NZXT H500i Small Compact ATX Case Review

nzxt h500i case

The NZXT H500i is the upgraded version of NZXT’s base H500 model - so what’s the difference?

It’s a premium case for builders who want a sleek looking setup. In this post, we’re going to be taking a look at one of my favorite cases from NZXT.

Pros:

  • Awesome RGB lighting
  • Great cooling
  • Sexy design
  • Good airflow

Cons:

  • A bit pricey

Case Design

The NZXT H500i has a simple design that will exceed your expectations in terms of build quality for its price point.

This case comes with all of the fancy bells and whistles you’d expect from a high end case at this price point.

With this model, the H500i has a smart hub for fan control and a built-in RGB strip up top and behind a cable cover.

This case has a sleek white paint job that’s minimalistic but super good looking.

It also features a nice side panel window that allows you to display your components, illuminated by the case’s RGB lighting.

The case is a big larger than its mATX little brother, the H400i. This is the smallest full ATX case in our list of small ATX cases, even smaller than the Air 540.

h500i case design

The top of the case has two USB 3.1 ports, an HDD activity LED, a power button, and headphone and microphone jacks.

Besides the 120/140mm fan mounting grille, the top of the case is smooth and barren.

The front of the case is also featureless, but the side panel has a tinted tempered glass window, covering about 3/4 of the side of the case.

The other side panel has vented holes for airflow, and both panels are mounted via thumbscrews.

Looking to the rear of the case, there’s not much to report. You’ll find seven expansion slots (and two for vertical GPU mounting, which is a lovely feature), the I/O panel area, a 120mm exhaust fan mounting location, and a PSU opening on the bottom.

Features

NZXT advertises this case as a “smart case”, hence the “i” at the end of its name (which distinguishes it from the H500, its little brother).

This case is loaded with awesome features, including an Adaptive Noise Reduction algorithm that adjusts fan speeds based on temperature and measured noise changes.

nzxt h500i RGB lighting

The case also comes with a fan controller and an LED RGB lighting controller. Lastly, the H500i ships with two pre-installed RGB lighting strips, one of which is located behind the cable management bar and the other in the top of the chassis.

The case’s sleek design coupled with elegant lighting makes for an eye-catching case that isn’t overwhelming.

Installation

The PSU area has a dust filter included, and the case’s four rubber feet keep the case elevated to promote proper airflow.

The case’s interior doesn’t have much pre-installed – no hard drive racks, no intake fans, and no optical drive bays. NZXT leaves everything up to you when it comes to building.

The only thing that you’ll find inside the case from the factory is a cable management bar. There’s plenty of room for a plethora of different system builds.

nzxt h500i small micro atx case

There are mounting locations for two 2.5” drives and two 3.5” drives. You can either mount the drives on top of the PSU tunnel or behind the motherboard tray.

The two mounting locations by the PSU compartment do not have any caddies. Rather, the drives slide into the removable steel rack and are held in place by screws.

If you wish to remove or install new drives after your PC has been assembled, you’ll have to remove the hard drive rack or the PSU.

The H500i comes with two 120mm fans pre-installed, but their placement is a bit weird.

One of them is mounted in the rear as an exhaust fan, which is standard. However, the other fan is mounted to the top of the case.

Moreover, the exhaust fan has a filter, which does not make a whole lot of sense either. Luckily you can move the case to the front of the fan as an intake. The case supports radiators up to 280mm, which can be mounted to the front of the main compartment.

Conclusion

Overall, this is one of the best cases on the market in my opinion.

It looks great, and definitely delivers in terms of value.

Sure, it’s not exactly budget friendly, but if you have the cash to invest in a case that you’ll love, it’s worth the money.