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NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Review

NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Review
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Big changes are afoot at NZXT. The company's new H440 mid-tower chassis doesn’t have any bays for externally-facing 5.25-inch drives. The company assures us that there are plenty of features to take up that space and make your system look even better.

We've watched the usefulness of optical drives taper off over the years due to two important trends. First, hard drives are larger, offering massive capacities at lower cost. That means you can cram a lot more of your digital information onto disk. Second, we're consuming content differently. Movies are streamed, games are downloaded, and files are backed up to those bigger, cheaper hard drives, either locally or in the cloud.

Much of the data that was transferred from CD or DVD to your hard drive now goes from the Internet to local storage. For those few cases when an optical drive is needed, one external device can serve all of your systems sufficiently.

PC case manufacturers are starting to react, bidding 5.25-inch optical drive bays farewell (even though those aren't the only peripherals this decision affects). The first representative example in our labs is NZXT's mid-tower H440, which closes the gap between the company's H230 and H630 models. You can buy the H440 in either a white finish with black accents or a black finish with red accents. It also features noise dampening, a large window, and ample fans, straight from the factory.

In the place of those scrapped 5.25-inch bays, NZXT includes more interesting features in this chassis' design. For instance, hard drives are installed differently, there are power connectors for up to 10 fans, and the interior is compartmentalized. If you like your systems clean and tidy inside, the H440 is probably going to be right up your alley. Fittingly, the case’s slogan, straight from the manufacturer’s website, is "Remarkably Clean."

Although it sold out fairly quickly after launch, the H440 is now available again online for $120 in black and $140 in white.

Packaging and In The Box

When we received the H440 from NZXT, it hadn't yet been made public. Consequently, our sample didn't arrive in retail packaging, rendering us unable to unbox the case and introduce its bundle piece by piece.

NZXT's manual hadn’t been printed yet, so we only got a pile of screws, an above-average number of cable ties, a bit to help with motherboard spacer installation, and an NZXT sticker made from stiff metal foil.

Technical Specifications and Front Panel

ManufacturerNZXT
Model
H440
TypeMid-tower
Dimensions (HxWxD)51 x 22 x 47.6 cm
WeightApproximately 10 kg
MaterialsPlastic, steel
Form FactorATX, microATX, mini-ITX
Drive Bays6 x 2.5" or 3.5"
2 x 2.5" (Above the PSU)
PCI Slots
Seven
FansFan hub with 10 x three-pin connector
Front: 2 x 14 cm or 3 x 12 cm; 3 x 12 cm (1200 RPM) included
Top: 2 x 14 cm or 3 x 12 cm; none included
Rear: 1 x 14/12 cm; 1 x 14 cm (1000 RPM) included
Optional Water CoolingFront: Up to 28/36 cm radiator
Top: Up to 28/36 cm radiator
Rear: 14 cm radiator
CPU Cooler
Up to 18 cm
Graphics Card
Up to 30/40 cm, including protruding cables (with/without hard drive bays)
Power Supply
Up to 40 cm, including protruding cables
Cable Management
1.77 to 3.25 cm
Price$120 (Black)
$140 (White)

Up top, the NZXT H440 features two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as the requisite HD Audio connectors, all of which are clearly marked with fittingly modern labels. The power and reset buttons are located on the far-left side of the case's top.

Controls for the optional case lighting are moved to the top of the enclosure's back in order to maintain the smooth, uninterrupted appearance of the most visible panels.

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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