I’ve been waiting too long to write the article about H440, but at last, here it goes. My system is fully assembled in it and now comes the time to share the experience with you.
H440 is as famous as it gets, being one of the latest cases NZXT is producing and is a middle tower case, intended for the purpose of building your beloved gaming PC or a workstation, while keeping it elegant and as clean looking as possible. NZXT did try to meet the demand of users out there and designed the case to come in a variety of palettes. I received the Black/Red version, which I so much desired and feel it is the best looking of them all. Other options you can get are: Glossy White / Black, Black / Blue, Black / Green and Black / Orange. All of them come with an acrylic side window to show off the system inside.
|NZXT H440 box||Side of the box|
H440 was delivered to me in a pretty standard fashion, but the box itself is not just plain and simple. It looks sophisticated and polished, reminding of a premium product. You might say I pay too much attention to the details, but it is all in the details and the small things that differentiate the good from the bad. The case’s outer shell is almost entirely black, a red stripe goes around one of the sides and a very beautiful photo is displayed as a monument of H440 with all of the hardware inside visible through the acrylic window. There is a small logo at the left corner to remind ourselves about the company, responsible for the design of the case.
The other side of the box was printed with a more detailed look of the case and some of the features it comes with. Also included were the technical specifications with more pictures of the case.
|Hard styrofoam||Included manual|
After opening the package I came across the hard styrofoam used for protection and the transparent nylon, covering all of the case. The foam is thick enough to protect the case and there was no damage on my unit. At the very top stood a small book, which is the manual. It contains very useful and extensive explanation on how to properly assemble a system inside the case. Detailed technical information is written inside as well as photos illustrating the process.
And here it is – H440 from NZXT. Intact from the bottom to the top and having quite the look, in my opinion very appealing. Two nylon pieces were protecting the acrylic window both from outside and inside, as the material is very easily scratched.
NZXT H440 EXTERIOR
So let me take you on a tour around the case, that way we can admire it to the full extent. H440 offers very simplistic look, combined with straight lines and almost invisible mesh grill for exhaust and intake of the panels. All of those are combined in a rectangular-like chassis. I removed the nylon covering protecting the acrylic window and went 360 degrees around the case. Here are some of the photos I took:
Immediately you can see the lack of ODD bays, responsible for the refined, flat look that is stunning. Where the top and front panels meet, the design looks like two parts meet in harmony. The flatness is present throughout the entire case and red stripes go from the front to the back, as well as from the top to the bottom on the side panels, giving the case quite a luxurious look. At the rear we can see the seven expansion slots, standard for medium tower case and quality rubber grommets for external water cooling or any modding.
On the top panel we can see the included USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, two of each as well as the power and reset switches. The reset switch is hard to be pressed as it is very small and minimalistic. HD audio jacks are present right next to the USB ports, all covered in black so the dark looks of the case are not distinguished by green and pink jacks. At the bottom H440 has 4 large rubberized feet, including a dust filter for the PSU. Elevation is well thought of, there should be plenty of fresh air for the PSU fan, the case sits high from the floor. Also, it will help if you have a carpet at home, as dust will be less prone to go inside due to height.
H440 comes with physical dimensions of 220mm x 510mm x 475.3mm and 9.75 kg of weight. It is constructed from SECC Steel and ABS Plastic, where the side panels may look plastic, but actually they are made of metal and are quite sturdy, hence the weight is slightly higher for a case this size. All the red you can see is plastic, but all the black is solid metal, covered with rubberized matte coating and it has a very unique feel and appeal to it. So I believe I covered the external part of the case, it is about time I checked the internals as well.
NZXT H440 INTERIOR
Exterior-wise the case is stunning, it is kept clean, simple and very easy to maintain as dust build up on the panels will be cleaned off with just a dry piece of rag. The interior is about to be checked, but first I had to remove the side panel. Two screws hold the panel to the chassis and have washers to avoid damaging the paint too much. Also they don’t just fall off once unscrewed, which is a nice touch indeed.
So, side panel is removed and what do we have here…no ODD bay, yes, there is no space for optical bays and there’s a good reason for that as I will explain later. What we see in the usual HDD cage place are 5 slots for HDD/SSD drives, not accessible from the left side. All black interior and the same rubber-like coating, very, very beautiful I have to admit. A big red solid piece of plastic is located at the bottom of the case, where the NZXT logo sits. Its purpose is to help cover the PSU cables, the PSU itself and to provide a nice view as well.
Rubber grommets are present, small cut outs for smaller sized motherboards are also there. Speaking of motherboards, the H440 can be installed with Mini-ITX, MicroATX and ATX sized boards.
|Behind MB tray||Sound dampening material
I removed the other panel as well, where most of the sound absorbing material sits and I was actually surprised to see that it was almost not damaged at all. From other reviews and samples I’ve seen prior to this review there were indeed quite a number of ruined sound absorbing materials, but I was glad to see this unit was in perfect condition. On the left, where the HDD cage is situated there were the I/O cables wrapped in nylon for protection and a small white box.
I also took one of the HDD bays to check it out and it is entirely made of metal, painted in black. It has rubber feet to support the HDD drive and stop vibrations from the drive being passed to the metal frame and chassis, which will definitely result in lower noise output.
|Accessories box||Black screws and zip ties, NZXT emblem|
That small box contained the necessary screws and zip ties you will need to build a rig inside H440. It is always good to see that black screws are included to suit the build and the needs of the user. Plenty of zip-ties are also present, along with a small brochure with NZXT products. There you can see the design language, other products from the company and information about NZXT.
I have to say that concludes the external and internal check of the case, so next thing to do is to disassemble the H440 and check it in detail. From first sight I can say it looks like an easy task to do, so let’s get it going…
|All panels and parts removed
NZXT H440 is easy to be disassembled, however there are several tricky parts that I came across and those are the cables for all of the fans and the lighting. In a good manner everything is tied up nice and tidy all around the case, cables are separately attached so this creates a bit additional work to be done in order to strip the whole case down to its bare steel chassis. All of that I will be explaining in details below…
Build quality of the case is superb, that is all I can say. I appreciate that all of the chassis is painted in matte black paint, not only visible parts of interior/exterior, but right down to the most invisible places where you wouldn’t even probably notice. Definitely time was taken for each individual unit to be properly painted and that is a premium that NZXT has and had throughout the years. Quality is one of their main goals and it really shows here.
There are many cables for fans, lighting, fan hub PCB, LED switch at the rear and a lot of holes which sole purpose is cable management and tidiness. Although it took a bit longer than usual to get everything untied and then properly routed back again, I have to say it is quite an amazing case both outside and inside. It’s all in the details.
One thing I could have removed, but decided not to was the power and reset switches. They were covered in soft foam, glued to the chassis as you can see at the photo and I just didn’t want to spoil it all up. So after admiring the chassis I had to take a picture of all the parts I managed to remove from the case, so here it goes…
So, after stripping the case down I had to get it back up and running as I get closer to the testing part of this article. Now I will be explaining in detail how the parts are held to each other and pictures will be posted here also. Here is a list of all the parts that I was able to remove from the case:
- NZXT H440 chassis
- 3 x 120mm NZXT FN V2
- 1 x 140mm NZXT FN V2
- PSU dust filter
- Front dust filter
- PSU mount bracket
- 5 x metal HDD cages
- Right side panel
- Left side panel
- Top panel
- Front panel
- 2 x metal SSD mounts
- I/O panel with cables
- fan hub PCB with cabling
- Lighting switch for NZXT logo and rear I/O
The first things that I returned back to their place were the cables, switch and LEDs used for the lighting effect of the NZXT logo and rear I/O panel. Two white diodes, a lot of cables and a small button, located right above the rear panel. It was a bit tricky to return it there, then I spent some time doing all the cable routing and tucking the cables to their respective holders.
|LED lighting cabling
||I/O ports and cables|
Next I screwed down the USB and audio ports to the chassis using the stand offs there. For such a small piece of PCB it is held by 4 small screws, so it’s not going anywhere. Flat USB 3.o cable is present, as well as flat I/O cables, so that is another nice touch that NZXT added to this case. I did a nice neat job there as well and went onwards to the other parts I had to assemble.
Included with the case straight out of the box we have a total of four fans. Three of them are 120mm and one which is 140mm. In other words there is plenty of cooling even if you don’t have any fans lying around the house. The fans are NZXT FN V2, so although they are not of the most premium quality they will get the job done nicely.
Three of those four fans are located at the front of the case, all being 120mm fans. The other 140mm is located at the rear as an exhaust. Should you change the configuration of this case, fans could be installed in the respective slots:
- Front: 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
- Top: 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
- Rear: 1 x 140/120mm
Not only that, but water cooling being more and more common nowadays, a nice setup could be installed in the H440. Water radiators of 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm and 360mm can be installed here with no problem. With a little creativity you might be able to squeeze two 360mm radiators at the top and front. All of the fan slots have alignment holes to avoid any clearance issues, so that is another good thing added to the whole bunch of features that come with H440.
|PSU dust filter
||Front dust filter
After installing the fans and routing their cables as well, I installed the two included dust filters – PSU one and the front one. While I was at it I snapped the top panel into place as well. Both front and top panels are sturdy and they need the right amount of force applied before the plastic clips release the tension. I broke nothing, so today was a good day indeed…
Putting back the front panel did not require anything special, so last thing I did was to place the HDD bays to their places, but only one of them as I don’t need more. A total of 5 drive bays are available, however you can mount a sixth drive right on the bottom of the case, directly mounted to the chassis. Including the two SSD dedicated slots that is 8 drives, more than enough for any build, be it gaming or workstation.
Behind the motherboard tray things are quite intriguing – cable management is taken to another level as it is with most NZXT cases. Routing holes and mounting holes are present almost anywhere you can imagine a cable could be attached. The space is plenty, but there is one thing to consider – the foam attached to the side panel, but more on that later.
Finally the case was ready for my system to be installed inside I honestly I was more than happy to do so. Motherboard stand offs are not pre-installed, however it is an easy task with the included stand off tool. Of course, they are black to complement the dark interior.
|PSU dust filter
||Front dust filter
Right before installing the system and running the tests I wanted to mount and check how the mounting is done with those metal brackets, both for the HDD and SSDs. I will be using the supplied screws for that job and SSD will be mounted in one of the two dedicated slots right above the PSU, on top of the cover. HDD will be installed behind the intake fans at the front. Installation is pretty straight forward, no fuss about it.
And with that last step I conclude the examination of the H440. What remains is still to assemble my system inside and test the performance of the case and write my conclusion and thoughts on this piece of hardware.
NZXT H440 TESTS
For the testing I will use an Intel based system with Z97 chipset motherboard.
Intel Z97 Test system
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K
- At standard frequency 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- At low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.24V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.300 MHz (at 1.25V)
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII HERO Z97
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G
- Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel, 1600 MHz
- Solid State Drive: Intel 530 Series, 120 GB
- Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- Case: Antec Nineteen Hundred
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
- Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1
The test was conducted in a closed system with:
- 3 x 120mm NZXT fans, rotating at maximum RPM range at 12 volts.
- 1 x 140mm NZXT fan, rotating at maximum RPM range at 12 volts.
- Room temperature of about 24~25 degrees Celsius.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install my test rig inside the case and do CPU and VGA stress tests using AIDA64 and Prime95 stability test for about 10 minutes with these settings:
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K – running at stock voltage and frequency.
- MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G – running at stock voltage and auto speed control of the fans.
For the CPU load I will be using Prime95 with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 3.400 MHz on the CPU, at low overclock of 3.900 MHz and at medium overclock frequency of 4.300 MHz.
Before going forward I had to install my system inside and this is what I did. It took a bit of time, but I was careful not to damage the paint on both panels and interior as it is prone to scratches and deformations. Installing inside the case was quite fun and I felt happy with the end result. Cable management is really improved and there is plenty of space. One thing that bothered me was closing the side panel with the sound dampening foam. Not that I damaged it much, but it takes much of the space behind the motherboard tray, leading to inability to slide it properly, resulting in damaged foam.
Nevertheless, all was okay in the end, cables were nicely and firmly attached to the chassis. SSD mount had me a bit struggling to install the power SATA, but I managed in the end, although I wish the cut out for the connector was a bit closer to the drive itself as the SATA power now is slightly bent, but still working.
Here is the end result with the build and what an assembled PC looks like in NZXT H440:
I do recommend to install the PSU with the cables attached to it as later you might experience difficulties routing all of the cables to their slots. Only real problem I had were the extensions that I use for the sleeved cables, but beauty demands sacrifices to be made.
Useful information about the tech guys who plan to measure everything before putting it inside the case:
- GPU Clearance With HDD Cage: 294mm
- GPU Clearance Without HDD Cage: 406.2mm
- CPU Cooler: 180mm
- Cable Management: Lowest Point – 17.7mm; Highest Point 32.5mm
I have to admit that the final result is worth the time I spent building it, take a look at the photos and please ignore the Noctua fan :). I love Noctua products, but the color scheme could be difficult to match in some cases.
||View through window
Here are the results from the stress tests I conducted:
|H440 @3.4 GHz, Idle||H440 @3.4 GHz, Load
|H440 @3.9 GHz, Load
||H440 @4.3 GHz, Load
NZXT H440 CONCLUSIONS
After I spent several hours disassembling, assembling, reviewing and later testing the case, I believe it is time to express my thoughts regarding the product.
1. NZXT H440 performance – I had a great experience dealing with this case. The build quality is superb and the performance straight out of the box also. I can see that the temperatures are a little higher than I expected, however this is the price to be paid when a case is optimized for silent operation. The heat from the GPU was responsible for the rise in CPU temperatures and even then they are not that close to the throttling.
Keeping in mind the fact that there is only 1 exhaust fan and three intakes, heat quickly accumulates inside the case. With slight optimization in the fan arrangement I can definitely lower the temperatures, but the purpose here is to see how the case performs when you go buy it, assemble the system and fire it up. The meshes for the air exhaust are not the optimal way of moving heat out of the case, but their purpose is to provide not only functionality but great looks as well.
2. NZXT H440 appearance – I love sleek cases such as this. It looks stunning and simple, clean and minimalistic. This is the design language that I like. Many others might think differently and the plain looks of this case could be not as appealing as it actually is. There are other color schemes out there, but the Black/Red version is the one I really, really liked and it sits on top of the others.
The acrylic window is amazing as it showcases the system inside, without showing anything that shouldn’t be there. Proportions are right and the shape is coherent with the rest of the case, following the design pattern. Beautiful case!
2. NZXT H440 noise level – Silent. Silent at low fan RPMs, silent at High fan RPM. As you can see throughout the testing all of the fans rotate at maximum RPM. The case is nothing close to irritating or distracting. Even if you keep it highly overclocked and watch a movie, there will be no notion of the noise produced. For the increased heat inside the case I do prefer the silence it operates at.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean I like the heat, but it is a fair price to pay for what you get. There will always be cases and cases, silent ones and performance ones. H440 is a mix of both and I damn much like it!
Outstanding job, NZXT!
I believe NZXT H440 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP): NZXT H440 – $119
Warranty: 24 months
Special thanks to NZXT for providing us with a test sample.