Assembling the NZXT H630

While we're still not quite at Corsair levels of obscene ease of assembly, NZXT's designers are still pretty clearly thinking about the end user and how to make their life as easy as possible. That means an included fan hub with both of the included fans already connected and carefully wired, motherboard standoffs already installed, and smartly routed header cables. With all of that in mind, it should come as no surprise that assembly went mostly smoothly.

Popping the I/O shield in was a non-issue, and about the only thing NZXT has left to do to make motherboard installation easier is to place an alignment stud at the center mounting point as Corsair has taken to doing. Clearance around the testbed board was good, and the right-angled SATA ports were easy to connect without issue. The H630 is a pretty decently sized case, but that size is mostly well utilized.

I'm not completely sold on having the drive sleds oriented to enter from behind the motherboard tray instead of above it. NZXT's logic is that you'll only really use them when you're installing and removing drives and thus need to cable everything anyhow, and their logic is sound. At the same time, the area behind the motherboard tray is almost always a no man's land in any case, and when I tinker with my desktop (and I tinker often) I typically avoid removing that side panel at all costs. So while I prefer having the drive trays slide out from above the motherboard tray, I can see where they're coming from.

The 2.5" drive trays that hang out behind the motherboard tray are a fantastic addition and perfect for SSDs, though. These are held into place on rails and a single thumbscrew each, and they're very secure. I've chided NZXT for their flimsy 3.5" trays in the past, though, and I regret to inform you that those flimsy trays are still present in the H630. The modular drive cages themselves are all held in place by four thumbscrews each, and they're on rails. For review purposes I removed the bottom two to clear airflow from the 200mm intake fan. Due to the way drives enter the drive cages, a right-angled SATA connector can't be used for the bottom-most drive in the cage, and clearance for bending SATA power leads is far less than ideal.

As I mentioned, the front panel on my review unit just wasn't coming off, so unfortunately I can't comment on how easy or difficult a 5.25" drive would be to install. The shields for the 5.25" bays are actually screwed into place, which I appreciate for security's sake but it does make my job a little bit more difficult.

Finally, installing the expansion cards and power supply and then wiring everything up was for the most part pretty easy. I think NZXT runs into a little trouble with routing the AUX 12V lead, as the holes in the motherboard tray for routing that cable are narrow. I'm also concerned that while the H630 should support 360mm radiators in both the front and the top of the enclosure, clearance in the top may be problematic. Since the fan mounts are hidden by the top panel, it would've made more sense to either increase the height of the case or shift the 120mm and 140mm mounts closer to the outside of the case rather than dead center. As it stands a radiator or fans will run the risk of butting up against VRM cooling or RAM slots; our testbed has enough clearance, but it's extremely tight.

It's hard to complain too much about the H630's interior, but this isn't quite the kind of progress we saw when NZXT moved to the Phantom 630. The H630 is using essentially the same internal chassis as the Phantom 630, but the Phantom's more elegant drive cage system is missing. It honestly seems like NZXT wasn't entirely sure what to do with the extra real estate afforded by dropping down to two 5.25" bays when it came time to design the drive cages.

In and Around the NZXT H630 Testing Methodology
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  • Blibbax - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    How is it louder at load stock than it is overclocked?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Margin of error.
  • hero1 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    This is the case for me even though I already own the FDD XL R2 atm. I had posted on another site months ago asking for this exact type of case 3x120 front and top and 2x140 at the bottom, fewer front bays and sound dumping materials. Looks like NZXT listened and delivered. The acoustics are not a problem considering that I, and many others, will buy this case for water cooling builds. One thing I wish they did is have perforations on both sides of the door and get air from both directions.
  • Trefugl - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I'm also interested in this case for use with watercooling. I was having a hard time trying to figure out how much room there is for a 3x120 on the front though... Can anyone comment on radiator mounting in this case?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    You can pull the drive cages and mounts entirely to install a 3x120.
  • hero1 - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    And that's what I intend to do with it. I wonder when we are going to see this beast in stock.
  • hero1 - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    One thing I don't like about the FDD XL R2 is the thin sound deadening materials. I want something like 5mm thick. That way I can use a 5mm thick acrylic panel for a window mod. I hope they have thicker materials for this one!
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    The Nanoxia DS1 would be a stronger competitor to the H630 if you could, you know, actually buy one.

    I understand that Anandtech can't test cases in every possible configuration, but I think results might have been better if the top drive cage had been removed (as was done on the Fractal Design Define R4 review), and the 200mm front fan moved from the bottom mount to the top. This would enable the intake airflow to cover a large portion of the motherboard, including the graphics card (if installed). In the configuration you use, the airflow mostly blows at the back end of the PSU. I have no idea why NZXT put the fan in the bottom mount by default; it doesn't make much sense to me.

    I'd love to see how this does with the top drive cage removed and a Silverstone 180mm Air Penetrator in the top mount. (You might need zip-ties or extra holes drilled for this one, though.) The AP182 has its own analog fan controller, which would also help with noise.
  • Subyman - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Did anyone else think the top of the front panel looked like a giant hinge for a door? I was surprised when the author noted that it did not have a door. I thought those two openings on the front folded down when the optical drive came out. I really like my 550D, door and all ;)
  • angryblanket - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Very subtle and not flashy, just how I like em. Out of my price point though.

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