Cooling, Noise, and Conclusion
The build in the H440 Razer Edition looks very neat from the front with minimal effort. The components are easy to install with plenty of room, and the cable routing openings are in exactly the right places.
Things are a little narrower than usual thanks to the wall of hard drive slots on the right side, but there is still room for full length graphics cards. However if your card exceeds the 10.5" of the pictured NVIDIA card things will get a really tight. (I used a shorter AMD card for temp/noise results, but there was no installation issue with this longer card.)
Having such a large space to hide cables provides some different possibilities beyond just bundling behind the motherboard tray. Overall the cables could have been managed better than what I did here, but I wasn't too concerned as this is completely covered with the side panel in place.
One note: You don't see any hard drives on this side since I opted for an SSD mounted on the other side with this build, and there would have been more of a cable mess with HDD's installed.
Cooling and Noise
|Processor||Intel Pentium G3258 "Anniversary Edition"|
|Motherboard||ASUS H97M-PLUS Micro-ATX|
|Memory||Samsung 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 (OEM)|
|Graphics Card||ASUS AMD Radeon R7 260X|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD|
|Cooling||Noctua NH-U9B SE2|
|Power Supply||Corsair CX 750W Modular PSU|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
I performed all noise testing with a digital sound pressure meter positioned 18" from the front of the case. Temperature testing was done with readings from RealTemp and GPU-Z, and results are presented as degrees delta (over ambient) with a room temperature of 18 ºC.
The temperature results with the H440 Razer are outstanding, but there is another factor at play here. The shipping configuration of the H440 Designed by Razer enclosure uses a powered fan board which does not have a speed control. All four of the included fans spin at full speed unless you bypass this board and connect them to the motherboard or a separate fan controller.
Not surprisingly the H440 Razer does not fare as well here given the lack of a speed control on the fans. So why didn't I simply attach these to proper fan headers and adjust the speed? I only test cases in the default configuration provided out of the box. If NZXT ships the fans pre-installed with a power distribution board, that's how it will be tested. Really, a result of 4dB over ambient is very good even if it is on the high side of what is a very small sample size presented here.
Is that a green lightsaber under the case?
The NZXT H440 Designed by Razer Edition is certainly stylish, and makes a statement. A very green statement. This would be particularly appropriate if you already have other Razer gaming products on your desk, or if you happen to be a NVIDIA fan - as you can see here the glowing GEFORCE logo through the window goes well with the color scheme (though I used an AMD card for testing).
A practical feature of the lighting system: rear IO is lit to make connections easy
So is it worth the $30 premium for the Razer treatment of the H440? First of all, this isn't just a premium for "looks", as the Razer edition includes a pre-installed lighting kit. The matte black paint is highly resistant to visible fingerprints, and the case looks really good overall. I did have some slight reservations about this enclosure after working with it, however.
Though I welcome any enclosed with removable hard drive trays, the implementation here is frankly a little lacking. The trays do not simply slide in, and a little extra care has to be taken to install them. Aside from the stickiness of the door panels, the screws were all hard to turn at times. Though minor, I experienced enough binding working with the captive thumbscrews to often require a screwdriver. Not a problem, just not a completely tool-free experience.
The NZXT H440 Razer Edition performs well and looks cool if you're into the black and green color scheme of the Razer product line. The price is a bit steep for what you get at $149, but it's not outrageous, either. Bottom line, if you like the style enough to pick this over the non-Razer H440 cases you won't be disappointed.
- Attractive styling, good implementation of lighting
- Four quiet rifle-bearing fans included
- Side air intakes allow airflow without the usual openings
- Massive hard drive support
- Slightly lower level of fit than expected at this price
- Added cost makes this a tough pick over standard H440