Introduction and First Impressions
NZXT has proven to be willing to adapt and innovate in the competitive DIY PC space, introducing their own software control suite (CAM) to control cooling and lighting effects in 2014, and this year launching their first motherboard. We have have seen CAM in action with products like the Kraken AiO liquid CPU coolers, which required the software to fully unlock their potential - both thermally and visually (RGB) speaking, and it's an integral part of the new H700i enclosure.
“The H700i showcases NZXT’s vision for modern PC building. This premium mid-tower case features a unique CAM Powered Smart Device that digitally drives RGB lighting and fan performance. You can effortlessly control RGB lighting and fans, while Adaptive Noise Reduction optimizes your build’s acoustics through machine learning and ideal fan settings. Includes four integrated Aer F fans and two RGB LED to enhance the aesthetics of your build as seen through the H700i’s stunning tempered glass panel.”
Now that NZXT has brought that CAM software feature-set to enclosures beginning with the H700i mid-tower we have for you today, we will pay close attention to the way the integrated "Smart Device" - a module that controls fans and lighting - fits into the usual thermal/noise equation. OEM systems from the likes of Dell with their Alienware desktops have used similar dedicated hardware for cooling and lighting control, and it's interesting to see this enter the DIY space. How important is software control of cooling and RGB effects to you? That depends, of course, and partly on how easy it is to use.
We will take a close look in and around this new enclosure, and while it’s on the test bench we will see how the stylish H700i stacks up with thermal and noise results vs. some other recent cases - and test the H700i both with and without CAM software optimization to see what sort of difference it makes in practice. Let’s get started!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 19, 2017 - 07:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: H700i, H400i, H200i, nzxt, Grid+ V3, CAM
To start with the most interesting of the four product announcements from NZXT, take a look at the Grid+ V3. This is a smart fan controller which offers both voltage and PWM control via the CAM software suite.
There are six separate channels on the Grid, allowing you to control each fan individually or you can use the included splitters to add more than one fan to a channel. You are able to choose between manual control or the Adaptive Noise Reduction feature to allow the device to determine the proper fan curves for your system, even if you swap hardware after the initial setup.
Along with their advanced fan controller, NZXT announced three new cases, the H700i, H400i, and H200i. The H700i is a full sized case standing 230x494x494mm and is capable of holding even eATX motherboards with seven slots. It is also a good choice for data hoarders, with seven 2.5" bays and up to three 3.5" bays. It is available now for $200.
The H400i is the mATX case, a svelte 210x393x421mm in size but still able to handle a pair of 120/140mm fans or radiators in the front, behind the filters you can see as the front panel has been removed in the picture below. It will be available late next month for $140.
Last, and only least in volume is the H200i, the mini-ITX case. At 210x334x372mm and 6kg in weight it is not quite as small as a NUC, good news for those of us who need a bit of space to manoeuvre when installing components. It will arrive before the end of the year, for about $120.
All of the above cases are constructed with SECC steel and tempered glass side panels, available in matte black or white as well as matte black with blue or red trim. The cases are compatible with the CAM software mentioned previously and have space to install the GRID+ V3 digital controller. Your R's G's and B's can be managed through NZXT's HUE+ software, with support for numerous LED strips as well as ones built into your components. Aer F fans are included or you could take advantage of the drop-in brackets and integrated reservoir mounting to switch to watercooling.