NZXT H700i Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

The NZXT H700i mid-tower is the largest of the H-series, which is available in micro-ATX with the H400i and mini-ITX form with the H200i. While one could reasonably make the assertion that the H700i is yet another computer case designed by someone with a ruler, its sleek lines, mesh edges, and especially the sharp red-on-black coordination of our particular model has every thread of boring eliminated in my opinion. It is kind of like the In Win 805, but interpreted in a different manner. The front panel is a matte black flat piece of steel consistent with the design theme; where mesh openings on the side provide ventilation for the three Aer F120 120mm intake fans in front. Taking off the front panel will reveal a large washable magnetic dust filter to keep the nasty stuff out, which is something I appreciate. Meanwhile, a tinted full-sized tempered glass panel on the left side of the H700i provides a full, unobstructed view inside. The glass panel is attached to the main frame by four thumbscrews. The rest of the chassis is made out of quality steel panels.

Measuring in at 230mm width, 494mm height, and 494mm depth, the NZXT H700i's dimensions are about right for a mid-tower chassis. It tips the scales at 27 lbs, which is also in line with other cases of the same caliber. All in all, I found the design to be clean and unique looking at the same time. Our particular version is in Matte Black + Red, but the colors Matte Black, Matte White, and Matte Black + Blue are also available. I think NZXT found the right balance between conservatism and design risk with the NZXT H700i. If you want something that is visually appealing and does not look ridiculous, this chassis will fit the description of an eye candy for many people.

The NZXT H700i's front panel connectors are located on top like many new chassis. It sits fully exposed all the time, which is convenient, but keep a can of compressed air around to clean the dust out once in a while. The layout configuration is pretty standard; starting from the left, we have two 3.5mm audio jacks for headphone out and microphone in, two vertically oriented USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two vertically oriented USB 2.0 ports, respectively, and a power button. The circular power button has an illuminated perimeter that glows steady white when turned on. A second white LED hidden inside on the left flashes when there is HDD activity.

Meanwhile, the top panel is a solid piece of plastic, but has accommodation for up to three 120mm or two 140mm fans or a radiator of equivalent size. Traditionally, case designers install top mounted fans to efficiently draw heat away from the processor and other heat generating internal components. This makes a lot of sense, since heat rises, so we are only adhering to the natural laws of physics. Unfortunately, this is a two-way street, as it is also very easy to get a lot of dust in the system that way when it is turned off. Some users really like it, but personally, I never install fans in this area, so usually I will be complaining at this point if I see an unrestricted opening. However, NZXT cleverly created edges curved inwards on the sides enclosed by a mesh grille for airflow. This is a design continuation of the same ventilation design as the front air intake. An additional opening protected by an integrated grille at the back -- more on this later -- ensure the chassis design's impact on thermal performance is minimized. Needless to say, I like it.

Painted black to match the rest of the chassis, the back of NZXT's H700i is pretty much standard for a case with a bottom mounted power supply bay. We can expectantly spot an included black colored Aer F140 140mm fan placed adjacent to the motherboard I/O backplate. Normally, you will only get a 120mm fan here, but the fatness really pays off. Much to our surprise, there are no radiator pipe openings, but I think external water cooling systems are practically non-existent nowadays. Instead, we have a vertical slit in the adjacent ventilated area to mount reservoirs for custom loop water coolers. The right side panel can be removed by pressing a quick-release button near the top. Meanwhile, the ventilated plates enclosing the seven expansion card slots are also painted black, as shown in our photo above. The eighth one is missing for some reason, so those planning to install a dual slot graphics card at the bottom motherboard slot is out of luck.

Unique to the NZXT H700i is the fact the right side panel is not held on by any screws. Instead, a release mechanism is designed such that the panel can be unlatched by pressing a button at the upper left corner at the back. I am a big fan of this design, as it is convenient, easy to use, and works flawlessly.

Medium-sized plastic brackets with small rubber pads can be seen at the bottom of the NZXT H700i. The legs provide the chassis about 2 cm rise over the surface it resides on. For those who have custom loop water cooling in their systems, the bottom panel has four additional slits for you to attach your equipment. The washable fan filter for the power supply intake fan can be seen in our photo above, which can be pulled out at the back for easy cleaning.

Overall, the NZXT H700i ATX case is one of the most solid cases I have seen with regards to build quality. All the panels fit together extremely well with minimal panel gaps -- in fact, it is pretty darn close to perfection in refinement. With that out of the way, nothing feels flimsy or cheap. Sharp edges are out of the question. The amount of attention to detail is very noticeable. Too bad there is no sound insulation material anywhere, but at no point did I doubt the manufacturing quality of this product.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion