In for review is the H510 Elite mid-tower case from NZXT – a brand that is close to my heart and designed some of the most iconic cases out there. That includes the likes of the Phantom, Vulcan and Hades. Cases I owned personally in a span of a decade.

Now the H510 Elite is actually one of the many cases from the H510 lineup. Being the top dog of its class, the H510 Elite comes with the best the series has to offer. That includes an extra set of NZXT AER RGB fans (x4 total), the Smart Device V2 and an integrated RGB LED strip. Price is about $179.99 USD with the bundles considered. The case is also available in two colorways: Matte Black and Matte White.

Disclosure: NZXT sent this unit as a return sample for the purpose of this preview. The company did not ask me to say anything particular about it. All thoughts and opinion are of my own.

Technical Specifications

Chassis
Motherboard support Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX
Enclosure type Compact Mid-Tower
Case material SGCC Steel, Tempered Glass
Clearance
CPU cooler 165mm
GPU cooler 368mm
Front 60mm
Rear
Top 30mm
Bottom
Drive Bays
2.5″ 2+1
3.5″ 2+1
Compatibility
Front 2x 120mm/2x 140mm
Rear 120mm
Top 120mm/140mm
Bottom
I/O Ports
USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen2), Type-A (USB 3.2 Gen1)
Audio 3.5mm (TRRS)
Dimensions
Length 428mm
Width 210mm
Height 460mm
Weight 7.5kg

Packaging and Accessories

NZXT had the H510 Elite packed inside the usual computer case packaging. Since this is also a tempered glass based product, extra care into it has been made possible.

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The product should come with the following items inside:

  • H510 Elite Case
  • 2x Aer RGB 2 140mm Fans
  • Aer F 120mm (Case Version)
  • Aer F 140mm (Case Version)
  • Smart Device V2
  • Integrated LED Strip
  • Headset Audio Jack Splitter
  • Breakout Cable
  • Installation Accessories
  • Manual

The bundled accessories are pretty decent. Some of these are already installed so props to NZXT for saving us some time for the installation.

Design, Layout and Build Quality: External

Like many of NZXT’s current lineup, the H510 Elite sports the company’s signature ultra-modern design. This is a heavy case with SGCC steel and tempered glass panels on top of its mid-tower stature.

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Since the facade is made out of tempered glass, cooling is provided by intake perforations at the bottom and at the side panel (motherboard tray) area. There are removable filters in place for both intake so cleaning them up should be easy.

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Connectivity options are just flush and minimalistic – following the overall theme of the case. We have a 3.5mm TRRS jack here for the audio-in and out, a USB Type-C plus Type-A port and the power button.

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The bottom part of the H510 Elite features a removable PSU fan intake dust cover. You could alo see the adjustable and also removable drive cage here along with the aforementioned intake for the front fan setup.

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The back looks like your typical back panel area with the exception of the support for a vertically mounted GPU. This setup is limited to a dual slot card though so keep that in mind.

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Design, Layout and Build Quality: Internal

The NZXT H510 Elite supports ATX motherboards and below. This is a spacious and neat looking internal design complete with a large motherboard tray cutout and a cover in-place of the standard grommeted designs.

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The motherboard tray area is busier with the NZXT Smart Device V2 in place together with the provisions for drive bays and the cable management options.

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Exhaust is a courtesy of dual 120mm fans mounted at the top and the rear of the case. You may install a 120mm radiator at the rear but the top portion of the case is just cramp and wont allow such.

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Front panel supports 280mm radiators at its maximum but I do recommend a 240mm instead for the already installed AER RGB II 120mm fans.

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Headers are the usual suspects but with the inclusion of a Type-E header for the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port. Not pictured here is the SATA power header for the Smart Device V2.

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Clearance and Installation

For the most part, the H510 Elite is easy to work with. The only complaint I could say is the lack of appropriate clearance at the top. This could be easily mitigated by removing the fan before installing anything else at that area.

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Cable management is just so easy with this case especially with the predetermined route that you could follow. Spacing here is good too, with about 23mm of maximum breathing room for cables.

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Test Setup and Methodology

Our test setup relies on the measurements taken from OCCT. It is important to note that we are testing the review sample after burn-in, with at least 24-hours of uptime. This is done so to negate the FOTB (fresh out the box) state of the DUT (device under test), yielding better benchmarking consistency.

Test System Specifications
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard BIOSTAR B550M Silver
Cooler Noctua NH-U12S Redux
Memory ADATA Premier 2666MHz 16GB
GPU GALAX RTX 2060 EX White 6GB
Storage Plextor M9PE NVME 512GB
Case NZXT H510 Elite
PSU Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 650W
Display LG UF680T
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Cases are far from the hardest components to test, but it doesn’t mean they are easy enough to deal with. There are multiple factors to take into account while benchmarking. Such factors includes the ambient noise, ambient temperature, the enclosure and the test system’s overall configuration.

Temperature

Temperature is measured in degree Celcius (ºC) at system idle and load. This is done via OCCT and its built-in Power Stress Test. Readings are taken directly from the CPU and GPU Temperature sensor.

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Cooling performance leaves a lot to be desired even with a capable tower cooler installed. The only explanation for this is the suboptimal intake design that is catered more for form over function. It just can’t push enough air for the CPU and GPU. A liquid cooling solution could mitigate this still but not on the level of a more free flowing front panel design.

Noise Level

Noise level is measured in Decibels (dBA) at system idle and load. This is done via OCCT and its built-in Power Stress Test. Readings are taken with a sound level meter.

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With four fans spinning at around 1000RPM, the NZXT H510 Elite comes with a decent noise level at load. This is fine but if you’re the kind of guy whose gotten used to silent setups, you have to turn the RPM down to a more relaxing level. Luckily, the Smart Device V2 via the CAM software should do the trick. I find trickling it down to 900RPM works.

Software, Lighting and Special Features

With the Smart Device V2 bundled, the H510 Elite comes with out of the box support for the NZXT CAM software. This is a PC monitoring and configuration tool that allows you to play with the lighting and settings of the NZXT CAM compatible devices. This also supports overclocking and comes with an overlay feature to enable you to monitor the main component’s sensors, load and FPS count while gaming.

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Lighting is well executed. The bundled AER II fans definitely helped to showcase the capabilities of the case here along with the pre-installed RGB strip.

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Final Thoughts

The NZXT H510 Elite is a beautifully crafted case. It comes with all the bells and whistles you should expect for under $200 USD and has enough presence to project a commanding aura next to your desk while still maintaining a minimalistic design.

Sadly, cooling performance is not its strong point, elevating our system’s thermals that is uncomfortable to a degree – pun definitely intended. If you want the aesthetics of this case, you have to build your PC around it. Regardless, it is still a well built enclosure even with its SGCC based chassis.

TechPorn Awards 2018 (5)

NZXT H510 Elite Premium Mid-Tower
  • 5/10
    Performance - 5/10
  • 8/10
    Build Quality - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Connectivity - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Ergonomics - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Features - 9/10
7.6/10

Summary

The NZXT H510 Elite is a pretty case with excellent features. Sadly, it is sub optimal when it comes to its cooling performance. If you want it, you definitely have to build your components around it.

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