NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Review

First Impressions And 360° Picture Gallery

The H440 employs a simple, yet modern, design with only a few edges breaking up the plain surfaces. These accents are finished in black for the white case and in red for the black case.

There's a side window cut in such a way as to hide the drive bays, but also to facilitate a good view of the interior's most interesting components. Consequently, a large CPU cooler can deliver its full visual impact. And even though that front might look like a door, it's actually just a cover. Oh, the things you can do when you tear the 5.25-inch peripherals out of an enclosure.

A first look through the side window makes it obvious that the power supply is housed in its own compartment on the floor of the case, and not viewable from outside. Not only does this guarantee a certain uniformity between H440-based systems, but it also helps you hide the unused leads from partly-modular or non-modular PSUs. You can even use that space to hide other cables.

As far as quality goes, we're left with a good first impression. NZXT's finish is clean and without identifiable flaws. The front panel and top cover don't have any give to them. Moreover, the case doesn’t rock or slide.

And here's a handy little design detail: the thumb screws responsible for holding the side panels and hard drive bays in place stay attached to their mounts once they're unscrewed, preventing them from getting lost.

Discreet Lighting That Also Increases Usability

Ah ha; you thought you had us on misusing discreet, didn't you? In actuality, all of the H440's lighting elements are in the back of the case. They consist of the manufacturer’s name on the PSU compartment, as well as a number of LEDs in the area around the rear case fan and expansion slots. Subtle, yet classy, the lighting reinforces the H440's high-quality design.

In the picture below, it looks like the LEDs are illuminating the inside-rear of the case. Really though, they're well-concealed and attached to the outside of the case. This makes for a nice visual effect, plus has bonus utility when you're looking for a port or plug back there and need a little extra light.

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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 ;)
  • 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.
  • doron
    Looks like the cpu cooler touches the gpu. How did you deal with it?
  • 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.
  • AMD Radeon
    finally my favorite case got Tomshardware attention :)great review!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • ubercake
    191566 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.....
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • vagrantsoul
    ceeblueyonder, make sure to get loctite professional, just a little short of jb weld in strength, far less mess.
  • ceeblueyonder
    rayden54, i hear yah. this case is deceptive in that it has a door hinge to cover fans. fans! the no 51/4 bay thingy in pc cases that is this large is just ridiculous. i know these pc case manufacturers have like 2 people working in their design team or know a relative to design their cases or outsource it to minimum-waged industrial designers working in who knows where--jeez!!!--just so tired of this idea that we are "progressive"--this case is "sooooo modern" because we have omitted 51/4 bays.... why can't a reasonably-priced case be reasonably-designed, too? is designing a case for a specific price point this hard?
  • JackNaylorPE
    Very nice response to Phanteks Enthoo / Luxe cases incorporating many of the same features. Both have ...

    -Adjustable rear fan mount
    -Hidden PSU Compartment
    -Max 30 watts on the Fan PCB-LED Switch
    -Cable Routing Options
    -Window hides HD bays
    -SSD Mounting options
    -Both even left out the rubber fan frame isolators on the case fans but identical retail fan has em.

    I think the design could have accommodated a removable 5.25 cage....seems "the option" of going either way would make it more appealing.

    I used USB to install my OS but it is a pain keeping three USBs around cause all wanna start off root, (one for memtest, one for OS ISO, one for BIOS upgrades. I also provide DVDs with all current drivers, benchmarks, utilities on it as a fall back for the user when I do a build.

    I like USB's for data that changes .... prefer opticals for stuff that doesn't change ... and the fact that I can print labels makes managing 12 machines here at home / office rather easy..... would have hard time keeping track of all those USBs.

    Opticals are also much cheaper and easier to manage for record documents for those who consult or work from home. Every time I design a building or other project, record copies must be filed w/ regulatory agencies. But even for those that shun opticals, they also cut out much of the enthusiast crowd with no place to mount a fan controller, OC Panels, Water Cooling Controller (Aquero 5/6) or temperature displays.

    It does seem odd that the fan PCB thingie doesn't provide speed control like the Phanteks one does .... or that the PSU has no vibration isolation. The Phanteks one takes a MoBo Fan Header lead (PWM or Variable voltage) and lets you control up to 11 fans via the BIOS settings or software. I have to wonder if this might have been a feature that was missed because of the lack of documentation.

    So hats off to NZXT .... great to see these features being incorporated by other manufacturers. I'd still choose an Enthoo Primo or a Luxe with the main reasons being, 1) The fan control PCB on the Phanteks, 2) a few features the 440 doesn't have (i.e. vibration isolated pump mount) and 3) even if I chose not to build with an optical, I don't like the permanence of being denied that decision if I changed my mind and 4) no place to mount controllers, OC Panels, LCDs or temp displays. An optional "bolt in" 5.25 bay, even as a purchase option, would remove that concerns.

    I have had 4 portables .... found them not to be very durable or convenient w/ 12 boxes in the house. The SCSI one (cartridge 6-pak) from the mid 90s still works :). You can get away without opticals, you can get away without USB sticks.... however, whichever option works for you, I don't see why removing the choice is necessary....especially when ya not just taking away opticals but the above mentioned items also.

    EDIT: All my formatting / paragraph breaks were removed on original post, edited to fix
  • burkhartmj
    1319765 said:
    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.


    Pretty sure you're ignoring literally everything people have said. Firstly, if this case isn't for you because you need an optical drive, cool, have fun with one of the THOUSANDS of other cases out there with that. This is marketed to the many people who don't need it, but the whole point of variety and specialization of features is that everyone can get what they want from something on the market, it doesn't have to be the same thing. Secondly, what are you downloading that's 50GB? It's only a special niche that downloads full, uncompressed Blu-Ray movies, and the largest OS image I've seen is around 8GB. Games can get a bit out of hand [though never seen one above 20GB], but personally I'd opt for an external optical drive for those one-off installs, then I can put it away and have a clean looking computer.

    This would be like someone coming on here bitching about the lack of PATA ports on a motherboard. Sure, you might need that, and there are things out there that support that need, but technology as a whole is moving away from optical drives in favor of flash storage and web streaming.
  • footman
    I bought this case a few weeks back and moved my overclocked and watercooled 3770K and pair of R9 290's in to it. The case looks fantastic in Black and Red. The lack of bays did not bother me as I have an external DVD-RW still.
    What bothered me was the terrible airflow for my pair of 240 rads. With the front panel and top panel on my PC overheated and shut down and I was not able to run prime 95 or even BF4. With the panels off all was well and the computer ran fine. The last case I had was a NZXT Switch 810 and I had no issues with this case. My rads are low fpi and both had 1450rpm Corsair 120mm SP fans supplying them with air. I considered cutting some holes in the panels, but ultimately went back to my Switch 810. Now I have an H440 for sale :-)