NZXT H510 Build Notes and Thoughts

The baseline NZXT H510 case has been on a downward trend from the price perspective. This case is currently available for $69.99 USD. Having transplanted our primary Ryzen 9 system components into this enclosure, there are a few thoughts that stand out from the build quality perspective that weren’t captured in Steve Burke’s excellent thermal analysis of the Elite variant.

First, this case would benefit from retooling to add about an additional inch of width to its dimensions. Sufficient space exists on the top panel, front panel and across the power supply shroud for adding aftermarket lighting strips or other accessories. The lack of space between the tempered glass side panel and the rear exhaust fan will result in an inability to add illumination along the rear as well as suffocate GPUs that are mounted vertically. While the cost of additional materials would certainly be passed on to the customer, the added utility and capability of increased dimensions would solve complex build challenges.

Second, the quality assurance of the black-on-black configuration needs some work. Our prior H200 Mini-ITX case was a red-on-black configuration. The paint on exposed parts and the cable management bar was highly prone to incurring blemishes from the most minor of bumps. The black-on-black in the H510 appears to be powder coating in lieu of paint. While this approach addresses risks related to accidentally chipping the applied paint, it unfortunately has been done to a level dictated by a fixed price point. The cable management bar exhibited spots where coating was missed near the very top. The finish is generally delicate and will incur additional blemishes if a mishap with a screwdriver or component install occurs.

Finally, the available ventilation holes on both sides of the front part of the H200 case worked well enough for our prior Mini-ITX build. Fans installed in the front had two points of entry to obtain cooler air to circulate through the case in a positive airflow pressure configuration. While the back side of the H510 contains a comparable provision with filtration, there’s no other point of entry to improve this situation. The reduction of glass wouldn’t hurt the aesthetics of this minimalist case.

Cable management was fairly non-eventful during the transfer of components. NZXT’s included management guides definitely ease the assembly process with ample tie-down points for cable routes which fall outside of the cable channels. Sufficient space exists on the rear for attaching aftermarket lighting controllers. Our build coupled a Corsair Lighting Node Pro Controller and six port RGB LED hub with room to spare.

The improvements made to the mounting of the glass side panel, inclusion of a USB-C header (for motherboards which have a native connector or have space for an adapter) and fairly solid rigidity where it counts ultimately provide enough value to justify the use of this case. Ample clearance existed for the be quiet! Dark Rock Slim air cooler. The H510 is worth the current price of admission. Hopefully, NZXT will further iterate on what’s a pretty solid foundation in future revisions.

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