NZXT H630 Silent Case Review

by Dustin Sklavos on 5/14/2013 10:00 AM EST
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  • zero2dash - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    This case won me on looks but the thermal/noise results leave a little to be desired. It definitely has a very nice feature set though, with the included SD card reader and the fan distribution block on the back side of the motherboard tray. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I would say that it needs more fans running slower. As a reviewer you have a big problem with a case like this. Do you review it with just the fans installed? Seems like they mean for you to install more fans. Do you install both an air cooler and an AIO cooler? If so which coolers do you pick? The best value, the best performance? Over all it is a difficult taks because if the reviewer loads it up with good fans and AIO coolers it will perform better than out of the box but what about the guy that buys it and just wants to stick a board in it. I bet this case with the right fans and coolers will work very well. But then that is probably true of most cases. Reply
  • BlueReason - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - link

    Unless you plan on installing the exact same build and don't plan on utilizing any of the fan placement options, the thermal/noise measurements are about as meaningful as Dustin measuring how well the case matched his office furniture. Reply
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I'd prefer the control panel (power switch, reset, usb, card reader, etc...) to be on the top instead of on the right side. Still better than the one I'm using (CM Centurion 5, which the power button is just a little bit above the ground. It's not a silent case btw.). Reply
  • lwatcdr - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Are any of the fans filtered? Reply
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I asked this question to a NZXT rep on techPowerUp and was advised that, yes, the fan intakes are filtered. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    If you look at the page2 gallery you can see the mesh filters on the bottom intake fans. Reply
  • jagerman - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I bought a NZXT H2 case a couple of years ago, which I suppose is the (a?) predecessor to this case, being designed for quiet operation. I must say, it disappointed me enormously.

    For starters, the case was significantly starved for air, but I knew that already, and wasn't putting a particularly hot system inside, so I was okay with that. Judging from the article, NZXT didn't learn anything: this system seems to follow in those footsteps: it's louder and hotter than the competition for even a medium powered system.

    A bigger problem with the H2, and carried through to this system, was that the drive cages were miserably painful to use: hard to get drives in and hard to get drives out of, with sharp metal edges on the drive plugs that seemed to have a tendency to cut under your fingernails. On top of that they're flimsy, as noted in the article. Furthermore they are unidirectional: unlike drive rails on most other cases in this category, you can't choose which way you want your drive cables to run. Apparently, those shitty drive rails are still here, and it's as good a reason as any to avoid the case.

    The other big problem with the H2 didn't appear until a year or so later, when I swapped out my hardware between cases: all of the rubber parts (on the drive trays, and around the holes on the motherboard) had deteriorated to feel chalky rather than soft, and left disgusting black smudges on anything that even brushed them lightly: skin, cables, screwdrivers, whatever. The cables running through the rubberized cut-outs were permanently stained dark black at the point they went through. My hands, after swapping the system out, looked like I had been playing in soot for an hour, and needed a thorough scrubbing afterwords (the black crap did not come off easily).

    From that experience, I'll never buy another NZXT case: they seem designed for very short term use, perhaps engineered to last long enough to make reviewers happy, but are using cheap, substandard parts that they don't seem to care about changing. There are other people in the quiet case market doing a much better job on all of quality, noise, and price; NZXT failed with the H2, and judging from the results and the lack of fixes from the H2's design flaws, that they've failed again with the H630.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    There's been a major sea change in the way cases are being designed at NZXT since the H2. If the H630 appeals to you I'd recommend it. It's far superior to the H2. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Fractal remains King of Mid-Tower. (My title for this piece) Reply
  • Blibbax - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    How is it louder at load stock than it is overclocked? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Margin of error. Reply
  • hero1 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    This is the case for me even though I already own the FDD XL R2 atm. I had posted on another site months ago asking for this exact type of case 3x120 front and top and 2x140 at the bottom, fewer front bays and sound dumping materials. Looks like NZXT listened and delivered. The acoustics are not a problem considering that I, and many others, will buy this case for water cooling builds. One thing I wish they did is have perforations on both sides of the door and get air from both directions. Reply
  • Trefugl - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I'm also interested in this case for use with watercooling. I was having a hard time trying to figure out how much room there is for a 3x120 on the front though... Can anyone comment on radiator mounting in this case? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    You can pull the drive cages and mounts entirely to install a 3x120. Reply
  • hero1 - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    And that's what I intend to do with it. I wonder when we are going to see this beast in stock. Reply
  • hero1 - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    One thing I don't like about the FDD XL R2 is the thin sound deadening materials. I want something like 5mm thick. That way I can use a 5mm thick acrylic panel for a window mod. I hope they have thicker materials for this one! Reply
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    The Nanoxia DS1 would be a stronger competitor to the H630 if you could, you know, actually buy one.

    I understand that Anandtech can't test cases in every possible configuration, but I think results might have been better if the top drive cage had been removed (as was done on the Fractal Design Define R4 review), and the 200mm front fan moved from the bottom mount to the top. This would enable the intake airflow to cover a large portion of the motherboard, including the graphics card (if installed). In the configuration you use, the airflow mostly blows at the back end of the PSU. I have no idea why NZXT put the fan in the bottom mount by default; it doesn't make much sense to me.

    I'd love to see how this does with the top drive cage removed and a Silverstone 180mm Air Penetrator in the top mount. (You might need zip-ties or extra holes drilled for this one, though.) The AP182 has its own analog fan controller, which would also help with noise.
    Reply
  • Subyman - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Did anyone else think the top of the front panel looked like a giant hinge for a door? I was surprised when the author noted that it did not have a door. I thought those two openings on the front folded down when the optical drive came out. I really like my 550D, door and all ;) Reply
  • angryblanket - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Very subtle and not flashy, just how I like em. Out of my price point though. Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I am happy to see it only has 2x 5.25" external bays. This is very progressive compared to other cases in the market and I'm glad to see it. I'm also glad to see that it integrated an SD reader into the case. While I have and never will use one I will gladly pay for one in every case I buy if it means they decide to put one less external bay on the case. No one can argue they need an external 3.5" bay for a card reader for this case even though you can get a more convenient USB reader for $5. I'd pay more for a fan controller too, again not because I need it but maybe they could get it down to one 5.25" bay. Reply
  • Xvi - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    Nice case, I wish it were smaller, I really want a Micro-AXT case that is silence orientated but allows for a 240mm radiator. The Corsair 350D would be perfect if it had attempted some sort of ducted cover for the top vents, along with sound deadening. Maybe they could make another, more expensive version with such features.

    I do like all the possibilities the size allows for, being able to mount a rad on the top, front or bottom is great, but I just don't want an XL-ATX sized case. I hope they make a smaller version with only one front drive bay, and only room for 2x120/140 on the top and front, along with only 1x120/140 on the bottom. This would still be an ATX sized case no doubt, but I don't feel like NZXT want to exclude too many people with their more expensive cases, so I don't see them limiting it to mATX. That's what this case is, it works for everyone! Unfortunately, at the cost of the overall size. I'm looking forward to a potential H430.
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    Agree with you Dustin, NZXT fans just plain suck.
    It's a shame to cripple a great case because of fan choice.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    I think they should knock the price down by $20 and remove all fans from the package. Everyone either has room to budget fans into their mix or has fans they'd prefer to use, especially if they're building a silent PC.

    Silence is all about the fans and few are going to pursuing such an endeavor without already KNOWING they were yanking those bundled fans regardless. So cut the price, cut the fans, and give us all what we really want.
    Reply
  • issleeping - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    Does anyone know if there is a fan filter for the front fans? I like the H630's solution with the 5.25 bays available for fan controller / audio output rather than having a door. Reply
  • ggathagan - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    See the 5th post Reply
  • christopherN - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - link

    NZXT H630 8is the best speaker I have used,great sound and good features.

    http://www.doctorbrakes.com
    Reply

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