As comparing a case that arrives pre-equipped with various hardware with others that don't is quite tricky, we're just looking at the load results of our test kit and whether the H1 can cope with some powerful, modern hardware. To start with, though, there's the noise. The 140mm really did spin up under load and developed quite a racket but also dished out significant airflow, too. This resulted in a CPU delta T with our Ryzen 9 3950X of 46°C, which was well below 70°C in terms of absolute temperature given the ambient of 24°C, so there's certainly scope for turning down that CPU fan, especially if you won't be stressing all 16 cores to the max regularly.
The GPU delta T of 51°C was definitely a good result, with the absolute temperature staying below 75°C, yet the fans on the open cooler on our RTX 2070 Super remained quiet throughout testing. They're clearly able to draw air in relatively easily through that large side panel and we did notice a lot of heat managing to find its way out of the mesh panels despite just receiving a gentle push from the GPU or CPU cooler.
Yes, there's more than a passing resemblance to a certain new console, but ultimately the design is far from identical, especially on the inside. However, NZXT has managed to create an attractive-yet-unique mini-ITX case that's easily up to the task of handling any currently available kit. No, it's not going to cool it as well as an ATX chassis, and mini-ITX cases with more ventilation are plentiful as are those with the potential for extensive DIY liquid cooling or more storage options. While we can appreciate NZXT is catering to the majority of potential owners by providing a PSU and CPU cooler, we would still like to see a barebones SKU that allows users to use their own components.
There are always compromises with mini-ITX cases, though. The Phanteks Shift also has limited cooling options compared to a lot of other small cases and its airflow wasn't great either. The smaller cube cases are often very fiddly to work with and have limited GPU or CPU cooler clearance. The NZXT H1 is maybe not the quietest or the best-looking, but it provides more than enough power, cooling and small-form-factor pizzazz to earn its place amongst some of the modern and seriously cool mini-ITX case crowd.
October 14 2021 | 15:04