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NZXT H630 Silent Ultra Tower Computer Case Review

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NZXT H630 Exterior Features

I still find it difficult to capture the true impression of a computer case with a photo – many have to be seen in person, or in relation to something else to really get a feel for dimensions and “look.” I’ll just go ahead and say the H630 is deceptive – seeing product photos online didn’t really prepare me for how big this case is. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it seems appropriate enough dimensionally, but just imagine at least two 200mm fans stacked on top of each other filling that front panel. The clean lines and “satin” black finish (it isn’t matte, but it isn’t even remotely glossy either) don’t help, as they remove any sort of reference points the eye might have to gauge the size. One thing I want to draw your attention to: the top exhaust grill. Normally, I place my cases on the floor to my right. Since this exhaust grill is located only on this side, you may want to place the H630 to your left to cut down on sound from the internal components escaping with the heat. The placement of the I/O panel reaffirms this choice, and seems to be the way NZXT intended. As always, your individual setup and preferences will come into play here, but if you’re concerned about noise keep that in mind.

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Maybe a rear view will give us some more perspective – that’s a 140mm fan back there, which might give a better idea of the width of this enclosure. I especially appreciate the mounting system for that fan (and most of the other fan mounts on this case) that so far remains unique to NZXT – the slots allow you to raise or lower your choice of fan to align it with a CPU cooler, for instance. I love seeing these types of innovations – low cost, effective solutions that make sense. Again, note the top exhaust grill – this is one area that sound will escape despite the dampening closed-cell foam used in the top panel, but as this area points away from you that shouldn’t be an issue.

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Other than the I/O panel and filtered intake vent, there isn’t much to see on the right side of the H630. Keep in mind, all of the panels you see are steel, but the top and front panels use a plastic frame (and are essentially wrapped with a thin steel covering, a technique I’ve seen used on many cases). The satin black finish seems consistent throughout, and really helps blend into whatever setup you may have.

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NZXT may have toned down the styling from the Phantom line of cases, but that doesn’t mean they were happy with a simple black box. An interesting asymmetrical/”interlocking” design connects the front intake on the side with the top exhaust vents. Handily, it doubles as a nice gripping surface to remove the top and front panels. When you do remove the front panel, the I/O ports remain connected to the frame, which is always nice to be able to completely remove a panel without disconnecting wires.

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The front, sides and top panels are all lined extensively with 7mm thick closed-cell sound dampening foam. The addition of this material definitely contributes quite a bit of heft to each of these panels, but also serve to dampen fan and component noise from hard drives, optical drives, etc. In my experience with working with the H630, this foam contributed greatly to controlling noise, but not as much as component choice and sufficient airflow. If you starve your CPU/GPU coolers of cool air, their fans will just run faster (louder) to compensate. Don’t expect this foam to perform miracles by itself is what I am trying to say here – but don’t think it is worthless either. It certainly cut down on the “coil whine” heard from some GPUs (my 7970 is a major culprit here), virtually erased any hard drive noises and changed the “character” of the sound escaping. It definitely serves a purpose here, and seems to do its job well.

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Finally, a view of the power/reset buttons when powered on. I thought the choice of a white LED was excellent, and helps contribute to the overall “sophisticated” look of the chassis. It has a very solid feel, and actuates with very little travel (the feel of buttons is one of those subtle details that I feel contributes quite a bit to the overall impression of quality). I wonder if the tolerances might be a little too tight here though, as putting pressure on the top panel itself was enough to trip the switch and power up the machine. This is something that might work itself out after a slight break in period, and really only becomes an issue if you’re in the habit of working inside your computer while it is still plugged in (or like to set things on top of your case).

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The HDD activity LED is located on the front panel and is also white, but it is indirectly lit and remains very subtle (in bright light, you may not be able to see it). We’ll get a better look at that and more by taking a look inside.


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Comments

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3 comments

  1. Kzinti1

    The picture on the last page was different from the others.
    At least on my Dell U3011 monitor.
    It showed this case as being a beautiful bronze color with a chocolate brown faceplate and panel trim.
    In fact, not a single picture in this review showed up as depicting a black colored case.
    Please tell me it’s your camera and not my (fully calibrated) monitor.
    The features of this case fully justify its cost.
    My only complaint is the placement of the front switch panel.
    The panel would be just as far away from me and my desk as possible.
    The space to the left of my desk is already occupied, so I couldn’t use this case at all.
    “COMMENT QUESTION: who makes your favorite computer case?”
    Case Labs, who made my T10 with a reversed motherboard mount so I can use it to the left of my desk.
    The T10 is perfect because I could choose every single feature, and the placement of them, to my own specs.
    Expensive, yes. Sheer perfection always is.

    1. Olin Coles

      They look black to me, but there is a difference between the color black and a glossy black painted object with ambient lighting reflecting off its reflective surface.

  2. Tom Jaskulka

    The H630 only comes in two colors, black and white. I can’t speak for your calibration, but the lighting is most likely the culprit here – I apologize for the picture you’re referring to, the lighting in that shot was definitely on the warmer side and I had some trouble getting it to balance without losing any detail. To be honest, with very few surface features it was difficult for me to highlight the texture of the panels and paint, it’s a very smooth satin-like finish. If I removed the extra light it just looked like a featureless black slab (which…is pretty accurate I suppose!), so I left it in to attempt to show a little more detail – for that photo specifically. The rest should be pretty balanced otherwise. If it is imperative to get an accurate shade of the black color, you may want to check out the product photos from the NZXT website, as their product photographer likely has access to equipment that I do not. You might be on to something with a bronze color though…I prefer gunmetal myself, but why not a couple other metallic options?

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