Testing the H500i with our ATX test bench netted us some nice CPU thermals most likely thanks due to pulling fresh cool air from the outside front vs normally mounting in the top. This gave us about a 3C better delta over ambient than our average. Funny enough our GPU suffered with a gain of almost the same amount. The GPU due to taking air which is slightly warmer due to passing through the CPU cooling radiator caused an uptick of about 2.5-3C over ambient. It is in no way a deal-breaker but more a trade-off you come to expect when changing the cooling air path.
When we first entered this review, I was admittedly concerned due to the complete omission of visible venting on the front panel. Even when looking at the venting at the bottom and side I was a bit uneasy as the small holes in the panel giving airflow I was not sure would be adequate to properly allow enough cooling airflow through. Much to my surprise, the H500i proved me not only wrong but intensely incorrect.
Now let's think about what we liked with the H500i, what made it a hit? Well first off will be the visual as the H500i simply delivers in the looks department as it has a clean slate appearance. Add to this potent enough fitment that we really cannot complain. The inclusion of a cam smart device means that all lighting and fan controls can be centralized for the H500i, which will make the jumble of multiple LED or control software less of an issue.
In regards to cooling fitment, ideally I would like 240mm fitment to be sorted for the top with the proper spacing to fit an AIO in the roof or to build a more substantial custom liquid-cooled box, but I also understand the tight confines of this mid-tower. There's really not much else I could ask for here as this case is overall well featured and a nice case to build in overall.
The sub $100 price point is a tough market, but NZXT does well with the H500i and delivers not only a competent case but one I would be happy to place a recommendation for. The ease of build and overall quality feel and clean appearance make the H500i hard to beat.
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)
The Bottom Line
The H500i from NZXT is one nice case to build in and has a sleek appearance to back it up. If you are looking for a potent mid-tower for your next build the H500i should be on your short list.