The H510 Elite is NZXT’s flagship mid-size case, with a focus on appearances, thanks to a new tempered glass front panel, two included RGB fans and an RGB light strip connected to the Hue V2 box that normally appears only in NZXT’s ‘i’ cases like the H500i and H700i. Other features include USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2) top panel connectors and a vertical GPU mount. We built a system in this case and have been using it for the past week in order to share our thoughts, so let’s get started.
The H510 Elite is a premium mid-tower case with tinted tempered glass on the front and side, providing a nice showcase for any RGB-encrusted components you’ve placed inside. The case is clean throughout, with a nearly invisible NZXT wordmark on the front of the case. We’re testing a white/black (“stormtrooper”) version of the case, with a full black colourway also available.
In terms of I/O, we’re looking at a meagre assortment: a single full-size USB port, one USB-C and a single 3.5mm port. It’s nice to see USB-C included, but I’d have preferred to see at least two full-size USB ports, given how few gaming peripherals connect using USB-C these days. Similarly, having only one 3.5mm port means that you’ll need to use the bundled adapter if you intend to plug in both a microphone and headphones.
Internally, we see the return of the ventilated PSU shroud and vertical cable shroud that has defined recent NZXT cases. A pair of 140mm Aer RGB 2 fans are mounted up front and a rear 120mm AER F120 case fan is installed at the back of the chassis.
Since late August, NZXT has also started adding a 140mm top case fan to H510 Elite cases – and those that have already bought a case which doesn’t include this can request an additional 140mm fan for free from NZXT customer service.
In terms of liquid cooling, there’s room for a 120mm radiator on the back and a 240/280mm radiator up front.
The front radiator mount is actually fully removable, so you can fit your fans and radiator outside of the case, then slide it into position and secure it with a pair of thumb screws. Nice.
As well as seven expansion slots, there are two additional slots if you’d like to go for a vertical GPU mount. Weirdly, NZXT have left a small gap in the back of the case where the horizontal and vertical PCIe mounts join up, directly below the rear 120mm fan.
A removable drive bay is also included within the PSU chamber. Finally, it’s nice to see NZXT have opted to add filtration for all air vents.
We installed an X570 system in the H510 Elite, based around a Ryzen 7 3700X processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and chunky MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio graphics card. With the 360mm Kraken X72 not supported by this mid-size case, we opted for the Wraith Prism air cooler provided with the 3rd-gen Ryzen processor.
Some issues have been reported when using GPU risers with X570 motherboards, so we won’t test the vertical GPU mount in this brief review. Also, NZXT doesn’t actually include a riser card in the box, so you’ll need to pick one up separately if you want to use this feature.
Installation proceeded quickly, thanks to the generous space afforded on the backside of the case for cables, the sizeable PSU shroud and the integrated I/O shield on the Aorus motherboard we’re using.
The only difficulty we encountered early on was in mounting the single 3.5-inch drive used in our system. If we removed the hard drive bay and screwed the drive directly into the floor of the case as shown in the instructions, there was no clearance for SATA power and data cables to be installed. We tried again using the bottom slot of the drive bay and encountered the same issue. Eventually, we mounted the 3.5-inch drive in the upper slot – hardly the most space-efficient solution, but it did allow the right-angle cables we were using to be connected.
Routing cables through the small aperture in the PSU shroud was also a challenge. We have two PCIe cards that require additional power – an HDMI capture card and our graphics card – and getting both cables to fit through the inch-square aperture wasn’t a great experience. Ultimately, we ended up using the hole for our capture card and running the GPU power cables messily from the side instead.
After installing the most recent version of NZXT’s CAM software, we had fan control but no RGB lighting control, with the LED strips and RGB fans defaulting to blue. Interestingly, CSGO game integration still worked, with the fans green at 100% health and turning yellow, orange and finally red at 0% health, so the hardware connection appears to be present.
After several days of troubleshooting, re-configuring the hardware and trying different software versions (3.7.7 and 4.0.0 beta 15) the issues unfortunately remain. NZXT have provided videos of the system working on their end and we haven’t seen mention of this problem elsewhere, so we’ll chalk this up to an isolated incident you’re unlikely to encounter with the retail product – even if it is a little disappointing.
We remain in touch with NZXT’s support representatives and will update this review if the issue can be resolved.
We also noticed that our Ryzen 3700X processor wasn’t supported initially, with the temperature always reading at 50C in CAM 3.7.7 and no stats appearing in CAM 4.0 beta 15, but this was resolved with the release of CAM 4.0 bet beta 16.
In terms of performance, we got middling results here, with average idle reading at around 55C in AMD’s Ryzen Master software. With the side of the case off, CPU temperatures dropped 5-10 degrees at the expense of greater fan noise. The UK is in the midst of a heat-wave right now and the X570 platform remains immature, so we will leave it to other publications to do more intensive temperature and noise testing in a more controlled environment.
There’s a lot to like about the H510 Elite – the front RGB fans look great through the tempered and tinted glass, the inclusion of USB-C is appreciated and the overall build experience is excellent, with plenty of space to work with, cable channels and tidying mechanisms to go around. However, the single full-size USB port and CAM issues leave something to be desired. Hopefully, these issues won’t be found on NZXT’s full-size alternative to the H510, the H710, which we’ll be testing next.