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NZXT H630 Silent Ultra Tower Computer Case Review

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Building a System Inside the H630

As always, building a system in an enclosure is one of the best ways to check the design and execution.

The power supply install was uneventful, as expected in a case in this category. There’s more than enough room for whatever length power supply you choose, although if you plan to get into the 1200W+ category AND fill the bottom fan slots with a radiator, you might have to get creative with cable management. Thankfully, the cable routing holes are sufficient, the tie down points are located in many more useful places than many enclosures, and the slightly angled grommets do assist with routing cables. The angled CPU cooler cutout is very nice as well – in addition to contributing to the design, it actually frees up quite a bit more room to install a backplate.

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Remember, you need to install the drives from the right side, everything else from the left. As you can see, there’s more than enough room for large graphics cards and full-size motherboards (the H630 can fit up to an E-ATX form factor).

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I initially installed the NZXT Kraken X40 radiator in a free fan slot up top, trying to keep the most “stock” configuration possible. It was simple to find room to install both the radiator and fan, and a push/pull configuration would be doable as well. I had to appreciate the offset radiator mounting of cases like the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 though, as that really serves to avoid most cable clearance issues. Still, the solution here isn’t bad, and the provision for 200mm fans is really nice.

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On the topic of 200mm fans, I had a few sitting around that I wanted to throw in the H630. Of course, that meant the Kraken couldn’t stay up top, and I settled on attaching it to the rear exhaust. Thankfully NZXT allows for some adjustment here, as the LED that illuminates the PCI slots sticks up enough to potentially cause some clearance issues. With a push/pull arrangement it wasn’t a problem, but it’s something to be aware of. Personally, while it would make future modding more difficult (and require more difficult wiring) I’d like to see NZXT switch to SMD LEDs – they’re small enough to fit anywhere, and seem more appropriate for applications like this.

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I tried to capture the clearance available above the motherboard here – as you can see, most components won’t cause a problem in this area. Keep in mind nothing can be mounted “above” the frame as it would not clear the top panel and sound dampening foam, so the area below is all the space you get.

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Finally, the finished build. Overall, the H630 was easy to build a system in. It is obviously roomy being an “ultra tower,” and was filled with enough innovations and features to make the overall experience pleasant. I was satisfied with the performance of the H630 with a typical build installed, and if you have a hotter platform there is enough room to expand the cooling capabilities with additional fans – more than the Phantom 630, which was a great performer as well.

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Going beyond stock…

Of course, that got me thinking… Obviously, stock performance is important since not everyone wants to buy a case and THEN buy some more stuff to finish the case. Still, those three empty 200mm fan slots were calling out to be filled – and I simply had to see if a silent enclosure with minimal venting could keep up. So, I threw an extra 7950 and overclocked all of the components (CPU and GPUs, anyway) to see if the additional airflow would tame a normally hot configuration. The fans I had on hand were 200mm (rated for 154 CFM) made by another manufacturer, but NZXT produces fans of the “FZ” type (rated for 103 CFM) with white blades or clear with many different LED colors.

I discovered the H630 was adequate in stock form, but adding some exhaust fans especially generated a significant improvement in temperatures (without the top exhaust fans I noticed “pockets” of warm air in areas after opening the side panels – unscientific, but noticeable nonetheless). I don’t normally include noise or temperature measurements in case reviews, as they would only apply to the specific configuration I used (and in the case of noise, the room the case was located in). However, with my configuration and four 200mm fans, I saw a 12C difference between 3DMark11 runs on the top GPU! The CPU temperatures stayed similar, but the peak GPU temps really surprised me (top/bottom: 71C/62C stock, 59C/57C with additional fans). There was enough airflow to keep two GPUs pulling around 200W-250W each at about the same temperature in a “gaming” environment, without a side fan! Better yet, the noise profile didn’t change substantially and the cooler temperatures overall kept the component fan noise down. It was a pleasant surprise that a “silent” case could deliver this much cooling performance – I was impressed.


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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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