Design – Exterior
The NZXT H440 takes bold moves by bringing a minimalist, sleek design immediately noticeable by the lack of any optical bays; a bold move that’s been both lauded and lamented. Most of the frame is constructed with steel and uses plastic accents, which gives the case a noticeable heft.
The side panel makes use of an acrylic window – which will become scratched – but otherwise succeeds at obscuring HDD bays and fans while offering a nice view of the vanity PC parts.
Moving to the rear, the only features of note are the grommets for water cooling tubes and a detachable PSU frame.
Design – Interior
Moving to the inside of the chassis, probably the first thing one notices is the PSU shroud, boldly emblazoned with “NZXT” and marked with a two-tone color scheme. It is also here that your SSDs will sit, as there are two mounting locations for 2.5” SSD sleds.
At the front, you’ll notice 5 3.5” HDD drive bays. Alternatively, these can be swapped out for three 120mm fans, or a 360mm radiator. Should you go this route, the floor of the case offers two more spaces for mounting HDDs.
Up top, options include two 140mm fans or 3 120mm fans, which would conversely allow you to install a 280mm or 360mm radiator instead. The rear will hold one 140mm fan. Rounding out the interior is an included fan hub that can connect eight fans and sound dampening material on the side panels. The H440 ships with a total of four fans included: one 140mm fan for a rear exhaust and three 120mm fans for front intake.
Building Inside the H440
Working inside the H440 is a pleasant experience overall, only marred by a couple of negatives. Installing the motherboard is easy enough, as there is plenty of room to get your hands inside the case, and the standoffs offer enough room between the motherboard and back of the chassis.
NZXT makes an earnest effort to help you in offsetting cable clutter by including a fair amount of zip-tie and tie-down points. The design of the H440 also makes use of a fair number of channels for routing cables neatly. However, there is limited room between the side panel and motherboard tray, and the sound dampening material eats up a lot of room here.
It is also worth noting that installing motherboards that have large heat sinks or “armor” can potentially eat up clearance at the top of the case, limiting the ability to install radiators or make it more challenging at the least. The clearance at the top of the case is narrow to begin with, so it shrinks quickly when large motherboards encroach upon it.
Those issues aside, obtaining a tidy build in the H440 isn’t overly complicated.
Value and Conclusion
When the H440 launched, it was NZXT’s flagship case priced at $120. Today, the H440 can be had for $80 and remains a popular choice. The H440 helped establish many of the trends in case tooling we see today, including PSU shrouds and a cleaner front panel by excluding optical drive support.
NZXT released a spiral successor of sorts in the H-700, and while that case certainty stands on its own merits, it also costs $150. The H440 still offers supreme value with its forward-thinking features, myriad cooling options, and mostly metal construction.
For some, the lack of external drive support will be a deal breaker. The H440’s design could have also included more room for cable management. Lastly, as will all acrylic windows, the one adorning the H440 is no different; it’s very prone to scratching, even from gentling cleaning.
That said, for those willing to tolerate those grievances, the H440 is an excellent choice.