The main thing I love about this chassis is that is does take the hassle of modding a chassis yourself, or even paying someone else to do it; if you are like me, you have limited time and even more limited materials handy to try out. Then there is the obvious fact that we are looking at a chassis that offers air cooling and water cooling options typically only found in full-tower cases (and with a much higher premium along with its increased size), but NZXT was able to do it in a mid-tower design.
It is a ballsy move to eliminate the optical bays completely, but for the market that this chassis is intended to, we would need to get the Dremmel out, put some safety glasses on, and spend many hours in our basement or shop to even get a single 360mm radiator into a mid-tower chassis; considering there is room for two by simply removing the 3.5" drive bays, and opting to use SSDs and smaller spinners. The build we put together, while quite nice, didn't even begin to test the full limitations or possibilities of what the H440 offers.
The provided cooling does very well by itself considering the thin strips used for the venting systems, and at a foot away from the chassis without the AIO running we saw a reading of 29 dB. Considering most of the noise was coming from the back of the chassis, and with the intake being drawn from the opposite side as the window, that source will likely be deadened as it faces the wall. When we plugged in the Tundra cooler, we were shocked to see the meter drop from what we found when we tested it to be 58 dB. With the side venting cancelling sound, the materials absorbing it, and the top being as thick as it is, we saw readings of 43 dB from our test system. This is huge. We took one of the loudest AIOs on the market, installed it into the H440, and with similar performance benefits as there are in our open air testing environment, The H440 takes that noise and makes it so much more pleasurable to deal with when it sits close to you.
At this point, after all the glowing things to discuss about the H440, there was not one misstep that I could find in this design. Haters are still going to come out and complain, but the reality of digital media is that optical drives are sort of going extinct in gaming systems. Even for backups, you can just get an external drive; problem solved. NZXT shows that not only can they turn heads with cases like the Switch, Phantom, and many other designs that have shown they are a trend setter with, but they are continuing to think outside of the box when it comes to delivering what gamers and enthusiasts really want in a chassis.
Things like the PSU cover, the LED system, the new bay configuration and drive trays, the ease of using thumbscrews for most removable bits, the fact that the thumbscrews in the doors and the HDD bays all stay in the component so they don't get lost, adding the Grid fan hub; I mean the list goes on and on. As hard as we try, there is just nothing to degrade NZXT for, or harass them about how I would have done things differently. They just hit this nail so square on the head, and with such style and adaptability, that there is no way that most of our readers aren't already in another tab looking to get this chassis (or possibly the red on black version) to build your system in.
All things considered, NZXT has won us over, and if we had some spare time to swap out the systems, this chassis would likely be already sitting in my office going to work as this is being typed up. The fact of the matter is that this is the next evolution in what a gaming chassis should be, and from now on it has raised the bar to a whole other plateau that many other companies will find it tough to compete with.
NZXT has a real winner on their hands with the H440 mid-tower chassis. It is the case every new buyer wants, and it is the perfect solution for the enthusiast who just doesn't have the time to perform the mods, but has plenty of gear to pack into a sleek and simplistic design that will make anyone who sees it jealous of their setup. As the award below shows, the next move is on everyone else, as NZXT moves up a huge step and everyone else in the industry wonders what just hit them.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging and the NZXT H440]
- Page 4 [Inside the H440]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [The Build and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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