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NZXT H700i Mid-Tower Chassis Review

NZXT H700i Mid-Tower Chassis Review

The attractive NZXT H700i has everything you need, its sleek and packed full of goodies, take a look!

@chad_sebring
Published Tue, Mar 20 2018 6:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES

Anyone who has been around the PC game for a while knows that the H Series from NZXT is nothing new. Off the top of our heads, we recall the H230, which by today's standards, is not going to win any beauty contests, but at the time the chassis did offer some excellent features.

Then the H440 showed up at our door, and we were more than pleased with the way the evolution of the series had gone. Even by today's standards, many would still appreciate this design. We do have a feeling that the H660 showed up between the two, and was the chassis which filled the gap of moving from the 230 to the 440. However, NZXT has given things another go, with a new trio of cases with the H Series moniker.

The three latest cases to hit the market are from the smart and beautiful H Series line of cases and made one for each form factor that many in the market for a new chassis would use. There is a tiny version built for use with Mini-ITX motherboards, a middle child for those looking to fill the chassis with a Micro-ATX motherboard, and then the big brother for ATX motherboard based systems.

All of the cases have similar features, come in a variety of color combinations, and are built with wire management and a clear view of the interior as some of the main priorities. Some things have been removed from H Series cases from the past, and many things have been added to the new lineup, but with what we have seen, we can say you will want to keep reading.

Today we bring you the NZXT H700i, the largest of the three, which is a mid-tower offering. All of the cases, whether the H700i we see today, the slightly smaller sibling, the H400i, or the runt of the litter, the H200i, you can find them to suit the build. By this we mean that all three versions are available with white on black, black on black, red on black, or blue on black as themes to start with.

Taking things further, much of the interior is wide open with hidden drive bays, NZXT uses tempered glass, along with many more additional features and inclusions will likely have you as excited about this chassis as we are. If you are not sold by seeing the introduction image above, we strongly urge you to look deeper at the H700i Mid-Tower Chassis from NZXT, as there is so much more to this chassis than meets the eye.

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The H700i is 230mm wide, 516mm tall, 494mm deep, and is made of SECC steel and tempered glass. All told, this mid-tower chassis weighs in at 12.27 kg when empty. Mo0therboard support is robust, offering room for Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and even some EATX boards as well. The front I/O panel offers a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a second pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and of course, there are 3.5mm jacks for HD Audio.

There is a pair of dust filters to keep the inside of the chassis clean. One of them covers the entire front intake of the chassis, while the other is under the chassis to filter the air going to the PSU.

NZXT also includes a "smart device" inside, which is a three channel controller with 30W of total power, which can connect to five fans or four HUEs with LED strips. At the back of the chassis there are seven expansions slots, but on the inside, there is room for seven 2.5" drives, and up to three 3.5" drives.

Clearances are also mentioned. There is 18-22mm of cable management space behind the motherboard tray, and GPUs can be 423mm long. CPU air coolers can be as tall as 185mm and still fit, but the restriction at the front for 60mm of thickness to a radiator and fans in the front, and just 30mm for a radiator at the top. Reservoir and pump combo units can be up to 224mm if attached to the cable bar.

The radiator support is shown first in the cooling section, and it is there where we find what will fit. In the front of the chassis, you can hang a 280mm or 360mm radiator, with push/pull, as the front fans are not included in the 60mm restriction. The top of the chassis has a removable plate, which will make installation of a 280mm or 360 there much easier.

Fan support is nearly identical to radiator spacing. The front of the chassis has room for two 140mm fans, and out of the box, it has three AER 120mm fans there already. The top matches what the front can hold, but we also see that the back of the case holds a 120mm fan or you can keep the 1240mm AER fan that is already installed there.

As to the AER fans, they can top out at 2000 RPM; they deliver 50.42 CFM of airflow, there is no mention of static pressure, but we do see that these rifle bearing fans are rated at 28 dB. The last few things worth addressing in the chart is that the chassis is covered under warranty for two years as starters.

The actual model number of this chassis is CA-H700W-BR (sorry NZXT only supplies a chart for the white on black model), and lastly the system requirements. These4 are important for those wanting to control the lights and the fans via CAM software. You will need an open internal USB 2.0 header, and they also stipulate that Windows 10 is required as well.

What may shock some of you would have to be the price. We prefer mid-tower cases come closer to $100, as we feel that is the sweet spot for a well-appointed offering. We have been known to stretch that figure into the $150 range for mid-tower cases with all the bells and whistles.

The issue we are having at this time is that the MSRP for the H700i is set to $199.99, pushing the borders on our conventional thinking. The road ahead may be tough for NZXT asking what they are for the H700i, but by the time we show off everything it has to offer, and how it all works, it might be easier to appreciate the cost. Right out of the gate, it is a tough pill to swallow.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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To start things off, we are looking at one of the two larger panels. On this side of the box, we get an image of the chassis zoomed right in, cutting off most of the design. However, we can see part of the front, the entire I/O panel, the top, the left side, and the colored ventilation channels which run around both sides of the case.

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Contrasting the white panels, this side of the box is done blue. On it, we see mention of the CAM software, what it will offer, and a look at the application in Windows. At the bottom, we get to see inside of the chassis and also get a look at the wire management details above the sticker denoting the color combination found inside of the box.

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The second large panel offers most of the chassis in view. We also see NZXT has packed the chassis with an AIO for both the CPU and GPU, as well as using their own ATX motherboard for a bit of perspective as to what is possible. We also see the company and product names, but there is also a caution stamp applied due to the tempered glass used on the chassis.

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The last side of the box shows us a specifications chart much like the one we already covered. Below that are lists of six features delivered in various languages, and just in case you missed it, this side also shows what color model of the H700i is inside.

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Ensuring the chassis gets to your door in superb condition like ours did, NZXT first puts plastic on the glass, and then wraps the chassis in a plastic liner to protect all of the various finishes. That is all taken and put inside of thick, dense, foam caps, which takes the big hits and drops, keeping the chassis square and intact for use.

NZXT H700i Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the H700i is closed off, using a full sheet of metal down the front of the chassis, with only the NZXT name at the bottom to break up the panel.

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The front I/O panel is on top of the chassis and sits just behind where the front bezel attaches. In it, we see the 3.5mm jacks for audio at the left, USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 ports, and to the right is a ringed power button which will illuminate once powered.

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The top panel is just like the front, minus the NZXT name. Both panels are metal, they are both painted with textured black paint, and we can see hints of how the case breathes with the red accent next to them.

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The left side of the chassis has clear tempered glass from top to bottom, and from side to side, with the edge of it painted to block the view of the frame. The view inside of the case is completely unimpeded, and we love that the panel has no tint to it.

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The back of the chassis starts with a button to release the right side panel and some ventilation holes. We then see the rear I/O and the adjustable fan location, just above the seven expansion slots. To the right of the slots is a place to mount a short pump and radiator inside of the case, and at the bottom is a removable PSU mounting bracket.

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The right side of the chassis is covered with a steel panel, which is painted to match the rest of the chassis. There are no thumbscr3ews visible, as latches at the top lock the panel to the chassis, and the panel opens, releasing the top, and falling outward.

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The floor of the chassis has wire management tie points, slits for optional mounting of drives or cooling components, and are also what is holding in the HDD cage platform. At the back of the chassis we see a removable dust filter for the PSU, and the feet that support the H700i are big hunks of plastic with rubber pads on the bottom of them.

Inside the H700i

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The front bezel can be pulled off of the chassis, exposing the magnetically attached dust filter we have set off to the left of the case. Removing both allow access to mount whatever cooling you see fit into the front of the chassis if you have the desire to replace what is already there.

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Without the tempered glass panel on the chassis, the view does not change much at all. We see a nearly wide open chassis, only slightly blocked with the red wire cover plate, but it can be removed to access everything, and then replaced after.

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The front of the chassis ships with three 120mm AER fans. Behind the fans, there is an additional 60mm of space, and the PSU cover has a cut-out to allow radiators to pass from top to bottom, unobstructed. At the top, we also see an RGB 4-pin connector, which works with an optional LED strip.

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Near the front of the chassis, on the motherboard tray, hidden by the red cable bar, we find the hub. This is where the fans and RGB LED leads come from, and with the use of CAM software, allows for full control of fan speeds and lighting conditions.

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The top panel pops off of the frame and exposes where the cooling can be placed. Notice the black frame which supports the fans is screwed into place, and it is removable. It is made that way to simplify passing a radiator past RAM, and allows you to drop the cooling into place with much less hassle.

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The motherboard tray has all of the standoffs in place for ATX and EATX motherboards. To fit an EATX motherboard, you do have to move the red wire cover to the right. The top of the tray is wide open, as is the right side, but tie points are limited to just a few.

Inside the H700i Continued

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The PSU cover is full length as to block the drive cage from view as well. The front edge of the cover offers a location for a 2.5" drive, as well as on the top, we see two more trays, which can go anywhere because they lock into the round holes on the PSU cover.

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The back of the H700i has a single 140mm AER fan in place, which has also been pre-wired to the hub. The expansion slots have vented covers in them, all of them are replaceable, and use thumbscrews internally to lock them and cards into place.

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Behind the motherboard tray, NZXT has done their best to deliver superb wire management with the use of the plastic guide to run the wires through, and six Velcro straps to tend the wires to the motherboard tray. We can see the large openi9ng for wires behind the red cover plate, and we also see another pair of locations for more 2.5" drives.

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There are two trays for 3.5" drives, both of them are removable, and so is the base that they sit on. If this cage is removed, there is an optional location on the floor to mount a hard drive, totaling three HDD locations, and seven 2.5" drive locations.

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Since NZXT has left the frame intact for more stability, you cannot load the PSU in from this side. It is also why we found the removable mounting plate on the back of the chassis, as that is how you slide the PSU into the H700i.

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The cables that come with the H700i are not the longest we have seen, but it helps with wire management, and they are still long enough to make a solid connection. We see the USB 2.0 internal connection for the hub and the USB 3.1 Gen 1 internal connection at the left. In the middle is the HD Audio and USB 2.0 connection for the I/O panel. To the right we see the HDD LED, power LED, and power switch wires.

Hardware & Documentation

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This is part of the assortment of hardware we found inside of a box, which is shipped in a hard drive bay. All separated from you and with each bag labeled, we get 6-32 screws for motherboard and HDD mounting. The next bag is specific to mounting 2.5" drives, and we also get an additional standoff and socket. The bottom row has some standard fan screws and the PSU mounting screws.

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As if the six Velcro straps behind the motherboard tray are not enough to keep wires tamed behind the scenes, NZXT ensures you will have every option available. For those times when the straps are not in the right place, or you need to group some wires, they have sent ten zip-ties too.

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Rather than to hard mount, the interior LED lighting, NZXT offers an RGB extension cable as well as a strip of RGB LEDs. This way you can choose where the lighting floods the chassis, but the recommended location is along the front of the chassis, running top to bottom. Simply peel off the paper backing, and use the 3M double sided tape to secure the strip to the chassis.

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The manual on the left is a full stop; all questions answered, booklet. Everything from the parts being named and showing the use, on through the build, and even covering cooling options, even the most novice user will complete a build without much hassle. The insert seen on the right pertains to the additional RGB LED strip, as to how to connect it, and where best to use it.

Case Build & Finished Product

Case Build & Finished Product

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From beginning to end, no matter what components are used, the front of the H700i has not changed one bit. Gone are the days of 5.25" bays, which are replaced with full panel cases with subtle hints as to who the maker is.

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Everything we used fit without issue. Wiring loops over the top of the motherboard and out of sight, and to the right, the red cover block the view of wires there. The card is almost level, the AIO fit in the front of the chassis, and we see nothing of the PSU and drive cages hidden down below.

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The dust shield for the rear I/O spas right into place, and we did not fight the card slots one bit. Sliding the PSU in from the back is easy to accomplish, although we would leave the PSU mounting screws loose until the PSU mounting plate is reattached to the chassis, then finish locking the PSU into place.

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A lot of the magic happens behind the motherboard tray. One set of the plastic wire management tracks can be used for the front I/O panel wires as we did, and the innermost tracks can be used for the PSU and fan leads if needed as we have. Some of the wires for the AIO are too short to route through the channels, but the 8-pin lead has a velcro9 strap to hold it in place. Keep in mind too, that if the HDD cage and platform are removed, the PSU can be longer than stated, and there are options on the floor to mount custom water cooling bits.

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From this angle, the H700i and the components inside looks even better than when seen straight on. We also love the lack of tint in the tempered glass panel, as we can see where all of the hard earned dollars were spent, and not have to squint or wait for LED lighting to give us a view of the guts.

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Once powered, let the light show begin. Everything lights up, including the chassis, and we just have to grab the CUE software to take full advantage of the features. As it sits, the fans are near silent at 31 dB, and the flow is not all that good at the front of the chassis. However, had we left the three fans in, which we reinstalled for airflow testing, the results were much better. Considering all of the tiny holes used for ventilation in the H700i, we feel it is enough to allow users not to boil their components while gaming.

Final Thoughts

Style, aggressiveness, bling, all of that can be found in the H700i. There is no getting around the fact that this chassis is attractive. We also love that the chassis is compact, yet has room for an EATX motherboard, and the internal features are designed in such a way that things can be adjusted depending on the parts needed to fit inside. Airflow is handled well from the factory, and with the advantages CAM offers, with a few clicks on the screen, you can have the chassis slowing and glowing the way you want it to be. We enjoy all of the drive options, five 2.5" drive trays in three locations, a pair of HDD bays that are removable, room for AIOs as well as custom cooling, the list goes on and on. We are not huge fans of screwed on tempered glass panels, but we applaud NZXT for keeping the glass clear. Being able to see what is in the chassis is the whole reason windowed panels started in the first place, and is something that many companies hide with dark tint levels. Everywhere we look, every component, every feature, they have all been well thought out and implemented in ways which places the H700i ahead of many other mid-tower offerings.

It is rare that we find a product where there isn't something glaringly obvious that it is done wrong, or could have been done differently, but ion the H700i, everything simply works. We are suckers for black cases with red trim, and NZXT did the right thing by not just having it outside, but taking it to the interior as well. If red is not your thing, there are three other color options to look at before buying this case, and some of them would look spectacular paired with the right motherboard, RAM, and video cards. We don't tend to get to use many of our cases after the fact, but we did build our old test system in this chassis after the review. With an EATX based system, we still find that everything fits, and being able to move the red wire cover plate, so we have room is brilliant. Other than having to see the thumbscrews attaching the glass panel, we cannot think of anything else we would have changed. The NZXT H700i mid-tower chassis is just that good.

Nevertheless, there is still one glaring point to this product, that while we can appreciate why it is what it is, we do feel the cost will keep this chassis away from the masses. There is no doubt that the feature set and what you can accomplish with this chassis is worth more than $100, pricing it just under $200 is a stretch for many. If style is your thing, and you like what you see, by all means, go right ahead and buy the H700i. It is hard to be disappointed. For those of you out there who appreciate what is offered, but tend to be a little stingier with your funds, maybe a sale will hit soon, and you can get it for a steal. For now, though, you will have to pay big if you plan to house your next build inside of the NZXT H700i Mid-Tower Chassis. We can almost look past the price, but we do feel that it is the sticking point which will have many users feeling defeated, seeing something so nice, yet it is just out of reach of their bank accounts.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance93%
Quality99%
Features98%
Value85%
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: The NZXT H700i has everything you could imagine, and then some. The chassis is attractive, it is packed full of goodies and features, but at $200, many will pass as soon as they see the cost.

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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