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NZXT's Noctis 450 Case Updates H440 Design, Adds Features

Over a year ago, when NZXT announced its H440 chassis, we were a little blown away with its optical-drive lacking design. Although it was a bold move; the case was very well received by the public. The design was rather basic, however, leaving those with a more extravagant taste in the cold.

Today, NZXT announced the Noctus 450, a case inspired by the H440 but with an exterior design change along with a couple of other incremental updates.

The Noctis 450's external design steps away from the almost Scandinavian minimalism of the H440 to a more angular aggressive appearance, although it hasn't lost all of the elegance. The side panels are now made of a different material too -- it's now thick painted plastic, which according to NZXT makes the surface much more resistant to scratches and fading. 

The internal design of the case is actually identical to that of the H440, offering room for an ATX motherboard, thee dual-slot graphics cards up to 294 mm long with the hard drive cages installed (or 406.2 mm without), CPU coolers up to 180 mm tall, six 3.5" drives, and two 2.5" SSDs.

Space for cooling fans, surprise surprise, hasn't changed either, with three front 120 mm fans and a single rear 140 mm fan installed by default. Additionally, there is room for another three 120 mm fans up top as exhaust. All intake ports are filtered, and the front and top panel design has been opened up a bit.

Where things get interesting in terms of updates is the new fan hub. On the H440, the fan hub was simply a 12-V splitter, which made all the 3-pin fans connected to it run at full speed. Considering how useless that made the hub, along with the criticism it received, NZXT has updated it to a PWM hub. The new hub takes a single PWM signal from the CPU fan header on your motherboard and converts this PWM signal to a voltage

signal to drive all your 3-pin fans.

You can also opt to connect it to your Kraken hub, which will place all of the case fans on a single PWM channel for easy control. Considering that it still sends out a voltage signal instead of a PWM signal, that's not an ideal solution, but it's heaps better than the non-regulated hub, and for a case at this price point, we doubt many users are willing to invest in all-PWM fans. Thus, NZXT struck a nice balance between features and cost here.

Front I/O is handled by two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, the standard set of HD audio jacks, and a power switch with an LED-lit ring around it. The rear I/O also has a couple of LEDs to light it up for when you need to plug devices in when it's dark, and the case comes with underglow LED lighting for some extra bling.

From the get-go, NZXT is building two variants of the Noctis 450: a black version with red lighting, and a white version with black accents and blue lighting. Both of the cases are immediately available for pre-order through NZXT's Armory and will cost you $139.99.

At this price point, this is a case that we're very excited about. You can find the black version here, and the white variant here.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • obababoy
    I have the white H440. I do agree the original hub was useless. I ended up getting the CAM fan hub and optimized the cooling and noise in the already quiet case.

    Obviously this is just a plastic exterior shell with the same internals, and I must say it is ugly. I don't understand. Anyone with style knows that nothing else in your house has shapes like these cases except for maybe my Netgear Nighthawk router, but either way it just doesnt work well and you can clearly see its only purpose is to mask a perfectly normal case.

    I doubt this will sell as well as the H440. This article mentioned aggressive which has NO place in the computer world haha. It is a computer...lets be honest :)

    With that said. NZXT makes great cases and the internals of this are great!
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    Obviously this is just a plastic exterior shell with the same internals, and I must say it is ugly. I don't understand. Anyone with style knows that nothing else in your house has shapes like these cases except for maybe my Netgear Nighthawk router, but either way it just doesnt work well and you can clearly see its only purpose is to mask a perfectly normal case.

    I doubt this will sell as well as the H440. This article mentioned aggressive which has NO place in the computer world haha. It is a computer...lets be honest :)

    I don't understand either. I personally prefer extremely basic looking cases (Fractal Design's Define series, for example). Even the H440 is a little too "stylish" for me.

    This case reminds me of pre-Dell Alienware cases... and it is really REALLY ugly. But, hey... some people absolutely love this type of look, so what do I know
    Reply
  • thundervore
    I recently purchased a Black/Blue H440 from NZXT and I agree the fan hub was a huge disappointment. I promptly replaced it with a Corsair Commander Mini which is way better than the NZXT Grid+ as is controls each fan individually instead of a single fan curve.

    I then installed Corsair LED strips for RGB lighting which looks great!!

    The lighting included should be RGB as not all customers want a black/red or white/blue scheme. If it was RGB then anyone can set their own colour. They still did not make the PSU shroud removable, it is a PITA to install a PSU and get the cables connected so you have to connect the cables first then install the PSU. So if you decide to add more hardware later and need to connect a new cable like a second GPU 8pin, you have to remove the PSU to connect it.
    Reply
  • Mr Soup
    I think it is a nice facelift on a pretty good case, but in the price range there are others I like better. eye of the beholder and all that. But I have to question why so many manufacturers use Red LEDs for cases/keyboards. I have always associated red with stop, fault, heat, etc. None of which I want associated with my computer. Not to mention red light is just not a part of the spectrum I want to look at all day. Blue, green, purple I get to a point but why red? Meh, maybe I'm just too old...
    Reply
  • synphul
    The styling is pretty aggressive, may appeal to some while not to others since it's all about taste. Nice to see they upgraded the fan hub. Still surprised to see a modern case with such restrictive fan mounting. Only up to 120mm's in the front and top? Many cases now are capable of 140mm, some even 200mm. For the price and considering they're saving money turning to plastic side panels I think they could have put a bit more thought into it. It's pretty simply to make a multiple mount platform that accommodates both 120mm and 140mm fans at the least.

    Maybe it doesn't matter to others, but some may find it off putting that a rehash of an existing case, dropping metal for plastic comes with an even higher pricetag than the previous model by a good $30-40 depending on discounts.
    Reply
  • alidan
    does this not have a dvd/bluray drive bay?
    Reply
  • thundervore
    The styling is pretty aggressive, may appeal to some while not to others since it's all about taste. Nice to see they upgraded the fan hub. Still surprised to see a modern case with such restrictive fan mounting. Only up to 120mm's in the front and top? Many cases now are capable of 140mm, some even 200mm. For the price and considering they're saving money turning to plastic side panels I think they could have put a bit more thought into it. It's pretty simply to make a multiple mount platform that accommodates both 120mm and 140mm fans at the least.

    Maybe it doesn't matter to others, but some may find it off putting that a rehash of an existing case, dropping metal for plastic comes with an even higher pricetag than the previous model by a good $30-40 depending on discounts.


    The fan options are not as limited as you think. The options are 3x 120mm in the front and the roof or 2x 140mm in the front and the roof. Its the same layout as a H440, it just have a facelift.

    200mm fans are pointless as when you place a fan filter infront of them it cuts almost all of its airflow. The Fractal Define S have triple 140mm fan mounts in the front and top but no sound dampening
    Reply
  • synphul
    You're right, I was going by the article which failed to mention that. Might've been a nice include to the article, the way it's written looks like a very limited fan placement. I still think charging an additional $30-40 while dropping the quality from metal to plastic on the side panel is going a bit in the wrong direction. Nzxt isn't alone, there have been several nice newer cases. The snag comes in the pricing compared to current competition with equal or greater options like they're just spitballing the price without paying attention to the current market.
    Reply
  • xD3aDPooLx
    does this not have a dvd/bluray drive bay?

    Like the H440 and S340 this does not offer 5.25 bays in the case.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Nice that they added a Phanteks Type Fan Hub, but at the stated MSRP, someone gotta explain why it has a shot against the Enthoo Luxe for $10 more which has built in 10 color RGB expandable LED control system, water cooling support, better construction and is able to fit Gigabyte 970 GFX cards.
    Reply