The Vulcan is one small case but you can put some big parts in it, and at the $69.99 price point it is very affordable for an enthusiast case. LAN party goers may like this case for the fact it can accommodate large video cards like the ATI Radeon HD 5970 and its handy dandy carrying handle. With the better part of the case side and back panels being vented, getting heat out should not be an issue.
Although NZXT says that the Vulcan can accommodate a 13″ video card, it is touching the external 3.5″ drive bays. Granted, NZXT made sure to insulate the area, but I’m not sure how well this will work as the video card might bump against the drive cage while being transported.
Both Intel and AMD users will want to look very closely at the orientation of the CPU socket and the CPU cooler that you have or want to use. I first attempted to use a Scythe Mugen 2 CPU Cooler, but the way the cooler had to be turned it was too wide and hit the top edge of the case even though it was under the 165mm (6.5″) height limit. So, a cooler that can be used no matter the socket orientation would be best. The Intel camp shouldn’t have to worry about this as much as the way the coolers mount, but with hundreds of motherboards on the market a few will likely have issues.
Given the size of the Vulcan, this will sound weird, but water cooling the processor may be a good option over traditional air cooling. I say this because the high end air coolers that perform well are large, borderline giant. There was more room in the case for working and accessing connections with the water cooling than I had with the air. Compact water cooling units like the Corsair Hydro Series H50 CPU Cooler would also work well in this case as the small self-contained kit coolers would easily fit. In fact, for a system that is built for easy transportation we would recommend the Corsair H50 again as the bulk of the weight of the cooling solution is attached to the metal PC case. With a traditional air cooled setup the CPU cooler is attached to the board, which can cause issues as some heat sinks weight nearly 2lbs and when moving a case around you can easily damage the motherboard.
NZXT has told us that the Vulcan will have a street price of $69.99. For that price the Vulcan is a very nice case that would suit very well for an mATX LAN system, and with its ability hold large components NZXT could have a winner on its hands. The end user should take care in choosing the components they use; it will mean the difference in loving this case and absolutely hating it.
Legit Bottom Line: The Vulcan, NZXT’s newest addition to its Crafted Series, has great potential to be a nice LAN box with the right parts and a little planning.