NZXT Noctis Gaming Case 450 Review
The Noctis 450 has a lot to live up to. In some ways I feel a bit sorry for it, almost as if it was the twin brother of a famously high achieving sportsman entering competition himself. All those around him would be commenting that as he has the same basic bone and muscle structure the same genes and same sized limbs, there's no reason why he shouldn't do as well, if not better as he must surely have benefitted from his twins experience. The pressure then is on, and this pressure comes from the H440 being the first ever case to win our coveted White Gold Award.
As you might have guessed by now the internals of the Noctis 450 are largely shared with the H440, and boy are there some great internals. First up there's the full length PSU cover with illuminating NZXT logo (we'll be coming back to that). On top of the PSU cover there's set of SSD show off mounts with corresponding cable management holes. The rest of the cable management is also excellent with an abundance of holes many of which are grommeted. In particular we like the alternate PCI cable route enabling you to either bring the cable through to your GPU from the rear or directly up from the base. We also love the holes up at the top of the motherboard area which enable you to bring cables down from the roof either to the front or the rear of the motherboard. NZXT have eschewed the need for any 5.25" drives leaving the front of the case free to accept six well-spaced drive drawers, each of which will take either a 2.5" or 3.5" drive. The drives are accessed from the rear of the case leaving the front cable free. The drawers can be easily removed which not only ups the max GPU card length from 300mm to 450mm but also opens up the front for 290mm or 360mm rad placement. If you don't want to put a rad in the front, or need the drive space, then you'll be pleased to hear that the 450 also takes both 280s and 360s up in the roof space. It's up here that that the 450 differs for the greater part from the H440 as its raised roof section permits the placement of 120mm or 140mm fans exterior to the chassis but interior to the case, meaning the 30mm thick rads can be used in push pull. NZXT have combined this additional space with striking looks and devilishly clever use of stand offs which give the allusion of flush fitting panels where in reality mesh panels lurk underneath raising the 450s airflow to ten times that of the H440.
We're guessing that by now you're wondering if the Noctis 450 is this good, why hasn't it scored the same as the H440. Well, there's a few reasons. Firstly, it's the second in the generation and we can't really go out giving white gold awards to cases just because they share the same chassis, but mainly it's because there are a few things we don't like and that should have been thought through a bit more. The chief amongst these is the choice by NZXT to use blue for the lighting scheme on the white model. Yes blue's nice, and yes perhaps it's getting a bit too much exposure, but mainly it's because this limits the serious aesthetic builder to having a blue themed interior to both his hardware and lighting. We'd much rather have seen the white version of the case come with white lighting which leaves options open, or perhaps even RGB control as an option provided this didn't push the price up too much. OK, so the Black version of the case has red lighting which is a bit better as there's considerably more performance hardware out there which is red themed, but this does pretty much mean that most will be forced to buy the black case purely because of the red lighting. Our only other real gripe is that despite NZXT saying the case should come in under £100 the e-tailers out there seem to be charging circa £110 for it, which lessens its VFM impact.
All in all the Noctis 450 is a great case. How could it not be? Those not bothered about the blue lighting will love it, otherwise there's the black version with red lighting. Failing that we shouldn't doubt for a minute that it'll be long before we see the community modding the blue LEDs to something more appropriate.
Toms video review is below if you would like a visual review too: