Introducing the NZXT H630

I had a chance to check out the NZXT H630 in its prototype stages a couple of months back, and I was suitably impressed. It seems simple to think about, but understand that breaking with accepted tradition can be a very unusual thing. Companies like SilverStone have their own traditions in and of themselves, and they live on the fringe of design, and NZXT is slowly plotting a course to those same outer reaches. What I'm getting at here is something I don't feel like other vendors have seriously considered: a silent case...without a door.

It's kind of a funny thing to think about. Nanoxia's Deep Silence 1 heavily tweaked the whole "door" concept by splitting it in two, but NZXT's new H630 eschews having a door entirely, and their logic is sound. If you ask why a door is needed, it's hard to come up with a really good answer. The door will certainly block noise from a spinning optical drive, but optical drives themselves are a dying breed, and gamers largely don't even need them anymore.

There's a lot of that "why didn't anybody think of this before" kind of mentality going on with the H630, and when you couple it with an incredibly striking modern aesthetic, you wind up with something that's fairly familiar at first but is remarkably progressive in the details.

NZXT H630 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX
Drive Bays External 2x 5.25"
Internal 8x 2.5"/3.5", 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 200mm intake fan (2x 200mm fan mounts, or 2x 140mm, or 3x 120mm)
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan (supports 120mm)
Top 2x 200mm/140mm or 3x 120mm fan mounts
Side -
Bottom 2x 140mm/120mm fan mounts
Expansion Slots 9
I/O Port 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic, 1x SD card reader
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 190mm
PSU 280mm
GPU 354mm
Dimensions 9.65" x 21.54" x 22.32"
245mm x 547mm x 567mm
Weight 30.9 lbs. / 14 kg
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
Integrated SD card reader
Multiple removable drive cages
Integrated fan hub
Rear I/O lighting
Sound-suppressing foam
Price $149

With NZXT there has been a gradual evolution in terms of feature sets. Many Taiwanese manufacturers make the mistake of just including a boatload of features regardless of whether or not they add value to the product, and oftentimes they'll shortchange the actual design of the enclosure in the process. NZXT's cases have been more frequently integrating authentically useful features, and there's a clear train of thought that goes into these inclusions. The switchable I/O lighting around the expansion slots and I/O ports in the back is unique to NZXT but seems like a no-brainer, and the integrated SD card reader is so obvious it's mystifying why other manufacturers aren't including it.

In and Around the NZXT H630
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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

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