NZXT H1 V2 ITX Case Review

Conclusion and Video - NZXT has fixed the H1

NZXT H1 v2 Review

Conclusion

NZXT's original H1 chassis was a flawed product, and while NZXT did address the case's issues, time had marched on and the needs of their customers changed. NZXT didn't just need a "fixed" H1 chassis, they needed an upgraded one. 

With the H1 V2, NZXT has kept the design intent of their original H1 chassis intact while delivering users improved cooling performance, support for larger graphics cards, and support for higher wattage systems. Beyond that, NZXT has launched this case with a new PCIe riser cable design from a new manufacturers that delivers PCIe 4.0 speeds. What's not to like? 

When designing the the H1 V2, NZXT has seemingly done everything possible to make the PC building process an easy one. The PSU and CPU liquid cooler are pre-installed, and their cable and hose lengths are designed specifically for this enclosure. Most of this case's cable management is already done for you, making it almost too easy to install hardware within this enclosure. Out only quibble is that installing motherboard screws can be tricky when using short screwdrivers with thick handles, but the same can be said for a lot of ITX cases of this type. That said, this shouldn't be considered as a major problem, assuming you are careful to install your screws correctly. 

Thermally, NZXT's new H1 V2 chassis is listed as offering CPU and GPU thermals that are lower than NZXT's original H1. With an Nvidia RTX 2080 and an Intel i9-12900K in Prime 95 and FurMark, NZXT listed their H1 V2 chassis as being around 1.5 degrees cooler on the CPU side and 3.6 degrees cooler on the GPU side on average after being thermally loaded for approximately an hour. Sadly, this is NZXT's testing, not ours, as we do not have access to NZXT's original H1 chassis. 

Like all ITX cases, fitting tonnes of hardware into a tiny box will result in thermal challenges. That said, the H1 V2 has proven that small design tweaks can have a huge impact. That said, we expect H1 V2 users to be reasonable when it comes to this case's cooling expectations. We were using this case with an i5-12600K CPU and a RTX 3070 graphics card without running into any thermal issues. Higher-end hardware is supported, though we expect users of NZXT's H1 V2 to select graphics cards that can make the most of this case's airflow design. NZXT's H1 V2 features no intake fans, which means that your graphics card's heatsink fans will need to do some heavy lifting. Thankfully, NZXT's new H1 V2 supports GPUs that are up to 58mm thick and 324mm long, which is large enough to fit Nvidia's colossal RTX 3090 Founders Edition.

Aesthetically, NZXT's new H1 V2 looks very similar to its original counterpart. It ships with white or Black colour options, it has a monolithic aesthetic and a large tempered glass side panel on one of its side. In some regards, it looks like an Xbox Series X, allowing this PC case to look great in an office, living room, or any other modern space. Sadly, while the tempered glass side panel looks good, the compact nature of this case makes looking inside it unappealing. That's why the glass is so heavily tinted. Modders and customizers amongst us should see this as a blank canvas for making your case unique, perhaps with some artwork, etching, or other design work.

Where the H1 V2 succeeds is in its simplicity. Unlike most ITX cases, H1 users do not need to source their own riser cables, power supplies or cooling solutions. NZXT has done the hard work for you. Cable management is already done for your (for the most part), and you are unlikely to come across any compatibility issues if your check your graphics card's dimensions before buying it. Just choose a motherboard, some RAM (not crazy tall DIMMs), an SSD, a processor and a graphics card and the H1 will provide the rest.

All major shortcomings of the H1 V2 are shortcomings that are shared by all other ITX cases. This case has no space for 3.5-inch HDDs, (though two 2.5-inch drives are supported), and overclocking will be limited by the H1's compact cooling solution. That said, you should be well aware of these downsides if you are considering an ITX case, and be willing to put up with them if you have read this far. 

So what about the NZXT H1 V2? We like it. Whether or not this case is for you depends on your budget, and whether or not you are willing to accept the limitations of the ITX form factor. If you want an easy to use ITX case, the H1 V2 is a great option. The H1 V2 improves itself over the original in every way that matters, and while it is a little larger than before, the V2's extra centimetre or two on each axis isn't really something that's worth complaining about. 

You can join the discussion on NZXT's H1 V2 chassis on the OC3D Forums.

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