NZXT’s flagship case in many ways, the H710i is a full-tower case boasting an impressive amount of space for installing water cooling, full-size ATX and E-ATX motherboards and fans galore. The case boasts a boxy design with the features that NZXT have become known for: clever drive mounts, an integrated NZXT software-controlled Smart Device, a ventilated PSU shroud and a vertical, removable cable cover. It also includes some new touches, including a tempered glass side panel, vertical GPU mount and a USB-C top connector, that make it feel more modern than other options in NZXT’s lineup.
The H710i is essentially a larger version of the H510 Elite (without that model’s unique front glass panel), so this review will skip some elements common to both models that we covered in the H510 Elite review. Instead, we’ll focus on the build experience and my overall impressions since building a system in the H710 about one month ago. Let’s get started!
As before, we’re using a system based around the Aorus X570 Master motherboard, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor, 32GB of RAM at 3200MHz and a chonky MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio graphics card. Storage includes three NVMe SSDs from various manufacturers, although sadly none are yet PCI-e 4.0 models to take full advantage of the X570 platform. All of this is powered by a Corsair RM 650X power supply.
The H710i’s much larger frame allows very large radiators and all-in-one coolers to be installed, including the 360mm NZXT Kraken X72 sample I received with this review in mind. This cooler was a little tricky to install along the top of the case, given its length, but it eventually fit well with its tubes hanging down from the right side of the case (as you view the motherboard) rather than the left as I originally intended. This left the front of the case clear to suck in as much air as possible with its three fans, with hot air exiting from the top and rear.
Otherwise, the build proceeded smoothly. The sizeable rear side of the case allows for naïve cable management, while the cable channels and straps on the back allow for a very tidy appearance in just a few minutes of work. The cable management bar performed its duty well, hiding most cables, but thicker items like the motherboard 24-pin power input remained a bit difficult to cram in.
Once again, the hard drive mounting options don’t seem to make much sense – at least with the mechanical HDD I’m working with. If screwed onto the bottom of the case or the bottom slot of the cage, the SATA data and power inputs don’t have sufficient clearance to be plugged in. That means, as far as I can work out, you need to keep the cage installed which makes it a bit awkward to plug cables into your PSU (assuming you haven’t plugged in every cable you need before the PSU has actually entered the case).
Noise & thermals
As we noted with the H510 Elite build, we lack proper equipment and a long history to provide proper comparisons when it comes to temperatures and noise. However, we’ll do our best to give you an idea of these elements with the tools at our disposal, using the self-reporting tools in NZXT CAM and AMD Ryzen Master.
As well as shifting from the H510 Elite to the H710i, this built also uses the Kraken X72 cooler rather than the AMD Wraith Prism air cooler. Surprisingly, these changes didn’t result in a substantially different idle temperature, with both systems recording the 3700X in our system sitting between 45-54 degrees at idle. The big difference was that the Wraith Prism was relatively noisy and certainly noticeable even at idle, while the 360mm Kraken X72 CPU cooler operates near-silently while maintaining the same low temperatures. The GPU, meanwhile, normally sits at around 57 degrees with its fans idle.
Under load, the case and radiator fans occasionally ramp up to keep CPU temperatures at a chill 63 degrees; the GPU reached only 73 degrees even in recent PC game release Control at max settings with RTX enabled – at about 17fps, mind you. Running a CPU-heavy load like Cinebench R20 and enabling auto overclock mode in Ryzen Master, the CPU draws around 125W (compared to 88W in stock mode), temperatures rise to 82 degrees and benchmark scores rise significantly. Fan noise does become audible at this point, but it’s not super loud and it quickly dies away again once the task ends.
Given the results, the H710i seems to deliver more than adequate thermal and aural performance, especially with the beefy Kraken X72 cooler installed.
The H710i system has run extremely well in the weeks since it was first built. The extra top USB port has solved one of the major issues I faced with the H510 Elite, and the performance and reliability of the CAM software has improved substantially over the past few weeks too.
That’s left me with a very dependable case that looks good and remains easy to work in. I’ve come to particularly appreciate the ease by which the side panels can be removed, including the glass panel secured with a single thumbscrew but particularly the back which pops off with a single button press. I’m a little worried about the long-term safety of the plastic latches used in the system for this, but otherwise the case feels solid as a rock.
So how could this case be improved? Well, I would like to see a version of the H710i that includes filtered air vents in the future to prevent dust buildup, or alternatively a mesh front panel that could allow for substantially better airflow. Other case manufacturers are providing these options, and I feel that NZXT needs to offer these in their upcoming new or refreshed cases as well. More USB ports would be welcomed too – three is better than the two on the H510 Elite, but other case makers are including four, five or more.
NZXT’s H710i and Kraken X72 are a potent combination, providing low noise and cool temperatures, a stylish RGB-encrusted design and extremely solid build quality. The installation process was as easy as it’s ever been on an NZXT case, with plenty of thoughtful features to smooth things over for newcomers and veterans alike. While there are still a few small features that NZXT could add to this case to really make it sing – a mesh front, another USB 3.0 or USB-C port – I feel the H710i offers solid value for money and I’m happy to recommend it.