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NZXT H9 Elite Assessment | PCMag

The shadow forged by the Lian Li O11 is lengthy and glassy. No want to regulate your monitor side ratio or scour the ‘web for extra photographs: NZXT’s H9 Elite does, certainly, appear like that. This chassis’ width of about 11.5 inches makes it look far shorter in photographs than its precise 19.5-inch peak. Whereas we’ve undoubtedly seen these proportions earlier than, it’s troublesome to organize for the sheer grandiosity of some instances until you see them in individual. That is one. In reality, 19.5 inches is simply round an inch taller than a mean mid-tower, however the H9 Elite has bulk and presence. The one drawback: It requires some finesse and experience to carry out nearly as good because it appears to be like.

Designed for Full Publicity

Wanting on the empty H9 Elite from practically any angle makes clear that its additional width went behind the motherboard tray, as an influence provide mount is clearly seen by the tray’s CPU cooler bracket entry gap. It additionally reveals that the case is designed for max element visibility from a minimum of two sides, and that its entrance radiator mount is positioned on the best aspect. That proper aspect is filled with air flow holes, and the included consumption followers have lighting rings on the again (body) aspect. Please take time to absorb all the main points!

NZXT H9 Elite Front

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

The tempered-glass therapy doesn’t finish with the face or left aspect. An enormous portion of the highest can also be clear. Extra on that in a minute: From this angle, we are able to see that the best entrance nook has an influence swap, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. Mud filtration sheets are additionally seen by air flow holes on the highest and right-side panel.

The top I/O of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

Whereas we’re on the subject of mud filters, a large one covers a lot of the backside panel, which is vented to suit as much as three 120mm or two 140mm followers. In helpful trend, this filter slides out from underneath the H9 Elite’s left aspect.

The dust filter on the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Swinging round to the again, we see the motherboard I/O panel gap between a full-size energy provide mount and a 120mm fan. Additional area above and under the motherboard space trace at a few the case’s cooling choices. A bar-free expansion-slot panel simplifies the set up of an optionally available vertical graphics card adapter bracket, and a handhold close to the highest edge eases removing of the snap-on high panel.

The rear of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

The H9 Elite’s dual-chamber design turns into much more obvious when seen from a rear/proper angle: The ability provide bay rests between the motherboard tray and a totally vented metal aspect panel.

The rear of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

The highest, entrance of the best aspect, and backside are all geared up to carry so-called ‘360mm” radiators, however the backside has further slots to carry 240mm-class items. The side-mount followers are recessed flush to the motherboard tray, whereas a cable-concealing panel visually divides these sections.

The side of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

Behind the totally vented metal proper panel are the manufacturing facility consumption followers, a vertical four-bay 2.5-inch drive tray, a dual-bay 3.5-inch drive cage, and a bunch of wires. Having already seen the backs of those followers in our first picture, we are able to now verify that the followers’ factory-feature lighting rings on each sides. You may see them shine from any angle and both aspect.

The side of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Joseph Maldonado)

Despite the fact that it’s recessed sufficient to make 25mm-thick followers mount flush with the motherboard tray, the H9 Elite nonetheless leaves a 2.5-inch hole between its detachable radiator aspect mount and exterior aspect panel. A 40mm-deep recess on the backside of this fan mount permits lengthy radiators to clear the underside edge, making this a fantastic place to place 38mm-thick radiators which are as much as 410mm lengthy (therefore my reluctance to name this dimension really “360mm”).

The side fans of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Powered by a SATA-drive energy cable and partially hid by the two.5-inch drive tray, an included controller addresses as much as six of NZXT’s proprietary RGB units and three followers. The PWM cable of every included fan has a pass-through connection to permit a complete of six followers to be powered from this hub, and an included USB 2.0 inner interface cable permits customers to deal with this controller through NZXT’s CAM software program.

The fan controller on the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Subsequent to the RGB controller and under the facility provide bay, the H9 Elite’s dual-drive 3.5-inch cage contains further holes on its high and backside surfaces to allow the substitution of two 2.5-inch drives.

The drive cage of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

We have to take away the highest panel earlier than we are able to go any farther, which is straightforward because it’s held in place by six ball snaps. (Discover the detachable mesh filter alongside the entrance panel port cutouts?) FYI, aspect panels are secured with ball snaps on the high, hooks on the backside, and a redundant safety screw to stop a minimum of one nook from coming unsnapped unintentionally.

The top cover of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

With a divider separating the aspect fan part from the remainder of the best aspect, the H9 Elite is designed to attract air in by the entrance of the best aspect panel, push it excessive of the motherboard tray, and exhaust it out the rear of the best aspect panel. But it’s not as if these sections are sealed: Even that divider has cable entry holes.

The top frame of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

The H9 Elite’s put in high panel tray is designed to carry three 120mm followers solely, so NZXT features a second tray for individuals who desire to make use of two 140mm followers.

The top panel mount of the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Constructing within the NZXT H9 Elite

The H9 Elite’s set up {hardware} is compartmentalized in separate tear-open baggies, which might have been much less handy had NZXT not chosen to incorporate a resealable bag for its cable ties. All the items are available in a field that’s loaded into one of many 3.5-inch drive bays, although we don’t know which one as a result of it fell out of the bay throughout transport.

The hardware kit for the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Entrance panel cables embody Gen 2 and a Gen 1 USB 3 (technically 3.2, however that’s what the whole lot is now), HD Audio, and a now-standard nine-pin FPANEL button/LED connector. The opposite two cables proven are the information interface and energy wire for the included RGB/fan controller.

The front I/O cables for the NZXT H9 Elite

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

For our pattern buildout, we’re utilizing our standardized case-testing equipment with its ATX motherboard choice.

Our full-size elements match simply, aside from one nagging situation that this reviewer hasn’t seen for practically twenty years(Opens in a brand new window): In what seems to be an Imperial-to-metric conversion error, not one of the standoffs aligned appropriately with the holes on our motherboard. Making re-alignment much more troublesome is that the manufacturing facility middle standoff has a peg relatively than threads, and that peg is comfortable sufficient in our motherboard’s middle mounting gap that sliding it round to align different holes was practically not possible. Completion is potential with just a little effort and quite a lot of frustration, however we’d prefer to suggest changing the middle standoff with the included non-stud standoff and putting in all 9 screws loosely to ease alignment, earlier than tightening the whole lot down.

The NZXT H9 Elite with components installed

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

The H9 Elite is designed with a particular circulation path that will be partially disrupted by any hole on the finish of our mounted radiator: Quite than check out a brand new 3x120mm radiator and take a look at three different instances with it to assemble new comparability knowledge, we merely blocked off the hole with a bit of black cardboard.

The NZXT H9 Elite with gap filled

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Lit up in our element set’s closest approximation to white, the H9 Elite offers most element visibility.

The NZXT H9 Elite powered on

(Credit score: Thomas Soderstrom)

Testing the NZXT H9 Elite: Benchmark Outcomes

Despite the fact that we tried to stop airflow reversion across the finish of our radiator by plugging the hole, the H9 Elite nonetheless reveals its impact in CPU temperature. Maybe the consumption followers have been drawing warmth from the adjoining chamber through all these gaps and entry holes?

A CPU temperature graph for the NZXT H9 Elite

Voltage regulator temperature is mid-pack, which signifies ample airflow over the higher half of the motherboard.

A voltage regulator temperature graph for the NZXT H9 Elite

Graphics card temperature is roughly tied for third place, however the distances amongst these outcomes are sufficiently small that we’d disregard them in a real-world shopping for state of affairs.

A GPU temperature graph for the NZXT H9 Elite

We all the time take a look at with all followers at full pace and main elements at full load, however the H9 Elite’s aspect followers had a larger influence on its noise stage than the followers of another case on this lot. That is the almost definitely motive for it to be each the quietest when noticed from the left-front nook and the noisiest when noticed from the right-front nook. Actual-world remark matched the numbers: To my ears, it actually was this good…and this unhealthy.

A sound pressure graph for the NZXT H9 Elite

Verdict: Enigma Case

Since we all the time suggest setting thermal fan management in real-world builds, the excessive noise stage from one aspect might have been acceptable had the H9 Elite ran cool. We’re as an alternative left bouncing round concepts about how fan placement could possibly be used to repair the warmth drawback, comparable to mounting our radiator on the aspect and placing the H9 Elite’s inventory followers on high, or mounting the manufacturing facility followers on the underside as intakes.

We’re sure that some customers with superior cooling methods in thoughts will make the most of all mounting areas in a approach that forestalls waste warmth from being sucked again into the CPU’s radiator. However extraordinary builders ought to anticipate nothing distinctive from the H9 Elite aside from its good look.

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