Review: The NZXT H1 is one of the best compact PC cases around

Simply what are you able to cram right into a small PC case? Rather a lot.

NZXT produces some premium PC instances throughout the H household. There’s the small, but versatile H210 for Mini-ITX boards on one finish, and there is the monstrous H710 that may maintain full ATX boards, numerous drives, and even a customized water-cooling loop. The H210 simply wasn’t compact sufficient, although, so the corporate set off to create one thing moderately particular.

Beautiful design




Backside line: With NZXT design on a micro scale, the H1 is a PC case value constructing in.


  • Attractive design
  • Suits most GPUs
  • Small footprint
  • Good airflow
  • Straightforward to construct in


  • Cabling is fiddly at rear
  • Cannot use horizontally
  • Should make off rear panel to disable PSU
  • Restricted modding

$350 at Amazon

NZXT H1 specs

ClassNZXT H1
I/O1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Sort-C
1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Sort-A
1x Headset Audio Jack
Enlargement2x PCI
2x 2.5-inch
PSU650W SFX 80Plus Gold
FollowersLeft-side: 1x 140mm
FiltersFacet panels
RadiatorsLeft-side: 140mm
ClearanceGPU: 305 x 128 mm
265 x 145 mm
Weight6.53 kg
Dimensions187 x 388 x 188 mm
SuppliesSGCC Metal, Tempered Glass
GuaranteeCase + AIO: Three years
PSU: 10 years

The NZXT H1 is distinctive and lovely

Online game consoles proceed to get smaller, whereas the PC historically boasts significantly extra efficiency (relying on configuration), and the trade-off made by going with enhanced visuals is commonly a moderately giant field to accommodate all of the gear required to make all of it occur. Some PC instances — just like the be quiet! Darkish Base Professional 900 Rev. 2 — could be huge in comparison with an Xbox or PlayStation.

PC part distributors aren’t glad with this example, which is why you will discover Mini-ITX motherboards and instances that enable for extra compact builds. The NZXT H1 is one such chassis, measuring in at simply 187 x 388 x 188 mm. The H1 follows this rule however permits for the set up of most desktop-class GPUs.

The H1 shares many design components with different NZXT instances in that it is out there in just a few colours, makes use of perforated grid grills for airflow, has a tinted tempered glass entrance panel and naked prime panel with nothing however an influence button, USB ports, and a headphone/microphone combo 3.5mm jack.

The 2 aspect panels act as air intakes and are filtered as such. There are many holes punched into the steel body, permitting for air to be pulled in by the AIO on one aspect and the GPU (if put in) on the opposite. The exhaust air is dealt with by means of the rear panel, once more sporting a perforated grill design however with out mud filtering.

NZXT acquired some criticism with the H510 Elite for its restricted airflow. This has been a difficulty case makers have needed to fight alongside the street to extra distinctive designs, however the H1 has ample entry factors for air to undergo, which is extremely vital for a Mini-ITX construct.

NZXT H1 in opposition to the NZXT H510 Elite for scale.

The general design of the H1 is gorgeous. NZXT opted to not embody any RGB lighting for the H1, probably as a result of reality the module required to energy all the colours would take up useful house wanted by different parts. It is attainable so as to add an LED strip in case your motherboard has RGB headers, however do not count on a lightweight present out of the field.

This leaves the case wanting refined, however the dimensions demand consideration. You would set up it in different areas of the house, other than the workplace and it would not look extra misplaced than a set-top field, console or residence server — as long as you do not thoughts it being vertical since there is no approach to make use of the H1 horizontally.

Your entire case is toolless, which means you do not want instruments to open it up, leading to a clear end. Cabling is routed beneath and out the rear so putting the H1 in your desk will enable for some severely efficient cable administration and not using a mess operating from the rear of the PC. This is not good, nevertheless, and to realize entry to the cables and ports in your motherboard, it’s worthwhile to tilt the H1.

It isn’t the smallest, most compact Mini-ITX case available on the market, measuring in at 187 x 388 x 188 mm, however that is not the purpose right here. NZXT needed to create a good smaller H210i and the H1 is the end result.

A compact system builder’s paradise

Constructing contained in the NZXT H1 is comparatively easy. Firstly, the entrance tempered and rear steel panels are eliminated by unclipping them from the principle chassis. Then the only piece of steel that includes the 2 sides and prime can slide up and off the rails. Then you’ve gotten open entry to all corners of the case.

Permitting one to tinker in all instructions makes the H1 straightforward to construct a system in. There is a sizeable bay space for the GPU, permitting you to put in a card as much as 305mm lengthy. This could match all playing cards other than the bulkiest of coolers, such as you’d discover on ZOTAC AMP! Excessive GPUs. I tried to put in a GTX 1070, and I failed, however solely by a bit of.

The GPU is related to the motherboard utilizing a pre-installed riser cable, which appears to be higher high quality than these bundled with different instances — ahem, Thermaltake. Pulling in cool air from the vents, this place will work for each blower and open-air GPUs.

The pre-installed PSU is situated on the prime, alongside two 2.5-inch drive bays. This energy unit is an SFX NZXT 650W mannequin with an 80Plus Gold score. It is a respectable PSU that is able to supplying secure and dependable energy to the remainder of the parts. You possibly can swap it out for one more SFX PSU, simply be certain the cables will attain.

Talking of attain, with a view to get a transparent shot of the motherboard tray, the AOI cooler radiator wants to maneuver, which could be achieved by eradicating two screws and utilizing the hinge mechanism to drag it out. The AIO itself is from NZXT and has a 140mm fan already put in and able to go. This could have the ability to deal with even Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 processors.

Putting in the motherboard works such as you’d count on, accompanied by plugging in all connections to the highest panel I/O, the PSU, and different parts. It is value putting in your CPU and RAM previous to securing the motherboard to the backplate — as you must with any PC construct.

A difficulty as soon as the motherboard is put in is accessible house for RAM modules and different parts. Have some fancy Corsair Vengeance RGB RAM? It will not match as soon as you’ve got closed the whole lot up, as a result of how a lot room the AIO radiator and 140mm fan requires, forcing the motherboard to bend out of practice, so bear in mind earlier than putting in your parts.

As soon as the whole lot is in place, it is time to reattach the aspect and prime panels, adopted by the tempered glass and rear panel. Then the PC is basically constructed. Plugging in all vital cabling allowed me to maintain the testing space clutter-free, due to the routing out the underside rear of the H1.

Firing up the NZXT H1, you’d count on to listen to some noise, however the single 140mm fan on the radiator could be very quiet. The PSU additionally runs close to silently, and so long as you’ve gotten an inaudible GPU, the H1 barely makes a sound. Pushing the system (and I am speaking AMD Ryzen 9 3900X efficiency) ramps up the only fan and the bundled NZXT blower can get into jet engine territory quick.

The spectacular NZXT AIO cooler.

However that is mainly a CPU stress check. In real-world environments and with efficient fan management utilizing CAM software program from NZXT or the motherboard BIOS, it isn’t too unhealthy in any respect. What impressed me most have been the temperature readings. Idle, the Ryzen 9 3900X sits at a snug 30C (86F), whereas in-game you are solely round 53C (118F) taking part in Grand Theft Auto V. Stress exams pushed the CPU to hit 68C (154F), although the cooling resolution was greater than in a position to sustain, and it blows air throughout the motherboard. The ambient temperature was 20C (68F).

Even with extra highly effective processors, the AIO cooler equipped by NZXT is nice sufficient and you would even swap out the bundled blower for an aftermarket resolution, ought to you’ve gotten a private choice on 140mm followers and know you would scale back the sound output barely. As a mini PC, the H1 works for low-power builds in addition to high-end, fanatic gaming rigs.

That is fairly spectacular and makes this one versatile mini-ITX case.

What you may dislike in regards to the NZXT H1

This is a superb PC case, however I’ve just a few minor complaints. Firstly, the cabling setup is nice within the rear, nevertheless it means it’s worthwhile to tilt the unit barely to realize entry to the motherboard ports. This may be tiresome if the H1 is positioned someplace that limits entry.

It is also not attainable to make use of the NZXT H1 horizontally, one thing allowed by different mini-ITX instances. With a view to disable the PSU — should you occur to be going away on trip — the rear panel must be eliminated to realize entry to the PSU energy swap. It isn’t a giant subject, however it might have been good to have the button beneath the case itself.

Lastly, modders or system builders who’ve large plans will need to look elsewhere. There’s merely not sufficient room to suit a customized water-cooling loop, until you utilize a low profile GPU and handle to cram the whole lot inside. For many PC house owners, this can be a non-issue, nevertheless it’s nonetheless one thing to remember.

So must you purchase the NZXT H1?

Mini-ITX instances usually include compromises, however the NZXT H1 does not maintain again. It has an beautiful design, a full tempered glass entrance panel, sufficient house for bigger GPUs, and it may even deal with Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 efficiency ranges. This makes it one spectacular mini-ITX case.

out of 5

It is also a blast to construct a PC inside, and the toolless panels enable for fast modifications and entry with out trying to find the screwdriver. If you do not need a Mini-ITX case that appears like a boring slab of steel or a DVD participant, the H1 from NZXT must be in your shortlist.

You could discover the $350 worth a bit of daunting, however do not forget that this features a dependable 650W PSU and spectacular AIO cooler.

Beautiful design



$350 at NZXT

A small however highly effective chassis

This is without doubt one of the greatest mini-ITX instances for individuals looking for a basis to construct a sleek-looking, but succesful machine.

About Rich Edmonds

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