The updated H-Series of NZXT cases as a whole has remained true to its concept, professing purity of lines, combined with simplicity and functionality of the design. The model we’re looking at today is called the H500, and it’s so straight forward that it reminds me more of an IKEA bookshelf than a computer chassis. After all, now is the time when motherboards, video cards, coolers and RAM are becoming more beautiful day by day. And, in the vast majority, they are equipped with RGB backlighting. It’s just a sin to hide this in a blind box under the table, hiding the beauty from prying eyes. And NZXT felt the moment well, reorienting the H-series towards demo stands. That, however, does not detract from the other advantages of this line. What we will tell you in detail.
|Type of shell||Midi-Tower|
|Dimensions, mm||460 (H) x 210 (W) x 441 (D)|
|Material||Steel, glass, plastic|
|Form factor||ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX|
|Devices 3.5″ external||–|
|Devices 3.5″ / 2.5″ internal||2+1 / 2+1|
|Supported number of expansion slots||7|
|Fans||front — 2 x 120 / 140 mm (optional)
upper — 1 x 120 / 140 mm (1 x 120 mm installed)
rear — 1 x 120 mm (installed)
|Interface connectors||2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, mic in and headphone out|
|Other||3mm tempered glass side window, dust filters on the front, top and bottom of the power supply, plastic cable guides.|
|Recommended cost, $||70|
Packing and scope of delivery
The case is delivered in a simple cardboard box with monochrome printing. On its front side there is only a name and a warning that the package contains glass inside and must be handled with care. On the reverse side there is a very schematic image of the chassis viewed from the corner, and a sticker indicating the color scheme of the product (of which, by the way, there are four types). The main technical specifications and listing of the advantages of the chassis in ten languages can be found on the sides of the box. Protection against damage is basic — two foam dampers, a bag and an adhesive film on the glass.
The set of spare parts is quite modest, but sufficient for assembly. It is contained in a small white box, in separate signed bags. The package includes:
- PC assembly instructions;
- 10 disposable plastic cable ties;
- metal adapter for a Phillips screwdriver for motherboard racks;
- one motherboard rack;
- eight screws for fans;
- 12 flat head screws for 2.5″ drives;
- 22 screws for motherboard and 3.5″ hard drives;
- four hex screws for the power supply.
The NZXT H500 is an emphatically flat black metal box with straight edges and corners and no protruding elements. Square and practical, no matter which way you look at it. The biggest plus of this solution, in addition to a solid appearance, is the ease of cleaning from dust. Just wipe with a cloth and that’s it. The front panel is metal, the only thing that can be found on it if you look closely is the tinted NZXT inscription at the bottom center.
External ports are located on the right, on the front edge of the top panel, which is a seamless continuation of the front. Looking from left to right, there’s a dot drive activity indicator, two 3.5mm audio jacks, two purple-colored USB 3.1 ports, and a round system start button with a power indicator strip built in around its perimeter. The reset button is missing.
The left side panel is original. Its lower part is metal, in fact, it is the wall of the power supply housing. Above it is a glass panel. It rests on one knurled screw with a latch on the left and two ball pins on its upper face. The bottom edge simply rests on two plastic holders. This is all done flush, with no protruding parts. The window is tilted from top to bottom and then removed from the grooves.
The tempered glass is 3 mm thick and is completely transparent. A metal stiffener is glued to the upper face and corners, on which all three fasteners are held, stripes are applied on the side faces with black paint. Looks good, but I have a question about how many removals and installations this glass can withstand without damage.
The right side panel is metal, its edges are recessed into the body frame. On the front of the panel there is a ventilation grill with round cells. The panel is held on by two thumbscrews mounted directly on the clamping latches. It opens on a guillotine type, to the side.
On the reverse side of the right panel there are good stiffening ribs made from wrapped faces. And behind the ventilation grill is a removable dust filter, consisting of a plastic frame and a fine mesh.
The top panel is flat and metal. In its rear part there is a ventilation grill with round small holes, covered from the inside with an even finer metal mesh. One 120mm or 140mm fan can be mounted on this grille.
The back panel of the case looks familiar. On the seat behind the ventilation grill on the right, a 120 mm propeller can be installed in one position. Seven PCI slots are covered with ventilated reusable plugs, which are held on with ordinary screws. The hole to the right of the slots is covered by a decorative metal bar, which is held in place by two thumbscrews.
The power supply can be mounted in either fan-down or fan-up orientation. From below, it is protected from dust by a high-quality removable filter, consisting of a mesh stretched over a plastic frame.
At the bottom of the case there are several notable points. In addition to the ventilation of the power supply, rectangular holes are made near the legs for some reason. There is an air vent in the front, covered with a removable dust filter. Through the longitudinal slots in the front, you can mount a hard drive basket, one 2.5″ or 3.5″ drive, or DDC or D5 CBO pumps in the case.
The legs are plastic, 25 mm high. They have rubber pads on the bottom.
The bottom dust filter can be detached by pressing the latch on the outside, but to remove it completely, you still need to remove the side panel.
Let’s look at the interior of the chassis.