Introducing the NZXT H2

When we saw the NZXT H2's prototype at CES, we were impressed. The case isn't just unusually austere for NZXT, it's genuinely attractive and feature rich. More than that, it's a case designed with silence in mind for the crowd not willing to pony up for bigger, badder cases like SilverStone's Raven series or Antec's P183. With even the updated Sonata IV sporting a daunting $169 asking price, could the NZXT H2 be the silent case frugal builders have been waiting for?

Without a doubt, the NZXT H2 (vowels need not apply) is a fairly attractive piece of kit. As an enthusiast I personally tend towards more modest looking enclosures like this one, so it's nice to see this kind of design trickling down. The H2 has an MSRP of just $99 and comes in white and black models; I really like the white one (just because a computer's white doesn't mean it wishes it was sporting an Apple logo), but the black one is certainly appealing too. But more than color, the H2 offers a lot of features for the frugal builder's dollar.

NZXT H2 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25"
Internal 8x 3.5"/2.5"
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake fan
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 140mm fan mount
Side -
Bottom 1x 120mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
Front I/O Port -
Top I/O Port Mic and headphone jacks, 1x USB 3.0, 3x USB 2.0, hot-swap tray, fan controller
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Clearance 170mm (PSU), 11" (Expansion Cards)/12" if HDD tray is removed, 170mm (CPU HSF)
Weight 19.62 lbs.
Dimensions 20.47" x 8.46" x 18.35"
Price $99

If you don't need all the hard drive trays installed, you can definitely get away with a 12" graphics card, but it's still going to be a tight fit as you'll see later. Likewise, there isn't really a hard limit as to how long a power supply can be in this enclosure, but at a certain point it's going to cover up the holes in the motherboard tray you'll need for routing cables.

In and Around the NZXT H2
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  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    Fret not! There are more on the way.

    Oh, so MANY more. ;)
  • geniekid - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    I just want to say I totally support your reviewing of cases, ESPECIALLY those that are designed to be quiet. This is an area of system building that is severely lacking in good information on the internet, second maybe to power supply testing (which you guys are also good at).

    After using my home built machine for the last 4 years, I've made up my mind that my next rig must be inaudible at idle and pretty quiet at load. It's gotten to the point where choosing the graphics card isn't just picking out the best card on the price/performance curve - it requires looking at noise at load. In that vein of thinking, I would like to suggest that you guys test GPUs that you've already tested just to generate some noise benchmarks for third party cooling solutions.
  • scott967a - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    I've also been looking at case reviews. Glad to see Anandtech might do more in this area. I had pretty much crossed off the H2 and this confirms it. Now looking at the Fractal Design R3, but most sites that review quiet (or quieter at least) cases aren't also looking at whether these quiet cases can handle an OC system. I'm looking at a Corsair H70 cooler so have to kind of guess how that radiator will work in these cases.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    We were supposed to get a Fractal Design R3 in house at one point but it didn't materialize and I haven't shaken their tree to get one sent in because I have such a backlog of other cases to review. ;)

    But I hear you about quiet, high performance cases because I'm in a similar boat. We have an Antec Sonata IV review that should be going up within the next month and then hopefully I'll be looking at SilverStone's Raven RV03 next month, too. Not going to lie, I'm pretty excited about that one.
  • Andreos - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    Suggest you guys update your photography skills and possibly equipment. Out-of-focus, motion-blurred, poorly exposed photos really don't do justice the content of your reviews, or the products being reviewed.
  • tekeffect - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    I would like to see this some numbers for this with a liquid cooling least for the cpu.
  • MMinNC - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - link

    Does anyone know if extra fans can be controlled by the integrated fan controller? This case has room for one 120mm fan at the bottom and one 140mm fan at the top.
  • kuzzia - Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - link

    I'm almost positive that it can control an extra fan, bringing the total amount up to four.
  • raytseng - Sunday, August 5, 2012 - link

    if people still are looking at this article, apparently nzxt did make changes to H2 to address the concerns.
    I think they are stealth changes so no change in model number.

    SilentPCReview was happier with an H2 build they received that had a later H2 over their initial review.

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