We built an NZXT H5 Flow Elite – Revisiting NZXT’s H5 Flow
We built an NZXT H5 Flow Elite, and so should NZXT
If you read our review of NZXT’s new H5 Flow chassis, you will know that there are things about the case that we were not pleased with. For starters, we felt that the case’s stock fans were weaker than they should have been, and second we though that the case should have shipped with at least one additional fan at the front of the chassis. Why? Because we thought it was wasteful to release this case with a meshed front panel without the case having any fans that took advantage of it.
If you want our full opinions of the H5 Flow, you can read our review here, but out TLDR is that we think that NZXT could have done better with the case’s stock fan allotment. Beyond that, we didn’t like the fact that NZXT didn’t create an H5 Elite Flow model, a case that replaces the glass panel of the H5 Elite with the H5 Flow’s front panel.
To show NZXT what we think they should have launched, we asked the company for a set of F140 RGB and F120 RGB fans and decided to build our own H5 Flow Elite chassis, and we loved it.
Reviewing a case that does not exist… yet
Why did we build an H5 Flow Elite? The simple answer is that we want this case to exist. Firstly, we felt that the H5 Flow was a let down thanks to its stock fans, so we wanted to create something better. Secondly, we felt that most PC builders would be better served by an “Elite Flow” H5 model than NZXT’s H5 Elite model, as its front tempered glass panel block airflow and limits the cooling potential of the case.
NZXT, if you are reading this, please release an H5 Elite Flow chassis. The PC enthusiast market will thank you for it.
What makes NXT’s H5 Special
In a sense, NZXT’s H5 chassis is a redesign of their older H510 series of PC cases, a mid-tower chassis that is designed to enhanced cooling potential in mind. With the H5 series comes support for top-mounted radiators/AIO CPU liquid cooler, and an additional bottom fan that replaced the H510 series’ 3.5-inch drive bays.
NZXT’s new H5 bottom fan, a fan that we now affectionately call the “toilet fan”, intakes air from the bottom of the H5 chassis and blows it directly at your graphics card and other add-on cards. This supplements the H5’s front mounted fans to deliver increased airflow and lower hardware thermals. Now that GPUs are hotter and more power-hungry than ever, this is a great design change.
With top mounted radiator support, the H5 Flow’s front fans are no longer the default mounting location for AIO CPU liquid coolers, dedicating these fans strictly to airflow. With a top mounted CPU liquid cooler, its radiator can act as an exhaust, moving CPU heat out of the system. With the H510 series, front mounted radiators effectively pre-heated air that’s coming into the system, increasing PC thermals.
All-in-all, the H5 series is a solid upgrade over NZXT’s older H510 series cases.
With this revisit to the NZXT H5 Flow, we wanted to show H5 Flow owners that great system thermals can be achieved with the addition of extra fans. First, we replaced the H5 Flow’s stock fans with RGB fans, added a top-mounted 120mm fan for airflow (though we could add two), and then we installed two 140mm RGB fans.
Today, we used NZXT’s F140 RGB and F120 RGB fans so that we could call this case the H5 Elite Flow, a hypothetical future NZXT model of our own making. Seriously NZXT, if you are reading this please create a real H5 Elite Flow!
Testing – Thermal Performance