed 120mm cooling fan, with the exception of the water cooling inlets near the bottom. On the bottom of the case are four rubber feet.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9445 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9447 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9450 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9451 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9454 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

The left side door is held on with two thumb screws, while the right side panel uses regular case screws.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9465 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9470 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

Looking inside of the case we find the accessory envelope and a bunch of wires including those for audio, e-SATA, USB, the standard motherboard headers, three temperature probes and power connectors for the fans and the lighting. Inside of the accessory envelope we find drive rails, screws, a couple zip ties and a user manual.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9472 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9476 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9488 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

There’s room for three hard drives in the HDD cage, and there’s actually five 5.25" bays inside of the case, as opposed to three being only accessible from the outside. Inside one of the bays is a 3.5" to 5.25" adapter. All of the bays are tool-less, for the 5.25" devices you just slide them in and lock them in place with the slide locks, for the hard drives you need to use the rails of course.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9480 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9481 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9482 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9483 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

Here’s a quick look at the back panel, not much interesting here:

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9484 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9485 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

Specifications:

GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series

Mid tower steel chassis
NZXT, a company built on realizing the dreams of gamers worldwide, is proud to announce the Guardian 921, a gaming chassis in the NZXT Crafted Series. Building off of the original Guardian’s success, the Guardian 921 features a robust set of features for the budget conscious PC Gamer. Designed with a futuristic and sleek curves, the Guardian 921 is the perfect chassis to show off your gaming chassis.

Features:
* NZXT Crafted Series Design: NZXT’s latest addition to the Crafted Series takes cues from gaming culture with elegant curves and a newly designed clear side panel

* Spacious Interior and Solid Construction: Built from solid .88mm and 1.00mm steel, the Guardian 921 gives the user ample space for large, high-end video cards and space for up to four internal hard drives

* Constant Temperature Monitoring: Three temperature probe monitoring system allows the user to constantly gauge thermals within the system at all times to prevent overheating

* Multimedia and peripheral inputs: E-SATA, Intel HD audio, mic, and two USB inputs are standards with the guardian 921 allowing for maximum peripheral input

* Silent Cooling: Comes standard with 3 120mm fans installed to maximize cooling performance with minimal noise

MODEl: GUARDIAN 921
CASE TYPE: MID TOWER STEEL CHASSIS
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 206X459X522 mm

COOLING SYSTEM:
FRONT, 1 X 120 mm BLUE LED FAN [Included]
REAR, 1 X 120 mm FAN [Included]
SIDE PANEL, 1 X 120 mm BLUE LED FAN [Included]

DRIVE BAYs: 9 DRIVE BAYS
-3 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
-2 EXTERNAL 3.5 " DRIVE BAYS
-4 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE BAYS
-SCREWLESS RAIL DESIGN

MATERIAL(S): SECC STEEL CHASSIS
EXPANSION SLOTS : 7
POWER SUPPLY: 400 WATT PS2 ATX 12V ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT: 8.2 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT: ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT


Installation is easy, there’s more than enough room to work. The motherboard tray is not removable and neither is the HDD cage, at least without a little work. I found the 5.25" bays a bit loose, when I put my DVD drive in there, it seemed locked down, but it moved around a bit.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9494 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9497 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9499 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9502 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

Overall the case is nicely made and there’s plenty of room for most mid-range systems in there, though a large video card might be a tight fit.

One thing that does bug me though is that there are no fan grills on the fans, this has also been a pet peeve of mine, catch a wire in a fan and it will bother you as well. With the front fan it’s not a big deal, and the back fan I can live with usually, but the side fan really needs one on there. I just ran the rear fan power wire across the case, and it crosses right in front of the fan, not to mention any other loose wires that might get caught in there, it can be a bad thing.

When you power on the Guardian 921 you’ll notice two things, it’s quiet and it’s very bright. There are lighting accents on the front of the case, the front and side 1200mm fans both have blue LEDs in them.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9554 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9563 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9556 thumb 1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9569 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

The front temperature monitor is a nice touch, but it only shows whole numbers, I personally like to see at least one number past the decimal point, especially where PC cooling is concerned. The monitor does seem accurate, I used my infrared thermometer to compare to and they were both very close, at least the whole numbers were the same.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9572 thumb 1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

The overall design is visually appealing but the bright lights might turn off a few people, they are very bright, personally I would be snipping the LEDs from the side fan.

One small note is that the front bezel is a high gloss black plastic while the rest of the case is an almost flat, eggshell finish, textured black painted metal, it kind of clashes, and that glossy finish picks up fingerprints easily. It’s a bit too flashy for me honestly.


windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9428 thumb 1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Casewindowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9435 thumb 1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Casewindowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9556 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Casewindowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 13785dscf9572 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

Conclusion:
The NZXT Guardian 921 PC case is a well made case that’s chock full of features most people can appreciate. The included temperature monitoring system can be useful is letting you know what’s going on with your system, and the tool-less bays make installation that much easier for you, even though there’s plenty of room in here to work.

There are a few downsides though to the Guardian 921, and they may be personal opinions, but I feel the lack of fan grills and the inability to show a more accurate temperature reading is something that needs to be addressed. It’s easy to throw some fan grills on there, and an upgrade to the monitor should be easy as well for NZXT to take care of.

The case looks nice, it has a sleek design and black fits most anywhere, but the lighting is a bit bright, and some might agree that it’s just too bright.

Overall though it’s a great case, for about $90 you can get a very well made case, that’s got a lot of features to it.

windowslivewriternzxtguardian921craftedseriespccase 137859 thumb NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case

Pros:
+Inexpensive
+Looks great
+Well made
+Silent
+Integrated temperature monitoring
+Tool-less installation
+Three fans included
+Nice looking side window
+3.5" to 5.25" adapter included

Cons:
-Motherboard tray not removable
-Might be a bit flashy for some
-LCD Only shows whole numbers
-No fan grills
-Only three 5.25" bays accessible from outside

Grades:  
Overall score 9 10 thumb1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case
Design score 8 10 thumb1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case
Performance score 10 10 thumb1 NZXT GUARDIAN 921 Crafted Series PC Case