The Hush silently arrived at our office in a mainly black box which shows the two colours of the Hush. You can go for silver or black, which seems to be the favoured two colours by most case manufacturers. Today I have the black version which I always think looks better than a silver enclosure.
Once you yank the case out of the box, you can see the funky front panel design which is curved brushed aluminium. The top half is a door which opens to show you the four 5.25” bays and the two floppy disc holes. I’m seriously gonna have to start a petition to remove them from cases, and in some ways I can’t wait for Vista to be standard to negate the need for them. The door has a triangular cut out at the bottom which reveals part of the front fan grill, the two silver power/reset buttons and their corresponding LED’s.
The front grill hides the removable dust filter behind, although you’ll have to reach for your screw driver to remove it. All of this sits above the band at the bottom of the case which has slits laid out in a complimentary triangular shape.
The door also has a vertical indent which hides a light strip which will shine out of it once the case is turned on. If the box imagery is anything to go by, it’ll be a blue glow. Move round to the right-hand side of the case, and you’ll find the front panel I/O which consists of the usual dual USB, FireWire and mic/audio out.
With the case you get the usual mix of screws and cable management devices together with a manual which features a gloved technician showing you how to install a HDD etc.
The case itself is steel with a glossy black paint job applied which fits with the edges of the front which aren’t aluminium but glossy black plastic. Round the back of the case you’ll find that it’s a pretty standard layout, with nothing out of the ordinary. There is a 120mm squeezed in besides the motherboard I/O hole which is found on most cases these days.
Pop the side panel off and you can see where the case gets its Hush name from. The panel has a foam pad on it which will absorb the case sound waves stopping them getting to your ears. I’m surprised this isn’t on every case these days as the foam can’t cost the earth to use and install. The foam sheets also cover the bottom, top and other side panel. Because of this, the case actually feels – as gay as it sounds – quite cosy inside as its not bare metal but soft foam.
There is another fan at the front of the case, hidden behind the grill which is different from the one installed at the back because its equipped with some LED’s to shine out the front. Both of these fans are natively molex in type, so you won’t be able to plug them directly into your motherboard. The fans are mounted on rubber grommets, although I doubt that they will make any difference. As the screw itself is directly in contact with the fan, and the screw head doesn’t have a grommet on it, the vibrations can easily travel to the case itself.
Running down the right hand side of the case are all of the drive bays and there are a fair few of them. There are four 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” and five internal. All of them have NZXT’s tool-less mounting system on them. They are all one sided, while the HDD bays have the clips on both sides. If you DVD drive falls out it’s not a great problem (your FDD would be a relief), but if your HDD goes walkabouts then the problems begin.
The motherboard area has the standoff locations marked with letters and numbers, and the stamped list of where to install the provided standoff’s help you to get the positions for your motherboard layout.
The seven PCI slots at the back all have replaceable covers, apart from the top one, but they are pretty flimsy and easy to bend. It’s nice to be able to replace them, but a more sturdy solution would have been nice.