NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Review

Installation

Power Supply Installation and Cable Routing

Power supply placement is one of the H440’s unique features. The PSU is installed on the case's floor, in its own compartment, hidden from view. This design decision gives the case two practical advantages. First, the entire bottom area can be used to hide unused cables, which makes for a tidy-looking system. Second, you can use some of the empty space above the PSU to hold two additional 2.5-inch drive bays.

The PSU isn’t decoupled from the case, which isn’t a big deal. Most modern power supplies don't require this anymore.

NZXT does make PSU installation easier, however, by implementing a frame around the power supply cavity. It's held in place by four thumb screws and, once you pull it off, the power supply slides right into the chassis.

Screw the frame back into place, then secure the PSU onto the frame. Everything's accessible externally, giving you plenty of room to work.

Tactful-looking cable routing is easy, too. Not only does NZXT include the usual rubber-framed cable openings, but also a number of extra smaller cut-outs in convenient places. Openings behind the 2.5-inch drive bays make it easier to hide the USB and HD Audio cables.

Two additional openings on the bottom of the motherboard tray are available if you use a microATX motherboard. Several openings toward the top allow the power cable and fan leads to be routed out of view, too.

Space for the PSU cables can be a bit tight due to the sound dampening material. NZXT does include a number of built-in cable clips to keep them neatly in place, though. In the area next to the rubber-framed cable openings, the motherboard tray is bent inwards to create some extra room. All of the cables that aren’t needed can be tucked away in the void next to the PSU.

Rare is it that we're able to create a clean and tidy interior so quickly. NZXT's H440 makes a good-looking build possible for any level of enthusiast, though.

Hard Drive Installation

Most of the hard drives are installed on their own sledges. They’re accessed from the right side of the case, which is somewhat unique. The idea is that you want an area on the side of the case, next to the window, hidden by the side panel. Each sledge is screwed to the case separately. We had to tighten all their screws a little, but once that was done, they sat securely in place.

All five hard drive bays have small rubber grommets that are held in place by glue, but can be moved to accommodate 2.5-inch drives, for example. The advantage of this approach (at least compared to the drive cages we're accustomed to) is that each bay can be removed separately to create space for longer peripherals or cooling solutions.

Even if you yank out every single hard drive bay to make room for a radiator or completely unobstructed airflow, there’s still the option of installing a 3.5- or 2.5-inch drive on the bottom of the case.

Additionally, two 2.5-inch drives can be installed in part of the empty space hidden from outside view, next to the PSU.


Motherboard, Graphics Card, and CPU Cooler

The motherboard spacers came installed from the factory, saving us the trouble of screwing them in ourselves. The H440 accommodates CPU coolers up to 18 cm-tall, which is enough for any model in our test lab.

There's a big opening in the motherboard tray that makes switching out CPU coolers with backplates a breeze. You won't need to pull your platform out for a cooler swap.

As it ships, NZXT's H440 accommodates graphics cards of up to 30 cm-long. This number increases to 40 cm once you pull out the appropriate hard drive bay.

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72 comments
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  • brarboy
    It really does give a look of home to pc peripherals that will be residing inside it. Another great recommendation for gaming pc. Thanks for the reviews ;)
    6
  • Phillip Wager
    my 4670k has never gone above 50 degrees with my noctua in a fractal arc midi r2 even though this is a smaller heatsink 68 degrees at stock clocks is just .. wow.
    0
  • doron
    Looks like the cpu cooler touches the gpu. How did you deal with it?
    0
  • ta152h
    No drive bay, because no one ever uses Blu-Ray drives, or DVDs? How this trash even gets made is a surprise, how it gets 'reviewed' is less of one. Being different, in a bad way, isn't good. I have a great idea, I'm going to make an ugly rectangular case out of polycarbonate, and it's going to have some great features - it won't have space for a motherboard of power supply, but it will have plenty of space for fans and lights. The nice thing is, regardless of the motherboard you have, it's right for you. You can just as easily not put your Mini-ITX in, as you can your E-ATX. No doubt, this will warrant very favorable reviews, due to this innovative and hipster approach, while maintaining the ugly rectangular shape. My motto? "It's now, it's wow" for the hipster dorks, and for the low-brow crowd, "Yo' mama so ugly, even I won't mount her". That's sure to bring in the degenerate, sub-human, buyer that was on the fence, or eating it.
    -16
  • AMD Radeon
    finally my favorite case got Tomshardware attention :)great review!!
    3
  • tomfreak
    Perfect case with a few minor draw backs.

    1. It is a mid tower/ less expansion slot, only 7. putting 3rd double slot GPU will be a trouble.

    2. Poor use of 3.5 HDD space. Could have easily house 10 HDDs while still have some gap for ventilation

    3. while dropping 5.25 bay is a good thing since 5.25 optical ROM drive are pretty much obsolete now but there are still a lot of enthusiast front panel like fan controller are still on 5.25 bay.
    1
  • ubercake
    I really think NZXT makes the best cases out there right now. They really think when they design cases. They don't block the intake fans with nearly solid metal drive cage mounts like many other cases in all price ranges and drive cages and mounts are removable. They tuck SSDs neatly out of the way on the back of the motherboard tray or like with this case just above the PSU. They have the cutouts. They don't have too many 5.25 bays (if you're building a burn station, this might deter you). Fan power headers with variable speed switches right on the case (why the heck not???).

    They're just really easy cases in which to build a PC. They are the only company I've seen that's moved case design forward other than Corsair with the 350D (although you need a different type/amount of floor or desk space to accommodate this design). Every other case company seems to put out the same rectangular shape with intake fans blocked by nearly solid sheets of metal and tops too close to the top of motherboards so you can't push/pull your AIO cooler's rad, or case width too shallow for a decent air cooler and a fraction of a centimeter behind the motherboard tray by which you can't very well manage cables.
    6
  • Ozan
    Great review indeed. I (both) appreciate the trouble for making this lovely review and also the stylish design of the futuristic mid-tower case. Thank you Kai. Thank you nzxt endustrial designers and thank you nzxt engineers. I am considering to buy the H440...
    3
  • Someone Somewhere
    Interesting thought: Why don't any cases put 5.25" bays at the bottom? No airflow issue because the PSU sits right behind it, and because they're rarely used it's not an issue if they're slightly harder to get to. Though on a desk drives at the bottom would actually be easier to access.
    2
  • inveriti
    Can someone please explain to me how 5.25" bays are "obsolete" when you still need them to install your OS? I'm sorry, but most of us don't have a spare rig sitting around dedicated to mounting bootable ISOs onto a flash drive. Whoever thought this was a good idea should be put in stocks and publicly humiliated, and whoever OK'ed this as a "smart buy" should be fired.
    -5
  • Someone Somewhere
    A reasonable number of people have a second rig, or a laptop for moving stuff around, or a family member or flatmate they can borrow a machine from temporarily

    I haven't actually installed an OS off a DVD for ages.
    6
  • burkhartmj
    @inveriti I can't even remember the last time I used any kind of disc to install an OS. I have flash drives dedicated to Windows 7 and Windows 8 as part of my troubleshooting setup, and keep an ISO of Ubuntu hanging around for quick jobs. An 8GB flash drive is 7 bucks or less, and price to GB mostly goes down as you increase capacity. Just grab a flash drive big enough for the OS install of your choice and some room for file backup and suddenly that DVD drive just got a lot less useful.
    Also the same logic applies the other way. I actually don't have a way to burn a disc if my desktop goes down [my Surface pro can make bootable flash drives, but it can't exactly burn a disc]. We all have a billions USB drives lying around collecting dust, why not put them to use?
    5
  • toddybody
    Gorgeous case. Wow. I love the panel that covers the PSU and cables. Great to see case makers provide more options to keep the system clean and sexy.
    3
  • ubercake
    Anonymous said:
    Can someone please explain to me how 5.25" bays are "obsolete" when you still need them to install your OS? I'm sorry, but most of us don't have a spare rig sitting around dedicated to mounting bootable ISOs onto a flash drive. Whoever thought this was a good idea should be put in stocks and publicly humiliated, and whoever OK'ed this as a "smart buy" should be fired.


    Most of us do have USB ports on our rigs.

    External optical drives are the way to go. It was the same thing with 3.5" disks. There was an abundance of affordable external USB 3.5" drives before they were no longer in use. Again, unless you're setting up a burn station, there's no real practical use for more than one 5.25" drive bay. Even most would argue that an external optical drive would suffice and they are quite affordable now.
    4
  • Dolsenenator
    An External BluRay / DVD Drive is the simple solution for the non-usb types. I really like this case! Well designed for the gamer crowd!
    4
  • ceeblueyonder
    i checked out this review because the case is in white. i think they need to make cases in white or aluminum. i know the pc crowd is less interested in aesthetics/design than the apple crowd, but to me, a white case blends in better in a room. i have a fractal design r4 and even though it's a mid tower case, it is still large and my room is small. but, having the tower in white, to me, makes the tower look smaller, perceptively-speaking, against the white walls of my room. i also think that changing the color of the case to white scrutinizes the design of the case even more so than a black case where everything blends in or masked by the color since a dark color absorbs light. aluminum is even better since it reflects light. just a though.....
    0
  • vagrantsoul
    Absolutely love this case, the only gripe would be wishing for a more secure method of having the feet attached, had one pop off from stripping screw threads on teh case, superglue and teflon tape fixed it and is unnoticable...Built in the black/red version ... here's a few fast shots.http://imgur.com/a/CBjCl#0ample room, quiet, overclocked i5 4670K to 4.2 ghz, temps never rise above 36cignore the post code, needed a bios flash when i took this.
    1
  • ceeblueyonder
    Quote:
    Absolutely love this case, the only gripe would be wishing for a more secure method of having the feet attached, had one pop off from stripping screw threads on teh case, superglue and teflon tape fixed it and is unnoticable...Built in the black/red version ... here's a few fast shots.http://imgur.com/a/CBjCl#0ample room, quiet, overclocked i5 4670K to 4.2 ghz, temps never rise above 36cignore the post code, needed a bios flash when i took this.
    my fractal design r4 has same problem with rubber thingy pooping off. the glue on it dried out or something and i guess it popped out with me just moving the case a few times from under the desk to change something inside on a carpeted floor. i do have to remember or buy crazy glue the next time i move the case since it needs it to keep the tower balance.
    0
  • rayden54
    Every time I see a case with no optical drive slot my first thought is JUNK. It's good all of you people've got super-high-speed internet connections that you can download 50GB like it's nothing. Not everyone can get a decent internet connection and I am so SICK of you people acting like you're the only people in the world.
    -2
  • vagrantsoul
    ceeblueyonder, make sure to get loctite professional, just a little short of jb weld in strength, far less mess.
    0