CAM Software, Performance, and Conclusion
If you are familiar with NZXT's software the following won't be new to you, and CAM works in the much the same way that software from Corsair might do for controlling and monitoring your system. Even if this H700i case is the only NZXT component in your system, you still have plenty of room for monitoring and system performance adjustments, though I will focus simply on the setup with the smart device in the H700i.
As the H700i can control fan speeds (including the CPU fan) there are the usual options for fan curves with manual and preset configurations, but NZXT takes that a step further here with a fan calibration that takes idle and GPU load data and creates custom profiles optimizing for either noise or temperatures.
Once you have allowed the software to analyze your system's thermal and noise characteristics, you can choose either an adaptive or conventional preset mode for cooling.
Adaptive will balance temps and noise intelligently, and conventional presets give you the expected granular control over fan profiles.
For the following tests I kept things simple and just tested the 'silent' and 'performance' presets for my test system, but adaptive is a very interesting alternative – though it presents more variables than I have time to fully test within the scope of this review.
Finally, RGB lighting effects for the pair of included light strips can be fully customized (or disabled) using the software as well.
Temperatures and Noise Levels
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700K|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Strix Z270H Gaming|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon R9 290X (Reference)|
|Storage||SanDisk 64 GB SATA 6.0 GB/s SSD|
|Power Supply||SilverStone Strider ST1000-P PSU|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U9S (PWM)|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
First we will look at the temperature results:
As you can see, some excellent numbers here from the H700i, with the expected gain from the more aggressive fan profile with load temps. Results were slightly below the Corsair Crystal 460X overall, but in its performance mode the H700i was ahead of the rest of the group which in quite impressive considering the cooling performance of a high-airflow design like the SilverStone PM01.
Noise levels are next:
When ranked in order of the loudest result (the reference R9 290X cooler) the H700i came out on top of this group by a hair (we are only talking 0.2 dBA but it was consistent) - and did it in performance mode! Why not the 'silent' mode? I observed during my testing that my toasty reference GPU - which uses a custom, linear fan profile for all case reviews - was quite dependent on the power of the case cooling to keep the GPU fan spinning at lower RPMs. If you have a GPU that needs excellent airflow - and aftermarket designs generally require as much as you can get for best performance - then the higher case fan speeds can actually help the GPU load noise.
The H700i's silent mode was more quiet overall, of course, and quite comparable to the recently reviewed Fractal Design Define R6 - though NZXT has a sizable lead in GPU noise thanks to higher airflow from this design. Very impressive!
While it carries a hefty $199.99 price tag, the NZXT H700i is every bit a premium enclosure. From fit and finish to performance and features it makes a compelling option in a hyper-saturated market. If you can spend this much on an enclosure it's an elite option, but a slightly lower price tag would make it even better.