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NZXT H5 Elite PC Case Assessment: A Compact Mid Tower Evolution

NZXT PC instances have at all times had an iconic, minimalistic look. You already know it once you see it – the clear strains, matte finishes, tempered glass panels – it’s an aesthetic and basic look that carries a sure enchantment. Whereas a phrase like “basic” may denote a safety of or adherence to some archaic, bygone means, NZXT has been listening to suggestions and evolving.

Just some months in the past, we acquired our fingers on the NZXT H7 Elite – the following evolution in NZXT’s full sized, mid tower line up. This similar spirit of adaptation has discovered its means into the corporate’s compact mid tower vary with the H5 Circulate and H5 Elite.

We acquired our fingers on the H5 Elite to see simply what NZXT has modified and the way it upholds the NZXT design custom.


  • MSRP: $139.99 USD (H5 Circulate obtainable for $94.99)
  • Tower Class: Mid-Tower
  • Motherboard Help: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX,
  • Entrance Panel I/O: 1x USB 3.2 Kind-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-A, 1x Headset Audio Jack
  • Mounting Help:
    • Case Prime: 2x 120mm followers, helps as much as 240mm radiator
    • Case Rear: 1x 120mm
    • Entrance: assist or as much as 280mm radiator, as much as 2x 140mm
  • Followers Included: 2x F-Sequence 140mm RGB followers (entrance mounted), 1x F120Q 
  • Rear cable Velcro straps
  • NZXT RGB Controller outfitted 
  • Dimensions: Width: 227mm, Top: 462mm , Depth: 446mm 
  • Obtainable Colours: Matte White, Matte Black 
  • PCIe 4.0 Vertical GPU Mounting package obtainable for $89.99

Over the previous few releases, NZXT has supplied totally different variations of their instances to offer for the wants of the buyer. In the summertime of 2019, we had been launched to a PC case that prioritized airflow: the H510 Circulate. With its constructive reception, this iteration carried into the brand new H5 line up. The basic flat-fronted chassis, nevertheless, didn’t make the minimize. 

Following within the footsteps of the H7 collection, the H5 is a redesigned case that continues to offer these basic, NZXT clear strains we talked about within the introduction with a barely elevated footprint. The H5 chassis elevated peak, depth, and width by just a few millimeters, permitting for extra space within the case rear and assist as much as two prime mounted 120mm followers as a substitute of 1. 

The H5 collection can assist as much as two 140mm followers or a 280mm radiator within the entrance of the case, two 120mm followers or a 240mm radiator on the prime of the case, in addition to a single 120mm fan on the prime of the case and one within the case rear. It’s price noting that the H510 collection supplied area for a 140mm fan on the case prime. In my expertise, this isn’t a nasty factor; I discovered that 140mm followers had a good match on the prime of H510 instances – particularly if the motherboard you had been utilizing had a beefy heatsink on the ability part. 

Since we’re speaking about fan mounting choices, now we have to speak in regards to the addition of a diagonal fan on the backside of the case. This new function seeks to hold air from the underside entrance of the PC case and push it up via the elements, cooling from a special angle. NZXT’s dedication to prioritize thermal administration doesn’t finish there; the H5 collection, just like the H7 collection, provides a perforated prime panel and mud filter for higher airflow. That is nice information for these involved about cooling!

Talking of mounting adjustments, the H5 Circulate and H5 Elite change up the choices for laborious drive mounting. The 2-bay bracket is now gone to make room for the underside case fan mount. Drives can nonetheless be mounted vertically at the back of the case. In the case of motherboard mounting, NZXT’s new H5 instances match most common sized motherboards except for EATX. We’ll discuss extra about this level a bit later.

The entrance I/O stays the identical because the H510 line, giving customers entry to at least one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-A connection, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C connection, and a headphone jack. On the rear aspect of the case, the PCI entry has been redesigned to accommodate NZXT’s Vertical GPU Mounting Package. 

Now, let’s discuss in regards to the Elite.

Very like the H7 Elite, the H5 Elite consists of upgraded followers, tempered glass entrance panel, and an RGB controller module. The entrance panel followers are the identical 140mm NZXT F-series RGB followers that had been used within the H7 Elite and the rear mounted fan is NZXT’s F120Q (or Quiet Airflow) 120mm fan. The controller module, nevertheless, is kind of totally different. Reasonably than serving as each fan and RGB controller, the module inside the H5 Elite solely controls three NZXT RGB-enabled units.  

The H5 Elite is on the market for $139.99 USD in each Matte White or Matte Black finishes. Just like the H7 collection, tempered glass panels will match the theme of the colour. Black instances could have tinted glass for darker builds whereas the white instances have clear glass for lighter ones. 

Constructing within the NZXT H5 ELITE

Each time I construct an H5-series case, it feels just like the Goldielocks of case sizes – not too huge, not too small…“just-big-enough” for many trendy builds, particularly once you begin including the Elite options from the previous. It’s one of many issues I cherished about NZXT’s H510 Elite! 

As we speak about constructing, I’m going to be sharing a factor or two about my expertise as an individual with bigger fingers, so your mileage could differ.

We started with eradicating the aspect panels and from tempered glass to open every thing up and to take stock of every thing we had been going to be working with. As with different NZXT instances, the tool-less entry to the principle compartments enable builders comparable to myself to dive instantly into the half all of us love: constructing. 

Because the NZXT’s Kraken Z63 has a 280mm radiator and the entrance mounted followers had been already 140mm, I made a decision to make use of the put in F140 RGB followers together with it. The H5’s detachable fan bracket made the method extremely easy after untethering the fan and RGB wires from their neatly anchored positions at the back of the case. Sadly, with the highest and rear mount fan positions solely supporting 120mm followers, I needed to go away these spots open in the meanwhile.

With the CPU cooler awaiting its remaining seating and entrance followers secured to the radiator and bracket, I moved on to seating the motherboard. Very like its different instances, NZXT positioned a stand-off put up for centering the motherboard inside the chassis. Each time I see this, I’m reminded how these small touches make the expertise a lot simpler.

With the Gigabyte X570S AERO G in place, I began to ponder cable placement. Since I supposed to make use of NZXT’s PCIe 4.0 Vertical GPU Mounting Package with the H5 Elite, I would want to make sure that every thing was in the proper place earlier than seating our GPU. And that is one place the place I began to note some vital adjustments to the within of the H5, starting with the middle system cable information. 

It’s… gone.

In contrast to the earlier H500 and H510 line-up, the cable retention tray that sometimes ran via the middle of the case was eliminated in favor of some huge lips inside the case’s construction, paired with velcro tie-downs. Whereas the bodily area that’s supplied inside this new system is larger, the tie-downs are definitely not. NZXT opted for velcro straps screwed right down to the inside as a substitute of making loops for the straps to look via. Whereas they’re safe, the purpose that the straps are screwed down may function a failure level if the correct amount of pressure is placed on the straps. Even with my mild constructing, I noticed small tears starting within the straps.

Transferring to the again of the case, I put in an influence provide and ran cables to the motherboard, CPU, and inside peripherals. Whereas working the CPU cable, I seen that there have been considerably much less anchoring factors inside the H5 than the H510. The case virtually forces customers to make the most of the present velcro straps as a substitute of having the ability to zip tie cables into place. The routes are good, however eradicating the pliability for the top person is a bit unlucky. What was good, nevertheless, was the area allotted for entry to top-of-the-case connections like CPU energy and fan plugs. Even with my meaty mits, I may work with ease within the area.

Since I used to be within the neighborhood, I began wiring up followers and working cables to the RGB Controller module. I discovered myself a bit disenchanted within the resolution to vary the controller module inside this Elite case. Since this unit solely controls RGB, I couldn’t run the case’s fan cables into one module like I may with the H7 Elite and H510 Elite instances. Fortuitously, the Kraken Z63 had sufficient fan connections to run the included followers all collectively. Had that not been the state of affairs, I’d have wanted to choose up a splitter cable – and that will have solely been for the inventory followers inside the case.

With followers and RGB wired, I eliminated the rear PCI slot shielding to put in NZXT’s PCIe 4.0 Vertical GPU Mounting Package. It slid into place with ease and as soon as safe, we put in the ASUS KO GeForce RTX 3060 Ti OC Version bracket. And, then, I found one other change within the case: due to the underside fan, the slot that NZXT often leaves open for GPU energy cables is gone. With just a little inventive cable routing, we acquired every thing located inside the construct. 

Closing Ideas

NZXT’s H5 Circulate and H5 Elite carry a major quantity of change to NZXT’s 5 collection. Redesigned to favor airflow, the brand new H5 provides system builders extra choices for fan mounting, together with an apparently mounted backside fan. Whereas the diagonal design takes up a major area within the backside of the case, it definitely provides an choice for pushing air out, serving to thermals keep down.

It’s price noting that we’re seeing a rise within the measurement of extra premium elements, just like the RTX 4090 and a variety of the extra premium Ryzen 7000-series and thirteenth Technology Intel motherboards shifting to an EATX format. In case you are hoping to make the most of any of those elements, test the measurements; the H5 Circulate or H5 Elite might not be a case for these sorts of builds.

Since my evaluate mannequin was the H5 Elite, I’ve to share a few of my critiques with the case. I’m conflicted about whether or not the proper adjustments had been made to maintain it updated or if I simply love the H510 Elite an excessive amount of. I by no means thought that I’d write these phrases about an NZXT Elite case, nevertheless it looks like with every Elite model, the instances are getting much less “elite” with every iteration. The H7 eliminated the additional mild strip and the H5 Elite downgraded the controller module to regulate solely RGB. That being mentioned, the H5 Elite is simply $45 greater than the H5 Circulate – and it’s simple to see the place that cash will get you: RGB lighting, controls, and a tempered glass entrance panel.   

All issues thought-about, the H5 replace is a welcome step ahead for NZXT in lots of areas, however with just a few awkward missteps alongside the way in which. Are they sufficient to warrant pause? I believe not. The precedence positioned on airflow and the redesigned look make this one of many cleanest-looking  instances NZXT has to supply within the smaller mid-tower vary.

The product mentioned on this article was supplied by the producer for the needs of evaluate.

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