Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
NZXT is one of those case manufacturers that seems relatively new but in reality, has been around for about 15 years at this point. The way NZXT seems to maintain this feel of a younger brand is by keeping a fresh appeal and making modern style designs that not only are functional but chic. The H500i is one such case which has a modern simple yet elegant or chic styling, but, is that enough to make it a good case?
The H500i being part of the now-iconic H series of cases has been denoted by a flat empty slate front favoring a smooth, clean aesthetic over visible open ventilation, RGB or other details which may take away from the H series ability to blend into its surroundings.
One of the significant changes or improvements for the 'i' version of the H500 chassis is the inclusion of a CAM compatible lighting control and integrated controllable RGB strip. Other cool features includes a removable mounting tray in the front to make AIO installation painless. Add to this a cable management guide system on the rear which we will look at soon that to me added some great functionality to the H500i.
The Chassis we are looking at is the NZXT H500i and has a MPN of CA-H500W-B1. The B1 moniker designates the color of the chassis which we have is black. There are multiple options of colors, this one which is solid black, the black option like we have today also comes with two different color themes internally with the vertical cable management bar being available in blue or red. Lastly, there is a white option which clads the exterior in white and the vertical cable management bar being white as well, with the rest of the interior staying with the black steel finish. The H500i comes in at 460mm tall, 210mm wide and 428mm deep. This places it well within what is normally considered a mid-tower chassis.
The H500i is designed to fit up to an ATX board with of course mATX and mITX support as well. HDD is shown as 2.5" being 2+1 while 3.5" is also showing 2+1. This is made possible by a bottom-mounted HDD tray which is below the PSU tray and allows for not just two HDD inside it, but one can be mounted on top of the cage for the +1. The 2.5" HDD/SSD fitment has dual easily removable trays on the PSU shroud which we will look at soon. Power supply support is not actually listed, and from what we have seen of images the drive cage is far enough forward it should not pose any issues, but we will find out during the build.
Cooling fitment is a bit limited on the H500i series as the top has a single fan mount and would not really be suitable for a radiator mount. This means we are limited to dual 140mm or dual 120mm radiators in the front while a single 120 will fit in the rear. The same applies to fan fitment, but it does come with dual 120mm AER model fans preinstalled in the top and rear. Max CPU cooler height is 165mm, which means it should fit most air coolers on the market with no issue. The front mounting and removable tray means that the radiator or AIO installation should be much easier but also has plenty of clearance to fit pretty much any thickness cooling in the front.
The NZXT comes to market at $92.99 from Amazon at the time of writing, and it has some stiff competition. Cases such as the Lian Li Lancool One Digital which we looked at recently, several Cooler Master Masterbox series cases and a slew of corsair, phanteks, Fractal Design and several other cases all looking for the same space in the market. Now its time to see if the H500i has what it takes to gain a recommendation for your hard-earned dollars.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: GeIL Super Luce RGB GLS416GB3600C16ADC
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: Enermax Platimax DF 1050W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)