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Great Looks, Useful Features, And No 5.25-Inch Bays

NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Review
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We can already hear it now. Some enthusiasts are going to love NZXT’s decision to get rid of 5.25-inch drive bays on the H440; others will hate it for depriving them of the option to mount additional peripherals like fan controllers and reservoirs. NZXT certainly makes good use of the reclaimed space though, providing a unique, well thought-out, and feature-rich case that’s built solidly and attractive to boot. Those top and front covers are particularly nice-looking thanks to their smooth lines and large metal surfaces.

In addition to a side window, NZXT's H440 features full sound dampening. Thoughtful accents like the bent motherboard tray allow data and power cables to be routed more easily. Cable management is one of this enclosure's strong suits. Many small, well-placed openings make it possible to optimize routing without much effort. Along the same lines, the PSU has its own compartment at the bottom of the case that’s hidden from view and illuminated by a stylish NZXT logo. Not only can you hide unused power supply cables in there, but also other loose leads as well.

The covered areas next to the side window conceal the separately-removable hard drive bays too, which can barely be seen from the outside. Since there aren’t any external 5.25-inch drive bays, the hard drive bays are spaced farther apart than usual, allowing for largely unobstructed airflow generated by three bundled case fans up front. And if you want to use a graphics card longer than 30 cm, simply remove one of the hard drive bays. Or, if you're using a 36-cm radiator, pull them all out. Even then, there's still space for one 3.5-inch or two 2.5-inch drives at the bottom of the case.

NZXT's H440 has several other handy features. For instance, there’s a small board with power connectors for up to 10 three-pin fans and additional spaces for SSDs on the PSU cover. Lighting inside of the case is stylish, while outside it's functional, helping you see the expansion slots and I/O shield.

We like that we can use CPU coolers up to 18 cm-tall and, with the previously-mentioned caveats, radiators up to 28 or 36 cm-long.

Really, we're not left with much to complain about. You don't get a ton of room for cable routing behind the motherboard tray due to the sound dampening material. But bends in the tray and hidden cable space in the PSU compartment make up for this. We really did miss the option to control case fan speed. They aren't overly noisy, since the fans don’t transfer vibrations to the frame, but a controller would have been an appropriate inclusion. Finally, the front dust filter is a bit difficult to access. You have to remove the entire front cover before it can be freed from its magnetic supports.

Bottom Line

NZXT’s H440 is perhaps the most uncompromising built-for-looks PC case currently available. It features an elegant design with lighting that looks good and serves a practical purpose. The large window lets your go-fast components take center stage, as the power supply and storage devices are strategically hidden behind solid side panels. Finally, cables can be hidden from view almost entirely.

Enthusiasts who can live without 5.25-inch drive bays and are in the market for a quiet (albeit not silent) enclosure with lots of features will find NZXT's H440 to be both unique and elegant. The white-black model will run you $140 on Newegg, as the black-red version sells for $120. Even though we wish it had a fan controller, we're perfectly comfortable recognizing the H440 with our Tom's Hardware Smart Buy award.

Display all 64 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    brarboy , April 1, 2014 12:59 AM
    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 ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Phillip Wager , April 1, 2014 1:03 AM
    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 Hide
    doron , April 1, 2014 1:56 AM
    Looks like the cpu cooler touches the gpu. How did you deal with it?
  • 3 Hide
    AMD Radeon , April 1, 2014 2:27 AM
    finally my favorite case got Tomshardware attention :) great review!!
  • 2 Hide
    tomfreak , April 1, 2014 5:00 AM
    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.
  • 6 Hide
    ubercake , April 1, 2014 5:05 AM
    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.
  • 3 Hide
    Ozan , April 1, 2014 5:42 AM
    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...
  • 2 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 1, 2014 5:57 AM
    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.
  • -4 Hide
    inveriti , April 1, 2014 6:47 AM
    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 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 1, 2014 6:56 AM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    burkhartmj , April 1, 2014 6:56 AM
    @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?
  • 3 Hide
    toddybody , April 1, 2014 7:21 AM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    ubercake , April 1, 2014 7:30 AM
    Quote:
    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.
  • 3 Hide
    Dolsenenator , April 1, 2014 7:41 AM
    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!
  • 0 Hide
    ceeblueyonder , April 1, 2014 8:26 AM
    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.....
  • 1 Hide
    vagrantsoul , April 1, 2014 8:26 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    ceeblueyonder , April 1, 2014 8:32 AM
    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 Hide
    rayden54 , April 1, 2014 8:56 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    vagrantsoul , April 1, 2014 8:56 AM
    ceeblueyonder, make sure to get loctite professional, just a little short of jb weld in strength, far less mess.
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