Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Most of us started lighting cases with random LED pucks or strings of LEDs much like what goes on a tree in December, and there was also the choice of CCLF lighting. While they were all just fine and dandy at the time, chassis lighting has come a long way since then. Of course, many companies are offering many color strips of LEDs you can tape or magnetically stick inside of the chassis (as long as they are steel) offering users a new and slimmer style of lighting.
The NZXT HUE name is nothing new, in fact, NZXT took that original product and offered users one of the first customizable RGB LED sets to allow users to change the LED colors on a whim. Of course, this was a bay style device that had to stick out of the front of the chassis, but for control, you had to use three dials to adjust the color to what you want. NZXT took this idea back to the drawing board, and has come up with something much cleverer and allows this new system to be completely hidden from view.
NZXT send us their new HUE+ Advanced PC Illumination kit to get out opinion on, and just by looking at the box we see this is a much better device than the original. First of all the unit is shrunk down to the size of an SSD, and, in fact, is made to be installed into any drive location sporting 2.5" drive mounting holes. What makes this kit super simple to use is that once this device is connected and installed, you never have to touch the actual device again. This is because everything we are about to show you that the NZXT HUE+ is capable of doing, is all just a few clicks away using their well-known CAM software. With everything made so easy on the user, even at this early stage, we cannot see how NZXT could have gone wrong here.
The HUE+ we were sent offers two individual channels that can be controlled separately for the multi-zone lighting of your PC chassis. Each channel is capable of supporting four of the 10 LED strips for a total of 40 LEDs per side. The strips are 10mm wide and are standard to all the rest of the strips we have seen. Also, the HUE+ is 100mm long, 70mm wide, and stands 23.5mm thick, designed to fit right into a 2.5" drive bay. This design is comprised of parts made of plastic and steel, but they also include the PCB used in its makeup.
Along with the HUE+ hub of the system, you are also sent a lot of other goodies. It comes with four extension cables to be used between strips and come in 500mm, 300mm, and 100mm lengths. There are also screws provided that allows the hub to be screwed into a drive tray, and NZXT also supplies five cable ties to help tend the new wiring into the chassis. Using a Molex connection to power it and a Mini-USB to native USB 2.0 cable to control it allows this kit to offer the full gamut of the RGB LED spectrum.
The CUE software that is in control of the HUE+ has everything you need as presets, and even some you may not have pondered. There is static lighting where the LEDs stay lit one particular color. Breathing is pretty obvious; it slowly pulses the LEDs on and off. Marquee offers a few LEDs streaking across the strips while the other LEDs are not on. Covering Marquee offers the same streaking LEDs, but this time, you can choose a color to leave the others, as all lights are on in this mode.
Alternating groups the LEDs into twos, and then switches the groups back in forth. Spectrum offers a moving rainbow of LEDs, a wave is an individual color with movement to it, and there is also a pulse mode. Beyond that, though, you can make the LEDs denote CPU or GPU temperatures, or even change as the Frames Per Second do in-game. There is a custom mode that allows for each LED to be individually controlled, and one last mode that reads audio signal through the USB, and offers effects based on the music played at that time.
To get the NZXT HUE+ and all of its options to your door, including a five-year warranty, we see NZXT will sell it to you at their MSRP of $59.99. The only issue there is that this product is listed currently as out of stock. As we looked around to see if we could find a listing that has stock, we came to the conclusion that only Amazon has them at this time. It is listed there at the $59.99 pricing as well and even is offered with free shipping. While this may seem pricey, we have not physically had a kit yet that can do what the NZXT HUE+ brings to the table.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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