NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Case Introduction
NZXT really wanted to make a bold statement with their upcoming mid-tower H440 chassis. Outside of the minimalistic design, they minimized – or should I say eliminated – something that many of us have come accustom to: 5.25” drive bays. This means no more optical drives in NZXT’s eyes with this one! Can you imagine a desktop PC without an optical drive? I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that cannot, but I most certainly can.
Equipped in place of the 5.25” bay are three NZXT FN V2 120mm fans, or even a location to drop in a radiator up to 360mm in size. Even up on the top of the case, you’ll find room for another 360mm radiator, while the rear can accommodate a radiator up to 140mm. That gives the H440 a ton of cooling potential all inside a tight little package.
Finished with a glossy white finish with black accents, which is the H440 that we are going to review today, or a matte black finish with red accents, you can expect to find this case on Amazon for $119.99 shipped in both white and black finishes. This case isn’t available just yet, so you’ll have to preorder it and NZXT says they should ship later this month. This case includes a full 2 year warranty, too!
Another item that NZXT changed up with this case is down by the power supply. Your PSU will actually be hidden by a shroud, giving you an enormous amount of room underneath for loose wires. The shroud will also help you make your case look extremely clean inside, assisting with airflow throughout.
|Model Number||CA-H440W-W1 (Glossy White)
CA-H440W-M1 (Matte Black and Gloss Red)
|Drive Bays||External 5.25": 0
Internal 3.5"/2.5": 6+2
|Cooling System||Front: 2x 140/3x120mm (3 x 120mm FN V2 Fans Included)
Top: 2x 140/3x120mm
Rear: 1x 140/120mm (1 x 140mm FN V2 Fan Included)
|Filters||Front Side (Included)
Bottom Front (Included)
Bottom Rear (Included)
|Radiator Support||Front 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
Top 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
Rear 1 x 140/120mm
|Clearance||GPU Clearance With HDD Cage: 294mm
GPU Clearance Without HDD Cage: 406.2mm
CPU Cooler: 180mm
Cable Management: Lowest Point - 17.7mm; Highest Point 32.5mm
|Dimensions||220mm x 510mm x 475.3mm|
|Material||SECC Steel, ABS Plastic|
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX|
|External Electronics||1 x Audio/Mic
I/O Panel LED On/Off
|Product Weight||9.75 kg (21.5 lbs)|
|USB 3.0 Ports||2|
|USB 2.0 Ports||2|
Let’s move on and take a look at the packaging that our H440 came in and see what this beauty looks like on the outside.
NZXT H440 Exterior Impressions and Packaging
I wanted to keep the packaging section of this page very brief and you’re about to see why.
So the box that we received the H440 in was plain as plain could be. All that it had on the outside was a sticker that told you the model that was inside. I cracked the top of the box only to find another plain brown box inside. Fortunately after I opened up the second box, there was actually a case inside. For a minute there I thought NZXT had sent me a strange looking Russian nesting doll.
I think these boxes are likely pre-production, which is why there is zero artwork on the outside and no instructions for the case inside the box.
Opening the box you see that NZXT packaged the H440 quite well, utilizing two thick Styrofoam blocks.
Here’s one more quick shot out of the box, where you can also see the plastic bag protecting your new investment.
Take note that the window on the left side has plastic film protecting it from scratches both inside and out. Thank you NZXT for playing it safe!
So with all protective materials removed, take a look at this beauty! I can’t help but say this is a very nice looking case on the outside already. It’s very minimalistic, no obtrusive logos (except one stamped and hidden on the bottom of the front), and it just looks awesome in this glossy white finish with black accents.
Let’s start off looking a bit closer at the front. Up front here, we see just about nothing, except some sleek curves up top and if you look carefully enough in some of the photos, the NZXT logo stamped into the steel on the bottom center. It isn’t obnoxious to detract from the beautiful finish that you find on this case.
Some who just skim reviews and forget to look at interesting key words (5.25-less), will think that this sleek front panel is hinged and has 5.25” drive bays hiding behind it. Only to their surprise, they were wrong! This panel is not hinged, but rather uses plastic barbs and the panel pulls off. So start tugging at the bottom and the panel will pop off, revealing not two, but three NZXT FN V2 120mm fans. No doubtingly this is one of two locations that you can mount a 360mm radiator! The front panel has a sound deadening foam adhered to it, too, which we'll find throughout this case.
Removing the dust filter on the front is simple: Just tug at the top, lift up a bit, and that's it! It has two magnets on the top and is just held in place with a piece on the bottom.
Filter removed, here's the front of the case:
Moving off to the left side of the case is where you can catch a view of your hardware inside. NZXT made this acrylic window a nice size to help make the case even more aesthetically pleasing. The right hand side where the front cover is, there is no ventilation for the fans here. This is slightly concerning as I would have liked to have seen this as restriction free as possible. On the very top are ventilation holes for the cooling system that can be mounted up there. I’ll show you that more in a bit. Also seen through the side window is a shroud that covers the PSU and has a NZXT logo that can light up.
Hopping over to the rear of the case you won’t find too much out of the ordinary here, but let me point a couple things out.
Starting with the very top left, there is a little black button. This button is used to turn on and off the LED light system built into this case.
If you jump over to the rear mounted 140mm NZXT fan, you will notice that it is mounted in slots rather than holes. This will provide user vertical adjustment and will also allow you to mount a 120 or 140mm radiator in place of the stock fan.
The PSU mounting with this case has to be unique due to the shroud that will cover it. You’ll end up removing four thumb screws and attaching a bracket to your PSU, then slipping in your PSU from the rear. This is very different from what we’re all used to!
Aside from the seven expansion slots and two water cooling holes with rubber grommets, that’s about all that you’ll find back here.
Moving to the right side of the case you will notice just about a whole lot of nothing. The only things worth pointing out on this side are the ventilation holes. Here you’ll find that the front does have some ventilation on the right side of the front panel and now the top has none on this side. This is another case of where I would have liked to see ventilation all the way around, but the round corners sure do look nice.
Jumping up top, it is also very minimalistic up here, too. You can see the front I/O ports up here and that’s about it.
Along the top edge we will find ventilation on two of the four sides. I'm not sure why they opted to do such.
A closer look at the front I/O ports reveals a power, reset, dual USB 2.0 and dual 3.0 ports, and a headset and mic 3.5mm jack. Everything is labeled nicely except the power and reset buttons.
The one thing that I found very strange was how tiny the reset button was. For those of you who are enthusiasts and plan on overclocking your system inside this case, you’ll find this as a huge annoyance more than anyone. We all know the reset button is your best friend when finding that hardcore overclock, so keep a paperclip or pen handy!
The top panel removes in a similar fashion to the front, so just pull up at the front corner and it removes with ease. This panel also has a heavy foam insulation piece to help reduce noise.
What I really appreciate with this case up top is the fact that the I/O ports and power and reset buttons are attached to the chassis itself and not the top panel. It is always annoying on other cases when you are removing the section where these items are, and they come along for the ride with the piece that they protrude through.
Removing the top also exposes the locations for three 120mm or two 140mm fans, or radiators of their respective sizes. Talk about cooling potential, eh?
Finally, here’s the bottom of the case. The case is held up with four identical feet that have rubber strips on them. On the left is a filter for your PSU, which is easily removed from the rear of the case. If you take a look on the right side of the below picture, there is a big hole. If you haven’t already guessed, this is where you can stick your fingers to pull off the front.
Take note of the eight holes on the right side. These holes will be used for mounting a 6th 3.5” or 2.5” drive.
That’s all there is to the exterior of this case. There were only a few complaints, but overall this case looks slick with its minimalistic design. I especially love the heavy glossy white paint throughout this case and it feels like it should last you a long time (AKA: It doesn’t feel cheap!). The steel thickness also wasn’t cheap (thin) and flexible.
Can't forget about the included hardware; NZXT included a bunch of zip ties and screws to make sure your components can all get installed. There were no instructions, but rather a booklet with some other NZXT products. Hopefully a full production kit has instructions for those who may have a question or two along the way.
Let’s crack off the two side panels and see how the interior of the H440 looks and functions.
NZXT H440 Interior Impressions
Interior functionality is always very important to me, and it is definitely extremely important to the enthusiast. Let’s pop off the side panels and see what unique features lie inside!
Both side panels remove via thumb screws on the rear of the case. Removing these side panels with the thumb screws was made very easy, plus the thumb screws are meant to stay put on the side panel, helping ensure that you won’t lose them.
Looking closer at the panel, there is another strip of foam on the surface next to the window to help reduce noise. Even with the window cutout, this side panel feels very heavy duty and the steel is nice and thick! No worrying about panels that are tough to put back on because they flex all over the place.
One of the first things that you can’t help but notice are the 3.5” bays and the fact that they’re turned around. You won’t be able to access these bays from this side. This does help give the case a nice clean appearance.
Another item that’s tough to miss and is out of the ordinary is where the PSU is located. There is a shroud covering it, and this metal is not removable. Sitting on top of this shroud are two little trays to mount a 2.5” drive to, so this is a great location to drop a pair of SSDs. Any wiring will go in the holes behind the trays.
These drive trays come out by removing the single thumb screw and pull forward. I found this extremely easy to work with. One thing that would make these bays perfect is if they were a hot swap bay, making cable management that much sleeker and the user experience easier.
What’s that hole to the right of the 2.5” drive trays? That’s actually a pass-thru for PSU wires, namely for your video card. We’ll see how this functions and cleans up the look of your case in the next section. I would have liked to see a rubber grommet in his hole to clean it up even more.
The H440 supports ATX, MicroATX, and ITX sized boards. It does come with the standoffs preinstalled for a full ATX board which was nice.
There is also a giant cutout on the motherboard tray for easy access to the rear of your board, since after all this case is designed for water cooling it would be silly to not have this.
Right next to the tray cutout are three wire pass-thru holes with rubber grommets. These are nice and large and should function well. They’re also angled, rather than flat, as the HDD trays attach right behind this. These rubber grommets are quite flimsy, so you’ll have to be careful pushing wires through.
At the top rear is where a 140mm exhaust fan is located. This fan is a NZXT FN V2, in case you’re wondering.
Glancing at the top from the inside we can see how much clearance you should have with the top mount fans or radiator. This case looks perfect for NZXT’s coolers, such as the x40 and x60, but not the extreme and thick radiators.
That’s about all there is to the main side of the case, so let’s move over to the right side and see how cable management is and whatever other options you may have.
After taking off the right side panel, I immediately noticed impressions in the sound deadening foam from the cables that were included. This has me highly concerned that there isn’t a lot of space behind here for cable routing. Just think of that giant ATX power connector and how you’ll have to scrunch that in.
Measuring the space behind the motherboard tray, we find 5/8”, but take note that the foam on the side panel measure 1/4”, making this an extremely tight 3/8” fit! The foam will likely have to give a little to allow us to close up the side panel.
Here’s a full view of the right side without the door in place. Let’s break it down and see what we’ve got.
The things that stuck out to me first were the boards attached to the case. The one in the middle is a hub for the fans that are included and can support up to 10 total fans.
The one on the top is for the LED light system, but you will not be able to fit any more lights to this.
On the left hand side you’ll find five 3.5” drive bays that can accommodate both 3.5” and 2.5” drives. Each tray is held in with two thumb screws, making removing them not a huge task. For the 3.5” drives, you will find rubber rings in place to assist with vibration reduction. My caution to you is, be careful sliding your 3.5” drives around as I did knock one rubber ring off. These rubber rings are just stuck on like a sticker, making accidental removal very possible.
If you remember from the exterior shots, on the very bottom is where you can mount the 6th drive. This is that location looking from the inside. It’s kind of a pain since you need to screw in your drive from the bottom of the case, but it’s there nonetheless.
Should you choose to remove all of the 3.5” drive trays, you will gain a fair amount of extra clearance for larger video cards. This will shift from the standard 294mm to 406mm of room, which even the 294mm of room should be more than enough for your powerhouse video cards. For reference, cards like the GTX Titan, 780, and 770 all measure in at 267mm long, while AMD’s R9 280X and 290X both measure in at 275mm. Of course if you go with a card with extreme cooling on it, it’ll be longer than chances are you’ll have to remove a drive bay or two, but you may not even have to remove the trays to use the system as-is.
That’s all there is to the inside of this case, so let’s take a look and see how installing hardware is.
Hardware Installation Inside The NZXT H440
Mid-tower cases always scare me, especially when it comes to enthusiast grade cases. The H440 has a fairly unique design inside and looks to have a pretty decent layout, so let’s see if installing hardware is as easy as it looks.
Starting off with the clean slate, this is what you’ve got:
I’m using an ATX sized motherboard, but you can use a Micro ATX or ITX board inside this case. Those of you with longer or larger boards are left out as there isn’t nearly enough room for a board of that size here. All of the standoffs were pre-installed by NZXT, so that leaves out a somewhat tedious step. There is even a guide pin in the middle, which I always appreciate.
Next up I dropped in my video card. I am indeed using an old video card for this build, but this card actually measures the same many high end cards that you find on the market today, coming in at 267mm. For reference, cards like the GTX Titan, 780, and 770 all measure in at 267mm long, while AMD’s R9 280X and 290X both measure in at 275mm. Of course if you go with a card with extreme cooling on it, it’ll be longer than chances are you’ll have to remove a drive bay or two.
I did install my SSDs right away, but eventually found that I should have waited before screwing them down. I had to finagle with the SATA power and SATA data cable with the SSD not fixed to the case. To get the power how I wanted to the left SSD, I slid my PSU out a few inches to give me room, otherwise I would have had to route the wire on the rear and that’s not what I wanted to do. In all honesty, this was a serious headache trying to get the wires to work perfectly. I would have liked to see these trays be hot swap bays, leaving all of the hard work out for the end user and probably paying a couple bucks more. In the end, though, I think it looks extremely slick!
Dropping in your PSU is pretty easy, but I would strongly recommend attaching all cables before sliding it in, assuming you’re modular. The space under the shroud is pretty tight, and it gets worse when you have cables on your PSU. Simply attach the bracket on your PSU, slide it in place, and fix it to the case with the thumb screws. There is one Molex power connector hiding in the back, which is for the LED light system in the case.
Wire routing behind the motherboard tray actually wasn’t too bad, but I would have liked to see a little more room.
Looking closer at my rat’s nest of wires, this shows you how sloppy you can get with this extra space down here. Obviously you’re going to have to be careful with your wires and the front case fans, but you’ve got a ton of room to work with down here that you should be able to keep them away.
Looking at the front side, just notice how clean looking everything is. This is one of the cleanest setups that I’ve built; even with my nasty 8-pin motherboard power wire being routed in the front and not the rear (the wire is a bit short on this power supply).
One big thing to note, is if you’re looking to use the SSD trays and any ports on the bottom of your ATX motherboard, be prepared to fight a little since it’s quite cramped with the SSDs in place.
I fired everything up and I honestly could barely hear the stock fans. The sound deadening material appears to be doing its job quite well.
I didn’t catch that there were LEDs mounted above the rear I/O panel to help you find ports in poor lighting situations until I started the system, and I actually quite like this.
Here’s a money shot of the whole system assembled with the side panels on.
I attempted to install my Thermo Chill PA120.3 radiator both up top and on the front, but unfortunately found that this radiator did not fit; it’s just simply too big! This radiator is 60mm thick, so it’s a monster. I tried my best, but this case is just far too tight to accept it. Even if you managed to get it in place on the top mount, you would have no room for fans. I simply couldn’t squeeze it in on the front, but it would have been pretty cramped if I could get it to fit.
However, I did get a chance to mount my NZXT Kraken x60 radiator up top and found this to be relatively easy. This case is pretty tight, being mid-tower and all, but I got it to work with only a little effort. I had to remove the top most 3.5” tray with the way I mounted it and that made things much easier. I opted to install the tubing over on that side, which is why I was forced to do such. I would have to say the Kraken x60 compliments this case quite well, so if you’re looking for one with this case, it can be had on Amazon for $119.99 shipped.
With the Kraken x60 in place, there is very little room between the radiator/fan combo and the motherboard, so don’t expect to install a radiator that’s thicker than this 27mm thick Kraken x60 with 15mm thick fans.
Overall installing hardware inside the NZXT H440 was pleasant, though I did have some troubles with the bottom SSD trays and the surrounding connectors on my motherboard. Some might be wondering why we ran the 8-pin power connector for the motherboard over the top of the board. The reason for that is because the cable is too short on our power supply is too short to be routed through the motherboard tray, up the back and then back out and around. If your PSU's cables are too short you can pick up a cable extender and better hide your cables.
Let’s wrap this review up and catch my final thoughts.
NZXT H440 Final Thoughts and Conclusion
NZXT has shown us what the future may hold with the H440. This case drops the 5.25” bay altogether and hides your power supply, making everything look very neat and clean, while providing great airflow throughout the case.
When you’re looking to purchase this case, you’ll have to ask yourself one important question, “How often do I actually use my optical ROM drive?” If your answer is a very low number or even zero, then this case is definitely one to consider. If you need to use an optical drive, there are a bunch of external solutions to use in place.
But there are more things that fit in these 5.25” bays than optical drives. I think one of the first things that people are going to think of with a 5.25” drive bay are optical drives, and in all honesty, it does come to mind for me, too. So what else comes to mind with 5.25” drive bays being nixed? Well, fan controllers, media card readers, and reservoirs are a few others that come to my mind. Since this case is geared towards water cooling, those of you (myself included) who have 5.25” bay reservoirs in a setup, you’ll have to rethink and rebuild your loop’s layout!
Overall the H440 is a wonderful case. Don’t expect to put massive water cooling systems inside this case, but it is a fantastic case for AIO systems that sport smaller components. Even the compactness of this case didn’t hurt the functionality of this case.
If you want to pick up this case, you can choose either white with black accents or black with red accents, both running $119.99 shipped on Amazon and it includes a 2 year warranty. This case is set to be released later this month, so you won’t have to wait too long.
The exterior build quality of NZXT’s H440 is superb! I really liked the thick and durable glossy white paint with black accents, the steel was also nice and thick – proving to be very rigid, and the unique features were nice. The design is very minimalistic and easy on the eyes. The added window on the left side of the case gives it that little bit of extra aesthetic appeal, and I quite liked it.
Inside the H440, there were fairly minor complaints. The biggest complaint that I had would be with the 2.5” SSD trays that sit on the PSU shroud. These were very difficult to get wired up, but when they were, they looked great. A hot swap connection in place of these trays would have been more ideal, even if it added a couple bucks to the cost of the case. There isn’t a lot of room for large radiator/fan combos, but there is a ton of cooling potential, with this case having the ability to hold two 360mm and one 140mm radiator all at one time.
One other thing that I would have really liked to see is a fan controller built into this case somewhere. With the lacking 5.25” drive bays and the ability to hook up to 10 fans to the built-in fan hub, I would really have loved to be able to control the speeds of these fans. If you also like to use an internal USB memory card reader you are out of luck.
The H440 is a great little case and is priced right for the market that it is targeting. I feel that if this case were full-tower in size and packed even more features, while carrying over the features found here, I think NZXT would have another hit outside of the H440.
Legit Bottom Line: The NZXT H440 is a compact mid-tower case with a ton of cooling potential, only a few flaws, and is built better than many cases on the market today.