NZXT Hush Mid-Tower Case

ccokeman - 2007-04-29 19:07:33 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: May 2, 2007
NZXT
NZXT
Price: $91.74

Introduction:

There are a few things that we all look for when it comes to a new case: looks, price, how many fans are included, modding potential, size and weight. But rarely is sound a consideration when you are looking to transport your computer to the next LAN party or looking for the latest and greatest air cooling solution. Normally you get the computer so loud you can hear it at the other end of the house and you just get used to the noise. But hey, at least it cools great! On the other hand, you have the enthusiast who is looking to go as quiet as possible and still keep within the thermal specs on the hardware they have chosen. Usually I fall into the first group and try and cool every piece of hardware I have, regardless of the noise implications, low speed just does not cut it. Today we will be looking at a case produced by NZXT named aptly HUSH! Can a case designed to be silent still offer the cooling desired by hardcore enthusiasts? Lets find out.

NZXT was formed in 2004 and has it's corporate offices located in China and Taiwan. NZXT is committed to using quality materials to make a case that gamers can identify with. The company continues to work to meet and exceed customers expectations through design excellence and quality engineering.


Closer Look:

Lets start our look at this case with the packaging that it came in. The box shows both versions of the case and some of the noise dampening features. The side panels are identical and list the case specifications in several languages. The box was about normal sized for a mid-tower style case.


After opening the box we can see that the case is wrapped in plastic and secured in styrofoam blocks to prevent any shipping damage.

Closer Look:

Now that it's unpacked, we have an opportunity to dig in and see what we have. I am particularly interested in the methods used for sound dampening. One thing right off the bat is the fact that this case uses rubber feet to eliminate any vibration on your desk. The finish on this case is extremely glossy with just a hint of an orange peel texture. Notice the way the material under the case is accurately reflected on the sides of the case. That kind of reflection would be admired on a heatsink lapping job.




So we have seen the outside lets start by taking a peek inside. There are four 5.25in drive bays up top and seven 3.5in bays at the bottom of the case.


This case is equipped with two 120mm fans. One in front that lights up blue and one in the back that is not lit.


The front door includes a blue cold cathode that really brings attention to the front of the case when lit up.

Closer Look:

The swing away door is held on by 2 chrome plated metal hinges.This seems to be a longer lasting solution than plastic pins and slots. The door is kept from making noise due to vibration by soft rubber pads located on the left hand side of the front cover.


 



Here is what I have been waiting to look at. As you can imagine there had to be some kind of sound dampening material installed in the case. Both of the side panels,the top and bottom panels and the back side of the drive bay covers are all covered in a sound dampening foam. The foam measures about 3/16 of an inch thick.


Each of the tooless drive retention brackets have a rubber washer installed to help eliminate drive noise.They each index into the drive cage and you will twist about one quarter turn to lock the drive in place

Closer Look:

One thing that NZXT has done is make sure that the front panel wiring is long enough to really reach to the top left corner of the case if you need it to. I find this refreshing because in some of the cases I have owned, I have not been able to use the front panel ports if the header was on the far side of the mother board. Usually the wiring falls about a half inch short. This is not the case here. Lengths for the front panel wiring range from 16 to 31 inches. The cabling includes the front panel speaker,1 x 1394,2 x USB, HD audio hookups for the microphone and sound and last but not least the power for the front door light.

 



The front panel ports are actually mounted on the side of the panel giving the front of the case a cleaner appearance. Included are two usb ports, one fire wire port and one port each for a microphone and headphones. The ports and wiring both attach to this pcb which is mounted to the back side of the front panel.


The items included in the accessory pack are the motherboard standoffs, 1 wire tie and mount, a ferrite magnet and all of the screws needed for the installation of your hardware. Yes even though the drive bays are tooless you will need to use the included screws for mounting your motherboard and video card(s).

Installation:

Installing the components that you chose to use is one of the highlights of any new build for the custom PC enthusiast. The first thing on my "to do" list is gathering the components to install and keeping them at arms reach. Now we get to start the work. The components I will be installing are listed below.


Installed Components:

Install the motherboard standoffs that come with the case into the holes needed for your motherboard. Next, I'll install the I/O plate that came with my motherboard.


Installing the power supply next keeps me from having to fight with the large heatsink that's being used in this build if I were to install the motherboard first. With a large heatsink I do all of the motherboard assembly out of the case and then just set it into place and attach it using the screws provided with the case


Install all of your drives using the tooless mounting hardware. Start by removing the tooless hardware and slide your drive into yourhe bay of choice. Index place the retention mechanism into the drive slot and drive mounting holes,twist to lock and you are done with mounting your drives. Insert your memory modules and remaining hardware into place, wire it up and it's off to the races we go.

Specifications:


Model

HUSH Series

Case Type

Mid Tower Steel Chassis

Dimensions

191.5 x 435 x 513.5 mm

Cooling System

Front: 1x 120mm Blue LED fan(Included)

 Rear 1x120mm fan (Included)
Drive Bays

11 Drive bays, 4 x 5.25”

7 x 3.5”
Material

Steel Construction

Expansion Slots
7
Power supply

400 watt PS2 ATX12v 2.0 (Optional)

Weight

6Kgs with Psu

Motherboard support

ATX, Micro ATX, Flex XTC Mini ATX


Features:

Testing:

For the testing phase of this review I will compare the system temperature and CPU temperature between the HUSH and CM Stacker. I will be using the temperature monitoring utility that came with the motherboard being used, in this case Abit's Uguru software. For the idle temperatures I will allow 30 minutes of no load then 24 hours of Stress Prime 2004 Orthos Edition for load temperatures. This will give a true heat soak type of test to eliminate false reading by running a short test. In addition to these tests we will add a new procedure to our testing setup. We will test the airflow through the case as well as the volume of air moved by the included fans.

Testing Setup:


Lower is Better

Lower is Better

Lower is Better

Lower is Better


Pretty amazing results for a mid tower style case that is packed pretty full of hardware. The components in the case are actually cooler than in the Stacker with the one exception being the system temperature.

Testing:

When you purchase anything, most times the reason for that purchase is based on an informed decision. How informed are we though? With commercials hyping up products and manufacturers specifications right in front of you most of the time, without even digging deeper for information, we purchase a product because we believe what we are told.

Why do you purchase a computer case, fans, water-cooling systems and other components? Of course it would be to protect your components, to cool your components and to receive the maximum performance for your hard earned money. Or are you an impulse buyer? Just because something looks good and one or two friends recommend it, you make that purchase and believe you will get exactly what you expect because of that impulse.

Evidently you are not an impulse buyer and you must want to be informed before you make a purchase or you wouldn’t be reading this review. With this in mind, let’s go over a few details. So far I’ve shown you what the case looks like, what components it comes with and even its specifications and features. Just like any other review, you are now in anticipation about how the case will test out. Why? Considering this is a mid-tower case, you’ll be focused on temperatures, specifically, the temperatures of your CPU , maybe system temperature and why not throw in video card and hard drive temps too? For the rest, you will probably rely on the specifications and features you just read.

Is this enough? Maybe. I have written many reviews and have purchased a multitude of products and have always taken for granted that if a manufacturer or commercial leads me to believe a product can do what it states, then I should believe it. Today, we at OCC will be introducing another type of testing to the arsenal: Airflow! The volume of air passing through an area for a given period of time is the airflow. This is commonly calculated by multiplying the air velocity, buy the cross sectional area through which the air is passing. We all want the maximum airflow around our components to cool them and to maintain a proper balance air exchange.

So how is this measured? We look at specifications and believe that if a fan says it puts out 113 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM), then it does what it says. Sure, maybe in a perfect environment under controlled conditions it will, but how about in the real world? OCC will now test to see if these fans are actually performing at, or close to specified range. When dealing with a case we will also measure what the wind chill (the cooling effect of combined wind and temperature) factor is inside that case, just to see if the air flowing around our components is actually performing as intended.

Nielsen Kellerman has provided OCC with their Kestrel 4100 Pocket Air Flow Tracker to conduct these tests.

Nielsen-Kellerman Company designs, manufactures and distributes waterproof instruments for active lifestyles and technical applications, including Kestrel® Pocket Weather Meters, Interval® Timing Systems and NK Electronics for Rowing and Paddling.

 

Testing:


Air Flow:

Fans:

All fans were tested for maximum and average CFM, The 120mm fans included in the case tested within one CFM when tested individually so I will use only one graph for each fan measurement to show the results. All fans were measured for five minutes.





Now we have the measurement of the air moving through our fans and power supply at a maximum potential of 164 cfm. Next we will take a look at how well the air flows on the inside of the case as a comparison of the maximum potential.

Inside Air Flow:

To test the air flow inside the case I hung my Kestrel 4100 by a string down to the center of the case, I will be testing CFM, and Air Velocity (FPM)(The Speed of Air, Feet per Minute).




As you can see the airflow through the case almost meets the maximum potential airflow at 161cfm. Pretty amazing stuff when you consider the hardware installed.

Conclusion:

What can I say about this case other that I am definitely impressed. While testing this case, I found that you can have the best of both worlds, low noise and acceptable system component temperatures. The amount of the noise reduction took me by surprise. I was not really expecting that kind of reduction in noise level or the cooling performance. The fact that it beat out the loaded CPU temperatures from the same setup in my Stacker was phenomenal. NZXT has thought about the small things that can have a huge impact on noise by isolating just about every component in this case. Quality materials, engineering and a commitment to excellence are keys to making these things happen. NZXT has delivered on all three counts. If you are looking for a new case and silence is the way you want to go, you may want to give the NZXT HUSH a try.

OCC has teamed up with NZXT to bring you a contest as well check it out forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php


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