Introducing the NZXT H2 Silent Midtower
From the outside the H2 has very simple clean looks. On the inside the H2 has some nice features to offer. The side panels and the front panel have a layer of sound dampening material to lessen the noise making it out of the case. The top exhaust fan also has a baffle over it to help direct the sound back into the case.
The H2 also features a 30 watt fan controller that can handle all 5 fans that the H2 is able to accommodate. The H2 also has USB2 and USB3 ports on the front panel and a top mounted external 2.5/3.5" hard drive dock that is hotswap capable if your motherboard is capable of it. The H2 also has room for eight 2.5 or 3.5 hard drives and three 5.25" devices.
Specifications for the NZXT H2
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 215x466x520
- Front Panel Material: Plastic/Aluminum Finish
- Materials: Steel w/black coating
- Colors: Black, White
- Total Weight: 8.9kg
- Motherboard Support: E-ATX, ATX, m-ATX, ITX
- External Connections: 1x HD Audio/Mic, 1x USB3.0, 3x USB2.0, 1x eSATA
- Front: 2x 120mm @ 1200rpm (included)
- Top: 1x 140mm
- Rear: 1x 120mm @1200rpm (included)
- Bottom: 1x 120mm
- External 5.25": 3
- Internal 3.5": 8
- Expansion Slots: 7
- VGA Support:
- 315mm w/o hard drive
- 270mm with hard drive
Unboxing the NZXT H2
Our sample came from NZXT and in a very plain, but sturdy, box.
Inside the H2 is packed like most cases.
It is wrapped in plastic and cradled in foam end caps.
The finish of the front panel is protected with a sheet of film. It was easy to remove and left no residue on the panel.
The H2 comes with everything that is needed to mount your hardware.
External Impressions of the NZXT H2
Looking at the H2 it seems a little dull compared to some of the flashier cases we have seen from NZXT as of late, but not everyone likes their case flashy and lit up seven ways to Sunday. Even with the subtle design the H2 has some nice features to offer.
On the top of the case are the front controls, hard drive dock and top exhaust fan.
The front controls are located at the front edge of the top. From left to right: Power, Audio, USB3 port, 3x USB2 ports, Fan Controller and Reset Switch. The fan controller is a 3 position switch for a low, medium, and high. Low is 40%, medium is 70% and high is 100%
Just behind the front controls is the drive dock. The drive dock can accommodate both 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives. The dock is also hotswap capable as long as your motherboard is capable.
There is even a warning sticker on the bottom of the compartment warning the user of this.
At the back is the top exhaust vent.
The vent has a cover over it to help reduce noise. The vent accommodates 140mm fans.
The cover for the exhaust vent is held in place with magnets. The cover sets off of the exhaust vent by a small amount so when in place the vent is not completely blocked and will allow air, and noise, out the back.
External Impressions Continued
Behind the front door we can see the front intake fans and the 5.25" bays. The inside of the door is covered with a layer of sound insulation. The door is held shut with two large magnets.
The 5.25” bay covers are removed from the outside by using the latch on the right.
Below are the front intake fans. The fans are held in place by a housing that clips into the front of the case. More on how this works in the next section.
At the very bottom of the front the case is raised such that air can be pulled in from the bottom and through the space between the door and case body.
The sides of the H2 are blank. There are no side windows or side vents, not even a logo. This is nice to me as it keeps a clean look and is also a blank canvas if one would want to paint something on the case.
Moving around to the back of the case we can see the rear exhaust fan, expansion slot covers and PSU mounting area. The USB3 cable has also been run to the back of the case already.
At the bottom is a removable dust filter for the power supply and lower intake fan.
Looking at the bottom of the case both the PSU mounting area and the center bottom 120mm intake fan are completely covered with the filter.
With the filter out of the way we can see the filter also has anti-vibration strips between it and the case. There are also several soft rubber case feet around the perimeter of the case.
Inside the NZXT H2
Pulling the side panel off the H2 has plenty of room.
The side panels of the H2 have more sound insulation covering almost the entire inside of the panel.
The sound insulation is foam based so the panel remains light weight. This is nice as I have seen some cases with a hard plastic as the insulation that added a lot of weight to the case.
The 5.25" bays are tool less, but NZXT also includes thumbscrews to lock the device to the case more securely if the end user so chooses. Below the 5.25" drives are the hard drive bays. There are eight bays in total, and each bay can accommodate either 2.5" or 3.5" hard drives. The drives are accessible from the front of the case.
By removing the fans from the font of the case the drive trays can be slid out the front.
Each tray has rubber isolated pins for attaching 3.5" drives tool-lessly; 2.5" drives need to be attached with provided screws.
Each of the fans on the front of the H2 sits in a housing that mounts the fan to the case and also provides power to the fan via what NZXT calls Touch Power.
The housing accepts any standard 120mm fan with a 3 pin power connector. The fan plugs into a PCB on the fan housing.
This then touches contacts on the case that are in turn powered by the case fan controller.
Inside the H2 Continued
Moving to the rear of the case we can see that the power supply is supported and isolated with 4 rubber pads. In front of the power supply is the lower intake vent for a user installed 120mm fan.
The expansion slot covers are made of mesh and held in place with thumb screws.
At the top rear we can see the rear 120mm exhaust fan and the USB3 cable. The power wire for the fan is pre-run behind the motherboard tray.
Moving around to the right we can see behind the motherboard tray.
All of the front panel wiring, installed fan power wires, and the USB3 cable are not only pre-run for you, but are held in place with zip ties.
Up on the front are the power connectors for the front Touch Power PCBs. The wires run to the fan controller on the front panel. The Fan controller has 2 open connectors for user installed fans for the lower intake fan in front of the PSU and the top exhaust fan.
Installing the Parts Into the NZXT H2
NZXT includes all the hardware needed to install your system into the H2. Screws for the power supply, motherboard mounting, mounting 2.5" drives to the drive caddies, wire ties, and a speaker.
NZXT also includes a socket for installing the motherboard standoffs. The socket is to be used with a Phillips head screw driver.
Installing the system was a breeze. The socket for installing the standoffs was very handy; no need to track down my pliers. The Tool-less mechanism for the 5.25" bay holds the drive nicely.
If you have a long video card you may have issues when it comes to power connectors for the hard drives and the end of the video card. The H2 has room for video cards up to 315mm without a hard drive installed, 270mm with hard drive installed.
With almost 7/8" between the motherboard tray and the side panel there was plenty of room to run wiring.
The CPU cut out is large, not large enough to allow for the non-standard layout of the Intel DX58SO, but that's not uncommon.
With the system powered up the lower right corner lights up. The LED is bright enough to be seen in a lit room, but not so bright that it is over powering in a dark room.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
The H2 from NZXT is a very nice little case. NZXT says that the H2 will be available early April and carry an MSRP of $99.99. That price range is loaded with cases, but most are geared to gamers that want a little flash to their case. The H2, to me, is more geared towards someone building a system for an area where quiet is key. With the right hardware inside the H2 I think you would be hard pressed to know it is on, unless your head is right next to the case side. I am using the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro on the test system; it is not the loudest cooler I have ever tested but the H2 made it seem loud as I could single out the cooler from the case. Coming in at roughly 24dBA that makes the fans on the H2 very quiet, even on high. I could hear the Freezer 13 Pro so not all sound is being stopped, but the sound level is very quiet compared to my HAF-912 all mesh case that does not stop any sound. The system with the CPU fan off was very silent; there is a slight hum with my head about 2" from the case. The H2 paired with a CPU cooler like the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 or even the NH-D14 you would have a very near silent system.
The overall build quality is solid; NZXT provided everything to install your system but the screw driver. They even pre-run most the case wiring and zip tied it out of the way for you. Not that it's hard to do; it just one less thing you have to worry about while building you system.
The new Touch Power fans on the front of the case are nice as well. I have seen similar things used for fan power on side panels. I like that the fans could be removed easily without having to shut the system down. The fan just pops out and can be cleaned as well as the screen. The fact that NZXT designed it to accept any 120mm fan with a 3 pin connector is also nice for those that want to try different fans or need to replace one. They are not tied to a non-standard fan.
With the sound insulation being foam based rather than hard plastic the case is lighter. Not sure how the foam will hold up after a couple of years of use. Granted, if you don't get into the case daily it's not like will see a lot of wear and tear. The inside of the door may be another issue.
Overall, I'm happy with the H2. I think it would make for nice workstation PC, or even a quiet file sever off in the corner. There is enough room in the case that even an enthusiast looking for a classy looking home for their system would be happy as well. There isn't much room internally for water cooling, but there are tubing pass through holes that will allow for an externally mounted solution.
NZXT says that the H2 will be available early April and carry an MSRP of $99.99, but when places like Newegg get a hold of it the H2 could come in lower, which will make it even more attractive. NZXT also told us that the H2 will carry a 2 year warranty and will also be available in white.
Legit Bottom Line: The H2 from NZXT is a very nice solidly built case that is also very quiet. It carries an MSRP of $99.99 and a 2 year warranty. If you're in the market for a classy looking case with some nice features and a reasonable asking price, look at the H2.